Friday, June 25, 2010

Islam Missionaries Must Not Be Extremists

Local missionaries must be free from extremist influence which tarnishes the image of Islam in discharging their responsibilities, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today.

The former prime minister said if there were missionaries who were influenced by the extreme practices of certain Islamic countries and try to spread such practices in this country, it would pose problems.

“They should preach smartly to suit the local situation,” he said when opening the 49th annual general meeting of the Malaysian Muslim Welfare Organisation (Perkim), here.

Tun Dr Mahathir, who is also the Perkim president, said extremist missionary activities not only tarnished the image of the Islamic religion but would also result in the Muslims being looked upon with contempt and create splits within the Muslims.

Worse still, Tun Dr Mahathir said there were those who felt that violence must be used to topple governments on grounds that they did not follow the wishes of Islam, without thinking that violence was a form of cruelty.

Meanwhile, Tun Dr Mahathir was returned unopposed for the post of Perkim president which he has held since 2006.

Perkim honorary secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Abdul Hamid Othman announced the result at the general meeting held at a hotel here.

Four people elected as Perkim vice-presidents were former Perlis mentri besar Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim, Datuk Dr Ariffin Suhaimi, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman and Datuk Dr Mustapha Ma.

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