Malaysia must persist in promoting the right message of Islam in order to continue living in harmony, said Prime Minister Najib Razak.
He said the message was that Islam was a religion of peace and compassion.
“As a leader of a multi-faith country, it is also my responsibility to ensure that other religions are able to practise their beliefs,” he wrote in his blog, Najib Razak.com.
“That is why, the government has always extended assistance to religious institutions through financing and good regulations to not just mosques, but also churches and temples.”
He wrote this following a meeting at his office in Putrajaya yesterday with Zimbabwean mufti, Ismail Menk.
They discussed Islam, extremism, the plight and welfare of Muslims around the world.
Najib added that the federal constitution guaranteed the “right of every person to profess and practise his or her religion despite Islam being the official religion of the federation.”
“This is Malaysia and it will remain a beautiful place for generations to come, Insya-Allah.” he added.
Najib added that the world was more divided than ever where Muslims, especially those in Western countries, had been affected by discriminatory immigration policies and Islamophobia.
“Unfortunately, the actions of few extremists, who have a twisted understanding of the teachings of Islam, have far greater impact on us, the majority of Muslims,” he added.
“As how Mufti Menk put it, the element of harmony has been rippled and disturbed. This has caused unfounded fear towards Muslims and the religion of Islam.”
Najib also said the threat of Islamophobia was real with some politicians in the West pledging to close down mosques and further discriminate Muslims, should they hold office one day.
“But we, the majority of Muslims must persevere. We must continue to promote the message of peace and tolerance. We can no longer afford to be the silent majority. It is our responsibility to debunk the extreme interpretations of Islam,” he said.