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Building a bridge of moderation

  • Nasharuddin (C) sees harmonious living and cracking down on extremism as priorities for this nation in GMM's quest for greater moderation. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily

PETALING JAYA, Nov 16 (Sin Chew Daily) -- A strong bridge that allows us to cross the hurdles through respecting and accommodating one another in peaceful coexistence. That is the noble mission Global Movement of Moderates Foundation (GMM) executive chairman cum chief executive officer Datuk Dr Nasharuddin Mat Isa has envisioned.

Nasharuddin says this is not easy but he is fortunate to have the support of many individuals and organizations to work together for this aspiration..

"I am not alone. I have the support of the Malays, Chinese, Indians and other ethnic groups. I look forward to having more people joining us."

Sin Chew Daily group chief editor Kuik Cheng Kang and editorial director Pook Ah Lek were welcoming Nasharuddin and his delegation during their visit to Sin Chew Daily's headquarters here recently.

"Promoting moderation is not about organizing one or two events only. It requires long-term effort and the participation of all people towards a better future for this country. I am upbeat about this and will take positive actions to see to its realization."

Nasharuddin said GMM would be organizing relevant events to foster closer ties with the community and hope to get more people to work towards establishing a moderate and harmonious Malaysia.

He said first and foremost people do not understand the ideology of moderation. Secondly, GMM is facing a society undergoing rapid changes especially in the era of smartphones and information overload. GMM needs to move in tandem with the changing time and along the way requires the participation of more organizations and individuals.

"People are unclear about the concept of moderation due to their perception of this matter. GMM will continue to carry out public education, like the campaign on social responsibility conducted by Sin Chew Daily.

"This is one of the platforms for public education."

Media's role

Nasharuddin, who is into his third year as GMM executive chairman, said he was involved in promoting the ideology of moderation in his first year and extended this philosophy at the international level during his second year. He is now focusing on activities in the country and setting up GMM Clubs at universities to help students understand the concept and operation of GMM.

He said GMM has seven initiatives: harmonious living, good governance, sustainable development, education, resolving conflicts, prevention and cracking down on extremism and Islamophobia in establishing a moderate Malaysia.

Of the seven initiatives, he sees harmonious living and cracking down on extremism as priorities for this nation.

"GMM will be holding a 'Diversity and Inclusion Youth Conference' at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia from March 6 to 11 next year aimed at promoting public understanding of the ideology of moderation with the help of the local media.

"I am confident the media will help disseminate this ideology to more people."

Religious confusion

Nasharuddin pointed out that Muslims in the country are confused by the interpretation of Islam and Arabianization. The spread of a wrong concept could be risky for a country.

A national conference will be held in future to invite local and foreign experts to share the right concept of Islam.

"I once lived in Jordan for eight years and was well versed in Arabic. I had no problem communicating with the people there, but I remained very much a Malaysian Muslim, not an Arab Muslim."

Nasharuddin stressed that the country's reputation could not be tarnished by religious extremists. Since independence, Malaysians from different ethnic backgrounds have been respecting one another as well as the Federal Constitution and the law.

He cited the example of a Muslim king, a Jewish counselor and a Christian doctor living harmoniously and working together to create a thriving civilization.

He hoped Malaysians would also work together to build a diversified and harmonious culture.



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