Umno must guide Muslims, stop misinterpretation of Islam, party veep says


(Malay Mail Online) – Umno, the largest party in the ruling coalition, must lead the way in the protection of Islam by “providing leadership and guidance” to prevent the religion from being misinterpreted, party vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said in an interview published today.

He told the New Straits Times that he hopes the coming Umno general assembly will address this matter “in detail, touching on the track and direction of Muslims in the country.”

“In the aspect of religion, Umno must provide leadership and guidance to prevent misinterpretation of Islam.

“It is timely for the delegates and Umno as a whole to ensure that there is a clear direction of where the ummah (Muslims) are directed.

“There has to be consistency and coordination in the administration of religious bodies in the country,” he told the English-language daily.

Of late, Umno has been taking on the role of the “defender” of Islam, which is practiced by more than 60 per cent of Malaysians.

Malaysian Muslims have been repeatedly warned to be on their guard against “liberal” thinkers, who conservative groups have accused of propagating ideas that deviate from the true teachings of Islam.

Earlier this year in May, Umno president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak warned of a new threat to Islam, which he said has emerged in the form of a new religion advocating “humanism, secularism, liberalism and human rights”.

“They call it human rightism, where the core beliefs are based on humanism and secularism as well as liberalism.

“It’s deviationist in that it glorifies the desires of man alone and rejects any value system that encompasses religious norms and etiquettes. They do this on the premise of championing human rights,” he was quoted saying in a report by Bernama.

The prime minister warned of the dangers of this threat, and rallied Muslims together to remember that Islam is the country’s “national” religion and that Malaysian Muslims are followers of the Sunni sect.

“We will not tolerate any demands or right to apostasy by Muslims, or deny Muslims their right to be governed by Shariah Courts and neither will we allow Muslims to engage in LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) activities,” he reportedly added.