KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 ― Muslim nations have the capability, strength and could compete against the other developed nations but do not have the will to do it, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
This resulted in the Muslim nations being perceived as weak and the Muslims continued to be suppressed, controlled and abused by the other countries.
“With a total of 52 Muslim nations in the world, none of them can be considered to be a developed nation, is this because of prohibition from our religion so that we do not progress? Does this mean that people professing Islam do not progress, are not allowed to develop?
“I wish to clarify that we are capable of competing with them. We are equal to the foreigners...in terms of the ability to think but we do not utilise this blessing from Allah SWT in the proper manner...in a manner that enables us to protect the Islamic religion,” he said.
He said this when speaking at the 58th Annual General Meeting of the Malaysian Muslim Welfare Organisation (Perkim), here today.
Taking South Korea as an example, Dr Mahathir said the country which was previously behind Malaysia in terms of administrative development was now far ahead with her per capita income three times that of this country.
He said this was due to several factors including the mastery of knowledge particularly on the development industry to the extent that it became one of the most developed nations in the world.
“When I compare our country with Korea and other Islamic nations, I feel very disappointed because we are not incapable. But because of our mistake in making certain interpretations we cannot achieve the development made by Korea and the other countries.
“I believe that the mistake does not lie with our religion...the religion does not prevent us from seeking wealth as long as we find it in a legalised manner. and we use our wealth to assist those who are weak,” he said.
He said actually all conflicts faced by the Muslim nations currently could be resolved if they return to the true teachings based on the al-Quran.
Reflecting on the current scenario, Dr Mahathir said it is sad to see Muslims in Myanmar being cast out from their own country while the Muslims in the Arab world fled from their country to seek protection in other countries.
“...by acknowledging that we are not capable of governing our country well, this is our own fault that we do not adhere to the teachings of Islam as stated in the Quran. I hope all of us will take note of this,” he said.
He said at one time, there were Muslim nations that were considered as advanced and strong and no one was able to suppress the Muslims back then but the scenarios were very different today.
“When this happens we should ask ourselves whether we are obedient to Islamic teachings. Islam teaches us to equip ourselves with spears, and bow and arrows, but today, these cannot protect the Muslims.
“We need sophisticated tools just like our enemies... but for that, we have no capability to build and equip ourselves with the right tools to defend the Muslims... we are unable to directly protect the Muslims as required by our religion,” he said. ― Bernama