A cross-cultural group of 20 prominent world figures has called for urgent efforts to heal the growing divide between Muslim and Western societies.
The chief causes of the rift are not religion or history, they say, but recent political developments, notably the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Their findings were presented to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan at a ceremony in Istanbul on today.
No other dispute had such a symbolic or emotional impact on people, he said.
"We may wish to think of the Arab -Israeli conflict as just one regional conflict among many. But it is not," Mr Annan said.
"As long as the Palestinians live under occupation, exposed to daily frustration and humiliation, and as long as Israelis are blown up in buses and in dances halls, so long will passions everywhere be inflamed."
The Alliance of Civilisations, which includes Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami, dismisses the notion that a clash of civilisations is inevitable, but says that swift action is needed.
The group argues that the need to build bridges between Muslim and Western societies has never been greater.
They say that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, along with Western military interventions in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, contributes significantly to the growing sense of resentment and mistrust that mars relations among communities.Please take the time to download the report, read it (it's only 39 pages) and then forward it to your friends.
Download: Alliance of Civilizations Report [.PDF 431 k]
Learn more about the organization here: http://www.unaoc.org/