Dr Mahathir Tells Muslims to Embrace Differences

Kuala Lumpur: Former Malaysian prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has urged Muslims to embrace differences of opinions. Dr Mahathir, known for his progressive views on Islam, noted that Muslims have the tendency to amplify their differences instead of their common goal, and said this was one of the main factors that divides the Muslim community and makes them weak. He said it was not the right of any Muslim to declare those who do not share similar views as un-Islamic, noting that as long as they hold to the “ikraq” (pledge), they are considered Muslims. “We as Muslims, whether we are Shia or Sunni, we read out the kalimah shahadah… where we proclaim Allah to be our God and Muhammad as his messenger. As long as they hold to this ikraq, they are considered Muslims,” he said. “We do not have the right to declare someone un-Islamic just because they think differently, dress differently or do not look like us,” he added.

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