SERI KEMBANGAN: Muslims must recognise the existence of people of other faiths in order to live in peace with one another, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The former prime minister said recognition and acceptance of people of different faiths was mentioned in the Quran and Muslims should not quarrel with non-Muslims unless they were attacked.
“We can be in friendship with them but it is important that we are sensitive towards one another,” her said in his speech at a muhibbah (goodwill) gathering and breaking fast ceremony in conjunction with the China-Malaysia Islamic Culture Expo 2014 at a hotel here on Saturday.
Dr Mahathir added that being insensitive and provoking each other would make it difficult for Muslims to live in peace.
“Islam is about peace although at the moment, it is difficult to say Islam is about peace,” he said in reference to religious conflicts in the country.
He gave the example of Prophet Muhammad who brought the teachings of Islam to the Arab world at a time when the Arabs were divided.
Dr Mahathir had earlier visited the exhibition and expressed his admiration for the Chinese Muslims from China who had attended the breaking fast ceremony.
“They are not Muslim converts from Malaysia but they are Muslim-born from China. This is hard to comprehend in Malaysia.
“It is difficult for us (Malay Muslims) to imagine that there are actually more Chinese Muslims than there are Malay Muslims in the word. This exhibition will be an eye opener for both Malay and Chinese Muslims,” he said.