Engy Abdelkader

Engy Abdelkader
Senior Fellow, Bridge Initiative

Senior Fellow, Bridge Initiative

Engy Abdelkader is a senior fellow and adjunct professor at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service where she teaches seminars on civil liberties and national security as well as terrorism and human rights. At Georgetown’s Bridge Initiative, a multi-year research project housed in the Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, she researches and writes on the intersection of religion, law and society with a particular focus on Islamophobia.

The author of When Islamophobia Turns Violent: The 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections (Georgetown), her legal scholarship has been published in the Fordham International Law Journal, Asian American Law Journal at Berkeley Law and the UCLA Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law, among other journals.

Her popular writing has been featured in, or her work covered by, CNN, TIME, Christian Science Monitor, The Huffington Post, CBS News, Slate, The Washington Post, The Catholic Reporter, Newseum Institute and others. From the European Parliament to the U.S. State Department, from law school and college campuses to religious spaces and community forums, Abdelkader has an extensive public speaking record.

Abdelkader holds two U.S. law degrees including credentials from the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she served as a Constitutional Law Teaching Fellow and she graduated with academic distinction.

Areas of Expertise: Islamophobia, Civil Liberties & National Security Law, International Terrorism & Human Rights Law, Immigration Law, Women in Islam, Religious Freedom (Domestic & International)

  • J.D., Rutgers University School of Law
  • LL.M., University of Pennsylvania Law School


 Research Report

Law Journal Articles











  • Prepared Statement for European Parliament Launch Event: OSCE-Council of Europe Joint Guidelines on the Legal Personality of Religious or Belief Communities (Feb. 2015), http://ssrn.com/abstract=2601931.


Magazine Articles

Advancing the Interests of Others, The New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, Aug. 2013, http://www.njsba.com/images/content/1/0/1006881.pdf.


Select Opinion and Editorial Work




















  • Bullying targets ‘the other,The Record (Nov. 28, 2010)  





  • Law & Social Inquiry, Constitutional Animal Protection in Egypt and the Making of a Social Movement (2016).
  • Journal of Contemporary Asia, How in Myanmar “national races” came to surpass citizenship (2016).




  • University of California, Berkeley, Fourth Annual Paris Conference: Contending Epistemologies – Euro-Centrism, Knowledge Production and Islamophobia, Paris, France (December 2016).
  • Harvard Divinity School, Ways of Knowing 2016 Conference on Religion, Boston, Mass. (October 2016).
  • Georgetown University, Gender Justice Initiative Colloquium, Washington, D.C. (September 2016).




  • Panelist, Symposium on Islamic Law: A Partner in the Fight Against Violent Extremism and Islamophobia, William and Mary Law School (November 2016).
  • Speaker, The Impact of Political Rhetoric on Minority Communities, University of Chicago Law School (November 2016).
  • Moderator, Islamophobia in Focus: Muslims and the Media, Newseum Institute (September 2016).
  • Moderator, Islamophobia: Root Causes, Effective Solutions, Islamic Society of North America Annual Convention (September 2016).
  • Panelist, In this Together, Keeping the Faith: Trends and Patterns in Islamophobia, German Marshall Fund of the United States(June 2016).
  • Panelist, Islamophobia: Root Causes, Effective Solutions, Islamic Circle of North America Annual Convention (May 2016).
  • Speaker, About The Bridge Initiative, Cambridge University (May 2016).
  • Panelist, Current Challenges Confronting American Muslims, International Institute of Islamic Thought (May 2016).
  • Keynote Speaker, Challenges, Trends, Solutions, First Annual Philadelphia City-Wide Combatting Anti-Muslim Bigotry Youth Conference (May 2016).
  • Panelist, Islamophobia and the U.S Presidential Elections, Islamic Society of Central Jersey (May 2016).
  • Speaker, Islamophobia 101, University of Pennsylvania (April 2016).
  • Panelist, Race, Religion & U.S. Presidential Politics, Georgetown University (April 2016).
  • Panelist, Islamophobia in Western Europe, Fourth Annual Religious Freedom Conference on Capitol Hill (Mar. 2016).
  • Panelist, Start the Morning With a Prayer: Religion in Schools, American Bar Association (Jan. 2016).
  • Panelist, Religious Freedom Trends in the United States, OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Conference (October 2015).
  • Panelist, Rising Global Restrictions and Social Hostilities on Religious Freedom, Georgetown University (July 16, 2015).
  • Speaker, Promoting Equal Access to Education and Work for Muslim Women and Women of African Descent, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Poland (June 16, 2015).
  • Moderator, Testing America’s First Freedom:  Emerging Religious Freedom Trends at Work and In School, American Bar Association (June 11, 2015).
  • Panelist, Europe’s Values Questioned: Our Answers to Extremism, European Green Party 22nd Council Meeting – Croatia (May 16, 2015).
  • Panelist, The Empowerment of Women though Islamic Jurisprudence, New York University School of Law (Mar. 23, 2015).
  • Panelist, New Jersey School Law Conference, New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education (Feb. 25, 2015).
  • Panelist, Launch Event: Guidelines on the Legal Personality of Religious or Belief Communities, European Parliament (Feb. 4, 2015).
  • Panelist, What is the Future of the Middle East, Rutgers University (Nov. 18, 2014).
  • Panelist, To Judge or Not to Judge: Women in the Judiciary in the Muslim World, Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia (Oct. 1, 2014).
  • Panelist, First Annual Young Lawyers Symposium: What’s Next, New Jersey State Bar Association (Sept. 20, 2014).
  • Speaker, Religious Pluralism in Islamic Tradition, Hobart and William Smith Colleges (Nov. 13, 2013).
  • Moderator, Working Group on Leveraging Collaboration and Partnerships, Women Religious Leaders and Conflict Prevention Training, U.S. Department of State & Foreign Service Institute (Sept. 18, 2013).
  • Speaker, Using the Legacy of Muslim Women Leaders to Empower, New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Minority Concerns(June 5, 2013).
  • Panelist, Combatting Intolerance and Discrimination Against Muslims, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe High-Level Conference on Tolerance and Non-Discrimination, Albania (May 22, 2013).
  • Panelist, An Inconsistent Justice: The Crossroads of Law, Religion and Women’s Human Rights, ABA Section of International Law 2013 Spring Meeting (Apr. 26, 2013).
  • Speaker, Balancing Civil Rights and National Security in the post 9/11 World, University of Pennsylvania Law School (Feb. 16, 2013).
  • Panelist, Hijab, U.S. State Department (Dec. 11, 2012).
  • Panelist, I am Malala: Implications for a Global Society, Kean University (Dec. 10, 2012).
  • Speaker, Islamic Law & Gender Rights, U.S. State Department (Nov. 6, 2012).
  • Speaker, Islam: Myths and Misconceptions, Bloomsburg University (Oct. 8, 2012).
  • Panelist, From the Mouths of Women, Hofstra University (Apr. 19, 2012).
  • Panelist, Promoting Islamic Models that Help Women Fight Poverty & Hunger, 56th Session   on U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (March 1, 2012).
  • Panelist, From Implicit Bias to Broader Inclusion in the Legal Profession, NJ Supreme Court Committee on Women in the Courts, NJ Law Center (Feb. 29, 2012).
  • Keynote Address, One Nation Under Law: Exploring How the Law Shapes the Muslim American Experience, University of Connecticut School of Law (Feb. 3, 2012).
  • Moderator, Dispelling the Sharia Threat Myth: Implications of Banning Courts from Referencing Religious, Foreign or International Law, American Bar Association (Dec. 7, 2011).
  • Panelist, Litigating Domestic Violence Across Cultures, Rutgers School of Law – Newark (Oct. 25, 2011).
  • Speaker, Islam, Muslims and Arab-Americans, Union County Human Relations Commission, John H. Stamler Police Academy (Sept. 12, 2011).
  • Panelist, An America for all of Us, St. Peter’s College (July 30, 2011).
  • Speaker, Motivating Communities, George Washington University (July 15, 2011).
  • Moderator, Uncovering the Hidden Epidemic of Post 9/11 Bullying, Passaic County Technical Institute (Apr. 28, 2011).
  • Guest Lecturer, Islam and Democracy:  The Rights of Women in Islam, Rutgers University (March 25, 2009).
  • Guest Lecturer, Arab Politics and Society:  The State of Human Rights, Rutgers University (March 25, 2009).
  • Panelist, World Day of Social Justice Symposium, Rutgers School of Law – Newark (Feb. 17, 2009).
  • Guest Lecturer, Human Trafficking and Related Immigration Options, Rutgers University (Oct. 19, 2008).
  • Guest Lecturer, Islam and Democracy: Women in the Arab and Muslim World, Rutgers University (Oct. 2008).
  • Guest Lecturer, The Arab Image and Stereotyping in the US Media, Rutgers University (Oct. 2008).
  • Guest Lecturer, Contemporary Politics in the Middle East: The Impact of the War on Terrorism on the Arab and Muslim People,Rutgers University (Oct. 2008).
  • Panelist, Immigration Debate, The Network of Arab American Professionals of NY Conference, Embassy Suites (Nov. 2007).
  • Panelist, The Nexus of Immigrants’ Rights and Civil Rights, Columbia Law School (April 3, 2007).
  • Panelist, A Muslim Woman’s Guide to Her Civil Rights, McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum, Chicago (Aug. 3, 2006).
  • Speaker, Advancing Justice & Empowering the Community, National Association of Muslim Lawyers Conference, George Washington University (Apr. 2, 2006).
  • Panelist, Charting Our Own Course: Muslim Women in the Public Square, Fordham University Law School (March 25, 2006).
  • Panelist, Muslims in the Law, New York University School of Law (Oct. 26, 2005).
  • Participant, Worlds Apart:  Immigrant Families and Communities After September 11, Open Society Institute (Dec. 8, 2004).
  • Panelist, The Treatment of Muslims & Arabs After 9/11, LeMoyne College (Sept. 20, 2004).
  • Participant, The Pluralism Project at Harvard University, Forum on Religion & Politics 2004: Women’s Votes, Women’s Voices,National Press Club, Washington, D.C. (Sept. 13, 2004).
  • Panelist, Cases of Discrimination in the Marketplace and at School, Howard University School of Law (June 2004).
  • Speaker, Hijab – A Civil Rights Issue, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (Apr. 15, 2004).
  • Panelist, Muslim Women Today:  Issues & Problems, New York University (March 22, 2004).
  • Panelist, The Hijab Unveiled, Brooklyn Law School (March 11, 2004).
  • Panelist, Religion, Myths and National Security Risks, City University of New York School of Law (Oct. 16, 2003).



  • American Bar Association, Section on Civil Rights and Social Justice, Committee on Religious Freedom Co-Chair; Committee on National Security and Civil Liberties Past Chair & Past Vice-Chair.
  • Institute for Social Policy and Understanding Expert and Legal Fellow.
  • U.S. State Department, Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group (by invitation).
  • Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion or Belief (by appointment).
  • New Jersey State Bar Association Blue Ribbon Commission on Unmet Legal Needs (by appointment).
  • New Jersey Supreme Court Board on Continuing Legal Education (by appointment).
  • New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Minority Concerns (by appointment).
  • New Jersey State Bar Foundation – Respect Editorial Advisory Board (by appointment).
  • New Jersey State Bar Association – Membership Committee (by appointment).
  • Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom – Board of Directors.
  • Egyptian American Rule of Law Association – Member.
  • New Jersey State Bar Association – Diversity Committee (2010-2012) (by appointment).
  • New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association – First President & Co-Founder (2006-2009).
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service – Cultural Competency Instructor (2003 – 2008).
  • New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey Advisory Committee on Muslims (2003-04) (by appointment).