Sep 14, 2006

Tun Mahathir urges efforts to eradicte root causes of terrorism

Extracted from People's Daily Online
Mahathir urges efforts to eradicte root causes of terrorism

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohammad on Wednesday called for efforts to tackle the root causes of terrorism.

"The only way to ensure security of everyone is to tackle the root causes of the bitterness and anger which is standing behind the acts against our security," Mahathir told the Second Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions which opened early Tuesday.

The former Malaysian leader urged fresh thinking and concerted moves to combat terrorism at the meeting, which drew 43 delegations from 20 countries across the world

Mahathir said terrorism was actually caused by the leaders of some countries who refused to understand or even admit the root problems behind the terrorist acts.

"We know this because these leaders talk of poverty and lack of education as the root cause ... in fact many (terrorists) came from well-to-do families," he said.

He said the leaders were "the ones who created this problem in the first place" because it was clear they were "wrong or wrongly advised" or "refused to accept the truth."

"The leaders of the world must strive to remove the causes," he said. "A dialogue between Muslim, Christian and Jewish religious leaders may result in better understanding of the problems of international security caused by acts of terror."

But he warned the religious leaders may not succeed in advising would-be terrorists since their pain, anger and frustration were still there.

They can only try to influence government leaders and help them recognize the problem, he said.

"Religious fanaticism is one of the thorniest aspects of the problem," said Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, leader of the world's Orthodox Christians,

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