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Asean Summit: Extremists do not represent any race or religion, Najib says as he vows to fight terror

KUALA LUMPUR: The Islamic State terror group is an evil that blasphemes against the name of the religion and its ideology must be exposed as a lie.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said military solutions alone were not enough to defeat IS and urged all nations to recognise that the problem of extremism required new solutions.

“It is the ideology propagated by these extremists that is the cause of this sadistic violence.

“In this time of tragedy, we must not lose sight that the ideology itself must be exposed as a lie and vanquished. It is not Islamic. It cannot be,” he said in his address to Asean heads of government and state at the opening of the 27th Asean Summit and related summits yesterday.

Delivering his strongest condemnation against terrorism in the wake of recent attacks across the world and the beheading of a Malaysian hostage, Najib labelled the acts of the perpetrators as “cowardly and barbaric” and vowed an all-out fight against the scourge.

He said that although there was a need to examine why people could be misguided to the perverted ideology, IS’ beliefs were an utter travesty of a religion of peace, justice and moderation.

“The world is in dire need of moderation, a concept that is the heart of Islam and deeply embedded in the Asean Way.

“This was how Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King won the hearts and minds of their enemies and resolved the conflicts and injustices that they were fighting against. They won by transforming their detractors into friends. Each had made a heroic effort,” he added.

Najib said the thoughts and prayers of the people in this region be they Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and those of other faiths, were with the peoples of Russia, France, Lebanon and Mali, as they were with the families of victims of last month’s bombings in Ankara, Turkey and with also the people of Syria and Iraq.

“We pray that a more moderate and peaceful world will one day consign such outrages and murderous ideologies to the past.”

Najib said terrorists do not represent any race, religion or creed and should not be allowed to claim they were.

He said terrorists should be treated as who they really are and confronted with the full force of the law.

“Malaysia stands ready to provide any help and support that we can.

“Be assured that we stand with you against this new evil that is a total affront to the name of Islam,” he added.

Najib reminded his Asean partners to be vigilant to the very real threat of violence and extremism in the region.

The Prime Minister began his speech by talking about the significant milestones that Asean was about to embark upon.

“But the events of recent days and weeks have cast a shadow over us all.

“A total of 170 people are dead after the attacks in Paris and Beirut. Two hundred and twenty-five lives were taken in the bombing of a Russian passenger jet over the Sinai desert.

“Just this week, an innocent Malaysian was beheaded in southern Philippines. And yesterday, hostages were taken and lives were lost in Bamako, Mali.

“There cannot be a person in this hall who has not been shocked and shaken by the sickening disregard for human life and the devastation visited on families and communities.

“Our countries are in mourning. We all share in this grief,” he said.

– The Star

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