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Published: Tuesday January 17, 2012 MYT 10:38:00 AMUpdated: Tuesday January 17, 2012 MYT 2:41:05 PM
By MAZWIN NIK ANIS
KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has announced the formation of the Institute of Wasatiyyah to further the pursuit of moderation and balance.
He said the institute will be operating as part of the Prime Minister's Office.
The Prime Minister also announced the launch of a new Global Movement of the Moderates (GMM) Foundation, as a centre of first resort for the consolidation and dissemination of information to those who want to join the fight against extremism.
He said rather than it being an exclusive initiative of Malaysia, the GMM complemented other initiatives for global dialogue and cooperation such as the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations.
"It will not be a campaign for the faint-hearted but we cannot allow this moment to be overtaken by extremists, with those who shout loudest gaining the most," he said at the launch of the Global Movement of Moderates international conference here Tuesday.
"It is for the moderates everywhere to stand firm and stand proud, to dissipate the pull of extremes and to deny those at the margins a foothold on the middle ground," he added.
To encourage more scholars, Najib said an academic Chair of Wasatiyyah will be created, and which will operate under Universiti Malaya, with the post holder to be announced in due course.
Najib first mooted the idea for the movement in his maiden speech at the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2010, where he urged world leaders to embark on building a global movement of moderates from all faiths to reclaim the agenda for peace and pragmatism, and to marginalise the extremists.
He has since been promoting the agenda at both at local and international forums.
The three-day conference here gathers 50 speakers from various fields and 350 delegates from over 70 countries.
The conference is organised by the alumni of the International Islamic University of Malaysia and themed 'In Pursuit of an Enduring and Just Peace.'
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