Activist warns Mujahid against repeating ‘hate mantra’ against Shias

Vocal activist Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa has warned the Pakatan Harapan government against falling into the “hate mantra of the past” in dealing with the diversity of Muslims, following remarks by a minister that Shia Islam would not be tolerated.

(FMT) – “At a time when we are celebrating the new dawn of Malaysia, he is repeating the hate mantra of the previous regime,” Farouk, who heads the Islamic Renaissance Front, told FMT.

“It now seems that nothing has changed with this new government with respect to Islam.”

He said mosques in Selangor continue to invoke anti-Shia sentiments during Friday prayers and sermons.

“There are still full of hate speech. Hate against the Shias. Hate against the liberals. When is this going to end?” he asked.

The Shia Muslim community in Malaysia has come under renewed focus from Islamic authorities recently, as followers worldwide observed the Ashura last week.

The Ashura marks the death anniversary of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad and a central figure in the Shia school of thought.

It was reported that Islamic authorities in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur had stepped up monitoring to prevent Ashura gatherings by Shia Muslims, with leaflets condemning “deviant practices”.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa, meanwhile, had indicated that a 1996 fatwa declaring Shia teachings as “deviant” remained in force, and that he would leave it to Islamic authorities on the types of action against those following the denomination.

Former deputy minister in charge of Islamic affairs, Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, had meanwhile urged for tough action against Shia Muslims, after a group of them distributed free doughnuts to the public in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur accompanied with a poster praising Hussein.

Farouk, who has often challenged Islamic authorities, said Mujahid should not cave in to pressure from the previous “self-styled guardians of Islam”.

“Shias have lived for more than 1,400 years along with their Sunni brothers. There is no reason to deny them the right to practise what they believe,” he told FMT.

“In a new Malaysia, we should be able to embrace them as our brothers. This is the Muslim unity we have been talking about.”