Changing Course: A New Direction for U.S. Relations with the Muslim World

Search for Common Ground and the Consensus Building Institute
August 2008

Violent extremism in the name of Islam poses a serious security threat to the United States. Yet the much-publicized divide between the U.S. and the Muslim world is not as deep or irreconcilable as many believe. Changing Course: A New Direction for U.S. Relations with the Muslim World presents the first senior, bipartisan and interfaith U.S. leadership consensus on a comprehensive approach to improving U.S.-Muslim relations. Moving beyond current deadlocked debates, the Leadership Group on U.S.-Muslim Engagement has crafted a multi-faceted strategy to enhance U.S. and international security.

The Report calls for U.S. leaders and their counterparts in Muslim countries to:

  • Use diplomacy more effectively to resolve conflicts involving the U.S. and Muslim countries
  • Improve governance and foster civic participation in Muslim countries
  • Promote job-creating economic growth to benefit both the U.S. and Muslim countries' economies
  • Improve mutual respect and understanding through major initiatives in education, exchange, interfaith dialogues and action, and cultural diplomacy

"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."
- Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State; Principal, The Albright Group LLC

"This study explores in depth one of the central global challenges of our time: developing harmonious relations between Muslim-majority countries and the West. It offers thoughtful, creative, and multi-faceted proposals for meeting that challenge. Congress should give those proposals the fullest possible consideration."
- Howard Berman, U.S. Representative (D-CA); Chair, House Committee on Foreign Affairs

To download a free digital copy of the Leadership Group Report, visit USMuslimEngagement.org.