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CURRENT ISSUE:  October 6, 2008
VOL. 46, NO. 17   •   Oakland, CA
Other front page stories
Cathedral dedicated as mother church of diocese
Financial bailout crisis poses new concerns
Report: stronger U.S. – Muslim
diplomacy urged
Auxiliary Bishop Denis J. Madden

WASHINGTON (CNS) — A new report calling for stronger diplomatic relations between the United States and Muslims around the world is a step toward peace, said Auxiliary Bishop Denis J. Madden of Baltimore.

“It offers a very good approach to what can be done” and also stresses that the divide between the United States and the Muslim world is “not as wide as people make it out to be,” said the bishop, one of 34 American leaders who produced the 146-page document “Changing Course: A New Direction for U.S. Relations With the Muslim World.”

The report was created by the Leadership Group on U.S.-Muslim Engagement, which included representatives from religious, business, military, foreign policy, academic, foundation and nonprofit circles.

The project involved 18 months of examining various polls and studies of Muslim and American attitudes and coming up with possible solutions for improving relations, including not only more diplomacy but also a major investment in economic development in Muslim countries that would create more jobs for youths.

The report urges the next U.S. administration to take immediate steps. It calls on the next president to renounce the use of torture and to appoint a special envoy to facilitate negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Bishop Madden said he only became involved in the initiative in recent months but that he was impressed by the work of the committee members and the body’s bipartisan nature.

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