Malaysia’s System Can Help Against Rising Intolerance in World, says Annan

July 13, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The Star

Malaysia’s enviable system of religious pluralism can play an important role in a world dangerously divided by religious faiths, former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said.

He added that there was an urgent need for dialogue for a globalised era marked by rising intolerance, extremism and violence against each other.

Annan said in his inaugural lecture of the Khazanah Global Lectures at a hotel here last night that the Sept 11 terror attacks, war and turmoil in the Middle East, ill-considered words and drawings have helped to reinforce mutual distrust even with closer proximity and improved communications, and these had inflamed tensions between different peoples and cultures.

He also said many people in the Muslim world see the West as a threat to their beliefs and values.

Likewise, many in the West dismissed Islam as a religion of extremism and violence despite a history of relations in commerce, cooperation and cultural exchanges, he added.

“It is vital that we overcome these resentments and establish relations of trust between communities."