Message By Tun Musa Hitam, Chairman Of The World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation
The World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) came about from one simple logic: Muslims are very important stakeholders in the world today due to their sheer size and predisposition towards peace, justice and prosperity. Thus huge efforts need to be put in place to transform the Muslim world into a viable and competent domain that is able to live up to its predisposition.
Yet, in doing so, another logic comes into place. Muslims are part of the globalised world where every aspect of one’s life, be it political, economic or cultural, is invariably interconnected to each other. This logic goes that, in the context of globalisation, any effort in trying to consolidate Muslim competency while completely ignoring the existence of the non-Muslim world, is an exercise in futility. As such, it is imperative, not only based on common logic, but also on the teachings of the Holy Quran, that we are essentially made, created, to know one another and to find means to work together for a common ground.
Dialogue and cooperation between the Muslim and non-Muslim world thus continue to play an increasingly important role today in improving understanding and goodwill between nations, thereby contributing to world peace and stability. As such, it is these two realizations, namely the consolidation of the Muslim Ummah on one hand, and a solid economic link with the non-Muslim world on the other, that continue to spur the spirit of the World Islamic Economic Forum to lofty heights, beyond expectations. We are indeed at the forefront of contemporary political and economic trends.
The WIEF Foundation is an international organization built on the fundamental premise that the key to meaningful civilization alliance is through amicable business partnerships and strong economic cooperation. This, I believe, is one of the most powerful ways in which we can convey to the world, that Islam is indeed a religion of peace, tolerance and prosperity.
This is the toughest challenge that we are about to face in the dawn of the new era. Namely, the implementation of the basic fundamentals of Islamic teachings that place pivotal importance to economic cooperation and trade as an excellent means to practise our noble faith, and to build solid relationships between nations and individuals. There is no time to lose and the Muslim Ummah must take up this responsibility to surge forward and show to the world that it is capable of tremendous success in business and trade, as have been exemplified by our forefathers of the glorious civilizations of the past.
The great regions of the world are gradually moving ever closer to each other, with a plethora of peace treaties and accords, collaborations in the academia and socio-cultural exchanges that necessarily transform the world into a huge melting pot of cultures, religions and traditions that transcend their existing conflicting differences. However, it is important to note that such a multitude of cooperation can only be made possible with the presence of economic and business ties between regions. For, the only factor that prevent nations from going to war with each other is the existence of intricate economic links that inevitably bind those two societies together. Such is the power of economic cooperation and business partnerships. The abundance of multilateral and bilateral trade agreements is reflective of this sentiment for a peaceful world. Thus I strongly believe that as long as this trend sustains, the world shall continue to shape itself to become a safe and prosperous haven for its constituents.
It is for this very reason that I can confidently claim that the WIEF Foundation is at the forefront of this crucial trend. For it is responsible to take on two huge challenges confronting the world today, namely, the sustainability of international economic cooperation, and the revitalization of the Muslim world with regard to business and economic cooperation.
After less than a year since its inaugural Forum, WIEF is proving to the world that it is a manifestation to its claim of affecting change in the Muslim world. The task force initiatives for the World Islamic Businesswomen Network (WIBN) and the World Islamic Education Trust (WIET) are fully operational and active.
Today, I stand before you, with yet another important development by the World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation – an official website that can serve as a resource hub, and a connecting link between various business leaders from all over the world. In a space of a few months, the website has grown in its functions. From a simple website that hosted conference materials from the inaugural World Islamic Economic Forum and a calendar of events, now the official website boasts a specially dedicated 2nd World Islamic Economic Forum section for the upcoming Forum in Islamabad next month, a media center to cater for the press community, a feature column to host a wide range of authors who believe in our noble cause and objectives, and an online corporate membership registration form, among many other interesting features.
As the Chairman of this esteemed Foundation, I wish to sincerely congratulate the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI), the Forum Secretariat, and all of you present here today for helping to make this event a success. We hope you will continue to be with us in our struggle for a better society, for the Muslim world and beyond. Thank you.