Report and Recommendations

"Changing Course: A New Direction for U.S. Relations with the Muslim World", the report of the Leadership Group on U.S.-Muslim Engagement, released on September 24, 2008, presents the consensus of 34 American leaders in the fields of foreign policy, national security, politics, business, religion, education, public opinion, psychology, philanthropy, and conflict resolution. These individuals represent diverse faiths, political perspectives and professional disciplines.

The primary objective of the report is to provide new strategies for reducing tensions with Muslim countries and communities around the world. The core point of the report is that it is possible to meet both U.S. interests and the interests of the vast majority of Muslims around the world who seek peaceful coexistence, by addressing the main sources of tension in new ways.

The report has been generated through a process of dialogue and research. The Leadership Group has engaged in dialogue with hundreds of U.S. and Muslim leaders, and the dialogues have been supported by research on the views of millions of citizens in the United States and in Muslim countries. The report’s recommendations are backed not only by a leadership consensus, but also by a demonstration that they can win broad public and political support in the U.S., and build partnerships with Muslim leaders and people around the world.

Two organizations with expertise in building consensus on difficult public issues, Search for Common Ground and the Consensus Building Institute, have been convening, facilitating and supporting the dialogue that served to generate this report. More than a dozen foundations, corporations and individuals have been generously funding the project.