PUTRAJAYA: Wars involving Muslims today are not caused by Islam’s teachings, but by leaders and scholars who deviate from the religion due to politics and greed, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The former prime minister said if the teachings of Islam were not misinterpreted, there would be no wars between Muslims and its nations.
“The Quran clearly states that all Muslims are brothers. Obviously, the injunction is for Muslims to live as brothers to each other, to live at peace with each other.
“But it is obvious we are not. We are fighting and killing each other. We believe more in our leaders and chosen imams when they clearly do not follow the teachings of Islam.
“It is not Islam which has resulted in Muslims failing to live at peace with each other or failing to govern their countries well. It is the wrong interpretations by our leaders and their scholars influenced not by Islam, but other factors such as politics or plain greed,” said Dr Mahathir, in his opening speech at the “Multiracial Muslims Regional Seminar” here Friday.
Dr Mahathir said Muslims must be brave to point out to scholars or imams if their teachings are against the tenets of Islam as found in the Quran and the verified hadith (edict).
“It is not by guns and rockets that we can solve the problems facing us today, the divisions and the wars between us. It is by going back to the Quran and its injunctions, and its tenets, and to abide by them sincerely.
“Go back to the teachings of Islam, our religion, and we will be saved. When we are saved, than the world will see the true Islam and respect the religion,” he said.
The seminar was organised by the Malaysian Muslim Welfare Organisation (Perkim), of which Dr Mahathir is president.
At a press conference later, Dr Mahathir said the seminar was organised to educate Muslims how to treat those who have converted to Islam.
“We have a lot of non-Muslims in Malaysia who have converted to Islam. We should treat them as our brothers and there should be no discrimination.
“Sometimes, they (converts) are treated as second-class Muslims. That is wrong,” said Dr Mahathir.