In brief, there is NO need to have ISLAM HADARI?
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 (Bernama) -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today asked Muslims to do away with false assumptions when declaring themselves as moderate followers of Islam because the religion is indeed moderate.
The former prime minister said Muslims did not need to defend themselves as moderate or liberal Muslims as this gave a picture that were only partial followers of Islamic teachings while others (teachings) were deemed extreme.
"Islam is already a moderate religion...there is no need for us to show that were are more liberal Muslims than others. We are Muslims...period," he said when opening the 45th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Muslim Welfare Organisation of Malaysia (Perkim) here.
Dr Mahathir, who is also Perkim president, said that even if some Muslims were labelled extremists, it was not because of the teachings of Islam but a lack of understanding of them or the religion being manipulated by irresponsible followers.
"There is nothing extreme about Islam if we follow its teachings as contained in the Quran," he said.
Dr Mahathir said the ummah (faithful) and Islamic nations must intensify efforts to dispel the notion held by many of Islam as being extreme, its followers ignorant, poor, do not know how to administer a country and are fond of asking for help from others.
He said that if the negative perception of Islam continued, it would adversely affect efforts to spread the religion as "no one would be interested to join a religion whose followers are seen as losers".
"People will only be attracted when there is a successful track record...as such only when Muslims become successful in all spheres or better than others in them can we successfully carry out effective missionary activities," he said.
According to Dr Mahathir, efforts must also be intensified to give a clear an correct picture that the religion was not an obstacle to progress.
"We must encourage followers who want to be successful and competitive. We should show that Islam does not stand in the way of followers who want to attain great achievements," he said.
Dr Mahathir said that there were also certain quarters in the country who claimed that Malays had converted to Islam during the time of Prophet Mohamad, some 1400 years ago when in fact they only did so about 600 to 700 years back.
"There are also many who recently converted (to Islam) but their faith is no less strong than longtime Muslims. In fact, new converts oftentimes show better faith than born Muslims," he said.
Touching on Palestine, Dr Mahathir said the conflict between the Jews and Muslims there was not because of religion but lands confiscated by the former.
"That is the main reason, not because Muslims and Jews cannot live together. History has proven that...this conflict is because Muslims lost their homes and lands," added Dr Mahathir.
tags : tun mahathir mohamad malaysia prime minister pm abdullah ahmad badawi islam