BALIK PULAU: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has advised Muslims not to be divided by sectarianism.
The Prime Minister said Muslims should uphold the basic teachings of Islam that emphasised peace, tolerance and love.
“We must preserve our spirit of brotherhood and avoid conflicts,” he told newsmen after performing Friday prayers at Masjid Balik Pulau yesterday.
He said Muslims could achieve excellence through consensus and co-operation.
“My late grandfather Abdullah Fahim said that Malays are Muslims.
“Malay Muslims follow the Imam Syafie sect. But there is no difference between the teachings of Shafie and Sunnah Wal Jamaah as practised by some.
“We hope our efforts to strengthen unity will bear fruit. That is what we have been working on,” he said.
Abdullah added that former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan had said during a function in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday night that religious fights were prevalent in his home country Ghana.
“He (Kofi) also said wild accusations are made claiming Islam is a violent and extreme religion,” he said.
Kofi had said that Malaysia`s system of religious pluralism could play an important role in a world dangerously divided by religious faiths.
Kofi also added that there was an urgent need for dialogue to counter rising intolerance, extremism, and violence.
Abdullah said the Islam Hadhari concept emphasised moderation.
“Islam Hadhari is not a new belief. It encompasses development and value-added principals. It focuses on peace, tolerance and love as taught in Islam.
“We do not want violence. We want to struggle for excellence,” he said.
Abdullah said Malaysia was about three or four times more developed than Ghana, which had achieved independence five months before Malaysia.
Abdullah said the key to success in maintaining harmony was consensus and co-operation.
Abdullah had earlier attended the Balik Pulau Umno meeting and state Umno liaison committee meeting before enjoying a durian feast at the Balik Pulau Sports Complex.
Source: www.thestar.com.my (16 Juli 2007)