Defending Islam goes beyond party lines - Dr Akmal

Umno Youth Chief calls for Malay unity on religious issues

22 Mar 2024 10:12am
Dr Akmal. Bernama Photo
Dr Akmal. Bernama Photo

SHAH ALAM - The resolute stance of Umno Youth in addressing the sale of socks bearing the word "Allah" at KK Mart convenience stores is a collective endeavor of the party's wing, stressing a united front rather than personal agendas of its leaders.

Umno Youth Chief Dr Muhammad Akmal Saleh explained that his firm stance with the party wing in defending the sovereignty of Islam and condemning the sale of such items is not aimed at being populist or merely an attempt to regain Malay voter support for Umno.

In fact, he also insisted that no party tried to stop him from boldly voicing out the issue, including Umno President Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

"Tell me, who is uncomfortable with my outspoken actions? (the issue of socks with the word Allah written on them).

"I urge all Umno youth in every state to make a police report regarding this issue.

"So whatever comes out of my mouth is not personal, but a collective action through the direction of a Malaysian Umno Youth Leader," he told Sinar yesterday.

Responding to calls urging restraint in addressing the sale of socks with the word "Allah," Dr Akmal stressed that the issue transcends political gains, highlighting the responsibility of Muslims to protect their religion from insult.

In addition to the statements of three Cabinet ministers who warned about the effects of Dr Akmal's behavior, Zahid also urged all parties not to overstep in touching on the sensitive issue of selling socks with the word Allah.

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The Deputy Prime Minister said that this issue is feared to be exploited by some parties to stir up 3R (race, religion and royalty) sentiments, especially when KK Mart has already issued an apology.

Dr Akmal clarified that he has repeatedly reiterated his stance that the issue raised is not about seeking political advantage but rather about the responsibility of a Muslim to defend the religion from being insulted.

"I emphasise that the unity of the Muslim community in defending the sanctity of the religion goes beyond party interests.

"I am glad when other Opposition Malay parties also support our actions; we need to see how DAP and MCA unite to defend their rights.

"This is what we need to nurture, unity among Malays and a non-partisan spirit in defending the dignity of Islam," he said.

Meanwhile, Johor Umno Youth Chief Noor Azleen Ambros offered a slightly different view from Dr Akmal.

Speaking to Sinar, he urged all parties to always have good intentions in facing the recent controversy over the sale of the socks.

He explained that having good intentions in any situation can lead to a deeper understanding by non-Muslims of the greatness and sanctity of the word Allah.

"When there is understanding, it will lead us to the third matter, which is about respect (of non-Muslims towards Islam).

"When we want non-Muslims to continue to respect Islam, our behavior in managing incidents like this will either invite feelings of hatred or respect among them.

"Our manners, our ethics, our orderliness, and our choice of words when speaking will all determine that ultimately Islam, full of peace and purity, deserves respect from non-Muslims and the diverse society in Malaysia," he said.