Mahathir Causes Controversy With Call for Muslims to Emulate Jews

March 18, 2004

Source: Khaleej Times

On March 18, 2004 the Khaleej Times ran a Reuters article that reported, "Malaysia’s retired veteran leader Mahathir Mohamad revisited the storm of controversy surrounding his final days, by saying on Thursday that Muslims should reject terror and learn from the Jews. Mahathir provoked a welter of criticism from Western governments and Israel by saying that Jews ruled the world by proxy in his last big speech before retiring at the end of October. 'My speech was balanced and unfortunately the focus was all on what I said about the Jews,' Mahathir [said]...'I pointed out the Jews for 2,000 years withstood the pogroms the holocausts and all that, and they never retaliated. It is only as a result they have made progress,' he explained...'You should emulate the Jews. I’m telling Muslims to follow the Jews. But of course the Jews never noticed that,' he said. Mahathir has been the focus of accusations of anti-semitism hurled at him often in the past. But his comments while hosting the Organisation of the Islamic Conference summit outraged Western governments sensitive over the holocaust in Europe."