Many of the crises faced by Muslims and the Muslim world were largely due to their own fault, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
The former prime minister said crises were not something new to the Muslim world as they existed since the Quran began to be interpreted in many ways by different groups.
“Crises and problems also began when Muslim scholars began to neglect subjects perceived to be secular such as science, mathematics, medicine and engineering, but focused only on religious studies.
“I would like to insist that the fault lies in ourselves. We are the people to be blamed, letting ourselves split by so many sects and different interpretations of the Quran,” Dr Mahathir said in his keynote address on “Global Peace: Crisis in the Muslim World” at the International Islamic University (IIU), Gombak, near here.
At one time, Dr Mahathir said, Muslims were leaders in science, mathematics, astronomy, architecture, engineering and medicine while the Western world lagged behind them and were in the dark ages.
However, the Europeans, noticing the knowledge acquired by Muslim scholars, began to learn Arabic to get access to the (various fields of) knowledge and got out of the dark ages and achieved the Renaissance.
He said while the Europeans developed powerful military forces, Muslims however, become less knowledgeable and less capable of doing things for themselves, including defending themselves.