Penang reps spar over ‘bible for Muslims’

(FMT) – Penang opposition leader Yusof Mohd Noor (BN-Sungai Dua) today came under criticism from a Pakatan Harapan assemblyman after he called for a ban on the distribution of the bible to Muslims.

Yusof had urged the state government to introduce laws on the matter, saying Penang alongside Perlis and the federal territories have yet to enact laws against distributing the bible to Muslims.

“Such a legislation would prevent the spread of the bible, such as was done here two to three years ago,” he said while debating the 2020 Supply Bill at the state assembly today.

Norlela Ariffin (PH-Penanti) then questioned if Yusof was suggesting that Muslims are vulnerable.

“I just don’t understand why BN and Umno people love to give the impression that Muslims, when shown the bible, would become Christians right away, and that if we teach them about other religions, they would convert.

“By looking at the bible alone does not make one an apostate.

“Malays should be able to understand and say ‘okay, this is the bible’ and a verse from the Genesis means so and so, while remaining Muslim. Can’t we have that? ” she asked.

Norlela warned that BN and PAS were inciting racial hatred.

She said she had addressed mosque chiefs and village leaders on the need to learn other religions for a better understanding of people of other faiths.

“We also held a session for non-Muslims to ask us anything about Islam, such as why we perform the ablution, why our toilets are wet. In the end, there is genuine understanding by the non-Muslims,” she said.

Satees Muniandy (PH-Bagan Dalam) said cases of Muslims being given the bible are rare.

“There have been isolated cases, I am sure. But we should not get into this, please.”

Yusof said he was merely calling for a law to prevent such cases.