QNET’s very own Dato’ Vijay Eswaran was a keynote speaker at the second World Muslim Leadership Forum held in London on 26 September 2012, where he delivered a thought-provoking speech entitled, “The New Hope for the Next Generation”.

The World Muslim Leadership Forum connects the leaders of today and tomorrow to discuss and debate issues that affect the global Muslim community and its future. The forum also highlights positive government initiatives and leadership, as well as the contributions of Muslims from across the globe.

In line with this year’s theme, ‘World Muslim Leaders: The Next Generation’, Dato’ Vijay Eswaran spoke about the importance of soft power — the ability to achieve desired outcomes by co-opting people instead of coercing them.

“It takes great courage to be a great moderate,” said Dato’ Vijay Eswaran, emphasising on the need for people to co-exist peacefully. He pointed out how soft power was exercised by famous Muslim leaders of the past: Saladin (founder of the Ayyubid dynasty) defeated his enemies yet won their respect through his honourable deeds; Akbar the Great treated religious leaders of non-Muslim faiths with much consideration.

Dato’ Vijay Eswaran went on to cite his home country of Malaysia as a classic role model of a gentler Islam, having embraced a culture of welcoming in a borderless world. “’I leave the doors open to all winds of the world, but I let my feet remain embedded in my motherland,’” he stated, quoting Gandhi.

When asked about his thoughts on media from an Islamic perspective, Dato’ Vijay Eswaran replied, “Media (and social media) today has become the fastest way to communicate, an instantaneous way to engage people. The youth of today have opportunities to become successful if they were gaged by what they make of themselves. With the power of media and technology at your disposal, it’s all about ‘you’ and how you empower yourself to better yourself.”

The forum also explored other topics by renowned speakers, such as H.E. Shaukat Aziz, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan; and Lauren Booth, an English broadcaster and journalist.

For more inspirational quotes and insights from Dato’ Vijay Eswaran, be sure to check out his Facebook Page by clicking here.