PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang today gave a strongly worded speech urging Muslims in the country to avoid clashes due to differences in ideology. Delivering his speech at a conference for al-Azhar University alumni at the Grand Seasons Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Hadi said he hoped Muslims in the country would not become like their Middle Eastern counterparts who were fighting each other just because of ideological differences. He said although Malaysia could not escape the influence of various ideologies, including Western ones, the country would not reached the level that could lead to conflict. “We have today Sunni killing Sunni, Shia killing Shia. All because of ideological differences. They fight with weapons given by the West, the East, be it the United States, Russia or China. “We (Muslims) are at war with their weapons... Why is this so? God willing, the Malays will not become like the Arabs. Indonesians will not become like the Arabs. “We can disagree, we can argue, but not to a point of being caught up in a proxy war,” he said. In his speech, Hadi said the government should utilise the expertise of Islamic scholars in the country, saying that many al-Azhar graduates would be willing to offer their services for the country. “The colonial era is no more. We govern on our own. There are after all, many learned ulama and ustaz here. “With strength in numbers, it will be hard for others to disrupt,” he said, adding that knowledge from the West was also useful but not to be consumed entirely. Hadi was one of the main speakers at the seminar, launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Both leaders were clad in pink baju melayu – the official attire for the event. – December 17, 2015.