by ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN/ pic by BERNAMA
PRIME Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad (picture) opens his speech at KL Summit by welcoming leaders and some 450 delegates from 56 countries to the KL Summit.
As the summit chairman, he said the objective of the gathering is not to discuss religion but the state of affairs in the Muslim world.
“We all know that the Muslims, their religion and their countries are in a state of crisis,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said Muslims are also perpetrating violent acts, killing innocent victims as their own countries are unable to provide security or do anything to retake the land that has been seized by others.
“They have created fear by their actions. And now this Islamophobia, this unjustified fear of Islam has denigrated our religion in the eyes of the world,” he added.
Still, Dr Mahathir said it is pertinent to know how this fear is generated, “whether it is true or mere propaganda of our detractors or a combination of both” adding there have been no serious effort to rehabilitate the religion.”
These issues, he explained, will be discussed at the highest levels of the state but involving only to a few countries for a start.
“We are not discriminating or isolating anyone. We are attempting to start small and if these ideas, proposals and solutions are acceptable and proved workable, then we hope to take it up to the larger platform for consideration,” added Dr Mahathir.
The KL Summit is expected to receive extensive coverage with the presence of close to 800 local and international media practitioners.
Apart from Malaysia, leaders from Iran, Turkey and Qatar have arrived for the opening ceremony of the summit this morning. All four are expected to take the stage today.