RFI’s Ismail Royer Meets with Delegation from India

April 5, 2024

Ismail Royer, RFI’s Islam and Religious Freedom Director, met with a delegation of civil society activists, faith leaders, and scholars from India in Washington, D.C. on April 2nd. The meeting – held at the campus of the Meridian International Center, a non-partisan, non-profit, public diplomacy organization – was part of the U.S. Department of State’s Religious Freedom as a Constitutional Right project. The project aims to share U.S. perspectives on religious tolerance and constitutional protections.

In his presentation, Royer talked about his own life and faith journey, and weaved that story into a discussion of the historical, theological, and philosophical roots of the American constitutional order. 

Royer focused on the metaphysical assumptions underlying the Declaration of Independence, especially with respect to the created nature of the human being and how those assumptions undergird American legal philosophy and political order. This is illustrated, he said, by the Founder’s view of inherent human dignity as the source of the people’s inalienable rights; while their insight into inherent human weakness was the impetus for federalism as an institutional arrangement aimed at preserving those rights.

Royer also discussed RFI’s work and the ways that the Institute advocates for religious freedom both in the U.S. and abroad, so that they might learn from RFI’s approach and implement similar strategies as they bring those lessons back home with them.