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Qatar: Future Muslim leaders seek fresh path

'No better time' for change, say activists at this past weekend's youth conference in Doha, Qatar.

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Tomorrow's leaders? Maha al-Khalifa and Aalaa Abuzaakook, of Qatar, and Musa Syeed, of New York, met at the leadership gathering.

Caryle Murphy

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The question put to the young Muslims gathered here from around the world went to the heart of today's perceived clash between Islam and the West: "Do Muslims and non-Muslims share equal responsibility in taking steps to reduce Muslim extremism?"

The answer, delivered instantly through wireless voting pads, was crystal clear: Seventy-five percent replied "Yes."

The verdict is worth heeding because of where it happened: At a conference of 300 progressive Muslim activists from 75 countries.

The "Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow Conference," was meant to be a catalyst for social change in the Islamic world by inspiring the activists and giving them opportunities to network.

"We're living in challenging times, and the plot for Muslims has been written by others," said Daisy Khan, of the New York-based American Society for Muslim Advancement, which worked with the Cordoba Initiative and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations to organize the event. "The time has come for Muslims to write their own plot, and to define themselves around the core values they believe in: pluralism, freedom, justice, creativity, and intellectual development."

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