Don’t Give Space For Extremist Groups To Thrive – Anifah Aman

Anifah, left, meets up with Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Miroslav Lajčák, in New York on Friday.
Anifah, left, meets up with Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Miroslav Lajčák, in New York on Friday.

NEW YORK – Extremist groups like Daesh should not be allowed space to exploit the instability and turbulent situations in some parts of the Muslim world, said Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman.

He said the acts of terror by the extremist groups were contrary to the true Islamic teachings and principles.

In confronting this threat, there was a need for counter narratives to their misguided teachings of Islam, he said at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Annual Coordination Meeting here Thursday in the margins of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly.

“We must be vigilant that our youths, in particular, are not easily lured by their ideology and appeal to join their cause. We must erode this appeal.

“To do so, we should focus on building sustainable and inclusive economies that provide opportunities for the people and give them hope for the future,” Anifah said.

Anifah spoke about the need to propagate in a relentless manner the right path – that violence and brutality committed in the name of religion were totally unacceptable and deplorable.

“In this regard, Malaysia has been highlighting the importance of taking a middle path or ‘wasatiyya’, in our actions. It embodies the Islamic concept of moderation, whereby the approaches and actions of a Muslim should be moderate and just, even during adverse conditions,” he said.

It also demands the practice of Islamic teachings in a holistic and balanced manner, which inculcates the values of peace, tolerance, understanding and mutual respect.

In the speech, the minister also highlighted, among others, the situation in Palestine and the plight of Muslim minorities and communities in non-OIC member states, especially Rohingya Muslims.

On Palestine, Anifah said it was paramount for the international community to exert pressure on the Israeli government to cease its illegal settlement policy, through all legal, diplomatic and economic channels.

“Peace talks between both sides should be revived with the objective to attain the two-state solution,” he said.

He urged the Muslim world to strengthen its resolve and strive in unison to end Israel’s continuous illegal occupation of Palestine and alleviate the sufferings of Palestinians who deserved a better life.

On the Rohingya Muslims, he said Malaysia would continue to provide humanitarian assistance to them to alleviate their sufferings and was supportive of any effort from the international community, including OIC, to address the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar.