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.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/LIVING/12/08/hajj.tolerance/art.hamoud.almassri.cnn.jpg caption="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:
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.
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 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.
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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