Ridhuan Tee: Let the world laugh at us


The controversial preacher retorts to American scholar Aslan’s criticism of Malaysia’s religious autocracy.

Amin Khairuddin, Free Malaysia Today

Controversial preacher and columnist Ridhuan Tee has taken offence at American scholar Reza Aslan’s criticism of Putrajaya’s autocratic attitude when it comes to Islam.

In his column in Sinar Harian today, Tee said Malaysian Muslims were in no need of advice from a foreigner. “What does he know about Malaysia and its history, its constitution and the culture of its society?” he asked.

The Iran-born Aslan, author of the bestseller No god but God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam, said last week that Malaysia had become the butt of jokes for the ban on non-Muslim use of “Allah” for God and that Malaysian authorities were behaving like “a bunch of thugs” from North Korea.

“Let the world laugh at us,” said Tee, “as long as we take good care of the country and its people.

“Haven’t the western nations become the laughing stock of the world for reducing human dignity to a level lower than that of animals in the name of democracy, with their tolerance of LGBT and homosexual relations and marriages?”

Tee castigated websites and NGOs for giving publicity to Aslan’s views, but concentrated his attack on Sisters in Islam (SIS).

Referring to SIS researcher Afiq Mohamad Noor’s criticism of remarks he made in a press interview, Tee said, “The researcher was angry with me when I called myself a fundamentalist, not a moderate. He told me to shut up and labelled me as being something like the IS in Syria.”

He taunted Afiq, implying that the latter had pretensions of being an expert in Arabic, referring to his interpretation of “wasatiyyah” as “moderation”.

“But I say, wasatiyyah implies both moderation and fundamentalism; that would be more accurate,” he said.

“The imam Ibnu al-Qayyim wants mankind to be moderate and fundamentalist to save themselves from transgression. So we find a position between two extremes to be in perfect balance and justice.”