PETALING JAYA: Following Howard Lee’s Quran interpretation controversy, a DAP leader has suggested that state rulers or muftis issue a fatwa barring politicians from quoting the Muslim holy book for political gain.
DAP deputy secretary-general Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji said the ban is necessary to prevent politicians from using the Quran to attack their opponents.
He said the Quran has been used by various parties as a political weapon to advance their private agenda.
“The Quran should be used to unite Muslims. However, its holy verses are being interpreted according to current desires of politicians, which will divide the community,” Tengku Zulpuri told FMT.
However, he defended Lee, the Ipoh Timor MP, from accusations that he had given his own interpretation to a Quranic verse in a TikTok video that went viral last week.
Having watched the video, Tengku Zulpuri said, Lee had not given the verse his own interpretation.
On Tuesday, Lee, who is also a DAP central executive committee member, issued a public apology for using an excerpt of the Quran to urge Muslims to support the current government.
The apology came after he provided a statement to the police as part of their investigation into the matter following a report lodged by Jalinan Bersatu Sahabat, a Perak organisation.
The group’s president, Amiruddin Daud, had accused Lee, a non-Muslim, of insulting Muslims with his own interpretation of the Quranic verse.
James Chin of the University of Tasmania said some non-Muslim politicians quote from the Quran to connect with the Malay community.
He said even though they were not Muslims, the politicians were trying to show that they were also interested in Islam.
“I think the reason for such practice is because all the major Malay parties, especially PAS, are using Islam to justify their political position.
“They (non-Muslim politicians) are trying to show that they try to learn Islam as well. It’s all about trying to connect with the Malays on the ground,” he said.