KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5 — PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar are among a prominent line-up of speakers for the upcoming International Unity in Diversity Conference (IUDC) here this Wednesday that aims to discuss contemporary issues affecting the Muslim world.
The event comes after last month’s celebrated Kuala Lumpur Summit, a gathering of international leaders mooted by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad that was attended by prominent delegates from Iran, Turkey and Qatar but snubbed by Saudi Arabia and its close ally Pakistan, and which is seen to have cast Malaysia into the forefront of the Islamic civilisational discourse.
The IUDC is jointly organised by three organisations, namely the US-based International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), co-founded by Anwar, Muslims Professional Forum (MPF) and Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement, better known by its Malay acronym, Abim.
Anwar is listed as the keynote speaker in the upcoming conference that also includes three others seen favourably in the West.
The Port Dickson MP who is designated as the next Pakatan Harapan prime minister currently holds no government position and has been making the rounds to distinguish himself in other arenas, including in Islamic discourses.
Anwar’s eldest daughter MP Nurul Izzah is listed as moderator for a panel discussion featuring three of the listed speakers.
The Permatang Pauh MP has largely withdrawn from the public eye after her abrupt resignation from all PKR and government posts in 2018.
Opening the IUDC will be Nuruddin Lemu, director of Research and Training at the Da’wah Institute of Nigeria (DIN), Islamic Education Trust (IET) in Minna, Nigeria.
According to a synopsis provided in the website promoting the event, Lemu whose first name is also spelt Nurudeen is an internationally sought-after Islamic trainer nicknamed “Nuru the Guru” and has been conducting workshops in Malaysia for the past 20 years. He is known for his talks advocating interfaith dialogue and intrafaith cooperation as well as responses to various forms of religious extremism among Muslims.
Lemu is scheduled to speak on “Islam in the 21st Century: Drawing Parallels between Muslim Experiences Worldwide.”
The second speaker is Omar Suleiman, who founded and is president and CEO of Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research, another US-based Islamic think-tank established in 2016. His topic for the one-day conference is on “Correcting the Narrative on Islam in the Fast-Changing World of Digital Media”.
The third speaker is Pakistani-American Muslim scholar Yasir Qadhi whose topic is on “Islamic Discourse — Future Trends and Challenges for the Ummah.”
Yasir is currently resident scholar of the East Plano Islamic Centre and also the Dean of The Islamic Seminary of America, an institution that serves to better the Muslim world through religious scholarship and ethical leadership.
The UIDC is scheduled to be held on January 8 at the Sime Darby Convention Centre in Bukit Kiara from 8.30am to 2pm.