2006 Conference, Copenhagen
DATE: JULY 7-9, 2006
In a tense global environment followed by attacks in London, riots in Paris, and now the Danish cartoon situation, young Muslims in the West find themselves in a time of enormous challenge and in an historic moment of need for dialogue and debate on issues of religion and identity. Given the acrimony that is now percolating down to the deepest levels of both Western and Muslim societies, we see it as imperative to address the issues that cause and exacerbate the divide between the former and latter. This is the very motivation behind our Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow (MLT) program.
In a word, the MLT is an intrafaith conversation among young Muslims on major issues, such as integration, identity struggles, Islamic reactions to secularism, gender equality, among other pain points that breed alienation and extremism. The forum will convene young Muslim leaders who embody a wide spectrum of Muslims living in the West: varied per ethnicity, culture, religiosity, and individual politics. The philosophy that informs our approach is that Muslims are part of the solution, and not the problem. It is then extremely important for Muslims to come together to build inter and intra community partnerships, to gauge the current internal conversation and candidly discuss its shortcomings, and to formulate and implement programs that will help bring about much needed change.
Questions such as these are already being actively debated in the Muslim communities. What is needed is a forum that brings together diverse Muslim voices and communicates their conversation widely. Our purpose in doing so is not only widen and continue the conversation, but also to put forth a leadership that is committed to the fostering of healthy Muslim identities and to working as change agents in their respective communities.