In this first article in a series on diaspora communities and Muslim-Western relations, Shirin Saeidi, a doctoral student of international studies at the University of Cambridge, worries that the neutral position of on-campus Iranian and Persian clubs discourages constructive debate and neglects much-needed intellectual dialogue. She suggests a potential role for such clubs to encourage debate on college campuses across the United States, potentially influencing international politics in the process.
(Source: Common Ground News Service (CGNews), 30 January 2007)
In this second article in our series on diaspora communities and Muslim-Western relations, C. Holland Taylor, chairman & CEO of the LibForAll Foundation, describes how travel and life experience have inspired his current work. In collaboration with former Indonesian president, Abdurrahman Wahid, he aims to “preserve [Indonesian] culture’s enlightened embrace of religious tolerance and diversity in the face of a renewed tide of extremism that is sweeping the entire Muslim world.”
(Source: Common Ground News Service (CGNews), 6 February 2007)
In this third article in a series on diaspora communities and Muslim-Western relations, author Jacqueline St. Joan and international development consultant Sabira Qureshi describe their unique friendship that originated through the listserv of the Asian-American Network Against Abuse, founded by a group of young Pakistani-Americans. They explain how relationships such as theirs, by reaching out beyond the narrow confines of one’s own community, help bring about collaborative change both domestically and abroad.
(Source: Common Ground News Service (CGNews), 13, February 2007)
In this fourth article in our series on diaspora communities and Muslim-Western relations, Jenny Ernst, who works with Habitat for Humanity-Jordan, asks what has hardened hearts to the joys and sorrows of people in other parts of the world. She describes her expectations when moving to the Middle East compared with her actual experience living there, concluding that "the road leading us to reconciliation and mutual respect is filled with people who are willing to step onto the other side and see what others see."
(Source: Common Ground News Service (CGNews), 20 February 2007)
In this fifth article in our series on diaspora communities and Muslim-Western relations, Rebecca Abou Chedid, director of government relations at the Arab American Institute, explains why the treatment of Arab Americans in the United States significantly impacts the perception of America in the Arab world. Based on this premise, she offers several novel ways that "Arab Americans can offer a representation of America that Arabs can trust, recognise and identify with."
(Source: Common Ground News Service (CGNews), 27 February 2007)
In this sixth and final article in our series on diaspora communities and Muslim-Western relations, M.A. Muqtedar Khan, Assistant Professor at the University of Delaware and Senior Fellow with the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution, warns that “to judge America by its neo-conservative foreign policy would be like judging Islam by what some radical, violence- prone Muslims have done around the world – it would be grossly unfair.” He highlights America’s positive contributions to the global order in general and to Islamic thinking specifically.
(Source: Common Ground News Service (CGNews), 6 March 2007)
The women of Tunisia have a decisive role to play in shaping Tunisia's future. Fatma Ben Saïdane reminds women of the power of their vote and the importance of civic engagement.
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