KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has reiterated his calls for all Muslim countries to cooperate with Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey to counter Islamophobia through the formation of a television channel.
The prime minister initially made such proposal when he met Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Pakistani premier Imran Khan on the sidelines of the 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York in September.
“We felt that anti-Muslim propaganda including Islamophobia (in the world today) have become out of control. Therefore, it is important (for Muslim countries) to explain what Islam is, whether Islam is religion of terror or not.
“I hope other (Muslim) countries will work with us and erase the perception that Muslims are terrorists,” he told reporters after visiting the media centre at the Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019 here today.
During the UN General Assembly, Dr Mahathir had said that the effort to set up the English television channel would be spearheaded by the Information Departments of Malaysia, Turkey and Pakistan.
He had said the three countries felt that many reports about Islam and Muslims were inaccurate and did not reflect the principles and values promoted by the religion.
“They label Muslims as terrorists, for example, and the world accepts it as the truth when Islam is not a violent religion.
“We feel that there must be an effort to explain what Islam is. This is to address the confusion on Islam,” Dr Mahathir was previously quoted as saying.
During the opening of the Kuala Lumpur Summit on Thursday, Dr Mahathir witnessed five agreements that were forged between Malaysia and several countries.
One of them was an exchange of documents between Malaysia and Turkey in the effort to combat Islamophobia, which is related to the development of the new English television channel.