KUALA LUMPUR: The world must prepare for more acts of terror by Muslims and the only way to curb this is to understand why these terrorists exist, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Condemning the world for standing by as Western powers assisted Israel in “oppressing Palestinians and invading their land”, he argued that if justice was given to Palestinians, there would be fewer frustrated suicide bombers killing innocents.
He also alleged that while acts of terror by Palestinians were condemned, Israel was allowed to get away with international crimes.
“There has been no occasion in history where one country set up a settlement in another country and did not allow the host country to even enter the settlements – but this was done by Israel and the world stood by and did nothing, ” Dr Mahathir said in a speech at an international colloquium on “Demystifying Islamophobia: Towards a Deeper understanding of Islam”, organised by the Institute of Islamic Understanding of Malaysia (Ikim) here Monday (Nov 11).
“The United States backs Israel even when it commits international crimes.
“Over time, Palestinians became angry and frustrated, and they acted on their own without any organisation.
“They could not fight a war against Israel. They had only themselves but to inflict damage, they resorted to single attacks by blowing themselves up to kill the people around, ” he said.
Dr Mahathir added that many innocent civilians were killed and the world was terrorised as suicide bombers did not confine themselves to their own land.
“The Western media played up these acts of terror and the word Islamophobia was frequently used and directed at Muslims as if all were terrorists, ” he said.
The prime minister said, however, that the fact remains that acts of terror by Muslims had killed many non-combatants.
“We are now living in fear that at any time – some fanatical person might use these terror tactics to vent their anger and frustration.
“For 70 years, these acts were committed and the situation of the Palestinians have not improved at all.
“Palestinians are losing on every front – more Israeli settlements are being built on Palestinian land, roads are being closed to Palestinians, walls are being built in their territory, and they can do nothing, ” he said.
Dr Mahathir argued that the double standards practised by Western powers created a frustrated group of people who blew themselves up to vent their anger.
“This sense of frustration and anger is widespread and we can expect more acts of terror.
“If there is justice for the Palestinians, there would be fewer acts of terror.
“The better thing for them to do is to gain the sympathies of the world.
“Many Americans and Europeans are sympathetic to Islam and Muslims but if we continue to commit acts of terror, we are pushing them to support Israel, ” he said.
The colloquium comprised of an international crowd that also asked Dr Mahathir what could be done to strengthen weak Islamic countries.
He said the only way is to model Islam as a religion of peace in the present life and not merely think of the hereafter.