18:00 PM

Experts to share ideas for improving U.S.-Muslim relations

The recent wave of violence in Gaza has brought U.S. relations with the Muslim world to the forefront of American foreign policy and community dialogue.

Two experts will visit Ohio State this week to share their prescription for how the United States can better engage with Muslim nations and communities.

Thomas Dine and Dalia Mogahed will present "Changing Course: A New Direction for U.S. Relations with the Muslim World," at 3:30 p.m. on Friday (2/20) at Saxbe Auditorium, Moritz College of Law, 55 W. 12th Ave.

Mogahed is executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, a non-partisan research center that provides data-driven analysis on the views of Muslim populations around the world. She is also co-author of Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think, which examines how Muslims answer questions like: Who are extremists? What do Muslim women want? Do Muslims desire democracy?

Dine is senior political advisor of the Israel Policy Forum and director of the Search for Common Ground's Syria Project, which works to strengthen relations and build consensus between Syria and the United States. Previously, he was executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Israel's lobby group in the United States.

Two years ago, Dine and Mogahed joined a group of American leaders to create the U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project. The project examined relations with key Muslim nations and communities, obstacles to improving relations, and how these obstacles can be overcome

The group is now launching its findings in a report, "Changing Course: A New Direction for U.S. Relations with the Muslim World." Dine and Mogahed will highlight four goals, including:

• Using dialogue as the primary tool for resolving key conflicts involving Muslim countries.

• Supporting efforts to improve governance and promote civic participation in Muslim countries.

• Catalyzing job-creating growth in strategic Muslim countries.

• Improving mutual respect and understanding between Americans and Muslims around the word.

The presentation will be moderated by Robert Fersh, co-director of the U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project and executive director of Search for Common Ground-USA. The U.S.-Muslim Engagement Project is a joint effort of Search for Common Ground and the Consensus Building Institute.
About the Mershon Center for International Security Studies:
The Mershon Center for International Security Studies at The Ohio State University advances the understanding of national security in a global context by fostering interdisciplinary faculty and student research in three areas of focus: the use of force and diplomacy; the ideas, identities, and decisional processes that affect security; and the institutions that manage violent conflict. For more information, please see the center's website at mershoncenter.osu.edu.