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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Special Representative to Muslim Communities

Adnan Kifayat assumed the duties of Acting Special Representative to Muslim Communities in January 2014. His office is responsible for executing Secretary Kerry’s vision for engagement with Muslims around the world on a people-to-people and organizational level. He reports directly to the Secretary of State.

Connecting People

Date: 11/19/2009 Location: San Paulo, Brazil Description: Special Representative Pandith talks with students. - State Dept Image
"We are at a turning point of how we think about our relationships across the world" according to US Special Representative to Muslim Communities, Farah Pandith...“ This is not a hearts and mind campaign," Pandith said. Instead, she understands her job to be that of a facilitator: "I connect people." Her work focuses largely on grassroots organizations and on finding novel ways to connect with people...She is devising new ways of reaching out to communities formerly left behind…" Special Representative Pandith Speaks at Harvard University’s Kennedy School’s Belfer Center

Highlighting Alternative Narratives

Date: 04/17/2010 Location: Chinguetti, Mauritania Description: Meeting local women in an ancient Islamic trading town. - State Dept Image

“There’s a lot of diversity out there in Muslim communities around the world and we are seeing a lot of issues come forward...What we know for sure is that the most credible voices to be able to push back against that violent ideology are Muslims themselves. And what I have seen is that there are a lot communities at a local level that have the mechanisms and ideas on how to actually prevent that kind of ideology from seeping into their local communities. What our job should be is to work with these communities – with civil society – and governments around the that they can push back and create an alternative narrative to the narrative of violent extremism…" Special Representative Pandith is Interviewed on Dialogue on Civilizations

Reaching Out to the Next Generation

Date: 01/03/2011 Description: Special Representative Pandith at an  in Mumbai, India.  - State Dept Image

“Indeed, too, is this idea that youth matter, and that we are listening to young people. I’m on Facebook and Twitter, and I have to be. And there are many other formats that I have to be on as well because if I say that I want to be transparent, and I want to listen to your ideas, I need to have that dialogue back and forth...When we think about the issue of radicalization…the one consistent piece around every one of those conversations is that they’re navigating their identity: what does it mean to be modern and Muslim? What is the difference between culture and religion? This is a generation that has been defined by a lot of external things that are defining Islam for them, and they are using the online platforms to get answers to a lot of those questions…” Special Representative Pandith Discusses Youth Outreach on Shining City TV

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