AN official of the Global Movement of Moderates (GMM) in Malaysia warned 50 Moro youth leaders from Sulu against any involvement in extremism.
The youth leaders are attending a four-day educational tour in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia aimed at bolstering their participation in resolving the peace and security issues in their home-province, one of the strongholds of the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
During a roundtable discussion on “Moderation and Countering Violent Extremism,” Zainal Zainuddin, GMM Executive Director reminded the young leaders not to take part in extremist activities but instead asked them to practice coexistence, respect, and tolerance to solve the problem in Sulu.
“Do not get involved in all these. If you do, you will not have a good future,” Zainuddin said after showing a video on the Syrian war that included Malaysians joining the notorious ISIS.
Introduced by Malaysia as an initiative to reject all forms of extremism and promote moderation, GMM was said to have gained support and recognition from world leaders as well as international and regional inter-governmental organizations.
Aged 15 to 18, the youth ambassadors were accompanied by AFP Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) deputy commander Brig. Gen. Jose Cabanban, Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Eduardo Malaya and other embassy officials, according to Col. Edgard Arevalo, chief of the AFP Public Affairs Office.
“You have no right to call yourself Muslims if you go into extremism. Make sure that the youth in your communities know of this and make them follow the right path of acceptance and harmony while celebrating differences,” Zainuddin pointed out.
The young leaders, all graduates of the National Youth Leadership Summit, were sponsored by the AFP to visit the predominantly Muslim and culturally diverse country of Malaysia to motivate them in becoming advocates of peace.
Malaya told the delegates to “deepen your understanding of Islam, internalize what you will see in Malaysia and share them when you get back to your community. Make sure your country prospers and make things better.”
The Moro youth also visited the Malaysian Parliament and met with Speaker Tan Sri Datuk Ainin bin Haji, who emphasiz ed the importance of freedom of religion and tolerance in Malaysia.
Mohammad-Alib A Amil, spokesperson of the delegates, shared his agreement on the state of diversity in Malaysia, saying that “even though this country consists of different beliefs, there is no discrimination and respect among other groups exists.”