Charity begins at home

Raja Sara Petra

It looks like Malaysia’s Muslim Summit, the brainchild of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, is turning out to become a disaster. It would be interesting to find out whether Mahathir personally came out with this idea or some smart cookie within his inner circle conjured this scheme as a means to make money. I am sure the logistics and other things connected to this summit runs into millions of ringgits.

The OIC says this summit, which is perceived as a rival to the OIC, will divide the Muslims. So now we have one Islamic grouping, the OIC, that is pro-Saudi, meaning also pro-America, and another one meeting in Kuala Lumpur perceived as anti-Saudi. That appears to be what concerns the OIC, which is a talk-shop or NATO — “no-action-talk-only” — anyway.

Yes, it is true that Muslim countries are in a mess — and this would include Malaysia, of course. But talking for three days in Kuala Lumpur is not going to solve 1,400 years of Muslim rivalry over whose version of Islam is the true version and whose version is false.

If Malaysia really wants to solve “Muslim unity” problems then maybe we should start by not dividing Muslims within Malaysia itself. As they say, charity begins at home. In Malaysia, the 20 million Muslims are badly divided and we cannot seem to solve that — and yet we want to organise an international summit to try to unite more than one billion Muslims all over the world. No wonder the OIC is boycotting the Kuala Lumpur Summit.