Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said the Muslim world is in a “state of crisis” and called for “implementable” solutions as he hosted a summit of Muslim-majority countries.
Mahathir made the call to action on Thursday as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani highlighted in their speeches the plight of the Palestinians under decades-long Israeli occupation.
“We all know that the Muslims, their religion and their countries are in a state of crisis. Everywhere we see Muslim countries being destroyed, their citizens forced to flee their countries, forced to seek refuge in non-Muslim countries,” Mahathir told a packed crowd gathered in Malaysia’s biggest city.
The 94-year-old prime minister pointed out while other countries devastated by World War II have recovered and developed, many Muslim nations “seem unable to be governed well, much less to be developed and prosper”.
Mahathir said “fratricidal wars, civil wars, failed governments and many other catastrophes” continue to confront many Muslim countries and Islam “without any serious effort being made to end or reduce them or to rehabilitate the religion”.
But even as he sought a unified voice among Muslim-majority states to address those issues, several countries – including Saudi Arabia and Pakistan – were absent from the meeting, which is seen by some in the Muslim community as an emerging competition to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). – AJE