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Malaysia: Address root causes of terrorism

September 28, 2011

Voices of moderation must prevail over that of extremism in finding solutions, says Foreign Minister Anifah Aman at the UN.

NEW YORK: Ending extremism and espousing moderation and peace will help prevent the scourge of terrorism, Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said here yesterday.

Anifah’s statement came as he addressed the annual general debate of the UN General Assembly, the week-long event which enters its final days here yesterday.

“As we share the grief of those who have lost their loved ones during the 9/11 attack exactly 10 years ago, we must strengthen our resolve to eradicate terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” said Anifah. “This can only be achieved if we address the root causes of terrorism.”

Anifah said that part of an effective anti-terrorism strategy would be winning what he called “the battle of perceptions.”

He added that half of this battle is winning the hearts and minds of the people to gain their support in the fight against terrorism.

“The other half consists of combating expressions of extremist sentiments,” he said. “Despite our continuing efforts to promote world peace and harmony, we still witness the increasing trend to perpetuate and fuel Islamophobia.”

He said that there are still those who would like to demonise Islam, link the religion with terrorism, and postulate that Islam is in opposition to the West.

“The real issue is not between Muslims and non-Muslims but between the moderates and extremists in all religions, be it Islam, Christianity, or Judaism,” Anifah said.

He said that this has prompted Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to ask for the creation of a Global Movements of the Moderates at the previous high-level meeting of the General Assembly.

According to Anifah, the idea for a Global Movement of the Moderates has been endorsed by the members of Asean.

“This is a clarion call that has come at the right moment in history,” he said.

“We must ensure that the voices of moderation, which currently constitute the silent majority, prevail over that of extremism in finding solutions to the growing challenges that the international community faces.”



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