Malaysia leader attacks extremism

July 24, 2008 at 7:03 AM
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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, July 24 (UPI) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Thursday decried violence and terrorism in the name of religion.

The leader of the Muslim-majority country said such extremism witnessed numerous times in history twist the virtuous teachings of religions for political gain or personal profit, Bernama news agency reported.

"In our own time, we have witnessed many injustices committed in the name of religion, including the occupation of someone else's land and the dispossession that ensues from it," Abdullah told an international conference on religion. "This is surely an affront to the dignity of the person, and a blemish upon the freedom that is a human being's birthright."

He said such extremism should compel everyone, especially religious scholars and intellectuals, to engage with the public in fight "ignorance and the perversion of religion."

Among suggestions he made, Abdullah said religious curriculum in educational institutions must be given a closer look.

"Our religious education should convince us that the dignity and integrity of all human beings is worthy of our respect." Abdullah said.

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