Call for Muslim unity
ON SUNDAY, President Hosni Mubarak officiated over celebrations of Leilat Al-Qadr, commemorating the night that the Qur'an began to be revealed to Prophet Mohamed over 1400 years ago. The ceremony was organised by the Ministry of Al-Awqaf (Religious Endowments), and included prizes being handed out to young people from different Muslim countries for memorising the Qur'an.
Mubarak gave an extended speech on the state of Muslim and Arab nations 15 months after the West -- led by the US -- launched an international campaign against "terrorism". Mubarak noted that "despite reassurances by a vast majority of world leaders that the war against terrorism is not targeting Arabs and Muslims, unfortunately we have witnessed a sharp escalation in [criticism] by some thinkers and religious figures abroad who describe Islam and Arabs as anti- democratic, anti-modern and incompatible with human rights." At the same time, Arab and Muslim citizens [of the West] are being harassed via "tailored legislation which constricts their movements and increases discrimination".
Mubarak urged Arab and Muslim nations "to close ranks and focus efforts" to correct these injustices. He admitted that not enough of an effort has been made "to show others our principles, goals and beliefs". This resulted in "some [people] exploiting the negative actions of a handful of Arab and Muslim drifters to launch a campaign against Islam and Arab civilisation".
Mubarak also urged the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) to play a leading role in correcting these misconceptions and presenting the correct version of Islam. He added that Muslims and Arabs (who have between $800-2400 billion worth of investments overseas) should utilise their large investments abroad to propel the interests and goals of their nations.