In an increasingly interconnected world, the relationship between majority and minority communities, both in the United States and abroad, must be better understood. What is the role of not only the Muslim-minority population in the United States, but also of the majority population toward American Muslim communities? Muslim minorities, especially in the West, are increasingly becoming ambassadors and advocates of social justice and freedom in their societies, yet they continue to face a number of challenges. Similarly, what are the roles and responsibilities of Muslim majorities toward minorities, and what can Muslims, both in the West and in Muslim-majority countries, learn from each other’s experiences?
This working group, convened at the 2011 U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Washington, DC,brought together theologians, clergy, academics, activists, and politicians from across the United States and the Muslim world to discuss the roles and responsibilities of minority and majority communities toward each other and in a global context. The working group discussed these questions in the context of five major issues: integration and identity, the impact of media and politics, security and counterterrorism, the treatment of marginalized communities, and interfaith relations. The group’s participants also came up with a number of recommendations, summarized at the end of the paper.