Speaking out against those who wish to forbid many things under the pretence of religion, Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar stressed “there is no place for narrow-mindedness” in the state.
In his speech at Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia’s (UTHM) 17th convocation ceremony in Batu Pahat on Oct 14, Sultan Ibrahim touched on the matter of the Muslim-only laundrette, saying such a practice would serve to divide the people.
“As head of religion, it is my duty to maintain the peace and unity among the multi-racial people in this state.
“Therefore, whatever that I feel will lead to division, there will be immediate action,” the Sultan said.
He added that such a practice was “extreme”, and went on to emphasise that Islam upheld harmony and doing good, even to people who are not of the same religion.
“This narrow mindset is not the way of Muslims in Johor,” he said.
The Sultan said that those who cannot live harmoniously in society should live alone in a cave.
He pointed out that such overzealous constraints would make living in a community impossible.
“When banknotes may have been held by a pork seller or alcohol seller, does the Government have to produce Muslim-friendly money?
Posted by Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar on Saturday, October 14, 2017
“What about public seats that may have been licked by stray dogs or pillows and blankets in a hotel which could have come in contact with unclean elements? It would be endless,” Sultan Ibrahim said, urging the people to reflect.
He also struck out at Muslim preacher Zamihan Mat Zin who recently criticised him over the launderette case.
He said Zamihan talked arrogantly, as if he was the only one who was right, mocked other races and denied his actions after being criticised by the public.
“I consider him to be merely an empty tin can without any brains.
“It seems this ustaz is clever when it comes to lying, how could we learn from him? Don’t deceive me, after this it is enough for him to lecture in front of the mirror to know himself,” His Majesty said.
He also said he would direct the Johor Islamic Religious Department (JAIJ) to cease all dealings with the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and to carry out their own checks on Muslim preachers in the state.
Meanwhile, Jakim said in a statement that it will request an audience with the Sultan of Johor regarding the issue on Zamihan.
The preacher had denied he was attached to Jakim but the agency confirmed he was a Jakim officer in the home ministry and was currently serving at Kajang Prison.
Zamihan, who was remanded for two days and under investigation for sedition over remarks uttered in a video clip, was released on police bail at 2pm on Saturday. The police’s request to extend the remand until Monday was rejected by a magistrate.
His case has been referred to Jakim’s disciplinary board for further action.
The Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) has barred him from delivering any religious lecture in the state’s mosques.
The Selangor Palace has ordered the Selangor Islamic Council (Mais) to withdraw Zamihan’s accreditation as a religious lecturer and remove him from the state’s Tauliah Committee.
Selangor Council of the Royal Court secretary Hanafisah Jais said Selangor ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah had consulted with the council before giving Mais the instructions.
“This follows a religious lecture by Zamihan which contained words that are racist, ill-mannered and excessively critical of the royal institution.
“Moreover, the said lecture was delivered at a royal mosque, where a lecture of such nature should not have taken place,” Hanafisah said in a press statement today.
He also added that the Sultan has ordered all mosques and surau committees in the state to record religious lectures on video for content monitoring.
The Sultan also decreed that the PA system broadcast in mosque and surau to be limited to the compound with the exception for the azan call to prayer.
Despite the stance taken by the Rulers against religious bigotry, Zamihan remains defiant as he continued posting extreme views against issues he deemed as “struggles’ in the name of Islam on his Facebook page.
He lashed out at the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual (LGBT) community and called out for Muslims to reject the “LGBT culture”.
Zamihan also attacked followers of Ahmadiah and called on Muslims to voice their objections against the “deviant” religion.
In another posting, Zamihan congratulated a group known as Majlis Ayahanda Johor for objecting to a beer festival held in the state, saying, “We must unite and defend Islam. This is such a big issue and it is compulsory for us to address this.”
Some netizens have come out in support of Zamihan, commending him for having a strong spirit, while others were unforgiving towards the controversial preacher.