It's a lesson for Taliban wannabes, says Noor Farida Ariffin.
PETALING JAYA: The G25 group of prominent Malays has lauded the Sultan of Selangor’s move to revoke the religious teaching credentials of controversial preacher Zamihan Mat Zin, saying it sends an important message for “Taliban wannabes” in the country.
Its spokesperson Noor Farida Ariffin said she saluted Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah for the “apt decision” to protect the image of Islam.
“Let this be a lesson to all the Taliban wannabes and religious racists,” she told FMT. “We do not need this kind of people in Malaysia as they do not fit in a multi-racial and multi-religious society.”
In a statement yesterday, the Selangor palace said Zamihan’s speech at a mosque in Shah Alam on Oct 7 was “racist” and “lacked manners”.
It said he had also gone overboard in criticising the royal institution in a mosque with royal status.
Zamihan, an officer of the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), had during a lecture at Masjid Diraja Tengku Ampuan Jemaah in Bukit Jelutong, Shah Alam, criticised the Sultan of Johor over the ruler’s ultimatum to a laundrette in Muar to end its “Muslim-only” policy.
Defending the policy, Zamihan also made derogatory remarks about the hygiene of Chinese Malaysians.
The Persatuan Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah (Aswaja) president was subsequently arrested for sedition before being released on Saturday.
On Oct 14, the Johor ruler, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, called him “an empty tin can without any brains”. He also forbade the Johor Islamic Department from having any dealings with Jakim henceforth.
Noor Farida claimed the two sultans had made many people happy.
She said she hoped more rulers would fill the void in expressing concern about the rise in extremist thinking as the government had failed to address the problem.
“The government’s silence on this matter has been deafening,” she said.
“Since the government had failed, it is up to the sultans who are heads of religion in their respective states to take action on the matter.”
MCA’s Religious Harmony Bureau chief Ti Lian Ker said the decision on Zamihan was a slap in the face of bigotry and the threat of “Talibanisation”.
He urged government institutions to follow suit to end racism and champion togetherness and tolerance.
“We are proud of the check and balance asserted by the rulers where politicians have failed,” he said.
He said their intervention was in the interest of protecting the federal religion of Islam and augured well for Malaysia’s multi-racial character.