During his five-day visit to Kuala Lumpur and Penang May 18 to 23, Special Representative to Muslim Communities (SRMC) Shaarik Zafar reached out to rural Muslim communities and engaged with young Muslim activists. During his trip In Kuala Lumpur, he met with Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and spoke about the need to engage with youth to combat violent extremism. He also met with young Muslim activists, and with student groups at the International Islamic University and University of Science Malaysia. These meetings gave him an insight into the hopes and dreams of local youth in Malaysia.
SRMC Shaarik also took the time to visit the grand old Masjid Jamek and met with Imam Faisal and the officials from the Kuala Lumpur religious department, and gave a talk there on “Interfaith in the U.S.”
In Penang, SRMC Shaarik visited Karnival Rakyat, a county fair at a rural Muslim village called Kampung Tok Bedu. The visit to Kampung Tok Bedu was one of the highlights of his visit as it provided him the opportunity to engage with ordinary Malaysians in a rural setting. He listened to their views and the challenges that they face in their daily lives.