Report Suggests New U.S. Strategies for Dealing with Muslim Countries

The U.S. Muslim Engagement Project released a report called "Changing Course: A New Direction for U.S. Relations with the Muslim World" on September 24, 2008. The report features recommendations by a group of 34 bipartisan and multi-faith American leaders who came together out of concern over the rise in tension and violence between the U.S. and Muslim countries and communities. Eleven Muslims were among the leaders involved.

Key points in the report were reached by consensus and include:

  • Elevate diplomacy as the primary tool for resolving conflict in Muslim countries.
  • Support efforts to improve governance and improve civic participation in Muslim countries.
  • Help catalyze job-creating growth in Muslim countries to benefit both the U.S. and Muslim countries' economics.
  • Improve mutual understanding and respect between Americans and Muslims around the world.

There's a lot more, of course. For example, one section recognizes that "The U.S. Has Greater Impact When We Live Up to Our Own Ideals."

You can download the full report at the U.S. Muslim Engagement Project's web site.

Also check out Change the Story, a new web site devoted to promoting dialog and positive interfaith relations between Muslims and non-Muslims. Change the Story's launch was timed to coincide with the "Changing the Course" report and was organized by Intersections, a multi-faith and multi-cultural initiative of the Collegiate Church of New York.

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About Christine Benlafquih

Christine (Amina) Benlafquih is a freelance writer whose work includes articles, opinion pieces, personal essays and occasional fiction and poetry. A former publications and public relations director, she earned a B.A. in Journalism from Duquesne University in 1987. Originally from Rochester, NY, she has also lived in Pittsburgh, PA, the Washington, DC area, and now resides in Casablanca, Morocco. Her experiences as an American convert to Islam, both in the United States and in Morocco, serve as inspiration to much of her work. She is particularly concerned about the biased portrayal of Arabs and Muslims in the media, and about the division and labeling that occurs among Muslims themselves. Christine is a member of the Islamic Writers Alliance (IWA) and the Muslim American Journalists Association (MAJA). She is married and the mother of six children.

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