PUTRAJAYA: Founder and head of Tunisia’s Ennahda Party, Rachid Ghannouchi, has praised Malaysia as an exemplary Muslim country, saying that Malaysia portrayed a beautiful image of a contemporary Muslim nation.
He said Malaysia was seen as a successful and developed Muslim country among the Arab world, despite having to face a “very complicated situation” emerging from a diverse composition of its society.
“While Malaysia is a multicultural country that consists of different religion and race, there is an exemplary coexistence between the Muslims and non-Muslims where they have been living peacefully.
“This is very important to prove that Islam can manage and survive with plurality and that civil war is not necessary. Malaysia shows the world that Islam can survive even in very complicated situations,” he told reporters here last night during a special media briefing in conjunction with his visit to Malaysia.
Ghannouchi also said Malaysians had succeeded to look for common national identity despite the pragmatism and pluralism in the society, and congratulated the nation for its success in enhancing and deepening national identity to guarantee the coexistence continued.
Ghannouchi, 76, is on a seven-day visit as a state guest to Malaysia beginning Sunday, at the invitation of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
He is a renowned Islamic thinker who spent 22 years in exile during Tunisia’s dictatorship.
The moderate Islamist leader attended a three-hour meeting with Najib yesterday as part of the visit during which, they discussed issues concerning Muslims around the world and strengthening relationship between Malaysia and Tunisia. – Bernama