Strengthening America: The Civic and Political Integration of Muslim Americans

Posted on May 7, 2009


Chicago Council on Global Affairs

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs released the findings of its independent Task Force on the civic and political integration of Muslim Americans on June 26, 2007. “Strengthening America” calls for Muslims and non-Muslims to work together to create full and equal opportunities for Muslim Americans to participate in American civic and political life.

The Task Force was convened in February 2006 and cochaired by Farooq Kathwari, chairman CEO of Ethan Allen Interiors Inc., and former Secretary of Labor and congresswoman, Lynn Martin. It assembled a group of thirty two distinguished Muslim and non-Muslim leaders to examine the Muslim American experience and provide a roadmap for accelerating Muslim American engagement.

The Task Force found that Muslim Americans are a well-educated, diverse group and concluded that their talents and contributions are needed to help address critical domestic and foreign policy challenges related to homeland security and U.S. relations with Muslim countries and peoples. There are opportunities for Muslim Americans to expand their contributions to national security and continue to take the lead in encouraging greater civic participation, leadership development, and institution building within their community. Non-Muslim groups and government leaders can work to better recognize Muslim American contributions to national security, improve collaborations with Muslim American institutions, and provide greater opportunities for young Muslim Americans.

Generous support from the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, Louis Family Foundation, Javeed Akhter, and Imad Qasim made the Task Force and its report possible.

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