Forum on: “The Future of the Ummah: Voices of Unity and Harmony”
September 22, 2019


























Date    : Saturday, 28th September, 2019
Time    : 900AM – 1230PM
Venue : Ibn Khaldun Conference Room, International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation (ISTAC), International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), No.24, Persiaran Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin, Taman Duta, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

Organized by: G25 Malaysia

In collaboration with:

Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
International Movement for a Just World (JUST)
Sisters in Islam (SIS)
Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan (PATRIOT)
Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM)

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The forum addresses the current tensions within the Ummah, specifically relating to big power interests, sectarianism, economic backwardness and socio-political tensions in the Muslim world. Four distinguished speakers will present the historical, intellectual, economic, social and political foundations for the growing unrest that the Ummah has been grappling with for several decades. They will also highlight the role of global big power designs in perpetuating such tensions, as part of a larger geopolitical agenda. Reference will also be made to the apparent ineffectiveness of the Amman Message as an instrument of peace and harmony. Last but not least, the speakers address the current landscape of Islam in Malaysia, focusing on the need for Rahmatan Lil-Ãlamin based on Maqāsid Sharīa, with the aim of spreading the message of “unity in diversity”.


900AM:           Registration & light refreshments
930AM:           MC welcomes guests and speakers; introduces the moderator
940AM:           Moderator, Dr. Sharifah Munirah Alatas
955AM:           Forum begins

Speaker 1: Prof. Datuk Dr. Osman Bakar
Speaker 2: Dr. Chandra Muzaffar
Speaker 3: Dato’ Dr. Ahmad Farouk Musa
Speaker 4: Prof. Dr. Syed Farid Alatas

1139AM:         Moderator opens floor for Q&A
1220PM:          Moderator concludes and closes the forum
1230PM:          Forum ends, followed by lunch


Prof. Datuk Dr. Osman Bakar, who earned a doctorate in Islamic philosophy from Temple University, Philadelphia is currently a Distinguished Professor and the holder of al-Ghazali Chair of Islamic Thought at International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation (ISTAC), International Islamic University Malaysia. He was formerly Malaysia Chair of Southeast Asian Islam at the Prince Talal al-Waleed Centre for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University, Washington DC and Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO), International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies, Malaysia (IAIS). Dr Bakar is an author and editor of 37 books and more than 300 articles on various aspects of Islamic thought and civilization. He was a member of the Council of 100 Leaders of the West-Islamic World Initiative for Dialogue founded by the World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland. He has been named among the 500 most influential Muslims in the world since 2009. His two most well-known books, Classification of Knowledge in Islam and Tawhid and Science have been translated into numerous languages. His latest books are Islamic Civilization and the Modern World: Thematic Essays (2014), Quranic Pictures of the Universe: The Scriptural Foundation of Islamic Cosmology (2016), Islamic Perspectives on Science and Technology (co-editor, 2016), and Al-Farabi: Life, Works and Significance (new edition, 2018).

Dr. Chandra Muzaffar is the President of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST), an international NGO based in Malaysia, which seeks to critique global injustice guided by universal spiritual and moral values. He has published extensively on civilizational dialogue, international politics, religion, human rights and Malaysian society. Among Chandra’s latest publications are, A World in Crisis: Is There a Cure? and Reflections on Malaysian Unity and Other Challenges. Apart from his role in JUST, Chandra sits on the board of a number of international NGOs concerned with social justice and civilizational dialogue. Chandra is the recipient of a number of international awards related to his scholarship and social activism.

Dato’ Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa is a Founder and Director at the Islamic Renaissance Front, a think tank advocating reform and renewal in Islam. He is an academic researcher at Monash University Malaysia and a Cardiothoracic Surgeon. He is actively involved in civil society and the emerging discourse on post-Islamism and has been involved in interfaith dialogues especially with regard to Christian-Muslim relations and also intra-faith dialogues especially the Shi’i-Sunni discourse. He was a Vice Chairman of BERSIH 2.0, a powerful coalition promoting free and fair election and a founding member of the Muslim Professionals Forum. He was also a former Commissioner at the Commonwealth Initiative for the Freedom of Religion or Belief (CIFoRB) based in Westminster, London, and a former Director of the Centre for Combating Corruption and Cronyism (C4). He currently holds the position of a Research Fellow at Sekolah Tinggi Filsafat Islam – STFI Sadra, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Prof. Dr. Syed Farid Alatas is professor of sociology at the National University of Singapore, where he has been since 1992. A Malaysian national, his areas of interest are sociological theory, the philosophy of social science, the sociology of religion, and inter religious dialogue. Professor Alatas obtained his Ph.D. in sociology from Johns Hopkins University in 1991. He has published extensively, contributing to contemporary theoretical debates in historical sociology and comparative analyses of democratic and authoritarian regimes. Among his writings are Applying Ibn Khaldun: The Recovery of a Lost Tradition in Sociology, Democracy and Authoritarianism in Indonesia and Malaysia: The Rise of the Post-Colonial State and Alternative Discourses in Asian Social Science: Responses to Eurocentrism.

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Updated version: 2.39-20231022