Non-Aligned Movement has expressed deep concern over the misinterpretation and the misrepresentation of religions by extremists group to justify terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, and violent extremism conducive to terrorism, seeking to instil hatred in the hearts and minds of the youth and justifying and glorifying brutality and violence. In this regard, NAM has reiterated the necessity to effectively counter the narratives of terrorism through a comprehensive and international framework, and in an effective and comprehensive way and address all its root causes, including through the engagement of community leaders and clerics from all denominations;
At the 17th NAM Summit, Non-Aligned Movement reaffirmed the need for all Member States to contribute regionally and internationally to the promotion of dialogue, tolerance, mutual respect, and understanding among diverse cultures and societies and also recognized the importance of moderation as an all- encompassing approach to tackle global challenges and threats to international peace and security. In this context, NAM has commended the Global Movement for Moderates (GMM) initiative.
The idea of creating a ‘Global Movement of Moderates’ (GMM) was first mooted by the then Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul during his speech in the 65th session of United Nations General Assembly on 27 September 2010. He stated that “A “Global Movement of the Moderates” from all faiths must be built to work together and marginalize the extremists who have held the world hostage with their bigotry and bias. The moral high ground that has been usurped from the centre must be urgently regained so that moderation was chosen over extremism, negotiation over confrontation, and working together over working against each other”.
The GMM initiative was adopted by the 20th summit of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Phnom Penh on 3 April 2012, which envisaged that GMM would be promoted within ASEAN member states to achieve global peace. ASEAN’s concept paper on GMM emphasised that the initiative aimed to address all forms of political extremism, including religious extremism, ultra-nationalism and radicalism and would complement other similar initiatives such as the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.
The Langkawi Declaration on the Global Movement of Moderates signed on the occasion of the 26th ASEAN Summit in Langkawi, Malaysia on 27th April 2015 acknowledges that moderation is a core value in the pursuit of long-lasting peace and a tool to diffuse tensions, negate radicalism and counter-extremism in all its forms and manifestations.
The Declaration recognises that moderation guided actions which emphasises tolerance, understanding, dialogues, mutual respect and inclusiveness and was a tool to bridge tension and resolve disputes. The Declaration further calls upon the ASEAN Member States to promote moderation as a value that promotes peace, security, and development.
The Langkawi Declaration Programme identifies several clusters of functional activities to promote moderation such as organising outreach programmes, interfaith and cross-cultural dialogues at the national, regional and international levels, convening of forums to share best practices in understanding and countering violent extremist ideologies, recognising education as an effective means of socialising the moderation norm and associated values such as respect for life, diversity and mutual understanding, and to foster formal scholarly exchanges to amplify the collective voices of moderate intellectuals, and the need for exchanging ideas with extra-regional dialogue partners, international organisations and other relevant stakeholders on successful case studies of engagement and integration policies.
In moderate Muslim majority states such as Indonesia and Malaysia, moderate voices and political leaders have been working together to define a mainstream narrative that undercuts radicalism’s appeal to the disaffected and the marginalized. In Malaysia, measures such as convening an international group of Shia and Sunni theologians to articulate an alternative vision of an ‘Islamic State’ and sponsoring a content workshop on countering extremist narratives have been undertaken.