International Muslim Minorities Congress
Community leaders said Muslims should respect the laws of their host country while maintaining their values and encouraging multiculturalism.
By Sameen Ahmed Khan
The first International Muslim Minorities Congress was held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on 8-9 May 2018. The Congress was convened by the Muslim Council of Elders to encourage the integration of Muslims in non-Muslim countries and to discuss challenges around issues of Islamophobia and extremism. The conference was held under the patronage of the Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance; and the United Arab Emirates Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development. Awqaf ministers and muftis from Arab and Muslim countries took part in the event, which aims at activating the role of religious diplomacy to confront violence and hatred. More than 550 political, scientific and religious community leaders from 140 countries attended the landmark event, titled “The Future of the Islamic Presence in Non-Muslim Societies: Opportunities and Challenges”. According to the United Nations, more than 550 million Muslim citizens, representing one third of all Muslims worldwide, live outside the 57 member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and represent minorities in their host countries. The Congress highlighted the experiences, successes and challenges of about half-a-billion Muslims living in countries outside the Muslim World League. The Congress is aimed at helping the Muslim minorities to integrate and at bridging the gap between Muslim minorities and the governments. The conference also saw the adoption of the Global Charter of Muslims Communities, which calls on the United Nations to put in place a binding international agreement to protect minorities’ rights and their fundamental freedoms as religious, ethnic and linguistic groups. Muslim community leaders said Muslims should respect the laws of their host country while maintaining their values and encouraging multiculturalism.
(The writer is based in Oman and can be reached at