The Muslim Council of Elders’ Regional Offices: Beacons of Hope and Bridges for Communication and Coexistence

Abu Dhabi, March…, 2024: The international offices of the Muslim Council of Elders have emerged as beacons of hope and bridges for communication and coexistence amid the diverse challenges confronting the world. The Council leverages these offices as a principal means to disseminate the values of dialogue and human fraternity, advancing its engagement with Muslims globally to foster a deeper understanding of their urgent issues and to draw from their experiences in fostering civil peace and coexistence within their societies, which are varied in their religious, linguistic, intellectual, cultural, and social makeup.

Malaysia, celebrated for its cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity that mirrors a rich history of cultural exchange and mutual influences among its populace, was the first nation to host a regional branch of the Muslim Council of Elders. A notable initiative from the Malaysian office in 2022 was the creation of a library housing 4,000 titles focused on moderate thought, Islamic culture, the fight against extremism, and humanities, attracting scores of students and researchers. Furthermore, some of the Council's publications were translated from Arabic to Malay, accompanied by numerous radio programs and cultural events designed to promote the values of dialogue, tolerance, and peace.

In last October, the Council has officially opened its regional branch for Southeast Asia in the Republic of Indonesia, the largest Islamic nation by population and a frontrunner in championing diversity and coexistence among different religions and cultures. The establishment of this branch in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, received warm commendation from Indonesian President Joko Widodo and widespread acclaim from the Southeast Asian Muslim community. This branch organized the Religion and Climate Change Conference, attended by approximately 150 esteemed religious leaders, environmental and climate issue-focused academics, officials, and ministers from Indonesia and other Southeast Asian nations. It also spearheaded various radio programs, seminars, and community and cultural activities, earning the Best Pavilion award at the Indonesia Islamic Book Fair.

In Pakistan, the branch devoted considerable effort to promoting the values of tolerance, coexistence, and human fraternity, encouraging respect and acceptance of others through extensive field visits, seminars, and cultural activities. It underscored the critical role that tolerate religious teachings play in fostering peace and hope, not solely within the Pakistani sphere but globally.

To further activate its global role and extend its geographical engagement with Muslims in diverse communities worldwide, the Council inaugurated a branch in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, designated as the Regional Office for Central Asia and the Caucasus. This branch is dedicated to fulfilling the Council's objectives in promoting and reinforcing the values of coexistence and dialogue, connecting with Muslim communities in the region, translating and disseminating the Council's publications in local languages, revitalizing the intellectual legacy of Muslim scholars and intellectuals in the area, and acquainting the youth with them.

This year, under the leadership of His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Muslim Council of Elders aims to broaden its efforts, opening more offices and branches in various countries to spread and advance the values of dialogue, tolerance, coexistence, and to consolidate its efforts aimed at promoting moderation and combating all forms of racism, bigotry, discrimination, and Islamophobia.



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