Edmund Burke said, "All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing."
Malaysian premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has recently declared 10 strategies to spur economic growth of his nation at the national and global levels. That's to be expected for one of the economic tigers of Southeast Asia. What isn't usually expected is a particular piece of his plan. According to Islam Online...
Badawi, chairman of the world's biggest grouping of Islamic nations, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, called on Muslims to prevent "militant groups" from hijacking the name of Islam to advance their violent ideology.Here's a national leader of a significant number of Muslim citizens willing to stand up and speak out against those who would hijack that religion. Joining a slow swell of moderate clerics and others, this is where a solution has to start - from within the larger body from which the infection has started. Now only if a few more of the leaders in the middle east would join him, despite the potential for terrible response.
"The image of Islam in the eyes of the international community has been blackened since September 11," said Abdullah, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).
"We realize that Islam and its teachings can be used by certain groups, not only in Malaysia but also overseas, to advance their narrow agenda," he asserted.
"What we regret most is that every time, their actions bring destruction, pain and instability to human beings everywhere, including to Muslims who are innocent."
Islam is a major topic at this annual assembly of the UMNO, which promotes a moderate "Islam Hadhari" that emphasizes economic and scientific development.
"We are responsible for ensuring that the culture of extremism and violent acts in the name of Islam does not happen in Malaysia," Abdullah said.
"We are responsible for protecting Malays and the Islamic faith from becoming a means for individuals who want to advance in their narrow agenda."
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi may be a politician, and his motives may be influenced heavily by economic interest, but he is sounding like one of Burke's "good men" that are starting to do something. It's past time for others to join him.