Monday 24th of February 2020

Annual US-Islamic World Forum kicks off in Washington

During the forum, Organization of the Islamic Conference Secretary-General Ekmeleddin said that relations between the US and Muslim World has seen a "paradigm shift" since President Barack Obama's administration from the previous administration, highlighted by Obama's famous address in Cairo, Egypt shortly after being sworn into office.

"This is the first time in this history of the United State a President has addressed the Muslim World this way," the OIC Secretary General explained.

He called for the United States to be more active in solving conflicts in the Muslim world, in particular the long-running dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.

However, Ihsanoglu said the Obama administration must follow through on their pledges to better relations between the US and Muslim World with "concrete steps." "There are certain steps that have already been taken but there is a need for further steps to be taken," He asserted, warning "There are certain concerns and grievances when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict and other issues. This needs to be addressed properly. Without addressing this issue in a proper way, we will still see problems between the US and Muslim World." He also raised the problems faced by Muslims in the West and noted that the growing anti Islamic feeling in the West is a contemporary manifestation of racism and must be addressed in that context, adding that Muslims have been subjected to various forms of scrutiny, suspicion and negative stereotyping in the entire Western world.

Ihsanoglu called for dialogue, structured and sustained engagement to address the whole range of similar issues.

He presented some proposals for consideration by the Forum, which included a call for a constructive partnership between the USA and Muslim world; giving prevalence for the Middle East Peace process in US-Muslim world relations; proactive role by the USA in OIC countries' initiatives such as fostering result-oriented dialogue for peace and tolerance; and working towards abandoning double standards and discriminatory practices like racial profiling.

Al-Rumaihi praised the annual forum, calling "one of the most important platforms to establish relations between the US and Islamic world and launch many initiatives to facilitate the relations and bridge the gaps between the US and Islamic people." Over the three days, he said there will be evaluation on the developments and what effect this forum has had in enhancing the relations between the people of the US and people of the Muslim world.

In its eighth year, the forum being held for the first time in the United States, aims to build greater understanding between the United States and Muslim countries.

"The US- Islamic world Forum involved leaders from civil society, business sector, former government officials, sitting government officials a societal dialogue which is designed to try to build bridges of understanding," according to Martin Indyk, Vice President of Foreign Policy for the Brookings Institute, a major think-tank in Washington and partner of the Forum.

He said the Forum's purpose goes beyond the airing of the issues and the understanding of the other side's perspective, "it is to actually built networks and partnership, joint projects between US and Muslim partners."

source : http://abna.ir
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