By Francis Wakefield
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) led the educational tour of 50 Muslim youth leaders in Malaysia as part of its efforts to develop the culture of peace, harmony, and good governance among the participants.
The tour, which started on May 7 and ended Thursday (May 10, 2018), is also expected to hone the Muslim youth’s participation in resolving the peace and security issues in their home provinces. Thirty of the participants were from Lanao Del Sur while 20 others were from Lanao Del Norte.
The educational tour included on the first day a visit to the Department of Islamic Development and Global Movement of Moderates, an initiative that rejects all forms of extremism.
This was followed on the second day by a lecture on Malaysian History and Culture by the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations, a tour of the Halal Industrial Development Corporation, and interaction opportunity with the Indian community in Batu Malai Sri Murugan Temple.
To help inculcate the importance of peaceful and harmonious coexistence, the participants were exposed to different cultures through interactions and visits with the Malay, Chinese, and Indian communities and students of the International Islamic University Malaysia.
Other activities in line included calls on the Ministry of Youth and Sports and a visit to the Putra Mosque in Putrajaya, capped by exit ceremonies at the PH Embassy-Malaysia and highlighted by a dinner with Ambassador Charles Jose.
The AFP conducted the first Muslim Youth Educational Tour on November 23 to 26, 2016 participated in by youth leaders from Sulu. This was followed on November 20-23, 2017 with participants from Maguindanao.
The educational tour is part of an effort to engage the young leaders as social actors who will lead the Muslim youth sector against the threat of extremism and radicalization.