PUTRAJAYA - Moderation is the key to fight against Islamophobia, liberalism and extremism, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The Prime Minister said the Government believed that the wasatiyyah (moderation) approach was the most suitable way to deal with the issues plaguing the Muslim world today.
"We are constantly shown a negative image of Islam through the world's mainstream media, in television, and even in video games.
"Some say that Islamophobia is a USD200mil industry.
"The case of Charlie Hebdo and the Prophet Muhammad caricatures have been defined in Europe as freedom of expression.
"However, freedom of expression should not be mistaken as a freedom to offend, to the extent of inciting violence and hatred.
"We cannot take the easy path and pin the blame on the enemies of Islam. But it is important for us to reflect on the issues and challenges faced by Islam.
"Adopting extremist approaches and closed-minded views on certain issues will certainly paint a negative picture of Muslims in the eyes of others.
"It is even sadder when some Muslims endorse Western stereotypes by committing extremist acts that are far away from the true principles of Islam that is promoted by Prophet Muhammad, who is known for practicing wasatiyyah," Najib said at the "Friends of Wasatiyyah" gathering at his residence here.
Najib pointed out that liberalism was a "threat" to Muslims as the philosophy was damaging towards the identity of Islam.
"Liberals do not take religion and its principles seriously. As a result of liberalism, we now have Muslim liberals and also the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual community) among us.
"In order to deal with the disorder that comes from extremist and liberal thinking, the government decides to adopt the wasatiyyah approach, which we believe is most suitable in the current situation.
"The principles of wasatiyyah was the approach of the Prophet when he ruled Medina, and that era produced the golden generation of Islamic history. That is because the people of that time understood moderation," said Najib.
About 50 Muslim social activists, professors, university lecturers and government officers attended the function organised by the Malaysian Wasatiyyah Institute (IWM).