Since President Obama's inauguration speech, and especially after his Cairo address to the Muslim world, Muslims around the world have been waiting for concrete steps to improve U.S.-Muslim relations. A group of scholars, diplomats and American-Muslim leaders are recommending practical steps to achieve that goal.
Since the September 11th attacks, U.S. relations with the Muslim world have been tense, with a rise in anti-American sentiment on one side and rhetoric linking Islam with terrorism on the other.
President Obama's speech to the Muslim world called for a new beginning based on mutual respect and mutual interest…
Nihad Awad is executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. He says President Obama should speak out against anti-Muslim rhetoric and discrimination against Muslims.
"We should have [a] clear stance by the U.S. government and intellectual leaders to fight against Islamophobia and anti-Muslim discrimination that has been rampant after 9/11."
Muslim activists, like pop star Youssef Islam, once known as Cat Stevens, have been barred from the United States, although recently Islam was admitted.
Awad says U.S. visa policies should be changed to allow Muslim intellectuals and business leaders to travel to America without fear of harassment at points of entry.
Awad notes that President Obama cannot act alone and Congress must help to fix the damage done to U.S.-Muslim relations over the past several years. (More)