United States: Dr Iqtidar Cheema has been formally awarded special recognition by United States Congress. Dr Cheema is currently a member of United Nations Global Steering Committee of OSAPG. He is Fellow at University of Birmingham and Director at Institute for Leadership and Community Development, UK. He studied Philosophy at University of Oxford and achieved his PhD in International Relations from University of Gloucestershire and MBA from University of Sunderland, UK. He received 5 University Gold medals, 2 Academic Roll of Honour and a Presidential Award in his academic career. He is author of 3 books and 24 research papers. Some of his research work has been cited by UNHCR, Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, and World Bank in their reports. He is an educationist, historian, public speaker, inter-faith and human rights’ enthusiast. He previously contributed to blogs for CNN and ARY News.
In 2017, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom published his report on ‘constitutional and legal challenges faced by religious minorities in India’. His report made huge impact globally. He had previously testified on various occasions at the United States Congress as an expert witness. Dr Cheema also played a vital role in formation of United Nations first-ever Action Plan for Religious Leaders on Preventing Incitement to Violence. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres launched the said action plan in July 2017. Dr Cheema was also the member of UN experts’ committee which launched UN Faith for Rights declaration lead by Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. He has been actively advocating for Human Rights and Freedom of religion on world forums including United Nations Human Rights Council.
Dr Cheema has said that he is humbled to receive this distinguished honour from United States Congress, but he dedicated his honour to all those who had been persecuted across the world.