Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Keynote Address
Organized by Asia Europe Institute
University Malaya

(29 March 2011)
Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Syed Hamid Albar

Assalamualaikum w.b.t. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious Most Merciful. Salam Bahagia and a very Good Morning

* YBhg. Datuk David Chua, Member of the Board of Directors,  University of Malaya

* Professor Dr. Hamzah Hj. Abdul Rahman, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation)

* Associate Professor Dr. Md. Nasrudin Md. Akhir, Executive Director of Asia-Europe Institute (AEI)

* YBhg. Tan Sri Abdul Kadir Mohamad, Distinguished Associate of AEI and Moderator for today’s function and his gracious and kind remarks when introducing me

* Excellencies Ambassadors and Members of the Diplomatic Corps

* Professors, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen for gracing this event.

Opening Remarks
When Dato Amir and Professor Nasaruddin came to see me to invite me to speak at the Asia-Europe Institute, I was delighted and honoured. Naturally from my past experience as a F.M. I asked if I could speak on OIC, although I was a little bit worried this might be out of topic with AEI.

To my surprise, they said ‘yes’. This was when the problem began, when I had to choose which aspect should I speak on. They gave me two choices, I chose ‘OIC- Perception and Achievements’. Having made the choice I haven’t a clue on how to approach and deal with the subject. I was concerned in not wanting to be misunderstood, to be objective and speak with candour. This is actually the approach I am taking this morning.

Thank you for inviting me to deliver this keynote address on the subject of ‘OIC – Perception and Achievements’. I am indeed privileged and honored to be here this morning to share with you some of my views and thoughts on the subject.

I will begin by touching on the OIC, Islam and Muslims together, as the subject is intertwined. As we are aware, perceptions are often presented as realities that will then shape our opinions and actions. Every time we discuss the OIC, inevitably, we will be confronted with the issue of perceptions by others as well as Muslims on OIC as the supposed collective voice of Muslims. The current internal and external dynamics facing Muslims; the Ummah, Islam; the religion and OIC; the entity, has to be clearly understood to avoid misunderstanding and misconception.  
The Muslims and the West are confronted with many myths that both sides need to overcome. The interactions with the West has caused many stereotyping and misconceptions about Islam due to the media, prejudice and ignorance.

To begin with, let me speak from three different perspectives:
1. What media has done to Islam and Muslims
2. A Muslim leader’s opinion from Asia
3. A report that described the consequences of Islamophobia

There is prevalent stereotyping in the western culture which can be traced back to the time of the crusaders in the 1100 and the Ottoman and Moorish control in Europe. To them,  anything to do with Islam are set to destroy their civilization. The ruling elites and the churches felt threatened by Islam, therefore they started to be directly involved in potraying negative images about Islam. Their motive is very simple - to ensure converts or sympathizers of Islam in the West. The new menace seems to be ‘radical Islam’ and the ‘fundamentalists’ and therefore potential ‘terrorists’. The Muslims and the OIC as an organization especially has to fight against this misunderstanding and prejudice which projects the myths as reality. The confrontation particularly after September 11 between Al Qaeda, Western and other societies and governments has shown the complexity of relations based on these perceptions.

In this process the media became the West’s strongest ally and partner in distorting images of Islam which was incorporated into Western culture. The selection of words to describe Muslims without knowledge or understanding of Islamic history is intentional. Due to the repeated and continuous campaigns Muslims are made to be associated with ‘extremism’ and ‘terrorism’. The inaccurate portrayals of Islam were able to influence the audience or readers to make negative stereotyping of Islam resulting in Islamophobia, certainly. It is the media that brings about the imagery of war and violence to be synonymous with Islam. Jihad is then portrayed as Islam’s justification for war and violence. The truth is that they have abused the word ‘jihad’ as if it is a call to kill all non believers. 

I can definitely say the media is responsible for misrepresenting Islam due to ignorance and sensationalizing for profit which created false images of reality. It is also true to say that the media is quick to relate Muslim conflicts with Islam, whilst other religions are free from these images. The tremendous financial resources and global dominance they possess allows them to have the upper hand in influencing and shaping public opinion.

I would like now to quote just a paragraph from the speech of former Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, at the OIC Summit in Kuala Lumpur in 2003. The full text criticized the west as well as the Muslim strongly.

Tun Dr.Mahathir in that speech interalia said:- I will just take a quote on his call to the Muslims and the OIC.

"We must build up our strength in every field, not just in armed might. Our countries must be stable and well-administered, must be economically and financially strong, industrially competent and technologically advanced. This will take time, but it can be done and it will be time well spent. We are enjoined by our religion to be patient. Obviously there is virtue in being patient. But the defence of the Ummah, the counter attack need not start only after we have put our houses in order. Even today, we have sufficient assets to deploy against our detractors. It remains for us to identify them and to work out how to make use of them to stop the carnage relayed by the enemy. This is entirely possible if we stop to think, to plan, to strategies and to take the first few critical steps. Even these few steps can yield positive results."

Very strong words indeed but it described what needs to be done by the OIC in order to uplift the status and dignity of the religion and Ummah.

Whilst the Runnymede Report illustrates the contents of Islamophobia in the West, where due to misrepresentation of facts distort the image of reality. The perceptions that arose from it on Islam, Muslims are thus a challenge on the OIC.

According to the Report:-
* Islam is seen as monolithic bloc, static and unresponsive to change

* It is seen as separate and ‘other’. It does not have values in common with other cultures, is not affected by them and does not influence them.

* It is seen as inferior to the West. It is seen as barbaric, irrational, primitive and sexist.

* It is seen as violent, aggressive, threatening, supportive of terrorism and engaged in a clash of civilizations.

* It is seen as a political ideology used for political or military advantage.

* Criticisms made of ‘the West’ by Muslims are rejected outright.

* Hostility towards Islam is used to justify discriminatory practices towards Muslims and exclusion of Muslims from mainstream society.

* Anti-Muslim hostility is seen as natural and normal.

This report encapsulates clearly what the West thinks of Islam and Muslims. However little effort has been made to respond to these negative campaign. Tun Dr,Mahathir in his speech called on all Muslims, its leaders and OIC to be in the state of preparedness for the sake of the Ummah. On the other hand, the Runnymede Report identified the conditions under which Islamophobia persist in the West which forms the core element of perceptions on Islam and Muslims. The OIC must therefore respond to this challenge and take appropriate measures to remove the prejudice and bias on Islam and Muslims.

Before proceeding further allow me first to deal with some of the paradoxes affecting the Ummah.

The first paradox is social. Muslim nations have been bestowed the demographic dividends i.e  about 1/5th of the world’s total population of 6 billion i.e 1 in 4 persons. Three-quarters of Muslims are non-Arabs with the majority of them in Asia - 683 million. India has the second largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia though Muslims are a minority. There are approximately 57 countries of the total of 192 member states of the United Nations, who are members of the OIC. There are more Muslims in Germany than in Lebanon and more in China than in Syria.

The second paradox is education. At the pinnacle of Muslim era of enlightenment, Europe was living under The Dark Ages. The Renaissance in Europe was inspired by Muslim knowledge. Today in the entire 57 OIC countries, there are only 500 universities whereas there are 5,758 universities in USA alone. Not one university in the Islamic World features in the Top 50 Ranking Universities of the World (though we may disagree with the methodologies employed for the rankings). One of the oldest universities is located in the OIC. This is compounded by the fact that literacy in the West is 90% whilst in the Islamic countries it is half of that - 40%. In short, we have lost the ability and capacity to produce, diffuse and apply knowledge.

Thousands of years ago, our ancestors were masters in astronomy, medicine, sociology, mathematics and chemistry with the likes of Aviceena (Ibn Sinna), Al-Biruni, Battani, Al-Khwarizmi etc leading the torch of enlightenment. In the contemporary world today, the Muslims mastery of many of the leading areas of science is lagging behind and no longer in the forefront. Yet Islam has from the beginning of its message when Mohammad s.a.w was given his first revelation, the command from Allah was to read in order to understand who we are. The acquisition of all kinds of knowledge has never been contrary to the tenets of Islam, neither is modernity nor development inconsistent with the teachings of Islam.

The third paradox is economics. Members of the OIC consist of a substantial portion of the world’s developing countries with huge natural resources (example 70% of oil reserves and 50% of natural gas reserves). The OIC countries remain the producers of agriculture, minerals and other resources, without gaining added value to the real economy. On top of that the irony is, Pakistan even though it has a very weak and vulnerable economic base, compounded with political and security instability, is a nuclear state. We know that in the developed countries nuclear power correlates with their economic strength.

The fourth paradox is political. Cross-country evidence shows that many OIC member states are lacking in democracy, good governance and the participation of its civil society. Consequently, the West blames Islam, the religion, and considers it responsible for making Muslims primitive, barbaric and uncivilized. The religion is reduced to a political ideology rather than a religion, thus inconsistent with their own vision of modernity and democracy. This labeling breeds prejudice on Islam and Muslims without even knowing and understanding the Quran and traditions of the Prophet. 

Worldview on Islam and Muslims

The paradoxes I have mentioned are not meant to paint an imbalanced view. In my opinion it is just stating the perceptions on Islam and Muslim based on my interactions and experience with the West, Muslims and Muslims countries. Despite the economic resources, there is prevalent poverty and backwardness within the Muslim nations. We don’t have enough universities to produce the required human resources and apply knowledge for advancement in science and technology.  The Muslims have the openness of the Quran to refer to and reflect on for the discourse and guidance, yet OIC and Muslims have not been able to project a positive image of Islam. The Muslims are considered to have allowed a minority group in their midst to hijack the true teachings of Islam. Ignorance and misinformation by others dominate the worldview of Islam and Muslims. The ordinary life of common Muslims are never presented or even if they were, it was not prominent.

I believe coupled with age old prejudice emanating from the time of the crusades to the invasion of Vienna and international terrorism, the lack of unity and cohesiveness amongst OIC countries has frustrated Muslims’ ability to uphold their status and positions in the community of nations. In current times there are still divisions based on nationalism, sects and ethnicities. When I think of it, I seldom hear a Muslim saying "I'm a Muslim, the worshipper of one God and believer of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)". All we hear is "I'm a Sunni/Shia or Iranian or Pakistani or Arab first".

The outcome is that the Muslims and its organization the OIC is easily outmaneuvered and manipulated by others. It cannot be denied that the Muslims can equally place the blame on others as well as their failure to draw up strategy and initiatives to confront the challenges facing them. The consequent is that Muslims are very much in the yokes of the Great Game which is still being drawn and redrawn till today. Without a united stand (not a United States!) and a strategic plan to deal with this condition, they will continue to be overpowered by imperialism in military, political, economic and cultural context due to their being over dependent on others. Political observers, social scientists, academia and intellectuals join the bandwagon in concluding that the OIC has not come to terms with the change of the global landscape in the New World Order.

Having said that and being a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, I realized the OIC has never in the first place subscribed to the idea of a ‘Muslim Ummah’ for a number of reasons, primarily among them being that countries come together on the basis of commonality of interests, not religion. Even in commonality of interests, the OIC as an organization has not been able to gather Muslim public opinion to protect their common position as national interest outweighs any other consideration.

It is not surprising for me to see there is a Muslim perception that the New World Order Great Game is against them just simply because they are Muslims and on the other hand the West feels threatened by Islam and Muslims. The poser is, can or will OIC be an effective mechanism to narrow the divide between Muslims and others? The West which considers Muslim culture inferior to theirs, have continuously marginalized and discriminated Islam and Muslims in all fields. In order for the OIC to be recognized as the defender of Islam and Muslims, it has to be seen to have the moral strength and legitimacy to defend them. Unfortunately, due to the lack of credibility and support from its own people, the OIC is not accepted as their champions.

Even the Judeo-Christian countries do not look at OIC to have the clout, stature or credential to be the collective voice to advance the cause of member states. For the last 50 years alone, the Palestinians and wider Middle East conflicts have remained unresolved, leaving a sense of helplessness and marginalization. Collectively, with the loss of political power and the failure to keep pace with the development of knowledge, the Muslims of post 1945 continuously tread on a slippery path of degeneration and suffering from an identity crisis.

We have witnessed, due to a very controlled and systematic misinformation, even the Muslim's deep seated adherence and respect for his own religion and brotherhood is undermined. The references to Islam's glorious and rich historical heritage have been replaced with the greatness of Judeo-Christian civilizations, which in turn stereotyped the inferiority of Islam and Muslims. This distortion is further evident with multiple names created for Muslims:- such as Moors, Mussalman, Mohammedans. Where possible, the differences between Muslims based on sects are often exaggerated. The West fanned the flames of conflict and provided the Muslims with the necessary military arsenal but never the knowledge.

In recent history with the increase of oil revenue of the countries in the Middle East, the West hoped to infuse Western ideas and expand its influence, such as capitalism, the economic development and market economy brought about by petro-dollar surpluses in the Muslim countries. Therefore it is unlikely that conflict between Islam and contemporary capitalism could happen. However, after the revolution in Iran, the Iraq war, September 11, invasion of Afghanistan and with religious and civilizational differences between the West and Muslims, the divide surfaced visibly, the West again began to question the compatibility of Islam, modern capitalism and democracy. The West evoked much negativity for non compliance of Muslim countries to their own global vision of cultural hegemony and the failure of Muslims to adapt themselves to the contemporary world.

We also witnessed rehashed theories from the old Cold War conflicts, espoused by the political scientists from the likes of Samuel Huntington of the “Clash of Civilizations’ fame, who opinionated that cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War. This has been accentuated by the various plethora of terminologies such as jihadist, Islamic radicalism, fundamentalism and extremism have been consistently used in the West to villify the Muslims. This has become the nom de plume (nong de plum) to literally describe Islam and Muslims’ close linkage with notoriety and evil. Islam’s emphasis on plurality of mankind and the diversity it encourages is often ignored or played down by the Western media. The diversity and the moderation espoused by the teachings of Islam are very much a core and integral part to its everyday life. 

Through this systematic disfranchisement of Muslim countries, the unity of the Muslim Ummah had been weakened. By the turn of the 20th century, Muslim countries have suffered the fate of all empires - corruption, internal division, and decay, which sadly is still prevalent. Now we are witnessing turmoil and upheaval in many parts of the Muslim world that still needs to find an accepted solution nationally as well as internationally.

Weakening of the Ummah
From this we can deduce the Muslim Ummah has been weakened through three major fronts:
* Inaccessibility to new knowledge and technology by the systemic destruction of the Islamic education system which had always been well blended between the material and spiritual requirement. This is further aggravated through the disintegration and misinformation of the Islamic history to weaken the confidence of the Ummah. As exemplified by the many channels of information available from movies which incorporate subtle anti Islamic propaganda, organizational and lobbyist groups set on disparaging and defaming anything that has to do with Islam and Muslims - all very well structured and organized.

* Economic weakening through systematic plundering of resources and minimizing trade by establishing new rules and intermediations to stifle trade of Muslim countries. This is exemplified in the formation of GATT and later on with WTO.

* Political blitzkrieg by destroying Muslims’ historical, religious and cultural identity to secure political and geographical entity in concordance with the parameters determined by the West. The encouragement of arms race amongst Muslim nations is common and still being practiced today. This is visible through the Afghan war, the Iran-Iraq war and the many smaller conflicts where Muslim nations often become pawns in the wider economic and political agenda of the big powers. The West’s slice and dice policy by dividing Middle East into pieces of small vassal sates as a result of Sykes-Picot Agreement(1916) and The Balfour Declaration (1917) created conditions facilitating creation of the Zionist state Israel, with the support and the endorsement of USA, UK and USSR under the patronage of the UN. With a stroke of a pen, all those rulers, tribes and people who once enjoyed power and freedom were eliminated from world politics forever. Muslims, who enjoyed world leadership status for more than 12 centuries, were thus deprived of this position for the first time in history.

I have chosen to present the current and historical facts of the Ummah looking at both sides of the perception, from Muslim, Western and other  perspectives so that Muslims can learn from the lessons of history and have a critical outlook in the search for a better future. 

Role of the OIC
The quest for a resurgence should make the Muslims more conscious of their legacy and historical past premised on Islamic values. The Muslims must derive the spiritual and intellectual strength from the Quran and rich Islamic Hadiths. In this way they can face these challenges with a sense of confidence and focused objectivity. This will, hopefully, eliminate any wrong perceptions against Islam and Muslims in the long run. The roles and responsibilities should be squarely placed on the OIC as the organization that represents Islam and Muslims. 

The OIC needs to think out of the box and initiate drastic changes, some of which must stem from structural, whilst others can be evolutionary. The OIC can be steadfast by holding to the pillars of its Charter and speak for Islam to emerge from the status quo and move on. The Muslims may be poor materially now but the spiritual strength is fairly intact and therefore there should be a common will to unite and act cohesively. After all, this was the raison d'etre (raisong detr) for the formation of the OIC. The time has come for the OIC to be a proactive and an effective organization to represent Islam and Muslims.

We have witnessed the birth of OIC through the initiatives generated by the events leading to the burning of the Al Aqsa mosque. The late Almarhum Tunku Abdul Rahman Al Haj played a prominent role in galvanizing the Muslim world in supporting a centralized body to cater for the struggle of the Muslim Ummah. Nonetheless today, if external forces attack a member of the OIC or OIC member states need assistance, OIC is not the first to be there and often stands at the sideline to render minimal assistance. The OIC is seen to be paralyzed and unable to come in defense of member states or to be a problem solver between OIC countries or even as a mediator of conflicts. OIC should be the first and not the last to render assistance and advice toward finding solutions. I realize what I’m saying may be considered by many as wishful thinking. Indeed, the OIC has not been able to rid itself of the perception of a talking shop. It is not seen to be an organization to take concrete actions. It doesn’t seem to have the political will or the structural mechanism to give it the legitimacy to protect its own member states.

Towards this, Muslim citizens all over the world are in consensus that it is of paramount importance that the Muslim Ummah needs to consolidate and tighten its bonds of cooperation. Whilst the OIC in its original structure was a good platform to share views and discuss matters of common interest, it has not lived up to its fullest potential as a nucleus of change for the Ummah.

The United Nations, while possessing noble intentions, has often been troubled by numerous rubber-stamping actions with a cavalier attitude which borders on chauvinism. It has definitely failed to defend and uphold the rights of not just the Palestinians but Muslims in general throughout the world. Some permanent members of the UN Security Council can be said to lack moral fibre and authority to lead the world especially the Muslims.

Economic Strategies and Approaches
Sluggish economic growth and unemployment will lead to frustration and unequal opportunities which are fertile breeding grounds for dissent and protest. We are now witnessing this before our very eyes and the solution to the Muslims must be in commerce. Ever since the birth of Islam, trade has been the core factor not only for profit and economic well being but also to disseminate the teachings of Islam. The Muslim Empire was self-sufficient in all respects, with the spice route from the Malay Archipelago, the textile from India, musk trade from the Middle East, agricultural products from North Africa and the ancient silk from Persia to Asia Minor. The conquest by armies has ceased but the trade routes have remained more or less intact for the past 500 years. Today the Straits of Malacca in the Peninsula is the busiest in the world plying its trade. However, the trade routes, which were pioneered by the Muslims are now being utilized fully by others for their economic benefits. The British, Dutch and Portuguese that pioneered the gunboat diplomacy have leapfrogged into new ways of enhancing their trade whilst Muslim countries have more or less stayed stagnant. This linkage between trade and Islam was so strong that when the Ming Emperor of China wanted to establish trading relations with this region, a Muslim, Admiral Muhammad Cheng Ho was sent to pave the way.

The total exports of the OIC countries in 2000 was US$539 billion of which US$53 billion (10%) was to other OIC countries. The total imports of the OIC countries in 2000 was US$406 billion, of which US$ 56 billion (13%) was from other OIC countries. In terms of total trade, the figures imply that OIC countries trade about 8 times more with non-OIC countries.

Previously, the Middle East was the cradle of civilization and the commercial capital of the world with the most cosmopolitan outlook– currently it is left far behind. Clearly we ignored trade and commerce and we are paying the price for it.

The estimated USD 1 trillion of Middle East funds reside in the Western financial centers of New York, London and Switzerland. These funds could also be utilized to bring economic developments in the Muslim countries. OIC must provide better infrastructure for investment, level playing field, ease of doing business, investment opportunities and others.

Ladies and gentleman, the OIC needs to establish centres within the OIC to act as a point of intermediation between investors and the potential recipients of investments. Malaysia fits in well in this role. Others can be included as they develop their financial system progressively which will elevate the OIC on a better and firmer financial footing.

One of the economic initiatives by Malaysia in 2006 tackled through economic cooperation is the setting up of the World Economic Islamic Forum (WEIF) inspired by the OIC by focusing on the issue of economics and trade. The previous attempt to introduce economic cooperation moved by certain countries under the name of D8 has not been truly successful. The WIEF has played a role in enhancing and aggregating trade as well as networking between OIC countries, western countries and others. Hopefully this forum will propel collaboration and cooperation amongst the OIC countries in particular and others in general. Through economics, it is hoped that there will a more substantive relationship to foster better understanding and goodwill.

The Way Forward for OIC

The time has come, perhaps I am being presumptuous, to restructure the OIC and to create its own mandated Commonwealth, its own United Nations of Islam, which are bound by cohesive union of trade and economics. This statement may be construed by others as well as by Muslims as being too aggressive, confrontational and having a hidden agenda of its own to reincarnate the caliphate world. In my view no man is an island and the OIC must have a clear mission in a globalized world and not run as a talk shop or a country club with an easy-going atmosphere. This idea of a firm political Commonwealth will strengthen the OIC’s stance in consolidating economic cooperation, not on the basis of exclusiveness but to compete fairly and justly as well as make a positive contribution to world peace and security.

The Muslim nations are one huge contiguous block stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans. This occupies large strategic areas comprising of geographical, resource and fertile lands with major air, sea and trading routes passing through. Certainly, the political will must be present to make the Muslims self reliant and be in the mainstream of international relations and politics.

However, before all those ideas and idealism can be realized, the Muslim countries need to create a very conducive environment for people to participate in their political, economic and social future. It is about creating opportunities for everyone to pursue their hopes and aspiration. Unfortunately, in much of the Muslim World, the people generally do not have a voice in the development process that touches their lives due to their internal system of governance and government, which continued to be supported by the Western powers. As such, the political institutions need to be first firmly established based on the rule of law and the people be acknowledged as the key power of the change process. Only in this way can Muslims progress firmly ahead. The OIC should be the body to represent the Muslims in their desire for a multi prong transformation.

I mentioned earlier that economic frustration and unequal opportunities are fertile breeding grounds for dissent and protest. The vicious cycle of Muslims being constantly poor and deprived of the latest knowledge will again make them the easy victims in any future conflicts that arise.

The nations and communities that get outpaced or fall behind, will be actually handing over the baton of power and progress to others. Once the rivals get empowered, their main concern is to deny the weapons of empowerment and science and technology to those who have fallen behind. Consequently, Muslims will be denied the supercomputers, the nano microchips, the nuclear fuels, reactors, remote sensing satellites etc. But at the same time, the powerful nations will be more than willing to sell their air conditioners, colas, mobiles, TV transponders, credit cards, McDonald burgers, Guccis, Reeboks, Christian Diors, Hollywood films and all other luxuries which would make Muslims appear rich.

We should not chart a vision and attitude by confusing the richness with progress, imitation as invention, borrowing of technology as scientific development and winning a few converts for its faith in the West as genuine dakwah. The reality is that slavery of the Ummah is never more critically grave than today, especially in the area of knowledge.

As such, it is always true that education forms the backbone of any society and thus holds the key to progress. We must stop this tragic saga of the Muslim world lost in the wilderness of ignorance and illiteracy. The future lies in modernizing the attitude to knowledge, altering its world vision, and charting a new course of empowerment.

There are an over simplistic and dangerous perceptions attached to Muslims, Islam and the OIC countries. This is exemplified in the numerous negative labels, the clash of civilization theories and other theories by Western intellectuals. There is also the multifarious distrust due to past legacy issues within the international community and the strong design to incalculate hegemony and the rejection of multiculturalism by some Western leaders. This will only aggravate the sense of fear and hatred. 

There is undoubtedly a need for the Ummah to reorganize itself urgently when confronting the challenges of the emerging New World Order. Doing nothing in the face of the imminent threats is no longer an option.

I hope we can eradicate years of mistrust that has been embodied into our minds about the Muslims, the people; Islam, the religion and about the OIC countries. Hopefully a new beginning between everyone based on mutual respect, multiculturalism and sharing of common principle of harmony, justice and progress will enhance Muslims position to achieve a better future in the community of nations.  With that Ladies and Gentleman, thank you. 


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