Three reasons why Najib must unambiguously and unconditionally denounce ISIS in his United Nations speech on Friday
There are at least three reasons why the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should unambiguously and unconditionally denounce ISIS in his United Nations General Assembly speech on Friday.
Firstly, because his first reference to ISIL/ISIS was quite laudatory, exhorting UMNO to emulate what he described as the “brave exploits” of ISIL/ISIS if the party wishes to survive.
Speaking to more than 1,000 Umno members at the Cheras UMNO Branch’s 20th anniversary dinner on June 24, Najib outlined six virtues that UMNO needed to survive and flourish in the country, among which bravery as displayed by ISIL/ISIS terrorists was a requisite trait.
Singing praises of ISIL/ISIS’ exploits in defeating an Iraqi force outnumbering it, Najib said: “For example, when someone dares to fight to his death, he can even defeat a much bigger team”.
Najib said: “Whether we agree or not is another matter, the group ISIL with the strength of just 1,300 people, can defeat an Iraqi army of 30,000 soldiers, until four, five generals with three, four stars run for their lives, jump out of window at night.”
Although the Prime Minister’s Office later clarified that Najib’s remarks glorifying the ISIL/ISIS terrorists had been taken out of context, as the Prime Minister’s brief mention and “in passing” of ISIL “in no way indicated any support” for ISIL, Najib himself failed to clarify his own statement until more than two months later – raising the question whether his condemnation of ISIL/ISIS was half-hearted because of his secret admiration for the ISIL/ISIS terrorists.
Secondly, the daily ISIS sadistic and horrific human rights violations, including targeted killings, trafficking, sexual abuse, abductions, forced conversions and beheadings run contrary to the Global Movement of Moderates and Wasatiyah advocated by Najib to reject all form of violence and extremism, whether political or religious.
In fact, the Global Movement of Moderates should be in the forefront of an international campaign against the ISIS terrorists, as Najib had repeatedly made the clarion call in international fora, including twice at the United Nations, for “moderates of all countries, of all religions, to take back the centre, to reclaim the agenda for peace and pragmatism, and to marginalize the extremists”.
Or has Najib given up on his conviction that “the real divide is not between East and West or between the developed and developing worlds or between Muslims, Christians and Jews; it is between moderates and extremists of all religions”?
Thirdly, as Prime Minister of multi-religious Malaysia, with Islam as the official religion, Najib should speak loud and clear to lead the world, including Islamic nations, to condemn the terrorism and inhumanity of ISIS, not only as an affront and anathema to Islam as a religion of peace but for its crimes against humanity.
The Indonesian government banned the ISIS in early August as it does not want the terrorist outfit to spread its ideology in the archipelago.
With some 40 Malaysians recruited to become ISIS fighters, with four of them confirmed as having been killed in Syria/Iraq, and the declaration of support of the Abu Sayyaf group for ISIS, it will be most appropriate for Najib to outline Malaysia’s national and international role in countering the new ISIS terrorism in his speech at the UN General Assembly on Friday.