Intolerance rising in Malaysia, says report

Source: FMT News

Rising intolerance is believed to be largely due to the influence of Malaysians who study in Saudi Arabia and, upon their return, introduce Salafist ideas into the nation’s administration. Image taken from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has shifted towards a more rigid, political Islam, resulting in greater intolerance in the country, according to a report in The Diplomat.

The report quoted researchers and Muslims as saying that intolerance was becoming a part of Malaysian life.

Dr Zachary Abuza, a professor at the National War College in the US

Dr Zachary Abuza, a professor at the National War College in the US, was quoted by The Diplomat as saying: “Malaysia has become steadily more intolerant, and this has been a top down government policy.”

Abuza, who focuses on Southeast Asian politics and security issues, described Malaysian Islamic religious leaders as state-sponsored and who used vetted sermons.

“The people most at risk are clearly the ethnic minorities, atheists, and Christian Malays, which is actually unconstitutional.

“I was just in Malaysia, and the intolerance displayed by Malays is growing. I don’t know one Chinese Malaysian or Indian that is not alarmed at where this is headed.” Read more

Acknowledging Pope Francis as an apostle of peace — Shad Saleem Faruqi

Source: The Star Online

BY SHAD SALEEM FARUQI

Shad Saleem Faruqi - file pic

Shad Saleem Faruqi – file pic

We must expose attempts to justify every form of hatred in the name of religion and to condemn these attempts as idolatrous caricatures of God.

MANY corners of our world are bristling with intolerance and consumed by war and aggression.

Some terrorists and anarchists, like the ones in Syria and Iraq, misuse the holy name of religion to justify their perfidies. Others are more sophisticated. They employ the vocabulary of “democracy”, “human rights”, “humanitarian intervention” and the “war against terrorism” to devastate lands that (not just by coincidence) belong to a race or religion they regard as inferior to theirs.
Read more

Unequal treatment for non-Muslims, minorities, says US report

Source: FMT News

The annual religious freedom report notes the ways in which dissent is handled by Malaysian authorities and the restrictions on religious freedom, while offering suggestions on how the US government should handle this. Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is prioritising the Malay Muslim identity, often to the disadvantage of religious and ethnic minorities, says the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) 2017 report.

Certain systems in place and trends in the country have tended to erode the notion of a secular state and the constitution as the supreme law in Malaysia, it says.

“The Malaysian government actively restricts freedom of expression and punishes those who criticise it, including online,” it says, adding that due to these and other restrictions and unfair actions, the USCIRF has again placed Malaysia on its Tier 2, where it has been since 2014. Read more

The politics of Himpunan 355 — Hew Wai Weng

Source: New Mandala

Hew Wai Weng reports on Malaysia’s recent rally for sharia law, and what it says about the prospects for Islamic party PAS in upcoming elections.

On 18 February, Padang Merbok in Kuala Lumpur hosted Himpunan 355, a rally to support the enactment of the 1965 Syariah Courts Act, best known as RUU 355. The rally was organised by the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), together with a few Muslim organisations.

The enactment of RUU 355, proposed by PAS President Hadi Awang, is a contentious issue in Malaysia. PAS leaders have publicly reiterated that the main aim of the proposed amendment was not about hudud but merely to strengthen the sharia laws, while opponents claimed it is an unconstitutional move and a stepping stone for the implementation of hudud.

About 30,000 purple-shirted people attended Himpunan 355. This is slightly higher than the Malay crowd at Bersih 5. Yet, this should not be seen as indicative of the strength of PAS’s electoral support. While this figure reflects the ability of the Islamist party to mobilise a crowd, it also reveals its limitations. Read more

Hadi: Malaysian politics must be dominated by Muslims

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Hadi also was quoted saying non-Muslims need not worry of tyranny or unequal treatment, claiming Islam forbids leaders to act in such way against anyone, including the non-Muslims.

Hadi said non-Muslims need not worry of tyranny or unequal treatment, claiming Islam forbids leaders to act in such way against anyone, including the non-Muslims. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa from the MMO.

Hadi said non-Muslims need not worry of tyranny or unequal treatment, claiming Islam forbids leaders to act in such way against anyone, including the non-Muslims. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa from the MMO.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — Muslims should control Malaysian politics because its adherents make up the majority of the country’s population, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang insisted yesterday.

The president of Islamist party PAS further claimed that in Islam, a religion that dominates a country should lead the nation.

“And since Malays are the majority in this country, they will have to be leaders.

“Non-Muslims do not have to worry because we have to go by the population’s breakdown to ensure a harmonious country,” he was quoted saying in Malay daily Sinar Harian. Read more