Malaysian PM calls IS ‘evil’ group
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—Prime Minister Najib Razak on Saturday denounced the Islamic State as an “evil” terrorist group, saying his Muslim-majority country was ready to join others to defeat it.
But he cautioned that a military solution alone was not enough, and what needs to be vanquished is the ideology.
Najib called on world leaders to confront Islamist extremism, saying its “barbaric acts” do not represent any race or religion, as he opened a regional summit overshadowed by a spate of attacks around the globe.
The summit of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), followed by a series of nine other regional meetings, is taking place in Malaysia’s main city in the backdrop of several extremist attacks around the globe, some of which were claimed by the Islamic State group.
Malaysia has deployed extraordinary security measures around Kuala Lumpur as leaders from 18 countries, including US President Barack Obama, arrived for a pair of weekend summits.
The attacks included the bombings and assaults in Paris and Beirut, the bombing of a Russian airliner in Egypt, and the hostage-taking in Bamako, Mali, on Friday. Closer to home, a Malaysian hostage was killed by an Islamic militant group in the southern Philippines.
“The perpetrators … do not represent any race, religion or creed. They are terrorists and should be confronted as such, with the full force of the law,” Najib said in a stirring opening speech at the Asean summit opening that repeatedly emphasized the tolerance of Islam.
“Malaysia stands ready to provide any help and support that we can, and be assured that we stand with you against this new evil that blasphemes against the name of Islam,” he said.
Najib said he had intended to open the summit to talk about an economic community that the Asean intends to launch in a region of 622 million people with a combined economic output of $2.5 trillion. Reports from AP
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