Friday, September 26, 2008

Malaysia proposes convention on Islamophobia

The Star Online

NEW YORK: Malaysia has proposed that an international convention sponsored by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) be held as early as next year to tackle the anti-Islamic movement which is rearing its ugly head in several developed nations.Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said Thursday that the OIC had asked Malaysia to play a major role towards rectifying the misconception of Islam within Western society.

He said this was conveyed to him by OIC Secretary-General Prof Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu during their meeting on the sidelines of the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly here.

He told Malaysian journalists that the OIC was confident that Malaysia would be able to take the initiative to counter the misconception towards the Islamic nations because of Malaysia’s commitment and effectiveness in past endeavours.

He hoped that the convention would be attended by influential people like leaders, department heads, intellectuals and non-governmental organisations which support religious tolerance.

“Malaysia hopes that another window can be opened for a more universal understanding of Islam to help in civilisation building,” he said.

He said the United States was chosen as the venue for the convention because of the polemic on Islam in that country as well as the wide media coverage it would get.

The proposal on the convention was made to the US representative to the OIC during an earlier meeting in Kuala Lumpur, he added.

Meanwhile, Malaysia deposited the Instrument of Ratification on the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) at the United Nations on Thursday.

“Malaysia’s ratification of the UNCAC is testimony to the Government’s commitment in promoting and strengthening measures to combat corruption at the domestic, regional and global levels.

“It also reflects the intention of Malaysia to be a fully engaged member of the Convention and a proactive member of the global anti-corruption community,” Rais said.

He is scheduled to speak at the UN General Assembly session on Saturday in place of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who had cancelled his trip to attend to pressing matters in Malaysia.

Earlier, Rais had a bilateral meeting with his counterpart from Jordan, Dr Salaheddin AlBashir. -- Bernama.

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