The mini Islamic summit called for by Mahathir Mohamad, convened in Kuala Lumpur the previous week and brought up questions that are critical for the Muslim world. The question about how Muslims have fallen so behind in today’s world despite all their options, wealth, cultural and geographical advantages, was the most hard-hitting question President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan formulated.
The decisions taken at the summit suggested that this question be left in the past and serious efforts be coordinated with respect to how Muslims will assume the position that befits them in the world today and in the future, as well as how they can be effective in the world with Islamic values that are centered around peace, justice and human dignity.
It truly is already obvious in all aspects why the Islamic world has fallen behind and why it is in its current state. Thus, well-intentioned and sincere ventures and unions are necessary to recover from this. Of course, it is not possible to say that the administrators of the Islamic world feel the same way about this problem. Hence, in time, the ventures by those who feel the same way will influence those who do not, gathering them around the same cause under the same umbrella.
A decision was made to form joint workgroups and a problem monitoring system among the participating countries in relation to all the areas determined at the Kuala Lumpur Summit.
At the closing, summit President Mahathir Mohamad released a self-signed declaration. The most intriguing aspect of this declaration was that, with emphasis on D8, which was previously launched by the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and late politician Necmettin Erbakan, he underlined the summit is a strategic partnership that is not an alternative to efforts aimed at the economic cooperation of existing alliances among Islamic countries, but it rather complements them, and called on all Muslims, countries and actors to join these initiatives.
The full declaration text is as follows:
We would like to remind you of the previous Kuala Lumpur Summit conferences presided by Mahathir bin Mohamad in aims to form an international multi-sector dialogue platform to pave all ways possible in aims to alleviate the outcomes of disasters impacting the Muslim Ummah.
The idea was to come together to assume collective responsibility for the advancement of the Ummah through seven principles that are correlated and correspondingly support each other. These seven principles are: sustainable development, integrity and good governance, culture and identity, peace, justice and freedom, sovereignty, security and defense, trade and investment, technology and governance.
*Emphasizing the importance of strong cooperation in the field of economy to overcome the problems faced by Islamic nations.
* Emphasizing that the summit is a strategic partnership that is aimed at complementing the economic cooperation efforts of existing alliance between Islamic countries, such as the OIC and D8, we invite all Muslims, countries and actors to join the Kuala Lumpur Summit’s future activities; as of 2020, the summit will take the name, Civilizations of Dialogue Perdana Institute.
1. We are determined to improve the current situation of the Ummah, and in aims to expand future generation’s access to economic development, science, technology and innovation and apply the practical solutions approved by the summit to revive Islamic civilization.
2. We re-confirm our commitment to building an Ummah that lives in freedom, in the context of dignity and welfare in the true sense, that has better high-level education and skills for better social and economic opportunities, that encourages peace and justice, and contributes to the service of the international community.
3. We appreciate every role and effort by every member of the Ummah towards reviving the Islamic civilization and for the sake of the Ummah’s ultimate interest, regardless of differences and variety.
4. We are determined to increase the solidarity among us as Muslims and give rise to new approaches seeking solutions to the problems faced by the Ummah based on Islam’s fundamentals of faith and under the guidance of the Quran, and join our powers and resources in aims to modernize and make innovations.
5. We are emphasizing the significance of determining the development needs of Islamic countries, creating opportunities in the fields of economy, trade and investment, industry, scientific research and Islamic financial products, keeping pace with technological developments in various basic areas, fighting corruption, establishing good administration, discussing the identity crisis and threats of Islamophobia.
6. We guarantee to continue a multi-disciplinary approach that encourages exchange of ideas, talking, policy-determining and advice. In this context, we invite all actors in the Islamic world (in general, Muslim academics, government institutions, nongovernmental organizations, business bodies, organizations, establishments and philanthropic individuals, development agencies, think tanks, universities, civil society) to join the summit and contribute to its future activities and discussions.
7. We promise to realize the aims and objectives of the Kuala Lumpur Summit that have been merged in order to revive the Islamic civilization for the Ummah’s present and future generations.