THE largest gathering of independent Muslim religious leaders, or ulamas, will be held on January 25-29, 2010 during the 3rd National Ulama Conference of the Philippines (NUCP) and the Regional Conference of Women Peace Advocates (Noor-us Salam, Women of Faith, Light and Peace).

The historic event will be held at the Waterfront Insular Hotel in Davao City. It is the culmination of the formation of the NUCP into the largest ulama collective in the country -- a landmark event that signifies the formation of independent and imminent Muslim religious leaders for the Muslims in the Philippines.

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The initiative began years ago, as part of the "Empowering the Ulama Project" implemented by the Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy and supported by the Magbassa Kita Foundation Incorporated, and the embassies of the United Kingdom and of Netherlands. The program has also been supported by development organizations such as The Asia Foundation.

The summit will be attended by distinguished international Islamic scholars such as the representative of the Grand Mufti of Egypt, one of the most influential Islamic scholars and clerics in the world and senior officials of Indonesia's Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah, the biggest Muslim religious organizations in the world.

Dignitaries from the diplomatic corps will also witness the historic event, such as British Ambassador Stephen Lillie and Dutch Ambassador Robert Gerard Brinks, and representatives from the Saudi Arabian, Libyan and Indonesian embassies. It will also be attended by government officials such as Presidential Peace Adviser Anabelle Abaya, Lawyer Leila De Lima, chair of the Human Right Commission.

A press conference with the British Ambassador and the imminent speakers and other guests will be held from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on January 25th at the Aguila Conference Hall.

There will also be a lunch press conference for the guests to the Noor-us Salam Conference on Jan 24th, in the same venue, and a third presscon with the newly elected NUCP Board of Trustees in a breakfast and presscon at around 7 a.m. on January 29 at the hotel restaurant.

For queries and details kindly contact Mr. Noel Luna (juaniyoluna@yahoo.com), or Mr. Reynald Trillana (trillana.reynald@gmail.com)