Bipartisan Group of U.S. Leaders Calls for 'Changed Course' in Relations With the Muslim World

Leaders Call 'Global War on Terror' an Inadequate Response, Propose Comprehensive U.S.-Muslim Relations Strategy to Prevent Another 9/11 "Few challenges matter more than reducing distrust and misunderstanding between the United States and...


Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), ranking minority member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, circulated the report to his Senate colleagues, saying, "The Project's report offers a thoughtful analysis of the current state of America's relations with the Muslim world and constructive recommendations on how we can approach this pressing concern in a bipartisan framework."

The report, a project of Search for Common Ground and the Consensus Building Institute, presents the first senior leadership consensus on a comprehensive new strategy for U.S. policy and action in the Muslim world; the diverse, bipartisan members of the Leadership Group include: Madeleine Albright , Richard Armitage , Ziad Asali , Steve Bartlett , Paul Brest , Red Cavaney , Daniel Christman , Stephen Covey , Thomas Dine , Marc Gopin , Stephen Heintz , Shamil Idriss , Daisy Khan , Derek Kirkland , Richard Land , Robert Jay Lifton , Denis J. Madden , John Marks , Susan Collin Marks , Ingrid Mattson , Sayyeda Mirza-Jafri , Dalia Mogahed, Vali Nasr, Feisal Abdul Rauf , Rob Rehg , Dennis Ross , S. Abdallah Schleifer , Jessica Stern , Mustapha Tlili , William Ury , Vin Weber , Daniel Yankelovich , Ahmed Younis and Dov S. Zakheim .

The Leadership Group's report also includes calls for immediate action by the next president, urging him to:

Beyond just outlining goals, the Leadership Group's report provides many insights on the complex texture of U.S.-Muslim relations, and uses those insights to drive new strategies for engaging Muslim communities. For example, the report contextualizes Muslim extremism by presenting the full prism of global Muslim public opinion revealed by recent comprehensive research.

In many areas, the Leadership Group's fresh thinking will help advance currently dead-locked debates, including ideas on how to:

Leadership Group member and former American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Executive Director, Tom Dine , summed up the importance of this work, "It is late in the day, but never too late, for American policy makers to alter their mindset about Islam and the Muslim communities, and to try to act on the common ground that exists between the peoples and government of the United States and global Muslim societies. Changing Course: A New Direction for U.S. Relations with the Muslim World is a basic primer for policy makers of the next American administration."

There is more information on the project Web site, www.USMuslimEngagement.org.

Additional related information can be found at www.ChangeTheStory.net, a site developed in cooperation and consultation with the staff of the U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project that shows how increased understanding and respect can cross lines of faith and culture.

The U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project is a joint initiative of Search for Common Ground and the Consensus Building Institute aimed at improving U.S. and international security and improving U.S. relations with the Muslim world. The Leadership Group for the project comprises a distinguished group of American leaders with diverse political viewpoints, cultural backgrounds and professional skills who have worked together to create a new set of strategies for improving relations. Their report, Changing Course: A New Direction for U.S. Relations with the Muslim World, presents the challenges and opportunities in U.S. relations with Muslim countries and communities as well as the group's recommendations for moving forward.

SOURCE U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project