Malaysia’s Mahathir: UAE-Israel deal divides Muslim world into ‘warring factions’

malaysian-prime-minister-dr-mahathir-mohamad.jpeg

Mahathir Mohamad says the Israelis will “add fuel to the fire”, meaning there will be “no peace even between Muslim nations”.  Suggested reading: The Muslim Times Finally Has the Recipe to Unite All Muslims

Source: This week in Asia

By Amy Chew, who is a journalist currently based in Kuala Lumpur. She covers politics, terrorism, economics, climate change in Southeast Asia. She was previously based in Indonesia, Hong Kong and Singapore. She has also dabbled in investment banking, working as an analyst for Daiwa Capital Markets Singapore.

  • The two-time prime minister, a long-time defender of the Palestinians, has criticised the US-brokered agreement as a step backwards for peace
  • Indonesia’s largest Muslim organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama, has warned the deal could trigger terror attacks there and in the Middle East

Malaysia’s former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad on Friday threw cold water on the landmark accord reached by the United Arab Emirates and Israel, warning it was a step backwards for peace and would divide the Muslim world into “warring factions”.

He was joined in his criticism of the United States-brokered agreement – which will see Israel suspend a controversial plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank in return for full diplomatic ties with the UAE – by Indonesia’s largest Muslim organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama, which said the deal could trigger terror attacks in the Southeast Asian nation and the Middle East.

Mahathir, a long-time defender of the Palestinians, who are locked in a decades-old conflict with Israelis, told This Week in Asia the agreement would “divide the Muslim world into warring factions and in this, the Israelis will add fuel to the fire”.

“They will increase the ability of the contestants to fight each other and there will be no peace even between Muslim countries,” said Mahathir, 95, who had two stints as the premier of the Muslim-majority nation, his most recent one ending earlier this year.

“It bolsters the stand taken by Israel that Palestine belongs to Israel. Of course there will be a reaction from the Palestinians and those who are sympathetic towards the Palestinians. This will mean prolonging the war in the Middle East,” he said.

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