From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 25): Avoid extremism, Malaysian moderates leader tells Sulu youth
Avoid extremism. This was the advice of Global Movement of Moderates in Malaysia executive director Zainal Zainuddin to 50 Muslim youth leaders from Sulu.
Youth leaders from Sulu are in Malaysia for a four-day educational tour which started on Nov. 23 and will end on Nov. 26.
“Do not get involved in all these. If you do, you will not have a good future,” Zainuddin said after showing a video on the Syrian war that included Malaysians joining the notorious ISIS.
He also who reminded the young leaders not to take part in extremism and were instead asked to convey coexistence, respect, and tolerance to solve the problem in Sulu.
“You have no right to call yourself Muslims if you go into extremism. Make sure that the youth in your communities know of this and make them follow the right path of acceptance and harmony while celebrating differences,” Zainuddin told the delegates.
The Muslim youth leaders, all graduates of the National Youth Leadership Summit, were sponsored by the Armed Forces of the Philippines to visit the predominantly Muslim and culturally diverse country of Malaysia to motivate them in becoming advocates of peace.
“We are hopeful that this journey to Malaysia has left an indelible imprint on their hearts and minds; that it had a profound influence on these young men and women from Sulu. I hope they will share this experience to their communities so that their folks may realize that the peace they sought for their province is possible and they must strive harder in order to achieve it,” AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Ricardo Visaya said.
Participants also met with Philippine Ambassador in Kuala Lumpur, J. Eduardo Malaya, who reminded the youth to share the lessons of their tour when they return to their communities.
“Deepen your understanding of Islam, internalize what you will see in Malaysia and share them when you get back to your community. Make sure your country prospers and make things better,” Malaya said.
The delegates also visited the Malaysian Parliament and met with Speaker Tan Sri Datuk Ainin bin Haji, who emphasized the importance of freedom of religion and tolerance in Malaysia.
Mohammad-Alib A. Amil, the spokesperson of the delegates, shared his agreement on the state of differences in Malaysia, saying that “even though this country consists of different beliefs, there is no discrimination and respect among other groups exists.”
The delegates rendered Tausug songs Bud Tumantangis and Biraddali to their hosts in appreciation of their warm welcome.
They visited also the Tahfiz School and International Islamic University-Malaysia after which they toured the famous Batu caves.