KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary General Dr. Yousef Ahmad Al-Othaimeen has called on member states to publicise the Muslim world’s culture of diversity and pluralism, as a means to convey a message of universal peace, tolerance, moderation and love as advocated by Islam.

The Secretary General’s call was conveyed in a speech delivered on his behalf by Director General of the OIC’s Cultural and Social Affairs Departments, Dr. Mehla Talebna during the opening ceremony of the Global Cultural Week, jointly organised by OIC and the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) from Nov 27 to Dec 1.

In a statement posted on OIC website today, Al-Othaimeen said engaging in cultural interaction for greater mutual understanding figures high on the OIC agenda for stronger Islamic cultural solidarity.

Al-Othaimeen also stressed that there is a need to organise more cultural events involving OIC member states, while promoting cultural contacts with other societies and countries with the aim of building stronger communication bridges and allow for greater unity in diversity, and this will only be achieved with the full support of all OIC member states.

The Secretary General emphasised the importance of providing a cultural platform for the youth to give expression to their cultural and artistic diversity and to share expertise.

He lauded IIUM both as a leading institution with an outstanding record in higher education, scientific research and innovation, and as a cultural meeting place for a diverse community of students speaking many languages and coming from different ethnicities, to fulfil their rich cultural potential and contribute to enhancing mutual understanding and cultural exchange between peoples and nations.

Meanwhile IIUM Rector Prof Dr. Zeleha Kamarudin noted that for more than a decade, IIUM has hosted the Global Ummatic Festival, to celebrate the cultural diversity of the university, and this year from 30 cultural exhibition booths with the help of the OIC.

They are opening 50 booths and participated by students from more than 100 countries are participating.

The OIC-IIUM Global Cultural Program and Value Based Leadership Training is an integrated program consisting of several cultural and trainings activities for youth leaders from OIC member states and beyond to nurture their talents and life exposure in the area of applied virtues, value-based leadership and cultural expression.