The 1st-ever International Trade and Industry started today in Kuala Lumpur.
The Congress was jointly organized by by the International Islamic University Malaysia and Tehran-based Kargozar PR Institute, and supported by the Federation of ASEAN Public Relations Organisations.
The four-day conference themed "The Practice of Public Relations In Islamic Countries - Past, Present and Future Trends" focused on paper presentations, dialogues and panelist discussions, comprising more than 200 delegates from Malaysia and elsewhere.
The congress was set up to create a platform for discussions among PR professionals on how to be more effective, discussions on current world issues and the important role of Muslim PR practitioners.
Speakers from 17 countries presented papers.
Highlighting the Conference's importance, a keynote address was delivered by Malaysia's famous former prime minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
"We can show that Islam's legacy to mankind's progress is not merely frozen in a golden age centuries ago, but a continuous, ongoing contribution.", he said, addressing the international body of public relations professionals.
Malaysia's Deputy Minister for International Trade and Industry, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, urged Muslim public relations (PR) practitioners to play their role in correcting whatever misconception or wrong perception of Islam.
He said they should also refute the malicious disinformation and spin which were intended to give a false picture of Muslims.
"Prejudices, racism and Islamophobia are tangible expressions that do not go away easily. So, effective PR is one method to address these problems and reinstate the truth," he said.
On Malaysia's role in promoting Islam, Mukhriz said, the nation had played a major part by developing an Islamic financial system and the halal industry.
"The global halal market is valued at US$2.7 trillion annually, fuelled not only because of the huge Muslim market, as non-Muslims now consider halal products more hygienic and reliable," he said.
On the Islamic financial system, Mukhriz noted that the number of Syariah-compliant loans had begun to rise, indicating the growing demand for such financial tools from among Muslim and non- Muslim clients for Islamic financial products.
"It is no longer strange to see international commercial banks issuing Islamic loans to clients," he said.
"Muslim PR Practitioners Should Correct Misconception Of Islam - Mukhriz" Bernama December 6, 2011
"Muslim PR Practitioners Should Pool Resources To Reshape Perception Of Islam - Abdullah" Bernama December 6, 2011
Reproduced with permission from Islam Today