The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO)* organized the 1st International Conference of Muslim Councils in the West - a major initiative for Muslims in Western nations - in Washington, D.C., February 1-3 in Arlington, Va.
This conference was the first of its kind to bring Muslim leaders around the world together to exchange experiences and to discuss common issues of concern to our communities.
A conference of this scale, uniting the voices of Muslims across the Western Hemisphere and world, is vital to our continued growth and development as a global community. The 200 attendees included representatives from Muslim Councils and their member organizations from North America, South America, the Caribbean, Australia, and the Europe.
International representatives presented reports on Muslims in their respective countries.
Conference 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.
The Conference was a successful and productive event with participants discussing issues and working together to propose solutions. The leaders were able to come up with a set of initiatives and proposals for further deliberation. The conference 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.
"We will continue to engage in civic, social, political and educational areas to better integrate the Muslims in their own countries, as well as internationally", Said Oussama Jammal, Secretary General of USCMO.
The historic conference was a vibrant open discussion with enthusiastic participation from a diverse set of leaders who represented the Muslim community in the West. A commitment to continue such meetings, which bring leaders together for a common purpose and a vision for our community, was agreed on by all.
*Founding members of USCMO: American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA), Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), The Mosque Cares (Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed).