KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 - Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin warned Malaysian Muslims of two challenges facing them today — the alleged spread of the lesbian, gay, trans-sexual and bisexual (LGBT) movement, and demands for freedom of religion among the Malays.
According to the Barisan Nasional (BN) deputy chairman, these were efforts by foreign influences who are trying to divide the Muslims in the country, backed by masterminds from among Malaysian Muslims themselves.
“We cannot be careless, the challenge against Islam’s position comes in many ways,” Muhyiddin (left) said at a meet-and-greet session with employees of Islamic agencies at the Usamah bin Zaid Mosque in Wangsa Maju here.
“There are parties who are becoming more strident in demanding freedom of religion without limits, including the right for Muslims to become apostates,” he said.
Last year, PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar came under attack from several religious hawks and Umno politicians following her remarks at a public forum on “Islamic State: Which version, whose responsibility?” in Subang Jaya on November 3.
The conservatives alleged that her remarks meant she supported Muslims who renounced Islam and turned “murtad” or apostate.
Muhyiddin warned Muslims today of LGBT advocates who are said to be “poisoning” the minds of Muslims to accept “deviant practices” in the name of human rights.
The ruling coalition and the opposition have been at loggerheads on the issues of LGBT and freedom of religion, which are deemed sensitive in Muslim-majority Malaysia.
In November, Muhyiddin had revealed that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had objected to the inclusion of LGBT rights when signing ASEAN’s first human rights charter recently, saying Malaysia could not accept principles that go against the order of human nature.
Muhyiddin took a swipe at Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim when warning him against legitimising these “twisted practices” just because they were accepted by western nations, suggesting that it was the opposition leader’s “hobby”.
Muhyiddin also asked Muslims nationwide today to shun any fatwas given by politicians, while praising the government’s role in defending Islam.
“Fatwas produced by politicians cannot be used. Don’t practise the fatwas, they’re wrong and deviant, our faith will be distorted,” he said.
Muhyiddin had criticised Islamist party PAS in 2011 for coming out with deviant fatwas allegedly aimed at confusing the faith of Malays.
“If it is said who are the ones who fight for Islam and uphold important institutions in our country, surely it’s us: the chosen government, supported by citizens who love Islam,” he said.
At the gathering, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) gave a total of RM377,500 in extra allowance to the employees who included religious teachers, imams, preachers, and mosque committee members.