Malaysia Hosts International Security Dialogue

Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammed Najib Abdul Razzaq, his deputy and Secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL) Mohammed al-Issa during the inauguration of Putrajaya International Security Dialogue 2018. SPA
Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammed Najib Abdul Razzaq, his deputy and Secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL) Mohammed al-Issa during the inauguration of Putrajaya International Security Dialogue 2018. SPA
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Malaysia Hosts International Security Dialogue

Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammed Najib Abdul Razzaq, his deputy and Secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL) Mohammed al-Issa during the inauguration of Putrajaya International Security Dialogue 2018. SPA
Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammed Najib Abdul Razzaq, his deputy and Secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL) Mohammed al-Issa during the inauguration of Putrajaya International Security Dialogue 2018. SPA

The King Salman Center for International Peace in Malaysia aims to correct international misconceptions about Islam and combat the malicious rhetoric spread by ISIS and other terrorist organizations, Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammed Najib Abdul Razzaq said.

Addressing the Putrajaya International Security Dialogue 2018, themed “Wisdom and Moderation in Countering Terrorism,” the Malaysian PM added: “The role of religious institutions does not only include the dissemination of beliefs, but also combating terrorism and extremism.”

Malaysia’s PM also called on religious scholars and institutions to engage more and innovate methods for combating extremist ideologies and distorted rhetoric about religious obligations.

Secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL) Mohammed al-Issa, said: “The values of moderation in Islam are far from all concepts of extremism — whether the extremism Islam is falsely accused of, or counter-extremism seen in Islamophobia, which have resulted in conflicts, violence, and terrorism.

“Counter-extremism incessantly brings the barbarity of religious extremism to attention in order to convince others of its anti-Islam theory and then pass its claims on,” he continued. Yet, he added that “scholars carry the great responsibility of bringing the truth to light.”

He added: “Latest statistics show that 1.8 billion Muslims in the Islamic world are moderate Muslims while only one person out of every 200,000 is an extremist, and this is a rather small number, yet troubling and controversial.”

Issa continued that this “evil” managed to expand and exploit the religious feelings, which are empty of any knowledge, awareness or wisdom. This fact created a suitable geographical location for this “evil” in political conflict regions.

He explained that combating extremism and anti-extremism requires preventing all means to hijack the Muslim Youths.



Israeli Polls Show Netanyahu Party Narrowing Gap Behind Gantz 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz attends a news conference in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Oct. 28, 2023. (AP)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz attends a news conference in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Oct. 28, 2023. (AP)
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Israeli Polls Show Netanyahu Party Narrowing Gap Behind Gantz 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz attends a news conference in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Oct. 28, 2023. (AP)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz attends a news conference in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Oct. 28, 2023. (AP)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right wing Likud party has reduced the gap behind the centrist party of former minister Benny Gantz, who quit the wartime unity government on Sunday, two polls showed on Friday.

The polls, for the left wing Ma'ariv daily and the right-wing Israel Hayom newspaper, showed Likud winning 21 seats behind the National Unity Party on 24. The Ma'ariv poll last week showed Gantz's party on 27 seats, while at the start of the year, it was regularly polling in the high 30s.

The Ma'ariv poll shows the current ruling coalition winning 52 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, against 58 for the main opposition parties, with the balance of 10 seats held by the United Arab List and the left-wing Hadash-Ta'al alliance.

The Israel Hayom poll put the coalition on 50 seats against 61 for the opposition parties and 9 for the UAL and Hadash-Ta'al.

Both polls showed a majority of voters would prefer Gantz as prime minister in a head-to-head choice with Netanyahu. However, the Israel Hayom poll showed that if former prime minister Naftali Bennett were to join forces with Avigdor Liberman and Gideon Saar, two other center right politicians from outside the Likud camp, their alliance could beat both Likud and Gantz's National Unity Party.

Gantz, a former army general and defense minister in the last government, joined Netanyahu's coalition last year as a gesture of national unity following the devastating attack by Hamas on Oct 7.

However, he clashed repeatedly with other ministers and quit the government after demanding Netanyahu articulate a clear strategic plan for the war in Gaza, now in its ninth month.

Netanyahu, who was widely blamed for the security failures that allowed the Oct. 7 attack to take place, has refused to call early elections and would not normally face voters until 2026 if his coalition with a clutch of religious and right-wing pro-settler parties holds.