Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin at a meeting with Malaysian businessmen in Indonesia under the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) at Jakarta. Bernama photo

JAKARTA: The concept of Wasatiyyah is the key to preserving Islam from becoming an extremist religion, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today.

He said Wasatiyyah, which meant moderation, was the best way to counter extremism which comes in two forms - on one hand there is the group that sees Islam as "flexible" or "loose", while the other group is too rigid that Islam is seen as violent and forceful.

Delivering a keynote address at the Clerics and Preachers Muzakarah, here, Muhyiddin said the two extremists had caused deviations in Islamic teachings which divided the Muslim community worldwide.

"It gave such a negative perception of the religion - Islamophobia , especially in the West."

Muhyiddin said the principles of Wasatiyyah were clear, to have moderation in everything that we do, as was practised by the Prophet Muhammad.

‎He said Wasatiyyah, as mentioned in the Quran, forbade extremism and violence. Therefore, clerics and preachers must play their role in promoting Wasatiyyah to all Muslims globally.