Ex-mufti slams extremist Islamist groups, says Christianity and Islam closely related

Dr Asri Zainul Abidin

Hasbullah Awang Chik, The Malaysian Insider

Islam is not under attack in Malaysia, and extremist Islamist groups that constantly warn of alleged Christianisation are only shaming their own religion, says prominent Islamic scholar Dr Asri Zainul Abidin (pic).

The former mufti of Perlis said efforts by any religious community to spread their teaching was a natural phenomenon in all countries, and it did not merit knee-jerk reactions from Muslims in Malaysia‎.

“I want to remind Muslims not to be shocked if there are people who invite them to join Christianity. Of course religious leaders will feel that theirs’ is the true religion, and would want to invite others to join them.

“Some Muslims are so shocked by this, as if it’s the end of the world… (but) Muslims in the UK, the US and Europe also campaign for Christians to join Islam.

“So the same is being done here. It is a normal phenomenon that does not require us to react in such a chaotic manner, as if our country is in a state of emergency,” Asri told The Malaysian Insider.

“The closest people to the Muslims are Christians. The Quran‎ says you will find that the people who love Muslims the most are Christians.”

Asri was responding to the controversial seminar on Christology and the use of the word Allah, held‎ last week at the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM).

Several speakers had warned Muslims against the threat of Christianisation and belittled the Bible as containing “tales‎”, while copies of a book titled “Exposing the Christian agenda” were distributed among the students.

The recent events had strained ties between the two biggest religious communities in Malaysia, which were already in conflict over the decades-long tussle over the use of the word Allah.

Christians make up 2.9 million of Malaysia’s 30 million population, with two-thirds of the adherents residing in Sabah and Sarawak.

Asri reminded Muslims in Malaysia that they had no reason to be worried about the fate of their religion, as no attack had been launched against Islam.