I was in Doha last week for the US-Islamic World Forum —three days of debate between 247 people from 31 countries on the theme “New voices, new directions.” Held annually since 9/11, the forum builds “bridges of understanding between the United States and the Muslim World” through the creation of “networks of American and Muslim leaders across government and civil society.”
Mostly I came away inspired. I will never forget the passion with which Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakul Karman spoke of the courage of Yemeni women whose street protests have rocked not just the regime but also age-old male prejudice. “At first they made fun of us. But then we women swept through the streets and they stopped laughing.”
But the forum also left me troubled in two respects.