Recent political events like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are the cause of the divide between Muslim and Western societies. That is the key finding of a report written by a group of 20 world figures, called “The Alliance of Civilisations”. In 2004, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan directed the group to come up with a plan to bridge the gap between Muslim and Western societies.
The Prime Ministers of Spain and Turkey also sponsored the initiative. After a year of meetings, the group says military action in Iraq and Afghanistan has added to the mistrust and tension between communities. It says swift action is needed to prevent a clash of civilisations.
It is calling for the international community to renew efforts to resolve the Middle East crisis, a UN White Paper analysing the situation and an international conference energising the peace process. It also suggests appointing a representative to work at diffusing tensions at times of crisis.