Perlis mufti urges govt to ban ‘dangerous’ Dong Zong

Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin says for decades, non-Muslims have lived in Muslim villages and no one has ever been forced to convert to Islam.

PETALING JAYA: Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin has urged Putrajaya to ban Chinese educationist group Dong Jiao Zong, which he described as “extremist” and a “danger to the country” like the now-defunct Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)

In a lecture streamed on Facebook last night, Asri likened Dong Zong’s opposition to the three-page introduction of Jawi as part of the Bahasa Melayu syllabus in vernacular schools to a “country going to war”.

“Everyone involved in LTTE’s terrorism must be banned even if there are still ministers involved. It doesn’t matter if it is in Penang or elsewhere; action must be taken. They are a danger to this country.

“Dong Zong is dangerous for this country. Even before, I had urged that they (Dong Zong) be banned,” he said, adding Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had also characterised Dong Zong as “racist” after the group’s opposition to Jawi.

He lamented that the opposition against Jawi was despite the fact that many non-Muslim businesses used Jawi to sell their products.

The problem, Asri said, was not the introduction of Jawi in vernacular schools, but the reluctance towards the creation of an Islamic nation’s identity.

For decades, Asri said, non-Muslims lived in Muslim villages and no one had ever been forced to convert to Islam.

“Malays can patronise their (non-Muslim) businesses until they become towkays and rich.”

On Dec 28, Dong Zong was forced to cancel a congress it organised to discuss the introduction of Jawi in vernacular schools after police obtained a court order against it.

Subsequently, 17 Chinese educationist groups voiced their disappointment over the police move to stop the congress, citing the freedom to assemble and freedom of speech enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

The planned congress had come under fierce criticism and opposition from various parties, including Mahathir, who voiced concern that Malays may react and hold a congress of their own to push for the closure of Chinese schools.

Asri said the introduction of Jawi in vernacular schools was now a national crisis.

“This is stupid because they know the country’s majority population will not like this. If Dong Zong doesn’t want Jawi, it’s okay. They don’t read but don’t deny us Muslims.”

He also slammed some Muslim politicians who “attacked” Muslims using the Rahmatan Lil Alamin (mercy to all creations) concept.

“When we campaign to ‘Buy Muslim-made products first’, there are people who get angry.

“We never said don’t buy from non-Muslims, we said prioritise Muslim-made products.”