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KL Summit a small start in addressing Muslim issues – Tun Dr. Mahathir

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 19 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the convening of the Kuala Lumpur Summit (KL Summit) 2019 is not meant to discriminate or isolate anyone but is an attempt to seek ways to address the problems facing the Islamic world and Muslim ummah (community).

“We are not discriminating or isolating anyone. We are attempting to start small and if these ideas, proposals and solutions are acceptable and proved to be workable, then we hope to take it up to the larger platform for consideration,” he said.

Dr Mahathir, who is KL Summit chairman, said this in his welcoming address at the opening of the conference at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) here today.

Dr Mahathir noted that almost all Muslim nations have been invited to participate in the summit, albeit at different levels.

He spoke in the presence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and other Muslim leaders such as the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Hassan Rouhani of Iran.

Dr Mahathir explained that the summit is convened not to discuss about religion but instead the state of affairs in the Muslim world.

“Islam, the Muslims and their countries are in a state of crisis, helpless and unworthy of this great religion which is meant to be good for mankind,” the prime minister said.

He said it is for these reasons that the summit meeting is organised, and that at the very least participants may find what went wrong through the discussions at the event.

“We may even find solutions, if not to end these catastrophes at least to awaken the Islamic world, the ummah of the need to recognise the problems and their causes.

“Understanding the problems and their causes may enlighten us on the way to overcome or mitigate the disasters that have befallen the ummah,” Dr Mahathir said.

He had earlier spoken of the problems of the Muslim world, with Muslim countries being destroyed everywhere, their citizens forced to flee their countries and forced to seek refuge in non-Muslim countries.

On the other hand, he said, Muslims perpetrate violent acts, killing innocent victims.

“They have done this because their own countries are unable to provide security for them or do anything to retake the land that has been seized by others. Frustrated and angry, they react violently without in any way achieving their objectives,” he said.

The prime minister said they seek revenge but all they succeed in doing is to bring into disrepute their own religion of Islam and created fear by their actions.

“And now this Islamophobia, this unjustified fear of Islam has denigrated our religion in the eyes of the world. But we need to know how this fear is generated, whether it is true or mere propaganda of our detractors or a combination of both,” he said.

He further said that the Muslim world also has to contend with fratricidal wars, civil wars, failed governments and many other catastrophes that have plagued the Muslim ummah and Islam without any serious effort being made to end or reduce them or to rehabilitate the religion.

“We have seen other countries devastated by the Second World War not only recovering quickly but growing strongly to become developed. But a few Muslim countries seem unable even to be governed well, much less to be developed and prosper.

“Is it our religion that is in the way Is it that Islam is against worldly success and becoming a developed country Or is it the Muslim themselves who prevent their countries from being governed well, from being developed,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said these issues will be discussed at the highest levels but involving only a few countries for a start.

“It is not possible to handle the whole of the Muslim countries worldwide as it will be unwieldy and decisions made and solutions proposed may not be implementable,” he said.


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