VOA, Washington, D.C.,
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.
President Obama took a step toward mending U.S. relations with the Muslim world with his speech in Cairo
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.
"So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace and who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity," the president said.
President Obama said he will fight the stereotyping of Muslims.
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.
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