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Call For Understanding Of Muslim Humiliation

Malaysian Leader Issues Call At UN For Better Understanding Of Muslim ‘Humiliation’

New York, Sep 20 2006 9:00PM

The divide between the Muslim and Judeo-Christian worlds will widen until the international community appreciates the sense of humiliation Muslims feel at many actions around the world, especially in the Middle East, Malaysia’s Prime Minister told the United Nations today.

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, addressing the second day of the General Assembly’s annual debate, said this humiliation “is the root cause for the loss of trust and confidence between the Muslim world on one side and the Judeo-Christian civilization on the other side.”

He said it was particularly dispiriting that the greatest discord in the world exists between the followers of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, “who had in fact shared a common beginning, which was the religion of Abraham.”

Mr. Badawi called on all sides to strive harder to take part in sincere dialogue, instead of pre-judging the position of certain countries as “evil” or engaging in name-calling.

He then focused on the Middle East, where he said recent events across the region – from Palestine and Lebanon to Iraq and Afghanistan – have “helped make what may once have been extremist opinions part of the Muslim mainstream. The Muslim world certainly sees all these as a complicity to humiliate Muslim countries and Muslim societies.

Citing the ongoing occupation of the Palestinian territories and the armed conflict with Hizbollah in Iran, he said “the actions of Israel in the Middle East are being supported, either openly or tacitly, supposedly in defence of the Judeo-Christian tradition against the spread of radical militant Islam, thus legitimizing all of its actions, no matter how brutal.

Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the President of Maldives, also voiced dismay at “a resurgence of the vilification of Islam and Muslims,” stressing that the religion preaches moderation and not extremism.

During his speech, Mr. Gayoom also took up the subject of economic development, noting that recent progress means the Indian Ocean island chain is poised to leave behind its status as a ‘least developed country.’

The Maldivian leader said these economic advances have occurred at the same time as “a major political transformation” across the archipelago, especially in the areas of human rights, media freedom and judicial reform.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa devoted much of his address to the continuing conflict between Government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which he said “has been terrorizing our people for over two decades.”

Mr. Rajapaksa said his Government was willing to talk to the LTTE, either directly or through an intermediary, to try to find a solution to the conflict through dialogue instead of military action.

Acknowledging that some of the concerns of minorities in Sri Lanka have “deep roots,” the President said a consultative process has begun to develop constitutional proposals to meet those concerns.

Ends

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