Malaysia, Australia launch young Muslim exchange program
AUDIO: Australian FM announces exchange with Malaysia to foster moderate Islam (ABC News)
Australia’s Foreign Minister Bob Carr says six young Australians with Islamic backgrounds will be able to hone their leadership skills during an exchange program with Malaysia.
Senator Carr and his Malaysian counterpart, Anifah Aman, signed off on the Australia-Malaysia Young Muslim Exchange Programme after recent talks in the Malaysian state of Sabah.
Under the programme – which is based on a model Australia has run with Indonesia and Thailand – participants from Malaysia will also travel to Australia.
Senator Carr says fostering cultural understanding is important for the future of both countries.
“I think it’s one of the most important challenges we face today – getting a dialogue with the forces of moderate Islam,” he said.
“To a large extent, the clash we see in the world today reflected in the forces of terrorism and unrest is a clash within Islam and we want to be engaging with the forces of moderate Islam.”
A prominent Islamic moderate in Malaysia has applauded the proposed program.
The director of the Islmaic Renaissance Front, Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa, says Islamic radicalism poses a real threat to Malaysia and the region, and that some people are using it for political ends. ENTIRE ARICLE .abc.