Roundtable Discussion on "Extremism, Terrorism and Islam: Toward a Better Understanding of Issues"
(IAIS Malaysia, 22 January 2015)
Extremism and violence are universal phenomena that existed throughout human history. However human beings, both in the West and the East, are becoming more radical and much brutal in our days. Extremist acts are today committed as much by transnational and supranational groups as by official and legitimate governments, both in the West and in the Muslim world. As history reveals, balance and moderation have been clearly imprinted on the character of classical Islamic civilisation. For many centuries, Islam exposed itself as a religion of moderation, committed to establishing a system of truth and justice that shuns laxity on one side and extremism on the other. Yet, violence and radicalism are spreading like a cancer in the failed states of the Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) region and South Asian countries. The Arab Spring where people sought genuine democracy and good governance has morphed into a hotbed of extremism across swathes of the Middle East and North Africa. The safety and well-being of the entire Muslim world is today jeopardised by the creation of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - ISIS. This extremist militant group is responsible for many brutalities and transgressions, primarily hostile to the core principles of Islam and humanity.