KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad told Islamic countries today that the Kuala Lumpur Summit is not to discriminate against or isolate any particular party but to find ideas for solutions to issues that have been plaguing Muslims for many years.
In his speech before hundreds of foreign delegates here, he said some Muslim countries appeared incapable of being governed well, much less developed and able to 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 Muslims themselves who prevent their countries from being governed well and being developed?” he said.
He added that the summit is not to discuss religion but rather the state of affairs in the Muslim world.
“Everywhere, we see Muslim countries being destroyed; their citizens forced to flee and seek refuge in non-Muslim countries.
“Many thousands die during flight and many more are refused asylum.”
On the other hand, he said, there were Muslims who committed acts of violence, killing the innocent, the sick and the incapacitated.
He said their own countries were unable to provide security or retake land that might have been seized by others.
“Frustrated and angry, they react violently without in any way achieving their objectives,” he said, adding that they seek revenge but instead bring disrepute to their religion.
“And now Islamophobia, this unjustified fear of Islam, has denigrated our religion in the eyes of the world,” he added.
Mahathir said it was important to understand how such fear was created, and whether it was justified or merely the propaganda of detractors.
“We have to deal with fratricidal wars, civil wars, failed governments and many other catastrophes that have plagued the Muslims and Islam, without any serious effort to end or reduce them or rehabilitate the religion.”
He said understanding such problems and their causes might enlighten participants and help them overcome or mitigate the disasters that have befallen Muslims.
He added that any ideas at the summit that proved workable could be taken to a larger platform for consideration.