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Malaysian leaders publish speeches on progressive Islam

A Model Approach for Development and Progress has hit bookstores in Malaysia, and is believed to be selling quite well.

india Updated: Mar 09, 2006 13:28 IST

"Islam Hadhari: A Model Approach for Development and Progress" has hit bookstores in Malaysia and is believed "to be selling quite well," said Renee Koh, a spokeswoman for MPH Group Publishing, which issued the book and runs Malaysia's largest bookshop chain.

The book compiles 12 speeches advocating Muslim moderation that Abdullah delivered in Malaysia, Australia, Britain, Germany, India, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan after he succeeded Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister in October 2003.

Abdullah, who chairs the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference, is respected as an Islamic scholar who pioneered the concept of Islam Hadhari, or progressive Islam, which aims to balance religious piety with economic and technological development.

"We are confident that Islam Hadhari can help bring Muslims into the 21st century and integrate them in the modern economy," Abdullah said in one of the book's speeches.

"Islam Hadhari promotes tolerance and understanding, moderation and peace, certainly enlightenment," Abdullah told a conference in Pakistan last year. "Therefore, we believe it is also the antidote to extremism and militancy."

Malaysia is widely considered one of the Muslim world's most peaceful and stable countries, with an ethnic Malay Muslim majority that lives in harmony with large Buddhist, Christian and Hindu minorities. It is also among Southeast Asia's richest, most industrialized nations.

MPH did not immediately have details of the book's initial print run and sales projections. The publishers are planning to eventually sell the book in other countries.

"Abdullah repeatedly conveys the message that good governance and accountability constitute the most pressing and the most challenging tasks facing Muslim nations," Mohammad Hashim Kamali, a professor at Malaysia's International Islamic University, wrote in the book's foreword.

Abdullah's previous book was a series of speeches on Bosnia given during the 1990s, when he wasForeign Minister of Malaysia.

First Published: Mar 09, 2006 13:28 IST