Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi was quoted by the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) as saying that bridgebuilders between the West and the Muslim world must be multiplied to destroy the walls erected by those who are well bent on keeping them apart. He said the bridgebuilders must be developed through the family, education, the media and tens of thousands of men and women who could be critical of the weaknesses and wrongdoings of one's civilisation and at the same time were empathetic towards the other civilisation.
Delivering his keynote address at the International Conference on "Who Speaks for Islam? Who Speaks for the West," at Kuala Lumpur, Abdullah added that when the bridgebuilders reached a critical mass, their collective power would become so overwhelming that it would destroy the walls erected by those who were hell bent on keeping Islam and the West apart.
At that point, he said, when the bridgebuilders reign supreme, the people of the West will speak for Islam and the Muslims will speak for the West.
Both sides must start to curb the extremists in their midst and put a stop to the mockery of any religion or the sacrilege of any symbol held sacred by the faithful.