Muslims must speak out against violence, says Malaysian minister

 Flowers and candles are left in tribute for the victims of the Paris attacks at the Place de la Republique in Paris, on Nov 14, 2015.
Flowers and candles are left in tribute for the victims of the Paris attacks at the Place de la Republique in Paris, on Nov 14, 2015.PHOTO: EPA

KUALA LUMPUR - Muslims must condemn and send a strong message that violence, whether against fellow Muslims or non-Muslims, cannot be tolerated, Malaysia's Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak said on Sunday (Nov 15) in response to the Paris attacks.

Muslims should reject all forms of violence whether it was an act by terrorists or was state-organised, he added according to a report by Bernama.

"Violence begets violence and history has proven that violence has never been the way to solve conflicts," Datuk Seri Salleh said in a posting on his blog.

"However, as long as the large silent majority remain silent and do not condemn such terrorist acts, then it would be perceived that the silence means tacit support."

He noted that Friday's attacks, which killed at least 129 people, was the second major terrorist assault in France this year after the Charlie Hebdo shooting in January.

The latest tragedy has brought back memories of the Madrid bombings of 2004 that resulted in 191 dead and 1,800 wounded, said Dr Salleh.

He was quoted by Bernama as saying Islam has been perceived as a violent religion since the Sept 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, and Muslims can blame only themselves for the state of affairs.

"Unfortunately, in all these tragedies it was the work of Muslims. And this is another tragedy because Islam is as much the victim as those killed and wounded.

"What the West may not realise is that there are more than a billion Muslims, but that just a small minority commit these terrorist acts while the majority of Muslims are peace-loving and reject violence," said Dr Salleh.