Tearing down X’mas banner unIslamic, say lawmakers

Johari Abdul Ghani

(The Star) – Lawmakers condemned the action of Malay right-wing Perkasa members in tearing down a Christmas banner at the Perak DAP headquarters on Friday.

They said the group should not have taken the law into their own hands even if they disagreed with Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s contention over the use of ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims.

“One should not act based on emotion when it involves religious matters. If they are not satisfied they should bring it to the court,” Titiwangsa Umno MP Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani told The Star Online.

He added that the group should respect the beliefs of others in order to maintain peace and harmony in a multiracial society.

On Friday, the banner with Christmas and New Year messages that was hung outside the Perak DAP headquarters was torn down by the group.

Lim had reportedly said that there was no ban on non-Muslims in Penang using the word ‘Allah’, pointing out that fatwas and the Administration of Religion of Islam (Penang) Enactment 2004 do not apply to non-Muslims.

The Penang Perkasa chapter had also lodged 25 police reports against Lim.

Shah Alam PAS MP Khalid Samad said there was “nothing Islamic” in the action of the group as the religion never taught its followers to resort to violence.

“What Perkasa did had tarnished the image of Islam and this is what happens when one uses religion to fulfill their agenda,” he said.

He said the group should expect the differing views of other parties particularly on religion.

“If they want others to respect their views, then they should show some respect to others,” Khalid said, calling for action to be taken against the group.