KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today renewed his call for international recognition of Palestine as an independent state by putting a stop to Israel’s atrocities, as part of an endeavour to end global terrorism.
He said it was obvious incidents involving acts of terror stemmed from the frustration and anger among the Muslims community, especially Palestinians, over Israel’s occupation in Palestine.
The prime minister feared that more terror attacks would not only be confined to the Middle East, but happen in other parts of the world in the future if the international community refused to recognise the reasons behind such violent acts.
“The reason is due to the frustrations among the people (Palestinians) over their inability to regain their homeland.
“They had been forced out of their homeland without compensation; their properties seized and taken by Israelis.
“The Europeans and the United States, who backs Israel, refuses to discuss the reasons for the act of terror.
“If we do not recognise the reason for these acts, which we described the act of terror, then, the situation will continue to worsen as more people will get angry and frustrated.
“When they are unable to fight a conventional war, this will result in what we called acts of terror,” said Dr Mahathir when delivering his thematic address at a colloquium on “Demystifying Islamophobia: Towards a Deeper Understanding of Islam” here.
Present was Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (Ikim) chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid.
The colloquium was the fourth in a series of eight by Ikim on a range of issues affecting Malaysia and the Islamic world.
Dr Mahathir said the fact that nothing was done by the world’s superpowers to end the oppression by Israel against Palestinians, had aggravated the situation.
“From Malaysia, we tried to send building materials to Gaza.
“Our ships, however, were stopped by Israel in international waters. This (to blockage) is illegal.
“That is the act of piracy on the part of Israel, in which, they should have been condemned, but they were not.
“This again increases the frustration and anger of many Muslims, especially Arabs and even Indonesian Muslims.
“And, with that, more acts terror would be committed into the future not confined to the Middle East alone, but all over the world.
“However, if the claims of the Palestinians are respected and supported, there would be fewer acts of terror,” he said.
On the other hand, Dr Mahathir said, Muslims engrossed in the acts of terror were not contributing to the Palestinian cause.
He said for 70 years the Palestinians had been fighting for their land, but made no progress due to acts of terror which triggered fear among the world community.
To change the current narrative by Western countries on Islamophobia, Dr Mahathir said Muslims should utilise the diplomatic channel to show Israel as the “perpetrators of injustice” instead of launching terror attacks.
“Using diplomacy is a good strategy to win over the support of many people.
“It is not true that all Europeans and Americans are against Islam or the Muslims and the Palestinians.
“We, however, do things that caused them to lose their sympathy for us.
“People who had known to help the Palestinians, to work and support them, have been killed by the Muslims.
“This does not endear us (Muslims) to the world at large.
“We need to get sympathy and support of the world to stop the oppression against the Muslims by the Israelis.”