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Protests over insults against Islam
Published on: Saturday, March 02, 2019
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Kota Kinabalu: Muslims staged peaceful protests in several parts of Sabah, Friday, over insults directed at Islam and Prophet Muhammad on Facebook recently.

 Sabah PAS Youth wing and members of several Muslim organisations numbering about 200 attended the demonstration held after Friday prayers in the compound of Masjid Negeri, here, with three speakers taking to a makeshift podium to address the crowd. 

 They were Sabah PAS Commissioner Mohd Aminuddin Aling, Sabah PAS Youth Chief Zulzaim Hilmee Abidin and Sabah Muslim Students’ Coalition (Gamis) Chairman Kamran Aiman Baharon.

 Aminuddin said the insulting posts were made by irresponsible people who had no respect for Muslims and no regard for unity.

 “We should be able to practise our religion without anyone throwing insults to us,” he told reporters later.

 “Insulting Islam and Prophet Muhammad would only invite anger among Muslims and may court untoward incidents.”

 Zulzaim said PAS sees the insult as being made by immature people.

 “I’m sure Sabahans are mature when faced with such issues and will maintain their composure although some people want to create a gap between multi-religious communities in the State,” he said, adding people should refrain from making statements that hurt religious sensitivities.

 The President of Pertubuhan Kebajikan Dakwah Islamiah Sabah (Perkida), Datu Mohd Akjan Datu Ali Muhammad, said lack of understanding of the Rukunegara or National Principles is what causes people not to respect those from other religious beliefs.

 “In the Quran, we are taught to practise our religion and to let other people practise theirs. So, for harmony’s sake, let’s not insult each other,” he said.

 He also urged the people to leave it to police to handle the matter and the government not to be selective when taking offenders to task.

 A representative of Muslim NGOs at the event, Tok Ayahsifu, said although Islam teaches its followers to be compassionate, people should not “stir the hornet’s nest”.

 “People of Sabah have been united, let’s keep it this way and not undermine the unity we’ve been enjoying,” he said. Perkida and another Muslim body lodged police reports recently over posts made by certain Facebook users.

In SANDAKAN, the protest was held after Friday prayers at the Sandakan District Mosque’s compound and was organised by the Sabah PAS Youth wing in collaboration with several non-governmental organizations.

 Among the NGOs involved were the United Sabah Islamic Association (Usia), Maahad Tahfiz Coalition of Sandakan, the Lang Merah Sejagat Organisation and the Ta’alim Al-Asyairah Council as well as Libaran Umno.

 Sabah PAS Deputy Commissioner III Sahar Abdul Majid insisted that the parties concerned apologise openly to all Muslims.

 Libaran Umno Youth Liberation Chief Rizan Aziz invited Muslims to unite on the basis of Muslim brotherhood and reject racial sentiments and religious hostilities.

 The peaceful assembly was held simultaneously in Tawau’s Al-Kauthar Mosque, Kunak District Mosque, As-Salam Mosque in Semporna and several other mosques.

In SIPITANG, United Sabah Islamic Association’s (Usia) Sipitang Division Chief Datuk Sapawi Ahmad said the Government must take firm action against those who insult Prophet Muhammad and Islam especially those doing so on FaceBook. 

 “Those who dare insult the Prophet and Islam are delinquents who can undermine the peace and harmony of the country,” he said.

 “The action against them is important so that the insulting act, which can provoke Muslims, does not spread.

 “If the government is not firm, this issue will likely end up in a religious strife and racial disunity in the country,” he said.

 He said such people should be taken to task before something untoward happens.

“It should be warned that Muslims have never interfered or insulted any religion because people have clearly lived in harmony and peace but why is that the Prophet and Islam are slandered?”

 Sapawi also praised Sipitang Usia’s long term-ceramah programme starting this year on Thursday.

 “This is to ensure every mosque is enlivened so that Muslims can better unite,” he said.

“This is a way for us to ensure that our role to ensure peace and mutual understanding between religions continue.

 “We will move mobilise Usia with ceramahs in every mosque so that Muslims understand what is forbidden and allowed and to instill Islamic knowledge within the young generation.”

 He said this is also important to foster unity and understanding among Muslims as a whole.

In KUNAK, over 200 Muslim gathered at the Town Mosque compound after Friday prayers to voice their protests.

 The coordinators of madrasah Rhaudah Al Hadad Pondok Tok Su, PAS members and the Kunak Community Development Leader Office as well as local communities attended the gathering.

 Regardless of political ideology, those at the peaceful demonstration wanted the authorities to take appropriate actions against any individual or quarter who attempts to incite religious hatred by uttering words insulting the Prophet.

 Silam PAS Youth Chief Kasman Karate Muslim and Muslim Care Malaysia Society’s representative Ustaz Mukmin Mohamad led the rally.

 The protestors also urged the Government to establish an act of Parliament to prevent people making offensive speeches or writings that cause discomfort among society. - Zam Yusa, Mardinah Jikur, Ahmad Apong and Ibrahim Tabir



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