Abdullah: We'll not tolerate extremism

  • Nation
  • Friday, 11 Jul 2003

TOKYO: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi allayed fears that the rise in terrorist activities in the region will affect Malaysia’s political stability, and gave an assurance that he will not tolerate any form of extremism. 

Responding to a question during a dialogue at the business forum here, the Deputy Prime Minister said Malaysia had demonstrated this by taking a very strong stand against such activities. 

“We have so far succeeded in making sure that Malaysia is politically and economically stable. 

“We may resort to whatever action is necessary to stop extremism. If we must enforce the law, we will,” he said at the forum organised by Malaysia’s Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) and Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro) yesterday. 

Abdullah hoped that Japanese businessmen would not be confused about Malaysia’s stand on Islam. 

He said Malaysia believed in fundamental Islam, which stood for peace, moderation, honesty and integrity and taught that a good Muslim must be friendly with people of all other faiths. 

“I believe that I am a good Muslim who is a friend to all.  

“I am a friend of Buddhists, Christians and others. This is fundamental in Islam,” he said to applause from more than 200 Japanese and 150 Malaysian corporate and government leaders. 

Abdullah said the problem started with certain groups which “hijacked” Islam and used its teachings to support their extremist activities, resulting in the religion being viewed negatively. 

“This we cannot accept because that’s not the teaching of our religion,” he said. 

He said Islam was consistent with modernity, progress and technological development as shown during the peak of Islamic civilisation when Muslims contributed immensely to world development. 

Abdullah said that if certain groups felt extremism was the solution to the many problems today, it would only lead to disaster with these groups becoming victims of their own doing. 

“We in Malaysia are showcasing to the world a model of Islam that is acceptable to all,” he said.  

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