PETALING JAYA: In the wake of a vitriolic social media campaign against the Rohingya community, the mufti of Penang this evening reminded Muslims that Islam espouses sympathy and compassion.
Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor said Malaysian Muslims had been blessed with peace and security, noting that no one was left behind despite restrictions enforced under the movement control order to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said Muslims here should empathise with the Rohingya community. “Put yourself in their shoes. They had to flee their homeland,” he told FMT. “Show your fellow Muslim brothers who are being oppressed some sympathy.”
Social media users have flooded Facebook and Twitter with hateful remarks against Rohingya refugees in the wake of a false allegation that a community activist had demanded they be granted citizenship.
The false demand, attributed to Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani of the Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organisation Malaysia, came in the wake of reports that Malaysian authorities had blocked a boat carrying starving Rohingya refugees from landing in Langkawi recently.
Death threats were subsequently made against Zafar, who has denied that he demanded citizenship.
Wan Salim defended the decision to turn away the boatload of refugees entering Malaysian waters, saying the action was done to protect the nation’s sovereignty and security.
However he hoped that the authorities in Putrajaya would act rationally and humanely to address the issue of Rohingya refugees.
“This is to avoid a humanitarian tragedy.”
Meanwhile, Pahang mufti Abdul Rahman Osman felt that the Rohingya issue had been played up by certain quarters who wanted to create division between Malaysians and the community.
Abdul Rahman said such incitement should be stopped in view of the fasting month of Ramadan. He also questioned the need by some to make a mountain out of a molehill, when there was no issue to begin with.
“Maybe one or two individuals made a remark. It isn’t the entire community.”
Abdul Rahman said Islam preached that those who were persecuted should be aided, while Muslims should also prevent tyranny.
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