Perak Sultan: Wrong to link Islam to terrorism

Sultan Nazrin reiterated that Asean was committed to a holistic effort to address the threat of terrorism. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Sultan Nazrin reiterated that Asean was committed to a holistic effort to address the threat of terrorism. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

IPOH, March 13 — Islam is the religion of peace while terrorism involves violence, said Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah when rejecting associations between the two.

“Peace and terrorism do not go together. Terrorist groups identify themselves with Islam only because they seek to corrupt the teachings of Islam to serve their evil cause,” he said.

In his keynote address at the Asean — Australia Dialogue 2018 in Sydney today, Sultan Nazrin added that Islam was a guide to both the hereafter and present life.

“As it emerged out of the crucible of conflict and tribal warfare, it therefore prescribes rules of engagement. These rules are strikingly similar to modern international law and humanitarian law.

“Islam allows for the taking up of arms in defence of self, family and progeny, property and territory. This is why many Muslims in zones of conflict like Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria and Muslims elsewhere, who are moved by the death and destruction they witness, enlist to fight in the name of Islam,” he said.

The Perak royal added that terrorists who target civilians were abusing the interpretation of the principle to commit terrorism in conflict zones as well as in other countries, especially those they think are implicated in the attacks on Muslims.

“But they commit their despicable acts in violation of the strict rules of conduct and prohibitions in Islam,” he said.

The religion, he added, forbids the killing of children, women, the elderly, the sick and those in places of worship.

“It prohibits the destruction of inhabited places, villages, towns and cultivated fields. And it asks that captives be freed, the hungry be fed and the sick be visited,” he said.

Sultan Nazrin said in combating terrorism, it is vital to counter the terrorists’ twisted narratives.

“It is also vital to address the root factors that led to violence in the conflict zones and the terrorist acts committed in other countries,” he added.

Sultan Nazrin reiterated that Asean was committed to a holistic effort to address the threat of terrorism.

“It involves the use of relevant economic, social, political and security measures to neutralise and eliminate the threat at the national, regional and international levels,” he said.

He added Asean looked forward to working with all its Dialogue Partners to implement its common agenda for greater peace and prosperity in the region.

“Australia is one of our most valuable and committed partners in this enterprise. We collaborate on a broad spectrum of important areas.”

“We share many values and principles. We confront common challenges and we are committed to the same goals. We all want the same rules-based order, grounded in international law and an open trading system.

“We are all similarly apprehensive of strong protectionism and the pursuit of narrow national interest. We all believe in multilateralism and effective institutions for regional cooperation, based on dialogue and mutual accommodation. And we are all against the use of force, except as a last resort to respond to clearly evident threats,” he said.

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