Umno rejects Islamic liberalism, pluralism

( – Umno will always strongly reject a pluralistic or liberal understanding of Islam, party president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

He said that Umno has and will always defend and protect Islam as the Federal religion.
“We are strongly against those who support pluralism and liberalism (in Islam),” he said in his opening speech at the Umno annual general assembly.
Taking on Islamic PAS head-on, Najib said that Islam must be defended through concrete policies and not only with rhetoric.
He said that Umno was the party which has allowed Islam to prosper as a way of life in Malaysia.
He listed down several policies pertaining to Islam which the government has carried out such as the Lembaga Tabung Haji to assist Muslims to fulfil the obligatory pilgrimage to Makkah, one of the five pillars of Islam, the support for the Islamic banking industry that does not charge interest and Malaysia’s commitment to assisting Palestinians.
“We may even be the first country to open a Palestinian embassy here in the future,” he said.
He also took a dig at PAS which recently held a prayer for Umno’s destruction during the party’s annual general meeting.
“Their behaviour is weird. At the moment when our Muslim brothers are suffering in Gaza and are in need of solidarity of Muslims, they (PAS) here are busy praying for the destruction of others,” he said.
Unsurprisingly, rhetorical criticism of PAS had been one of the major talking points with the delegates yesterday.
The theme came up on several occasions in the delegates’ presentations when they were debating Najib’s speech.
Kepala Batas division delegate Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican said that PAS was a party that propagated deviant teachings of Islam. 
He cited the example of PAS spiritual leader, Nik Aziz Nik Mat’s recent label of Umno as a parti murtad saying that it has strayed from the teaching of Islam.
“PAS itself is a party that is deviant in its teachings,” he said.