Famous names snub Umno-flavored Islamic conference

(Free Malaysia Today) – Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, whose ascent to the highest office in the land was marred by allegations of corruption and murder, is keynoting an international Islamic Conference scheduled to take place in Kuala Lumpur next week.

The Second International Muslim Unity Conference is slated for tomorrow and Wednesday at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

Also representing Malaysia at the conference is former Prime Minister Tun Dr  Mahathir Mohamed. Deputy Prime Minister Muhyidduin Yassin is also expected to make an appearance.

The conference website has listed the names of prominent scholars as confirmed speakers. They include several world famous individuals who are in fact not coming.

It is learnt that Shaykh Dr. Tawfik Ramadan Al Bouti, senior lecturer at Damascus University, is not attending and neither is renowned Sunni scholar Habib Ali al-Jifri of Yemen, founder and Director of the Tabah Foundation.

Although neither could be reached for comment, individuals close to the scholars indicated concerns about the sponsorship and format of the event.

Perdana Leadership Foundation’s close association with the conference, the high profile participation of senior Umno politicians and the venue itself suggest ulterior political motives at play.

The PWTC is widely known to be the headquarters of Umno and the location where the party’s annual meetings are held. It has repeatedly witnessed  heated racist rhetoric.