PUTRAJAYA: Extremism in any faith – be it among Muslims, Christians, Buddhists or Hindus – will leave a negative impact on the community, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
For this reason, it was important to promote togetherness, the Prime Minister said.
“We all may be different in our (religious) beliefs but there are values we have in common that can strengthen unity and promote peace and harmony,” he told religious leaders at a luncheon held in conjunction with World Interfaith Harmony Week here yesterday.
“It is extremism, rather than differences in faith, that triggers tension among people,” he said, warning that if this was not dealt with, it would have adverse effects on the nation and humanity in general.
“This was the reason, during the United Nations General Asssembly last year, I had called for the formation of a global movement of moderates.
“I believe this is the way forward to save the world and Malaysia (from extremism).”
The Prime Minister added that as a multi-racial country, Malaysia was proof that religious diversity did not pose problems to people of different beliefs.
Commending the setting up of a committee for the promotion of inter-religious understanding and harmony, he said it would bring together different religious groups for constructive dialogues towards a better understanding of religions.
He said it was important for the discussions to be held behind closed doors, reasoning that religion was a sensitive issue and in the current ICT age, information could spread fast.
Najib advised the public to give the committee some time to look at how best it could overcome issues as these could not be resolved overnight.
World Interfaith Harmony Week is a brainchild of King Abdullah of Jordan and his personal envoy and special adviser Prince Ghazi Muhammad.
It has been presented to the United Nations and has been slated to be an annual event that will be observed in the first week of February.