Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019 had gathered the Islamic world at the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, from 18th to 21st December.
At the summit’s opening ceremony, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had highlighted the agendas of the summit to its participants and the press. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that they are organizing the summit to ensure sustainable development of Muslims, worldwide. He also said, “We pray that through this summit we will go a little way forward towards solving our problems.”
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad also underlined the need for the Islamic world to overcome ‘Islamophobia’. He stressed that, “We even had to depend upon our detractors to assist us. (So) We need to discuss on the possible ways improve the plight of our brethren.”
Numerous prominent Muslim thinkers, writers, academics, leaders and non-governmental organizations representatives had attended Kuala Lumpur Summit. The Secretary General of the Union of NGOs of the Islamic World (UNIW), Atty. Ali Kurt is one those who attended from Turkey. They esteemed attendees of the summit had exchanged ideas regarding seven main topics.
The main topics of the summit are, “Peace, Security & Defense”, “Justice & Freedom”, “Development & Sovereignty”, “Trade & Investment”, “Technology & Internet Governance”, “Culture & Identity”, “Integrity & Good Governance”.
In this context, the summit focused on four main objectives: resurrection of Islamic civilization, providing solutions to the problems faced by the Muslim world, facilitate the development of Muslim societies, and establishing a network of leaders, intellectuals and thinkers of the Islamic world.
Regional issues regarding Palestine, Syria, Arakan, Kashmir, East Turkistan and other ethnic issues are among the items discussed in the summit.
In the opening session of the summit, the President of Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan greets the participants of the summit with “Hoşgeldiniz (Welcome)”. He later mentioned that, “I want to emphasize that every findings and criticisms that we will gain from the summit will be highly valued by your brothers and sisters in Turkey. I wish that this Kuala Lumpur Summit will further strengthen our solidarity and induce the advancement of the ummah.”
Erdogan also pointed out that Turkey aspires to explore prospects of cooperation in the fields for sustainable development, security and defense, trade and investment, also in technology and internet sectors, “We will have the opportunity to speak freely on many issues, from Islamophobia to terrorism, from our internal conflicts that had ravaged our regions, and also on sectarian issues and ethnic crisis. We will also address our situation, opportunities and our prospects for potential development, as we constitute a quarter of the world’s population with 1.7 billion Muslims worldwide. We will also identify the obstacles that hinders our potentials and collective action. I also would like to express my gratitude to every one of our brothers that shared his ideas with us, for us to build a stronger, prosperous and economically independent Islamic world.”
Later on, Erdogan stressed that he wished that this summit would be the preamble of a new era, “As a country in the center of Asia, Europe, and Africa, we are greatly affected by any event in any of these regions. Our neighbor, Syria, have 3 million and 700 thousand of our brothers escaping from war and oppression, while facing pressure from terrorist organizations. In addition to receive our brothers from Syria, we are also faced with hundreds of thousands of refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan.”
He continued his speech with, “The biggest problem of platforms that bring together the Islamic world under a single roof is the issue of implementation. This is the reason why we have not covered any distance in the Palestinian cause, are unable to stop the exploitation of our resources and cannot say stop as our region is torn apart through the rhetoric of sectarianism, However, the Muslim world is not powerless, and we have the resources, the population and the geographic position to overcome obstacles with proper leadership. (Thus) If a significant part of the Muslim population is dealing with hunger, famine, poverty and ignorance, despite all the opportunities, the oil, population and natural resources God has bestowed on us, then we need to put the blame on ourselves first. In the Holy Quran, we are urged to think wisely. It would be easy to just blame others for our shortcomings. Muslims had suffered much in the last 2 centuries as they tend to flee away from problems instead of facing it head on. I believe that we will lead the change, as we transform our decisions into implementations.”
Speaking at the summit’s opening, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, said that the Islamic world is facing threats to ensure peace, security and good governance. He added that, “Some countries in the Islamic world are abusing the Islamic culture, violating human rights and disregard justice for its own citizens.”
Sheikh Tamim said that the success of the Islamic world is possible only through a cooperation that based on commonalities and not on differences. He explained that, “Justice is one of the most fundamental conditions to end a conflict. This is what some countries don’t understand, as they try to resolve conflicts with the mindset of power & domination.
The Kuala Lumpur Summit ended with a closing ceremony attended by Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin. In his closing speech, Sultan Nazrin touched on the refugee problem inflicted upon the Islamic world. He stressed that Muslim countries in general are not doing enough for the refugees, and Sultan Nazrin called for these countries to extend more help for these refugees.
Sultan Nazrin said, “Just as Prophet Muhammad and the Muhajirins are welcomed by the Ansars, we also have to reach out to them and do more.”
Regarding the refugee crisis where millions of refugees are fleeing from war and oppression in numerous Muslim countries, Sultan Nazrin urged Muslim countries not to wait any longer to solve the crisis, “These refugees, their struggle is not a simple one, they are struggling to survive”.
Sultan Nazrin ended his speech with referring to the refugee situation in Syria, Turkey and Lebanon, while emphasizing that the Muslim countries outside the region are not adequately helping the Syrians.