Diplomacy: US outreach to Muslims in good hands

Farah and I speak with Muslims in Rome

Several of the editors and writers at altmuslim have had the opportunity to work with Farah Pandith, who until recently was the senior adviser on Muslim engagement in Europe at the US State Department. She spearheaded many new initiatives to build bridges between Muslim-Americans and their European counterparts, in the hope that combining our shared experiences could accelerate integration and push back extremist viewpoints. Many Muslim Americans have long made the argument that our community can play a role in helping to heal tensions, and Farah helped to make that vision a reality.

Yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that Farah will be heading up an expanded version of her earlier program that engages Muslim communities around the world. Her new appointment comes on the heels of President Obama’s Cairo address, where he pledged a substantive relationship with Muslims. It is a testament to Farah’s abilities and character that she has now been appointed by both the Bush and Obama administrations to help improve US-Muslim relations.

Having worked with Farah for over five years, we can attest to her professionalism, dedication, and pride in her identity as a Muslim American. We are looking forward to continuing our work with her in her new role and encourage other Muslim Americans to do the same.

Shahed Amanullah is editor-in-chief of altmuslim.com

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