Interview with Malaysian Newspaper.
America’s first ever US special envoy to the Organisation of Islamic Conference, Sada Cumber, was in Kuala Lumpur recently. He talked to NISHA SABANAYAGAM about how the Muslim world has moved from an open society to a closed one.
Q: You have visited many countries in recent times. What have you discovered about the Muslim world?
A: There are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world and they occupy 22 per cent of the land mass. And yet the total gross domestic product of this group is a little over seven per cent of the world.
About 70 per cent of the natural resources come from this 22 per cent land mass and yet the total exports are a little over US$800 billion (RM2.66 trillion).
I have been to over 23 countries in the last five months and have never seen or learnt so much in my life about diversity in Islam. We are still engaged in issues such as who is a better or lesser Muslim.
It is imperative that Muslims should have an intra-faith dialogue among ourselves. Only then should we be engaging in inter-faith dialogue. We, who have taken the same stand in recognising the unity of Allah, should be united. We need to work for economic strength and education.
Complete at The New Straits Times Online.