KUALA LUMPUR: The Kuala Lumpur Summit (KL Summit) 2019 taking place this week seeks to revive the Muslim world and Islamic civilisation.
Detractors may raise an eyebrow or two over this seemingly lofty ambition, but Prime Minister and summit chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad appears ready to issue a rallying cry for the Muslim world to roll up its sleeves in a bid to reclaim its past glory.
“We have always reflected on how great, enriching and powerful the Islamic civilisation was. It is a chapter in history and we yearn for its return. It will remain a yearning unless we do something about it,” he said in his message carried by the event website ahead of the gathering in the Malaysian capital.
The road ahead won’t likely be easy, given the current state of affairs the Muslim world and Muslims are facing.
But as the prime minister stated, they must start somewhere.
The 94-year-old leader said the challenges associated with Muslim countries include bad governance, corruption and being viewed as a breeding place for terrorism.
“We can keep on shouting that such labels, especially being breeders of terrorism, as callous anti-Islam propaganda. We know that it is really true but our weakness and disunity have given credence to this propaganda,” Dr Mahathir said.
The various conflicts involving Muslim countries also do not escape the scrutiny of the Malaysian prime minister.
“We proclaim that all Muslims are brothers and yet our nations are involved in endless civil wars, sectarian wars, wars with our Muslim neighbours and inviting non-Muslim nations to assist us in our wars with fellow Muslims,” he said.
In addition, he said, Muslims are ending up in the shores of nations governed by those from other faiths, with the brethren’s fate resting solely at their mercy.
The KL Summit, taking place from Wednesday to Saturday, was hatched against these backdrops as Dr Mahathir insisted that it is earnest in wanting to contribute towards the improvement of the state of affairs among Muslims and Muslim nations.
Among Islamic leaders expected to join Dr Mahathir at the summit venue at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre are the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Proceedings at the KL Summit will be framed by seven major themes, namely development and sovereignty; integrity and good governance; culture and identity; justice and freedom; peace, security and defenece; trade and investment; and technology and internet governance.
Muslim leaders along with intellectuals, scholars and thinkers will deliberate and find new and workable solutions for the problems afflicting the Muslim world.
Dr Mahathir underscores the need for KL Summit initiatives to be backed by Muslim governments for these to come to fruition.
“No matter how many brilliant ideas the KL Summit hatch, without the support of leaders and governments of the Muslim nations, these ideas will remain ideas.
“It is my fervent hope that KL Summit participants will take this challenge of turning all our declarations and decisions into realities,” the prime minister said.
The KL Summit opening ceremony on Thursday is slated to be graced by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Riáyatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.
The summit will be preceded by the Youth KL Summit taking place today and tomorrow. — Bernama