New Straits Times
‘Islam protects rights of every individual’
IPOH: Insufficient information on true Islamic teachings has led people to have negative opinions about the religion and Muslims, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Zahid, who is also home minister, said Islam sought to protect the rights of every individual and promote love, tolerance, equality and justice, as well as peace in legislation, practice and doctrine.
“If you notice, when Muslims meet each other, they will greet each other with assalamualaikum and walaikumussalam, which mean peace be upon you and peace be upon you, too.
“This shows that the idea of peace is deeply rooted in the daily life of Muslims,” he said in his speech when closing the Fourth World Conference on Islamic Thought and Civilisation here.
Themed “Global Peace”, the two-day conference was organised by Universiti Sultan Azlan Shah, with participants from more than 15 countries.
“To understand what Islam teaches about peace, it is very important to understand the concept of jihad in the Quran,” Zahid said.
“Jihad doesn’t refer to a holy war, as is commonly perceived, but it means to struggle or strive.
“Intentionally harming an innocent person, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, is highly condemned in Islam.
“It is not part of jihad or anything close to that as it is sometimes made out to be.
“What the terrorist organisations did and are doing now are completely against the concept of jihad in Islam.”
He said the government took various measures to curb terrorism, one of which was denying them funds and financial assistance from anyone.
“We are also setting up the King Salman Centre for International Peace in Putrajaya, aimed at deflecting the influence of extremism and terrorist activities, as well as promoting universal peace.
“Besides the military aspect, the centre will focus on academic elements, with the main role of combating terrorist threats and the spread of extremist and terrorist propaganda and ideologies.”
He said global peace was not a state of non-violence or absence of wars, but was about food, education, jobs and homes for all.
“It is an ideal state of happiness, freedom and peace within and among all people and nations.” Bernama