Anifah urges OIC leaders to counter terrorism threats

PETALING JAYA: Muslim world leaders should work towards providing counter-narratives to the “misguided teachings of Islam” spread by extremist and terrorist groups like the Islamic State.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman (pic) called on Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states to confront the threat of violent extremism and terrorism.

“We should not give space for the extremist groups, including the Islamic State, to exploit the instability and turbulent situation in some parts of the Muslim world.

“The acts of terror by the extremist groups are contrary to the true Islamic teachings and principles,” he said in his speech at the OIC annual coordination meeting in New York Friday.

He urged Muslim communities to be vigilant so that youths in particular were not easily lured by extremist ideologies, and ensure the appeal to join these causes are eroded.

“To do so, we should focus on building sustainable and inclusive economies that provide opportunities for the people and give them hope for the future.

“We need to propagate in a relentless manner, the right path – that violence and brutality committed in the name of religion are totally unacceptable,” he said.

Anifah also highlighted Malaysia’s approach to combat terrorism and extremism by highlighting the importance of taking a middle path.

“It embodies the Islamic concept of moderation, whereby the approaches and actions of a Muslim should be moderate and just, even during adverse conditions.

“It also demands the practice of Islamic teachings in a holistic and balanced manner, which inculcates the values of peace, tolerance, understanding and mutual respect,” he added.

On another issue, Anifah also urged OIC member states to persist with the agenda for an independent Palestine, saying Malaysia had played an active role in this especially since becoming a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.

“As a way forward, it is important for the international community to exert pressure on the Israeli government to cease its illegal settlement policy, through all legal, diplomatic and economic channels.

“Peace talks between both sides should be revived with the objective to attain the two-state solution, whereby the people of Palestine and Israel could live peacefully side by side,” he said.

Anifah also highlighted the need for OIC to seriously consider the issues of Muslim minorities in non-OIC member states, especially those of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

“Malaysia, in this regard, will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to the Rohingyas in order to alleviate their sufferings.

“On the situation of Muslim minorities in southern Philippines, Malaysia, as facilitator, is pleased to note the re-launch of the Implementing Phase of the Comprehensive Agreement of the Bangsamoro in Kuala Lumpur last August.

“As facilitator of the peace process in southern Thailand, we would like to reiterate our call for all the relevant parties to engage constructively,” he added.