RIYADH, Saudi Arabia: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Saturday (May 20) called for a partnership among those at the Arab Islamic American Summit to continue the fight against terrorism.
In a statement published in local media, Najib said it is crucial that all Muslim countries and leaders make it "absolutely clear that there is nothing Islamic about terrorism".
"Any who say it is have been deceived by false preachers and by those who are ignorant of or misinformed about our religion. Authentic Islam is a religion of enlightenment, civilisation and scholarship, not of destruction and death," he said.
"Now more than ever the world needs the new partnership to confront extremism and terrorism that His Majesty King Salman proposes we build at this summit, and I thank him for his invitation and welcome the participation of the other states attending."
Reiterating the importance of religious harmony, Mr Najib said for more than one thousand years, Muslims, Christians and Jews have lived and traded with and befriended each other in the Middle East. "Just as in Malaysia Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Taoists and others work and play side by side in harmony," he said.
"To reinforce that, the Malaysian government has promoted the concept of wasatiyyah, the Quranic injunction towards moderation."
The Malaysian prime minister said few have been spared from the effects of terrorism. Last year, Malaysia suffered from its first attempted Islamic State-linked attack at a nightclub in Puchong, Selangor which left eight injured.
Outlining Malaysia's efforts in combating extremism, Najib said the country supports the United Nations' anti-terrorism plans, the Centre for Dialogue, Peace and Understanding in Jeddah, and has considerable experience in rehabilitating those who have been influenced by terrorism.
He added that Malaysia is willing to share its expertise in this area with all countries at the summit.
"It is up to all of us at this summit to forge this partnership and prove, once and for all, that there is no clash of civilisations, with the Muslim world on one side and the West on the other. There is only a clash with civilisation, and on that we all – members of all religions – must stand united together as one; firm, determined and ready to act," Najib said.
The Arab Islamic American summit is being held from Saturday to Sunday in the Saudi Arabian capital. United States President Donald Trump will be attending the event in his first overseas trip since taking office. President Trump will meet leaders from more than 50 Arab and Muslim nations at the summit to discuss ways to cooperate against the threat of global terrorism and violent extremism, according to the summit's organisers.