Muslims in general and Muslim leaders particularly have often been severely criticized for not more energetically condemning the violent acts of Muslim extremists. The uninformed often assume that extremists represent Islamâ€™s mainstream. Even those who recognize that extremists are on the margins of the worldwide Muslim community do not understand the degree of pluralism within Islam. Islam comes in many forms and interpretations. Violent extremists are on one edge of the Muslim community, but they are counterbalanced by a growing movement of Muslim peacemakers.
The purpose of this report is 1) to explore the extent to which Muslim leaders have spoken out publicly to condemn the violent acts committed by extremists; and 2) to identify growing efforts within Muslim communities to reach out peacefully to other communities and to reinforce the peaceful message of Islam. It is also hoped that reports of these efforts in one part of the world will be instructive for Muslims living elsewhere.(...more)