Special Reports

Malaysian conference on Muslim unity

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Penang/Kuala Lumpur: A three-day conference in Penang and Kuala Lumpur deliberated on issues of and obstacles to Muslim unity in today’s world. The conference was jointly organised by the Penang-based Universal Justice Network (UJN) and London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC). About 50 particiapnts from a number of countries, especially from Malaysia, took part in the deliberations. MG editor participated from India.

The conference studied the stands of various powers in the West and the Muslim World towards Muslim unity. A speaker from Iran reminded the conference about the steps taken by Imam Khomeini after the Islamic Revolution in Iran to promote the Muslim unity including his fatwa to the Shia to pray behind Sunni imams and for the Shia not to use the turbah for prayer during their stay in the Haram of Makkah.

The conference appreciated Shaikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi’s book Fiqh al-Ikhtilaf and expressed the wish that it should be translated and published in all possible languages. Its main contents, presented by the Malaysian scholar Abdul Ghani Shamsuddin, were also discussed at length during the conference.

Aberdeen University’s Dr Abdel Fattah El Awaisi, who happended to be in Kuala Lumpur at the time, participated in the KL meeting and said that it is a fact that the Ummah is divided today. He said that there are British documents which say that in order to divide the Muslim ummah, a buffer state (Israel) should be created at the heart of the Muslim world. He also narrated what the then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown had said while celeberating the 60th birthday of Israel that “the establishment of the State of Israel is the greatest achievement of the twentieth century.”

Imam Muhammad Al-Asi of Washington, USA, said that the Shia-Sunni animosity is old and a fact. The faultline, he said, is to think that I am superior to the other.

The conference decided to take a number of measures to impress upon the Muslim Ummah, to contact international organisations like OIC and UN to press for Muslim unity and dissuade foreign powers from meddling in Muslim world affairs.   

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 July 2011 on page no. 17

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