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Exco defends preacher’s ‘right’ to air views on birthdays, non-Muslim salons

 | October 17, 2017

Penang exco in charge of Islamic affairs Abdul Malik Kasim avoids saying if Shahul Hamid is accredited to give religious talks in the state.

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PETALING JAYA: Questions have been raised as to whether a Penang-based Muslim preacher at the centre of a controversial video is accredited by the state’s religious authorities, after checks failed to produce any concrete answers.

This comes hours after a report by FMT based on YouTube video clips featuring Shahul Hamid advising Muslims against patronising non-Muslim hairdressers, discouraging parents from sending their children to “non-Muslim” schools and prohibiting Muslims from wishing “Happy Birthday” or even saying “hello” when answering a telephone call.

But Penang’s exco in charge of religious affairs Abdul Malik Kasim said the issue of whether Shahul was an accredited preacher did not arise.

“As long as he did not deviate from the teachings and the faith,” he told FMT, avoiding giving an answer as to whether Shahul, who appeared on an Astro Islamic reality programme, has been cleared by authorities to deliver religious talks in mosques in the state.

Malik however said Shahul’s view went against the Islamic faith and the latter should not have touched on such trivial matters as Penang was a multiracial state.

“It would be different if he said that pork and alcohol were permissible in Islam,” he told FMT, adding that Shahul had made the comments in his personal capacity.

The controversial speeches were uploaded on YouTube between 2015 and last month.

Meanwhile, Penang mufti Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor rebuked the preacher for using the term “kafir” or infidel in a multiracial country like Malaysia, adding that such terms were an insult to those from other races and religions.

“He should have used a polite term. As preachers, we have to be careful when delivering speeches.”

Although Wan Salim had no issue with Shahul urging his audience to support businesses run by Muslims, he said there was no need to tell people not to visit premises run by non-Muslims.

He also took Shahul to task for urging Muslim parents not to send their children to Chinese-medium schools.

“By sending them there, they can learn a lot of new things including the language. They will be exposed to other cultures and this will help reduce the gap between the two communities,” he said.


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