MODERATION AND ISLAMIC WASATIYYAH FOR GLOBAL PEACE
Against the backdrop of rising global threats of radicalisation, extremism and militancy, especially perpetrated by the notorious terrorist movement Da’esh that has caused the loss of many innocent lives, Global Movement of Moderates Foundation (GMMF) and the Department of Theology and Philosophy, Faculty of Islamic Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) jointly organised ‘International Seminar on Islam and Global Peace’ on 6-7 December 2016 at the UKM campus in Bangi.
Attended by 500 participants over the course of two days, comprising academicians, religious leaders, civil society members, government servants and ASEAN diplomatic officials, the seminar was aimed at providing a platform for the participants to share experiences and exchange views to collectively identify measures in preventing extremism and in propagating Islam as the religion of peace.
The seminar’s objective is consistent with GMMF’s initiatives in campaigning for the voices of moderation to reclaim the centre stage via an open and inclusive approach, namely cross-cultural dialogues that are focused on direct engagement and proactive participation of diverse stakeholders who celebrate universal diversity and differences within a peaceful co-existence framework.
The first day of the seminar, titled “Islam dan Keamanan Global”, saw the gathering of intellectuals, religious experts and faith leaders to deliberate on the discourse of religion, faith and global peace from the Islamic Wasatiyyah and moderation perspective. It was followed by two parallel sessions for the participants to delve into the complexities facing the Muslims and to develop pragmatic recommendations.
The opening remarks of the first day was delivered by the Dean of Faculty of Islamic Studies of UKM, Prof. Dr. Wan Kamal Mujani. The Forum was moderated by the Executive Director of GMMF, Zainal Zainudin, and the speakers were the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Chair of UniSZA, Dato’ Wira Prof. Dr. Ismail Ibrahim; the Secretary-General of Majelis Ulema Jakarta, Dr. Robi Nurhadi; the Executive Chairman and CEO of GMMF, Dato’ Dr. Nasharudin Mat Isa; and senior lecturer of International Islamic University Malaysia, Ahmad El-Muhammady Muhammad Uthman El-Muhammady.
Centred on the ‘Langkawi Declaration on the Global Movement of Moderates’ that promulgates moderation as an ASEAN value for regional peace and prosperity, the second day of the seminar featured speakers from the ASEAN region to share their viewpoints on how values, beliefs and customs could be leveraged to achieve peace, stability and prosperity within an extremely diverse cultural landscape.
The Executive Chairman and CEO of GMMF, Dato’ Dr. Nasharudin Mat Isa delivered the Keynote Address. And among the panellists were the Commissioner of National Commission on Muslim Filipinos of The Philippines, Prof. Dr. Roque Yusof S. Morales with a presentation on ‘The Philippine Interfaith Experiences and the Muslims’ role in Cultivating this as a Mechanism for Peaceful Co-existence’; the Deputy Director of Wasatiyyah Institute for Peace and Development of the Sheikhul Islam Office in Thailand, Asst. Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ilyas Yahprung with a presentation on ‘Experiences of Muslims in Thailand’; the Director of UUM Research Institute for Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore of Universiti Utara Malaysia Prof. Dr. Mohd Kamarulnizam on ‘Root of Radicalisation from an ASEAN Perspective’; STKIP Hatta-Sjahrir Banda Naira, Middle Maluku in Indonesia Dr. Farid Hamadi with a presentation on ‘Jokowi and Multiculturalism in Indonesia’; and S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies/Religious Rehabilitation Group in Singapore, Ahmad Saiful Rijal Hassan with a presentation on ‘Rehabilitation and Deradicalisation in Singapore: Lessons from the Religious Rehabilitation Group’.
The Head of Department of Usuluddin and Philosophy of UKM, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jaffary Awang presented the seminar’s resolutions, and Vice Chancellor of UKM Prof. Datuk Dr. Noor Azlan Ghazali officiated the closing ceremony to mark an end to the two-day reflection and deliberation.
It was hoped that the seminar’s resolutions could increase the society’s awareness on issues concerning violent extremism and bolster the collective efforts in fostering global peace via pragmatic initiatives and inclusive policies.
Download a compendium of papers presented at the ‘International Seminar on Islam and Global Peace’.