Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement (Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM))

ABIM was created on 6 August 1971 by the Faculty of Islamic Studies, Universiti Kcbangsaan Malaysia. The movement was initially characterized by efforts to coordinate the intensification of Muslim youth activism, and its outreach focused primarily on educational activities. ABIM positioned itself as a movement of the young, educated, Muslim middle class in order to leverage on (as well as facilitate) social activism and mobilization among this segment of the community (Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM), 2019).

ABIM has collaborated with Majlis Belia Malaysia (MBM) in advocating a round tabic titled ‘Role of Faith-based Organisation in Countering Violent Extremism’ on 28-30 October 20161 (Faizal Suhaimi, 2016).

i. The discussion aims at enhancing efforts to generate more positive messages on social media. It suggests increasing cooperation with other institutions in conducting training or workshops to counter ideology of violence and extremism.

ii. It was also to point out the importance of mobilizing the agenda to curb youth from being exposed to extreme ideologies and violence.

ABIM and Global Movement of Moderates (GMM) had combined to form a task force to counter ISIS ideology from as early as September 2014.

The global movement of moderates (GMM)

The idea of GMM was articulated by the then Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak in 2010, during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. He stated that “The real divide is not between Muslims and non-Muslims or between the developed and developing worlds. It is between moderates and extremists” (GMM Linked in, n.d.).

The values and principles of moderation which have deep roots in various cultures and civilizations were used as the philosophical backbone of GMM. The notion of moderation resonates among many of the world’s cultural and spiritual traditions, such as in the Islamic concept of wasatiyyah. It means “moderation”, “middle path” and “balance” and in the Confucius doctrine of the mean: chung yung, which means “middle path” (GMM Linked in, n.d).

Hence, moderation was believed to be able to connect the rich and varied spiritual tapestries of the world. GMM advocated this moderation to foster a more inclusive, sustainable and equitable society as a way of dealing with elements of extremism. GMM was envisioned as a platform for the silent moderate majority to present a united front in exploring, formulating and implementing effective and compelling ways to counter the spread, influence and consequences of extreme views and actions (GMM Linked in, n.d.).

The then GMM executive chairman and chief executive officer, Datuk Dr Nasharuddin Mat Isa, said that GMM’s role was recognised internationally as it was frequently invited overseas to share its experiences. He said that “the proof of this is that GMM is often invited overseas such as to France, England, Middle Eastern countries, India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines and Indonesia to share our experiences in various issues such as violence, terrorism, Dacsh and others” (Bernama, 2017). GMM also collaborated with others, such as ABIM, in dealing with the threats of terrorism.

However, the GMM had ceased its operations on 31 July 2018.

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