GEORGE TOWN: Non-Muslims must stop provoking Malays and Muslims in the country, a Muslim-interest group said today, warning that doing so could very well result in a militant-style reaction from them someday.
Jaringan Muslimin Pulau Pinang chairman Mohd Hafiz Noordin was commenting on Nanyang Siang Pau’s publication of a cartoon lampooning PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia, which he said appeared to show non-Muslims as wanting to “bertumbuk” (spar) with the Muslim community.
Titled “Monkey Show Act”, the cartoon satirised Hadi and Pandikar by depicting them as monkeys on a tree labelled Act 355, which referred to a private member’s bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965.
He said that while it was deplorable that some quarters wished to disturb the peace the country had achieved after nearly 60 years of independence, he was thankful that Muslims and Malays had not reacted to the provocation, as they did not believe in “fights or punches”.
He said although Muslims could react aggressively against the non-Muslims if they wanted to, they would not resort to such extreme behaviour as this was the month of Rejab, in which Muslims observe the Isra Mi’raj, Prophet Muhammad’s miraculous journey.
“The prophet would not react in a militant or violent manner, although the reality is non-Muslims in Malaysia … it appears have a militant network of their own,” Hafiz said.
Hafiz said the kind of “militancy” non-Muslims engaged in, did not involve the shedding of blood. He said theirs was the kind based on provocation as they wanted to portray Islam as a religion of extremists.
“The extremists here, the pelampau kafir, (the true extremists) in our country is the chief editor of Nanyang,” he said, adding that non-Muslims should immediately stop “courting trouble” with the Muslims.
When asked to comment on Nanyang’s public apology, Hafiz said, “Sorry is not enough.” He said the damage had been done and the cartoon was a deliberate attempt to provoke the Muslims.
Hafiz said Nanyang should be given the harshest penalty as a deterrent to other newspapers, media outlets and social media users against engaging in such acts of provocation against the Muslims.
“We cannot gamble with national security. Nanyang must be censured, cancel their licence, permit.
“We do not care. Even if Utusan did it, they too must be punished.”
Earlier, Hafiz and Gabungan Perwakilan Melayu Pulau Pinang president Mohd Rizuad Aizudin and Gabungan Bela Hak Islam president Mohd Noordin Mohd Nor presented a memorandum to Nanyang’s Penang office here at Weld Quay.
Nanyang’s state advertising chief Beh Sok Hooi received the memorandum and told reporters that it would be handed over to their KL headquarters.
In the six-point memo, the groups demanded Nanyang’s management sack the editor who approved the publication of the cartoon.
Later, the group burnt photocopies of the controversial cartoon with the words “Biadap” (rude) written across it. A DAP logo was also placed in the middle.
They later scooped up the ashes of the paper into a bag in a bid to “save the environment”.