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January 21st, 2009
08:07 AM ET

Muslims from 70 Countries Publish Letter to Obama

Editor's Note: More than 300 Young Muslim Leaders from over 70 countries around the world published an open letter to President Obama and other world leaders in today’s Washington Post, recommending policy changes that will help advance relations between the Muslim world and the West. It was signed last week at the Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow (MLT) conference in Doha, Qatar.

An Egyptian Muslim after this year's hajj.
An Egyptian Muslim after this year's hajj.

From the Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow

In the face of the world's many unprecedented challenges, and with Barack Obama as the new U.S. President, there is no better time for men and women across the globe to present a case for positive change. We, as 300 Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow living in 76 countries around the world, respectfully present this Open Letter to the World Leaders of Today. If we are to inaugurate a new era of hope and peaceful engagement, Muslim and non-Muslim world leaders must commit to the following:

Growth:

Allocate resources to meeting basic needs, infrastructure, the environment, education, and job creation, because healthy, well-educated, and engaged citizens are more invested in their societies and are less likely to be swayed by radical ideologies.

Support policies that enhance development and human rights, not war, because these rights are God-given to all and their violation inhibits our efforts to sustain peace, tolerance, and hope.

Generate opportunities for intellectual and cultural advancement, because creative minds are better positioned to find solutions to complex challenges.

Participation:

Promote youth participation in government and civil society, because in order to resolve our most intractable conflicts and problems, we must galvanize the youth to become part of the solutions.

Ensure the full political participation and democratic rights of all people—including youth, women, and religious and ethnic minorities—because extremism is curtailed and prosperity ensured when all members of society are engaged, speech is free, governance is open and ethical, and civil society is robust.

Respect:

Respect the contributions of all, including Muslims and peoples of other faiths, to their own societies and to global civilization, because a world built on mutual recognition is achievable only when everyone's contributions are valued.

Safeguard our shared-Muslim and non-Muslim-values of peace, pluralism, and cooperation, because we draw upon these values to positively transform our communities.

Engagement:

Seek honest engagement as equals, because respect and trust between leaders sets a powerful example for all.

Pursue dialogue and diplomacy to resolve longstanding conflicts, because they destroy individuals and societies and weaken the efforts of future leaders like us to instill hope and ensure justice.

We urge you, the world leaders of today, to take these steps, so that we, the Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow, can help steer our world towards a better future for all. We are dedicated to working with you to realize this vision. The time for change is now.

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Filed under: Global 360° • Islam • President Barack Obama
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Maria

    Muslims can help themselves by engaging real democracy; they should stop thinking on the 7th century mentality. Muslims know very well that their leaders and regimes are abusing power, enslaving people and stealing the wealth, they should liberate themselves first, and then it will be easy for them to live in peace with the whole world. Islam carries the same message of Christianity and Judaism, which is peace, but Muslim radicals went far away from the real message, peace first.

    January 21, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  2. eual

    Have we as nation forgot who BOMBED the twin towers what was their religion? come folks things are not going to CHANGE rich get richer poor get poorer .and the working man and woman get the shaft
    so the people that know how to take advantage of the system do so .

    NO BAILOUTS FOR COMPANIES LET THEM SUFFER LIKE ANY ONE ELSE

    January 21, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  3. Janet, Maine

    The media is now disrespectful to all... It seems this is new reporting... President Obama have already received some and will be getting a lot more. The media critizes every thing the Presidents and those aspiring to become does especially if they do not agree, they only never critize themselves, or wonder why they are not Presidents or never was. President Bush is a decent person he just happen to go to war on Iraq because as he said Saddam tried to kill his dad 12 years ago. The American media gives too mcuh info to the world, all they do is think about themselves... not as Americans. Come on guys help your country to improve on your world image.

    January 21, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  4. Teresa, OH

    It is really interesting that Muslims have BONDED so tightly with Prez Obama. : ) What do they see / know that the media doesnt? I have a bet on him attending Muslim services soon.

    January 21, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  5. Carolyn Hill

    In reply to Tina DAnnibale's comments....The LORD SAYS THAT "EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW AND EVERY TONGUE CONFESS THAT JESUS CHRIST IS LORD' When this happens what will you have to say then...
    I am appalled that so much DISRESPECT was shown to George Bush when he left yesterday.
    I hope the news media and all you people who voted for Obama will hold him to the same standards and scrutiny that George Bush was held to,

    January 21, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  6. PA Canada

    I commend the 300 young Muslim leaders. Their letter has given me a new perception of their people and their vision. More important is the realization that these young leaders strive to achieve the same societal and worldly changes as our Nations. Their letter IMO is a down payment on a new beginning and a brighter future in International Relations. I also believe their letter is a Sign of the Great Things yet to come under Obama's Leadership, a Leadership that will strive for Peace among all men and all Nations ! Halleluiah!

    January 21, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  7. Teena DAnnibale

    Thank you thank you thank you, President Obama, for acknowledging those who do not believe in main stream religions. I believe these numbers are growing and we make up a significant number. If there was a "church" that embraced those who did not think Jesus was the son of God, that the world was NOT created by some other being, and that goodness and evil abound and we are a part of a soulness of people who embrace our world and those souls in it...I have to believe that right now the numbers for that church would far outnumber any Christian group lobbying from THEIR pulpit. We have lived with 8 years of the we (Christians) are right they are wrong mentality and it is so good to hope for a "Whatever works for you and doesn't hurt others is fine with me" mentality!Agnostic, Atheist, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Shamanism – whatever helps you through this life – good for you! Thank you, Mr. President, for acknowleging our souls all seek out what is best for us, we just need to listen.

    January 21, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  8. Eric, Florida

    i will be leaving saturday for kenya. i want to see the manger obama was born in.

    January 21, 2009 at 8:09 am |