Potentials should be mobilized to tackle the real issues at stake, namely poverty, unemployment, hunger and ignorance, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad said. Ideological preoccupation to dominate the society and/or to impose certain agenda-driven cultural or intellectual custodianships would lead only to more grudges and feuding. A society stricken by hunger and ignorance would not be able to raise awareness nor to spread sound culture, he added.
We, Muslims, have spent huge efforts and a pretty long time fighting windmills, he said. We got engaged in some historic and other outdated conflicts to no avail, such as the futile conflict between Sunnis and Shias.
We, in Malaysia which is a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional and multi-cultural country, have been driven into a civil war that hit hard at the very security and stability of the entire society. Throughout this tumult period of disorder, we could not manage to lay one brick over the other (could not build up anything), he said.
Development can not be attained unless peace and security are established. Therefore, we have to engage in an open dialogue with all national components, without exemption and without excluding anyone. Compromises should be offered by everyone for everyone. In order to establish security and pave the way for development, mutual compromises had to be made. And we have done it successfully. This has helped up launch the 2020 plan for a New Malaysia. We marched forward along the path of transforming Malaysia into a sizeable industrial country capable to compete on the global market. All of this was done thanks to the spirit of peaceful coexistence and mutual tolerance.
Muslim communities can not be led forward by submitting to the religious edicts (Fatwas) of religious jurisprudent or preachers, he said.
When Muslim communities acquiesced to some outdated and/or anachronist edicts and jurisprudent interpretations, the outcome was backwardness and ignorance, he said. Many religious scholars prohibited watching TV, listening to radio, riding a bicycle, or even drinking coffee.
They deemed all of such normal things as “Haram”. They incriminated even the experiments made by Abbas bin Farnas to fly.
By telling people that reading Koran is enough to attain renaissance and progress, many jurisprudent scholars have in fact had a negative impact on the community (they have done more harm than good to the community).
Such views led to a drastic decrease in the percentage of true scientists in physics, chemistry, engineering and medicine. Some religious authors have gone as far as prohibiting these branches of science, he recalled.
The communities should therefore be more vigorous and more daring. Everyone should realize that Fatwas and/or the views of religious elites are NOT the religion. We do consider the Koranic texts/scriptures as sacrosanct, but the views of religious interpreters are not.
The views or the writings of religious scholars should not be deemed as sacrosanct and should not be deemed as a “religion” for us to follow.
God does not help those who do not help themselves, Mahathir Mohammad said. We, Muslims, have divided ourselves into communities, sects and denominations cold-bloodedly killing one another. Our potentials were wasted and drained by the culture of revenge, the bigots enthusiastically try to promote all over the nation, by all possible means and with such a heated zealous.
Then after all of this, we pray to God to have mercy on us and to make peace and stability prevail all over our land..!! This is illusion. God has own ways and methods governing the lives of humans.
We should first and foremost help ourselves. We should get over the agonies of the past and look for the future. We, here in Malaysia, decided to cross to the future with the participation of all ethnic, religious, and cultural components without looking back to the battles of the past, he said.
We are the children of today. We are the sons and daughters of united Malaysia. We live under one roof and we are all entitled to enjoy the good yields and resources of this homeland.
Translated from Arabic by Syrianfacts