PETALING JAYA: A political scientist has called out government hypocrisy in its action against a Shia group, and questioned if the Islamic principle of Rahmatan lil ‘Alamin, or “mercy to all” applied to all Muslims even if some have different leanings.
Did the principle only mean mercy to some kinds of Muslims, and not others, said Ahmad Fauzi Abd Hamid of Universiti Sains Malaysia. The principle was introduced by Minister in charge of Religious Affairs in the Prime Minister’s department Mujahid Rawa.
Ahmad Fauzi’s remarks was made in response to action taken against a supposed Shia group distributing leaflets entitled “Who is Hussain”, referring to the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, and the central figure in Shia Islam.
The Inspector-General of Police, Abdul Hamid Bador, said recently that police would work with religious authorities to stop the group which has been seen as promoting Shia Islam. “This is irresponsible and goes against Sunni Islam,” Hamid said.
However Fauzi said this stance had reflected the “inconsistency and hypocrisy” in the governance and fatwa in the country.
“Why do I say this? There’s a national fatwa discouraging the dissemination of Salafi-Wahabism which is considered ‘unsuitable’ to Malaysia. Yet, many Salafi-Wahabi preachers are given the free hand in Malaysia Baru,” he said.
Malay-Muslims, even some within the PH government, had been known to honour controversial televangelist Zakir Naik as a celebrity figure. Mujahid had shown support for Naik, by having a meeting with Naik at the Federal Territories Islamic Department office in Kuala Lumpur in March. In a posting on Facebook, Mujahid had described Naik’s work as “inspiring”.
There has been heavy criticism of Naik. Among those who have called for his deportation has been the Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy.
Naik, a permanent resident in Malaysia, was recently charged in absentia in India of acquiring about Rs1.9 billion (RM114.5 million) worth of criminal assets. He has strongly denied the accusations.