"We believe that Islam can contribute in a very positive way to US society to the benefit of both Muslims and non-Muslims," Mutlag Al-Garawi, Islamic Affairs Ministry Undersecretary, said in a statement mailed to IslamOnline.net.
"This conference is an important staging post en route to finding a way to bridge the gap between Muslims and non-Muslims in US and beyond. We are striving for positive action," he added.
The Islamic Moderation Conference will bring together more than 100 Muslim academics and community leaders from across North America.
They will compare notes on the best ways to promote better understanding of Islam and balance between the Islamic identity and US citizenship.
Participants will also discuss the relation between the Muslim world and the West as well as the integration of Muslims into their new societies.
The conference will also address the issues of education and cultural isolation among the young.
In a report presented to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on Monday, November 13, a galaxy of world-renowned scholars, politicians and religious leaders blamed political conflicts rather than religious differences for a yawning divide between Muslims and the West.
The three-day conference is part of a series of planned conferences on Islam and moderation sponsored by the oil-rich Gulf emirate.
The first was held in London last May and brought together a cohort of prominent Muslim scholars and leaders including Dr. Mohamed Salim Awa, Secretary General of the International Union of Muslim Scholars and Dr. Ahmed al-Rawi, president of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe.
The conference will seek a further active participation by American Muslims, estimated to number between six to seven million, in all aspects of life.
Democrat Keith Ellison has become the first American Muslim elected to Congress after having defeated his two contenders in Minneapolis and secured a seat in the 435-member House of Representatives.
Conclusions from the conference will be taken by American Muslims to look into means of implementing positive change in their mosques, cultural centers and youth clubs.
"A large majority of Americans are neutral or sympathetic towards American Muslims," said Ibrahim Hooper, Director of the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR).
"We need to work with them to build coalitions and try and marginalize extremism both in this country and in the Muslim world," he added.
A recent study by the Kuwaiti Islamic Affairs Ministry showed that ignorance and lack of empathy with Islam was widespread in the US and many European countries.
Almost half of those surveyed said they had little or no knowledge of Islam.
The survey also showed that Muslims rated lowest among favorable religious groups in these countries.
Five years after the terrorist 9/11 attacks, many American Muslims complain they continue to face discrimination and stereotyping because of their Islamic attires or identities.
Kaynak: IslamOnline.netGüncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16