Empower the Youth - World Muslim Leadership Forum Told

Sep 27, 2012, 22:50 ET from Global Movement of Moderates Foundation (GMMF)

LONDON, Sept. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- "If you leave the youth in a state of helplessness, they will be easily manipulated by outside influences," warned Tan Sri Razali Ismail, chairman of the Global Movement of Moderates Foundation. 

Addressing the second gathering of the World Muslim Leadership Forum here yesterday, Razali's keynote speech highlighted the importance of accountability, youth empowerment and the 'Moderation Factor' in securing the future of today's youth.

Meeting after a year of widespread social and political upheaval in which Muslim youth featured prominently, the conference discussed issues pressing the global Muslim community and the challenges faced by its future leaders.

The event, held at Dartmouth House, Mayfair, was jointly organised by the Faith Regen Foundation of the United Kingdom, the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (ASLI) of Malaysia, with support from the Global Movement of Moderates Foundation (GMMF), and other corporate bodies.

The conference brought together established business leaders, politicians and Muslim youth activists, who discussed an array of topics including the role of Muslim leaders in the UK and the empowerment of youth. Among those present at the conference themed 'World Muslim Leaders: The Next Generation' were Dr Husna Ahmad, CEO of the Faith Regen Foundation, Tan Sri Dr Michael Yeoh, CEO of ASLI, Lord Sheikh of Cornhill, founder and chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum, Khalek Awang, CEO of GMMF and Datuk Seri Muhammad Iqbal Rawther, Chairman of the ASEAN Business Forum and Executive Director of Farlim Group Berhad, who also chaired the conference.

Razali said, "The alienation and sense of grievance will be further underscored if the governance system is deemed unfair, skewed with no hope at all to move upwards. Without legitimate outlets for either excess energy or any recourse in their need for validation, youths in such environments can verge towards anarchy and violence to assert their sense of place in society." The importance of channels of youth expression was also reiterated by other speakers.

He also emphasised the importance of understanding the situation on the ground faced by today's youth. He added that governments should adjust policies to accommodate societal shifts as well as provide the means with which youth can realise their potential, or, he warned, "witness the adverse social consequences of youthfulness misapplied and misdirected by "uncivil" groups."

In a later interview, he praised the Malaysian government's efforts to re-examine the education system.

"We must catch them early to show that there is hope, there are opportunities," he added.

In discussing the responsibility of global communities to promote peaceful coexistence, it was the words 'moderate' and 'moderation' which were hot on the lips of the day's speakers.

"To be a moderate was not to institutionalise mediocrity, but rather to uphold justice," the CEO of GMMF, Khalek Awang affirmed to his audience in his keynote speech.

Speaking on finance and leadership with regards to youth empowerment, Khalek echoed Razali's sentiment that education systems must be able to adapt to new demands and changes in the market.

"It is by engaging in dialogue, by reaching out to others and establishing authentic relationships, by creating value and knowledge through open interaction fostered by mutual respect for the wisdom and diversity found in our collective traditions that we can work towards the empowerment of the youth today," he added.

Concluding the day's discussions, Datuk Seri Muhammad Iqbal Rawther, as Chairman said, "The 2nd WMLF met amidst growing challenges facing Muslims worldwide with growing religious intolerance, bigotry and terrorism as can be seen by the widespread protest against the recent video demeaning the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)."

"As such, there should be even greater tolerance, moderation, and dialogue to promote faith diplomacy. It was also noted that the faith or religion has a role in creating positive societies and in inspiring leaders to bring global development and world peace up a notch higher. It was also noted that the teaching of faith and religion at a young age should be emphasised so that our youth will grow up with a balanced perspective of the world, both in worldly and spiritual knowledge," he added.

The forum took note that the youths today and tomorrow, are one of the most important stakeholders. In the face of conflict, violent radicalism and piracy, our struggle for peace in the global arena is not one that can be achieved, only and unless we empower the youths and guide them towards alternative paths and empowering those who thrive within the most difficult circumstances. Youth leadership plays a crucial role in Islamic history, in shaping the landscape of the Muslim World presently, and hopefully, will lead the way into the future.

Name  : Jenny Wong
Senior Manager, Media & Communications
Mobile: +6017-3317906
Email : jenny@gmomf.org

SOURCE Global Movement of Moderates Foundation (GMMF)