Without naming anyone, Asri Zainul Abidin also makes references to an 'evil government' and an ancient Hindu practice.
PETALING JAYA: A caustic poem by Perlis Mufti Asri Zainul Abidin today targetted people he said “idolised cows”, while defending an unnamed preacher against attempts to hand him over to an “evil government”.
“When those who idolise cows as God unite, and call for our preacher to be fettered, to hand him over to an evil government that worships the fire and practises the sati, burning widows, in that continent, a teaching that divides humans into castes,” Asri wrote in his “Friday morning poem” in a Facebook post.
Sati refers to an obsolete Hindu funeral custom banned in India, where a widow immolates herself on her husband’s pyre.
While Asri did not mention names, he had in the past criticised Hindu rights group Hindraf over its opposition to Mumbai-based preacher Dr Zakir Naik.
Naik is under investigation from the Indian authorities for money laundering and for promoting hatred, and has come under attack from several groups who said his presence was a threat to Malaysia’s multireligious society.
Hindraf leader P. Waythamoorthy and other activists have initiated a legal suit against the government for allowing Naik to stay in the country.
Naik’s speeches have often touched on Christianity and Hinduism, and have been criticised for stoking hatred among different communities.