Study finds more Malay youths say they are Muslims first

dinaPETALING JAYA: Iman Research has revealed that a study it conducted on Malay youths, has shown that a significant number consider themselves as being Muslims first.

According to the think tank, the survey results showed these youths had a very different mindset to Malays of past decades, who thought of themselves as Malays first.

Speaking at the 7th National Conference on Non-Discrimination Enjoyment of Cultural Rights in Malaysia for All at a hotel here today, Iman Research executive director Dina Zaman said the reason most Malay youths identified themselves as Muslims first was because they believed there was a stigma attached to being Malay.

“They tell us that they’re always told that Malays are lazy and corrupt and everything bad,” Dina said.

She added that the result of this new form of assimilation was that Malay youth had become very knowledgeable in matters regarding Islam.

“They tell us that they know the Islam practised in Malaysia is of the Shafiie school but they then question this and ask what if they wanted to follow the Hanafi school or even if they wanted to become Shiite.

“They have also asked why there isn’t a safe platform for them to discuss such matters.”

According to Dina, many of these youths said they did not support the violence carried out or promoted by militant group Islamic State (IS), yet they felt the need to support their brothers and sisters in jihad.

“They tell us they have to support their fellow Muslims because they believe the foreign policies (of Western countries) are attacking Islam.”