SEPANG: The Muslim community should not blame others for their problems as this will not ensure their security or prosperity, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Instead, he urged the ummah to identify the root cause of their problems.
He said it was irrational for Muslims to expect others to act on their behalf and still expect to reap the rewards and benefits.
“Instead, it would be more rational to identify our own faults. We have to accept this fact. We have to own up to our mistakes.
“If we refuse to claim ownership of our mistakes, these mistakes will prolong and will have a negative impact on us,” he said in his speech at the closing of the 2019 Southeast Asia Ulama Multaqa here yesterday.
He said Muslims a long time ago had built civilisations that were respected worldwide and made it difficult for these kingdoms to be attacked or pressured.
“They were not only advanced, but also able to defend their territories. There was no such thing as chasing them out of their territories or any need for them to leave their countries due to safety concerns.
“Muslim countries as well as Muslims then were the envy of other people.
“We know that the Europeans used the Islamic civilisation for their renaissance.
“But once the Islamic civilisation reached its peak, the rot set in and the civilisations fell.
“This process continued until these Muslim countries were attacked and fell into the hands of the Westerners, who then claimed these territories.”
He said although these Muslim countries eventually regained independence, they never reached the lofty heights of the glory years of their past civilisations.
Instead, what followed were poor administrations and frequent civil wars.
“A question arises: how did non-Muslims, after accepting Islam, manage to create civilisations that spanned from China in the East to Spain (Andalusia) in the West?
“It’s not possible for us to see a return to this.
“Was it Islam that proved to be a stumbling block or was it the enemies of Muslims?”
Dr Mahathir said in-depth discussions must be held so that Muslims could overcome their issues and identify why the ummah was being pressured by various quarters and in different arenas without having the means to defend themselves.
He said if the root cause could be identified, solutions could be formulated.
Islam, he said, was not just a religion, but also a way of life guided by the Quran.
“When we organise such a multaqa (conference), it is because we have realised the plight of the Muslims, which we must discuss and resolve.
“Determining the cause is part of efforts to settle problems. I pray that this multaqa can identify the causes in an honest and sincere manner.”
Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof told a press conference that Islamic scholars in the Southeast Asian countries had been called to work together to promote the Rahmatan Lil Alamin (mercy to all creations) concept to the region.
He said such cooperation could indirectly help address the issue of Islamophobia, which has led to hatred and religious sentiments.
“Let us make our region a model and an example — the unrest in the Middle East, the so-called wars in the name of Islam is no longer relevant to be a model to the world.”
He reminded Islamic scholars against undermining racial harmony, which could give a bad image to Islam.