Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) Chairman Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa said this when commenting on the high number of Malaysian Muslims who condemned the victims, instead of the perpetrator, on the Siakap Keli Facebook page.
According to Ahmad Farouk, the perpetrator of the massacre, Omar Mateen, was the one who should be condemned as his act of violence went against the true teachings of Islam.
“Islamic teachings are based on compassion and mercy.
“We have to accept other people as they are, even if we do not agree with their beliefs or lifestyle,” he told FMT.
Every individual has the right to live, based on their beliefs, and Malaysians should learn to accept the alternative and diverse lifestyle that came with a multiracial and multi-religious society, he said.
Ahmad Farouk added Malaysia, despite being a true example of a multiracial country, is still a long way from being one that is inclusive and this may be the result of the country’s system which labelled the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community as deviant.
“We cannot expect everyone to live in accordance with our standards. We have to accept that people have their own standards and definition of morality.
“As Muslims, if we disagree with a certain kind of lifestyle, we should debate and discuss on the different levels of morality, not by acting aggressively and imposing our moral values upon others.”
Dr Joseph Goh, a lecturer in gender studies at Monash University Malaysia, “reminded” Malaysians that the country was founded on the idea of plurality and differences.
He said the country needed to have a greater appreciation of diversity, which included gender and sexual orientations.
“No religion advocates violence and discrimination. Malaysians are mostly religious, or are people of faith. Even those who do not profess a religion believe in the message of kindness and justice.
“And while Muslims and Christians may say this (same sex relationship) is condemned by their religion, they have to remember that the statement came from a particular interpretation of their holy books.
“But there are also other interpretations that say otherwise.”
He said the fact that there are still some Malaysians who approved of the Sunday incident where Omar, armed with an assault rifle, shot dead 50 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, showed that the religious community here has become more intolerant than in the past.
This was despite the local activists fighting for human rights, Goh added.