Washington : As many as 300 young Muslim leaders from over 70 countries, including nine from India, in an open letter asked the US President Barack Obama and the world to adopt measures that can ease tensions and foster peace with the Muslims. While the open letter was published in The Washington Post yesterday before Obama was sworn in, a statement issued on behalf of these Muslim leaders later in the afternoon said this letter is relevant given Obama’s determination to find a “new way forward” with the Muslim world based on “mutual interest and mutual respect” — a goal that he mentioned in his inaugural address this afternoon.
“To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy,” Obama said. “To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist,” Obama said.
The open letter is based on the last week’s Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow (MLT) conference in Doha. It outlines four key policy recommendations, which the statement said, Obama can implement to ease tensions and foster peace with the Muslim world. The letter urges Obama and other leaders to prioritise development of the youth and minorities and respect mutually held values; and pursue honest dialogue and diplomacy to resolve conflicts. “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 realise this vision. The time for change is now,” said the open letter.