WASHINGTON — February 6, 2016 — During the first three days of February, 2016, U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) held the first International Conference of Muslim Councils in the West, which brought Muslim leaders from around the world together to exchange experience and discuss common issues of concern to western Muslim communities. The 200 attendees included representatives from Muslim councils and their member organizations from North America, South America, the Caribbean, Australia and Europe.
Representatives presented reports on Muslims in their respective countries, and the resulting discussions focused on:
- Identifying and developing strategic priorities for the Muslim communities in the West
- Exchanging ideas and developing strategies to address the rise of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry in the West
- Developing ways with which to challenge and counteract the problem of violent extremism in all its forms
- Enhancing the integration and positive contributions of Muslim communities in the societies in which they live
- Developing strategies for the resettlement of the new waves of refugees and exchanging experiences and resources
Organizers described the conference as “successful and productive” with participants discussing issues and working together to propose solutions to challenges facing Muslims in western nations. As a result of the presentations and discussions, conference participants resolved that:
The leaders participating in the conference have acknowledged the need and have agreed to form a Coordinating Body of Muslim Councils in the West and have formed a steering committee to implement this decision.
Khalil Meek, executive director of Muslim Legal Fund of America, which is a founding member of USCMO, said the inclusion of representatives with a diversity of experiences helps the member organizations better understand the multiple issues facing the Muslim community in America. Meek said the varying perspectives for addressing these challenges will give all parties the tools necessary for improving the social status of Muslims in secular nations.
Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) is a national civil liberties legal fund that defends the U.S. Bill of Rights by supporting legal cases involving civil liberty encroachments. Established in 2001, MLFA has defended freedom of speech, freedom of religion, right to a fair trial, due process of law and many of our nation’s civil liberties.