50 young Muslim leaders from Sulu, The Philippines, participated in a roundtable discussion on ‘Moderation and Countering Violent Extremism’ at the Global Movement of Moderates Foundation (GMMF) office in Kuala Lumpur on 23 November, as part of an educational tour in Malaysia, scheduled from November 23 to 26, 2016.
Aged 15 to 18, the youth ambassadors who are in the first-ever Muslim Filipino Youth Leaders’ Educational Tour was led by Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) Deputy Commander B/Gen. Jose P. Cabanban, and accompanied by The Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia HE. J. Eduardo Malaya and the embassy officials.
The roundtable discussion started with a welcoming remark by the Executive Director of GMMF Tuan Haji Zainal Zainuddin.
It was followed by a speech delivered by HE. J. Eduardo Malaya who highlighted that the program was aimed to promote understanding and goodwill with the Malaysian counterparts and to teach the youths of the values of moderation and tolerance of other cultures and beliefs.
After a 20-minute presentation about ‘Global Movement of Moderates, Moderation and Countering Violent Extremism’ conducted by Tuan Haji Zainal Zainuddin, the young participants exchanged views with the GMMF fellow officials.
The discussion was focused on refuting the theological foundations of extremism from the perspective of Islamic philosophy of moderation – Al-Wasatiyyah, sharing the facts that the global threats of radicalisation, extremism and militancy is causing public safety and security issues in the current global context and specifically, to encourage the youths to support the authorities in executing counter-narrative initiatives.
Wearing colourful traditional costumes, the young delegation performed a song in their local dialect to mark end of the roundtable discussion.
Organized by the civil-military operations office of the Armed Forces of The Philippines in cooperation with The Philippine Embassy to Malaysia, the educational tour is part of The Philippine government’s effort in recognizing the youth’s role in peace and development in the country.
It is hoped that besides strengthening the Philippine-Malaysian ties and expanding the youth’s knowledge on different cultures and beliefs, the young leaders would have a good experience to share with their fellow youth back home, bolstering the Muslim youth’s participation in resolving the peace and security issues in their home-province.