APPEAL: Two leaders call on Sunnis, Shias to
end sectarian violence
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad
watching Iranís presidential
representative Dr Ali Khoshroo,
appealing for Muslim unity at the
Perdana Leadership Foundation in
Putrajaya yesterday. Pic by Mohd Fadli
Source from NST-23 May 2012
PUTRAJAYA: TWO influential Muslim leaders
have jointly appealed for all Sunni and Shia
Muslims to end the bloodshed and mindless
killings among themselves.
Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir
Mohamad and former Iranian president Sayyid
Muhammad Khatami made the appeal yesterday
and urged Muslims to unite.
Dr Mahathir said the animosity between the
Shias and the Sunnis had weakened the Muslim
ummah and made Muslims vulnerable to the
manipulations of outside elements and the
enemies of Islam.
"All over the world we are seeing Muslims
being discriminated against, whether Shias,
Sunnis, or Wahabis.
"To our enemies, we are one and the same and
we are branded as terrorists.
"Unfortunately, among the Muslims themselves
there seems to be a deep divide based on the
differences in interpretation.
"We need to show the world that we are
followers of a faith that believes in peace,
and it is time that we stop the killings,"
he said during a press conference.
He said Muslims were bound by the same
beliefs and the same statement of faith in
God and the Prophet.
"Therefore, the basic tenets should hold
Muslims together instead of tearing them
"The killings have tarnished the image and
dignity of Muslims in the eyes of the world.
"This is why we make this appeal, to unite
our Muslim brothers so we may live in
peace," he said.
Khatami sent out his message through a video
recording, and urged all Islamic thinkers to
come up with measures to end the sectarian
The Shia leader also urged the Organisation
of Islamic Conference to set up a task force
to examine the divide in depth, and submit
concrete proposals for the political and
religious leaders of the Muslim community to
"Innocent people have been massacred but no
voices (of protest) have been heard.
"We should overcome the conflict and the
violence, and promote friendship and
integration instead," he said in his
The appeal was the brainchild of academician
Dr Chandra Muzaffar, who said it was the
first time that two major figures, from two
different sects, had collaborated to send
out a joint call for Muslim unity.
He said the appeal had been translated into
five different languages, and added that it
would be followed by other programmes and an
NST, Thursday 23 May 2013.