Firm stance against Islamophobia shows govt's commitment to defending sanctity of Islam - Experts

23 Sep 2023 05:39pm
Penang Mufti Datuk Dr Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor - Photo by Bernama
Penang Mufti Datuk Dr Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor - Photo by Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR - Religious experts and leaders have commended Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for his firm stance against Islamophobia at the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), saying it reflected the government's strong commitment to defending the sanctity of Islam.

Penang Mufti Datuk Dr Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor said other Muslim nations should now echo the stance of Malaysia and Turkiye on tackling the issue collectively and effectively through the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

He said all the leaders of the Muslim world should stand up against the acts of burning the Quran as it would send a strong message to the parties in question not to repeat them.

"The Quran does not teach its readers to hate or have enmity, but instead, encourages tolerance and mutual respect among all human beings regardless of their religious, ethnic and cultural differences," he said when contacted by Bernama today.

Yesterday, Anwar in the National Statement delivered at the 78th UNGA held at the UN Headquarters in New York said Malaysia expressed concern over the emergence of a 'new form of racism' characterised by xenophobia, negative profiling and stereotyping of Muslims.

Meanwhile, a senior lecturer at the Department of Government and Civilisation Studies, Faculty of Human Ecology, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Dr Mohammad Nidzam Abd Kadir said the government's initiative to print one million copies of the Quran to be distributed around the world was one of the best measures in curbing the issue.

However, he opined that religious dialogue and debate sessions should also be held with the main goal of recognising the points of mutual understanding among the various religions.

"We need to state that Muslims will rise up to defend the rights of any religion when they are denied them or when their scriptures are insulted. This is because Islam itself does not allow the insulting of any religion.

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"There is no need to condemn, but instead express our disapproval because it (condemnation) invites enmity (between countries)," he said.

Muslim Welfare Organisation of Malaysia (PERKIM) vice president Prof Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, meanwhile said, the government needed to be consistent in its efforts to make the world aware of issues involving Islamophobia.

"Malaysia should emulate Turkiye. Among Muslim countries, Turkiye is indeed quite ahead in defending Islam. So, of course, Malaysia needs this kind of partner to show solidarity in defending and fighting for Islam," he said. - BERNAMA