As the Kuala Lumpur Summit kicks off today, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad raises issues in the Muslim world, calling delegates to ponder on the root causes as they seek for solutions. Muslim nations are in a state of crisis.
“We are not here to discuss about religion, but instead the state of affairs in the Muslim world. We all know that the Muslims, their religion and their countries are in a state of crisis.
“Everywhere we see Muslim countries being destroyed, their citizens forced to flee their countries, and forced to seek refuge in non-Muslim countries. Many thousands die during their fight and many more were refused asylum.
“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,” said Dr Mahathir, who is KL Summit chairman, in his welcoming speech, explaining the disastrous impact of such act of revenge, which only succeeded in bringing Islam into disrepute.
“They have 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 also pointed out the 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 as well as to rehabilitate the religion.
“Yes, 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.”
It was for these reasons, he said, that the KL Summit was organised.
“At the very least, through our discussion we may find what went wrong. 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, he said, may enlighten us on the way to overcome or mitigate the disasters that have befallen the Ummah.
“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 these issues would be discussed at the highest levels of the state but involving only to a few countries for a start. This is because it was not possible to handle the whole of the Muslims countries worldwide as it will be unwieldy and decisions made and solutions proposed may not be implementable.
“We are not discriminating or isolating anyone. We are attempting to start small, and if these ideas, proposals and solutions are acceptable and proved workable, then we hope to take it up to the larger platform for consideration.
“Despite that, we have also invited almost all Muslim nations to participate in this summit albeit at different levels. We wait to hear the views and wisdom of the distinguished participants. We pray that through this summit we will go a little way forward towards solving our problems,” he said.
Dr Mahathir was reported as saying that the summit was not aimed at creating a new bloc to replace the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and that the latter remained the main platform for Muslim countries.
Some 50 nations, including the heads of state, were invited for the summit which would see various discussions concerning the Islamic world held.
( The Summit was attended by leaders from Muslim countries including Turkey’s Erdogan and Iran’s Rouhani)