Religious fanaticism will divide the country, says Anwar

Anwar Ibrahim says if Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh’s comment has caused misunderstanding, the best way to resolve it was to acknowledge the mistake.

PETALING JAYA: Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim says there is no excuse for religious fanaticism as such ideology will be disruptive to unity.

This comes after Pasir Puteh MP Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh of PAS made comments on the Christian holy book.

Anwar described remarks by Zawawi as unwise, insensitive and reflecting a low understanding of Islamic ethics when debating with followers of other religions.

“In this context, it refers to the Christian religion,” he said in a statement.

He said if Zawawi’s intention was for people to understand Islam better, he should use wisdom and ensure there is mutual respect for each other.

Anwar said if Zawawi’s comment had caused any misunderstanding, the best way to solve the issue would be to acknowledge the mistake.

He said the right attitude is important to safeguard the principles of justice, equality and compassion for everyone.

“There should be no exception to the law and justice must be upheld,” the PKR president said.

Zawawi had made the remark in the Dewan Rakyat last week in response to Beruas MP Ngeh Koo Ham who had said Christians were allowed to drink alcohol and that the Bible only advocated against drunkenness.

Zawawi insisted that alcohol had been forbidden but that the Bible had been distorted or altered.

The exchange came during a debate on proposed amendments to the Road Transport Act to provide heavier penalties for drink driving offenders.