Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak thinks that standing up to “Islamophobia” takes political courage. One wonders what planet he lives on.
“Najib Commends Obama, Says Time To Galvanise The Moderates,” from Bernama, September 28:
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 28 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak commended United States President Barack Obama for taking “a courageous public position” in dealing with Islamophobia, saying the US president did so “knowing it might cost him his political terms.”
The prime minister said however that it was now time for the US president to galvanise the moderates, bring in the non-governmental organisations and social movements so that more people would see the importance of taking a moderate stance.
“If you take an extremist or an extreme position then you are going to aggravate the situation,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg on Monday in New York.
Najib was responding to a question on the position taken by Obama in the recent plans by a pastor in Florida to burn copies of the Quran to commemorate the Sept 11 attacks.
The pastor later cancelled the plans amid a flurry of condemnations, including from Obama who said that it would only benefit the al-Qaeda and endanger US troops Afghanistan and Iraq.
In the six-minute interview, Najib was asked on a number of issues including Islamophobia.
Najib said: “This is a very important issue that we need to deal with because lately, we’re seeing a resurgence, if you like, or an upswing in terms of fearing Islam or Islamophobia.”
“There is a danger we are being pressured by the periphery, meaning the extremists and I don’t mean just extremists among the Muslims.
“There are extremists among Christians, there are extremists among the Jews. But what is important is for us the majority, the moderates — and in fact I made a clarion call — that there should be a movement of the moderates,” he said….
Yes, we’re all still waiting for that. But of course, it has only been nine years since 9/11, and there have only been a few thousand calls for the “moderates” to become more vocal and active against the “extremists.” One must realize that these things take time!
And note also Najib’s moral equivalence. He doesn’t seem to have given the names of any of these Christian and Jewish “extremists,” although he seems to have had Terry Jones in mind. In any case, it seems doubtful that these “extremists” have slit anyone’s throat while shouting praises to their God (much less triumphantly filmed the process) or flown any planes into any skyscrapers, while likewise proclaiming the greatness of their God.
During his intervention at the Asean-US Summit, Najib conveyed to Obama that Malaysia wanted to help the US to overcome Islamophobia to allow the American society a better understanding of Islam and dispel negative perceptions towards the religion.