Young Muslims combat extremism

Young Muslims are leading the world in new ways to live together. Pew Forum reports on a group of 300 who are seeking help with combatting extremism and Religious Dispatches interviews two investigators who are looking into the discussion among Muslims and others in the virtual world.

Pew Forum reports that a group of 300 young Muslim activists from 76 countries has asked President Obama to promote policies that can help peacefully curtail religious extremism.

The Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow, a grassroots movement aiming to foster a new generation of civic engagement, issued the open letter after convening the group’s first international conference last weekend (Jan. 16-19) in Doha, Qatar.

Participants, all between the ages of 20 and 45, included artists, academics, religious leaders and business owners. About 40 came from the U.S., including comedian Azhar Usman, journalist Souheila Al-Jadda and faith-based activist Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur, who recently wrote the book “Living Islam Out Loud: American Muslim Women Speak.”

Read more here.

In another article from Religion Dispatches:

After spending a year exploring life in digital Islamic communities, a new project finds that people are building new narratives to find ways to co-exist; their report even includes a policy recommendation for the Obama Administration’s diplomacy efforts in the Middle East.

Joshua Fouts, one of the investigators, reports on the project:

My collaborator, Rita J. King (an investigative journalist), and I approached this project journalistically with open minds, asking questions and listening. Our hope was to find people who were using 3D immersive spaces in innovative, authentic and creative ways that would give insight into how intercultural dialog helps understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims. We already had a sense that people were using these spaces to build lasting relationships with people around the world. But we did not anticipate the scope or depth of Islamic or Islamic-oriented communities in Second Life.

Read more here.

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