The war against terror – through the eyes of Malaysian intellectuals

Updated On: Aug 05, 2005

Kuala Lumpur – Muslims reject terrorism but it will continue to happen so long as the problems in the Muslim world are not resolved. And the only way to isolate Islamic extremists from the moderate majority is to address the widespread anger that motivates them to violence. Such are the views held by many Malaysian intellectuals, which are generally in line with that of the Malaysian government, long a critic of US foreign policies. 

     Mr Razak Baginda, executive director of the Malaysian Strategic Research Centre, said some of the most explosives issues now are the US support for dictatorial regimes, the Palestinian issue and Iraq
     "Extreme elements are exploiting this," he told The Straits Times. 
     Dr Chandra Muzzafar, president of the International Movement for A Just World, said the United States seemed to be in a state of denial. 
    "They want the world to accept the status quo but also want to quell the anger that feeds the extremist elements. It is not going to happen."
    Dr Chandra said terrorism "is not about religion".  
    "It is about anger because of injustices. Religion is just used as a tool because it is a powerful motivating force.  If the US tries to court moderate Muslims without dealing with grievances, the moderates will become seen as stooges and puppets, and will lose all credibility," Mr Chandra added.

* To end terrorism, get rid of injustices: Muslim intellectuals (The Straits Times, Aug 3)