The emergence of militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) is caused by Israeli atrocities which oppress Muslims and the Muslim governments’ inability to solve their problems, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
During an interview with Sky News presenter Adam Boulton early this morning, the former prime minister said the evolution of terrorist groups such as Isis was due to their frustration over the state government’s failure to defend Muslims.
“From what they see, the governments of Muslim countries have not been able to do anything about their problems, particularly over Israel, for example.
“So, people tend to take law in their own hands,” he said.
Dr Mahathir, an outspoken critic of the Zionist state, added that it did not mean he supported Isis.
He acknowledged that the group’s violent reactions were caused by the cruelty shown by the Israeli regime itself.
“No, it is not justifiable at all. It is all about frustration that is resulting in violence,” he said when asked whether it was fair for Isis to be set up because of the Israeli establishment.
Dr Mahathir described the struggles of Isis as not in accordance with Islamic teachings but rather due to mere dissatisfaction, especially in the face of powerful countries.
“I know it is very unfortunate. But it is not the teaching of Islam. It is the expression of their frustration over something that they find themselves unable to resolve, because they are up against a powerful nation,” he said.
Dr Mahathir (pic, left) said Muslims around the world feel they were oppressed and under attack.
“But the main thing is, there is this feeling that Muslims generally are being oppressed, their countries are being invaded, and thousands of their people have been bombed and killed. So how do they react to this?” he added.
Isis was formed in 2013 in Iraq.
Its members comprise thousands of local and foreign jihadists and former military men who served under the reign of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.
Media reports say Malaysians have also joined their struggle and some were killed during the battles in both Syria and Iraq.
Malaysian authorities are actively keeping an eye on the activities of those who visited the Arab countries to join Isis.