Malaysian PM condemns 'sickening' terrorist acts at ASEAN opening

Updated: 2015-11-21 10:42


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KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's prime minister on Saturday used the opening of the ASEAN Summit to launch a stinging condemnation of terrorist attacks that have shaken the world in recent weeks.

Prime Minister Najib Razak told leaders assembled in Kuala Lumpur that he had intended to talk about the "momentous step" that the 10 members of the Association of South East Asian Nations were about to embark upon.

"But the events of recent days and weeks have cast a shadow over us all," said Razak.

He said the terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut, the bombing of a Russian passenger jet over the Sinai desert, a Malaysian man beheaded in the Philippines and the hotel attack in Mali showed a "sickening disregard for human life."

"The perpetrators of these cowardly and barbaric acts do not represent any race, religion or creed, nor should we allow them to claim to do so. They are terrorists and should be confronted as such with the full force of the law," said Razak.

He told fellow leaders they could be assured that Malaysia stood with them "against this new evil that blasphemes against the name of Islam."

He said the problems of extremism today required new solutions.

Military action alone would not be enough to defeat the "so-called Islamic State."

"It is the ideology propagated by these extremists that is the cause of this sadistic violence, and in this time of tragedy, we must not lose sight of the fact that the ideology itself must be exposed as the lie that it is and vanquished, for it is not Islamic -- it cannot be," said Razak.

Suicide under any circumstances and the killing of innocents were terrible sins according to the Quran, he said.

"We should examine why any should be misguided enough to follow this perverted ideology. What is their motivation? But let us be clear -- it is an utter travesty of a religion of peace, justice and moderation," said Razak.

He said the world was in dire need of moderation and cited Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King as examples of using moderation to resolve conflict and fight injustice.

"There is nothing easy or wimpish about moderation," he said.

"We pray that a more moderate and peaceful world will one day consign such outrages and murderous ideologies to the past."