He said Islamophobia must be erased from the minds of non-Muslims so they would not have a misconception of the religion.
“Islam does not teach us to be involved in the Daulah Islamiyah or the Islamic State or to kill others.
“The problem is some of the so-called hardliners had given a negative perception of Islam, including the halal products.
“Now is the time for us to move forward to show the world, to show the non-Muslims, that we are moderates, we are the real Islam and we are a peaceful ummah,” he said in his speech before launching the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC) Halal Conference 2015 here yesterday.
He added that by 2030, the number of Muslims was expected to reach 1.3 billion worldwide.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said Muslims should not show off their military strength, but should work with those of other faiths and the rest of the world, especially in sharing halal products and services.
He expressed his disappointment that Malaysia was always left behind in the halal industry despite being the pioneer in producing certain halal products and services.
“Halal products are the brainchild of great thinkers and scientists of our religion.
“But it is unfortunate that those who got the opportunities are those who don’t share the same belief.
“Where are our people? Why are the other countries where Islam is not the official religion ahead of us?
“The problem is we’re in the ‘red ocean’ (existing market space) instead of moving to the ‘blue ocean’ (uncontested market space).
“We have to go deeper and get rid of our silo thinking,” he added.
Dr Ahmad Zahid also added that it was time for Malaysia to work hard and smart to be in the forefront again.
The inaugural SMIIC Halal Conference 2015 is jointly organised by the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry.