پاکستاان لیجر | PAKISTAN LEDGER | پاکستاني کھاتا |Sept. 23rd, 08 | Moin Ansari | معین آنصآرّی |
We have been trying to educate the people about changing the approach towards Muslims for the best part of the decade. If Clinton, Albgith, Lugar and Weber can affect a change in the near future, perhaps we can all build a better world for our children.
AJMA Yahoo Group for interfaith dialogue The American Joint Multifaith Association (AJMA)has been working for years to develop better community relations amongs the physical and spiritual children of Abraham
Rebuilding the Abrahamic symbiosis in America
Moin Ansari's interview with Harold Channer 1
Wasim Khan and Moin Ansari's interview Prt 2
The new policy based on a bi-partisan panel of 34 US leaders (which included one third Muslims) reverses the brute force approach and is based on the following salient points:
Diplomacy as the “primary tool”
Promote better governance in authoritarian Muslim countries that are American allies like Saudi Arabia and Egypt,
Help create jobs and economic development in Muslim countries, and
Foster exchange programs to educate people in the Muslim world about the United States, and vice versa.
Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State; Principal, The Albright Group LLC
"Few challenges matter more than reducing distrust and misunderstanding between the United States and people living in Muslim majority states. This timely report is a groundbreaking, stereotype-shattering and thought-provoking contribution to that essential cause."
We’re not involved in a clash of civilizations or conflicting religious beliefs. There are policies and actions that are at the root of it, and in some cases they are our policies and in some cases theirs.” Ms. Madeleine K. Albright
General Anthony C. Zinni, USMC (ret.)
"This is an exceptional and important report that is a must read for all those Americans involved in policy development, operational planning, and understanding of this critical part of our global society."
Richard Land, President, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention; Member, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
"This initiative is a serious, comprehensive, bi-partisan effort that seeks to address a critical and dangerous problem: The world Muslim community misunderstands Americans and Americans misunderstand them. This initiative lays out a detailed and comprehensive plan to vastly decrease that misunderstanding through a multi-faceted approach that will build constructive bridges of mutual understanding between Americans and the Muslim world."
Ingrid Mattson, President, The Islamic Society of North America; Professor of Islamic Studies, Director of Islamic Chaplaincy, and Director, Duncan Black Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Hartford Seminary
"It is a sign of great hope that the Leadership Group, despite having substantial differences over policies and politics, was able to come together to develop this report. This was made possible by a shared belief that the vital interests of the American people need not, and must not, conflict with core American values affirming the dignity of all people and their right to freedom and self-determination. This is a message that the mainstream majority in the Muslim world will surely welcome, and it will help them in their desire to improve relations between their people and the United States."
"People have told us they admire our democratic values, but there’s this gap between the values people admire and the perceived treatment of Muslims.” Ms. Mogahed
“ “The urgency is quite great” ..“The Bush administration is held in low regard in the Muslim world, and unfortunately that’s led to America being held in low regard.” Mr. Weber
The SFCG.org site lists the following goals for the group and why the bipartisan report was needed.
The United States urgently needs to develop a new approach to address tensions with Muslim countries and communities. Conflict, misunderstanding and distrust plague relations between the U.S. and Muslims around the world. The national intelligence community, many other experts and more than 70 percent of the U.S. public believe that the risk of future terrorist acts is high, and that our current strategy is not reducing widespread Muslim hostility toward the U.S. In response, the U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project is producing a new strategy that better meets the long-term national security interests of the U.S., by addressing the sources of tension between the U.S. and Muslims in key countries and regions. The project’s goals are to:
create a coherent, broad-based and bipartisan strategy and set of recommendations to improve relations between the U.S. and the Muslim world; and
communicate and advocate this strategy in ways that shift U.S. public opinion and contribute to changes in U.S. policies, and public and private action.
An eminent Leadership Group on U.S.-Muslim Engagement has been working since January 2007 to reach consensus on comprehensive recommendations. In September 2008, the project will issue a report and launch an intensive education campaign to influence the views and actions of national officeholders, candidates for office, the new administration elected in November 2008, private institutions and the public at large.
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN Published: September 23, 2008
After 18 months spent examining the deteriorating relations between the United States and the Muslim world during the Bush administration, a diverse group of American leaders will release a report in Washington on Wednesday calling for an overhaul of American strategy to reverse the spread of terrorism and extremism.
The report recommends more diplomatic engagement, even with Iran and other adversaries, and a major investment in economic development in Muslim countries to create jobs for alienated youth. It calls on the next president to use his Inaugural Address to signal a shift in approach, to immediately renounce the use of torture, and to appoint a special envoy within the first three months to jump-start negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
The report, “Changing Course: A New Direction for U.S. Relations with the Muslim World,”; was produced by 34 leaders drawn from religious, business, military, foreign policy, academic, foundation and nonprofit circles. The group included Democrats like Madeleine K. Albright, who was secretary of state under President Bill Clinton, and two former Republican congressmen, Vin Weber and Steve Bartlett.
It also included Thomas Dine, a former executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America. One-third of the group were Muslim Americans. The members were selected by the sponsoring organizations, Search for Common Ground and the Consensus Building Institute, which both promote nonviolent conflict resolution.
“I came into it somewhat skeptical we could come to agreement,” Mr. Weber, who is now chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy, said in an interview. “I supported the invasion of Iraq, and that has clearly been a very negative thing for the perceptions of America in the Muslim world.”
As the group pored over polls of people in various Muslim countries, they concluded that the negative perceptions were generated more by American policies than by Muslim religious or cultural beliefs. If policies shift, perceptions are likely to change, too, the report says.
Dalia Mogahed, executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, said polls showed that people in Muslim countries feel “disrespected” by the United States, a sentiment that intensified with the invasion of Iraq and the photographs from Abu Ghraib prison showing detainees tortured and humiliated.
Ms. Mogahed said, “People have told us they admire our democratic values, but there’s this gap between the values people admire and the perceived treatment of Muslims.”
Ms. Albright said in an interview: “We’re not involved in a clash of civilizations or conflicting religious beliefs. There are policies and actions that are at the root of it, and in some cases they are our policies and in some cases theirs.”
The group’s four basic recommendations are to rely on diplomacy as the “primary tool,” promote better governance in authoritarian Muslim countries that are American allies like Saudi Arabia and Egypt, help create jobs and economic development in Muslim countries, and foster exchange programs to educate people in the Muslim world about the United States, and vice versa.
“The urgency is quite great,” Mr. Weber said. “The Bush administration is held in low regard in the Muslim world, and unfortunately that’s led to America being held in low regard.”
The McCain and Obama campaigns have been briefed on the report’s recommendations, and both were receptive, said Mr. Weber and other members of the group. There is a briefing on Wednesday for the House Foreign Affairs Committee and members of Congress, and a public release at the National Press Club in Washington.
Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, the Republican leader of the Foreign Relations Committee, has sent the report to his colleagues with a letter saying it contains “constructive recommendations on how we can approach this pressing concern in a bipartisan framework.”
Madeleine Albright Principal, The Albright Group; former U.S. Secretary of State
Richard Armitage President, Armitage International; former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State
Ziad Asali President and Founder, American Task Force on Palestine
Steve Bartlett President and CEO, Financial Services Roundtable; former U.S. Representative; former Mayor of Dallas, Texas
Paul Brest President, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Red Cavaney President and Chief Executive Officer, American Petroleum Institute
Daniel Christman Lt. General (ret.), U.S. Army; Senior Vice President for International Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Stephen Covey Co-Founder and Vice Chairman, FranklinCovey; writer, speaker, and academic
Thomas Dine Principal, The Dine Group; former Executive Director, American Israel Public Affairs Committee
Marc Gopin James H. Laue Professor of World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution; Director, Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University
Stephen Heintz President, Rockefeller Brothers Fund
Shamil Idriss Chairman of the Board, Soliya
Daisy Khan Executive Director, American Society for Muslim Advancement
Derek Kirkland Advisory Director, Investment Banking Division, Morgan Stanley
Richard Land President, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention; Member, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
Robert Jay Lifton Lecturer on Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; author of Superpower Syndrome
Denis J. Madden Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore; former Associate Secretary General, Catholic Near East Welfare Association
John Marks President and Founder, Search for Common Ground
Susan Collin Marks Senior Vice President, Search for Common Ground; author of Watching the Wind: Conflict Resolution during South Africa's Transition to Democracy
Ingrid Mattson President, The Islamic Society of North America; Professor of Islamic Studies and Director of Islamic Chaplaincy and Director, Duncan Black Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Hartford Seminary
Sayyeda Mirza-Jafri Strategic Philanthropy Consultant
Dalia Mogahed Executive Director, Gallup Center for Muslim Studies; coauthor with John Esposito of Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think
Vali Nasr Professor of International Politics, The Fletcher School, Tufts University; Adjunct Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
Feisal Abdul Rauf Imam, Masjid al-Farah in New York City; Founder and Chairman, Cordoba Initiative; author of What’s Right with Islam Is What’s Right with America
Rob Rehg President, Washington D.C. office, Edelman
Dennis Ross Consultant, Washington Institute for Near East Policy; former U.S. Special Middle East Envoy and Negotiator
S. Abdallah Schleifer Distinguished Professor of Journalism, American University in Cairo; former Washington Bureau Chief, Al-Arabiya news channel; former NBC News Cairo bureau chief
Jessica Stern Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Mustapha Tlili Director, Center for Dialogues: Islamic World-U.S.-The West, New York University
William Ury Cofounder, Program on Negotiation, Harvard Law School; coauthor of Getting to Yes
Vin Weber Managing Partner, Clark and Weinstock; Chairman, National Endowment for Democracy; former U.S. Representative
Daniel Yankelovich Founder and Chairman, Public Agenda; author
Ahmed Younis Senior Analyst, Gallup Center for Muslim Studies; former National Director, Muslim Public Affairs Committee
Dov S. Zakheim Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton; former U.S. Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)
*Organizational affiliations are listed for identification purposes only.