Mat Sabu: Worried about Muslims declaring one another infidels amid post-GE15 tensions

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Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu has expressed his concern about the prevalence of takfiri among Muslims, or the act of declaring one an infidel due to a difference in opinion, saying this would ruin the country.

Mohamad warned that dangerous ideologies are on the rise again, amid a wave of attacks from PAS against the government.

He said this is why Pakatan Harapan (PH) joined forces with BN and others, in order to repel threats to the country.

Mohamad cited recent videos of May 13 riots being repeated that were disseminated on a social media platform as an example and which should not happen again.

“Why stoop to that level of making accusations against the opposing party? It is dangerous in the short and long term,” he added.

Mohammad was campaigning for BN’s incumbent for the Tioman state seat Mohd Johari Hussain – whom he referred to as “our candidate”.

Speaking for the first time at the BN-organised ceramah in Rompin, Pahang last night, Mohamad said while anyone can be criticised, there are lines that should not be crossed.

“I can criticise Umno, whack BN, criticise or whack DAP, but there is a limit.

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“It must not go back to how it once was, to the point that Umno was declared kafir (infidels),” he said.

The PH deputy chairman popularly known as Mat Sabu warned that the culture of takfiri (declaring others as kafir) could ruin Malaysia as it had ruined other Muslim states such as Somalia, Iraq and Syria.

“If you look at Somalia for more than 40 years no solution could be reached; (for) Iraq and Syria it has been 10 years and (they) have yet to resolve the conflict between them, between tribes, tribes and sects,” he said.

He also said that he has visited Baghdad for a special conference and had seen how the country that has regressed despite having the fourth largest oil resources had been plagued with civil war caused by the conflict.

Mohamad’s remark came amid PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang’s comparison of himself with the Prophet Muhammad.

Hadi compared himself to the Prophet who had opposed the oppressive Meccan Quraisy tribe, drawing parallels to non-Muslims in Malaysia.

“Unfortunately, today, when offered the position of prime minister, mentri besar, exco and so on, they accepted it and were willing to compromise their principles. Who do we actually learn from?

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“So, the people who see and understand must reject this type of leader. Let’s all support the Perikatan Nasional (PN) to make changes and build national leadership in a sustainable manner based on the guidance of Allah,” the PN deputy chairman said.

Hadi also alleged PH leaders of being liberals who would legitimise issues that are prohibited in Islam, giving examples such as recognising the LGBT and bribes.

Prior to the election, Hadi had caused backlash for suggesting that non-Muslims are the roots behind corruption.

He labelled Malays in DAP as “stupid liberals” that Islam rejects.

During the 15th general election campaign, Sik PAS Youth chief Mohd Shahiful Mohd Nasir said that those who voted for PH or BN would go to hell.

Shahiful and PN chief Muhyiddin Yassin both apologised for the remarks.

Mohamad also criticised a video of Hadi saying that Muslims would be forced to be pig herders if non-Muslims ruled the country.

It should be noted that the video – which went viral yesterday – is from 2020.

Mohamad also claimed there was a call to “kill Chinese” during a ceramah.

This is believed to be in reference to a speech by actor Zul Huzaimy – who is a PN supporter – stating that he harboured a wish to “slaughter kafir harbi”.

Kafir harbi are non-Muslims who are deemed as enemies, as opposed to kafir dhimmi or protected non-Muslims.

Zul did not say “kill Chinese”. He had apologised for the remarks and claimed it was taken out of context.

PAS and PN continuously attacked PH and BN in the aftermath of the 15th general election, which resulted in a hung Parliament.

PH chief Anwar Ibrahim eventually was appointed prime minister to lead a government comprising PH, BN, Sarawak’s GPS, and Sabah’s GRS and Warisan.

PH and BN also formed state governments under the latter’s leadership in Perak and Pahang.

Mohamad said those in the opposition can criticise the government all they want but should let them serve a full five-year term.

He urged for there to not be a repeat of the 2020 Sheraton Move which toppled the previous Harapan government and said that the opposition can vie for power at the next general election.

“In five years, we can fight at the polls, if we win you accept it, if you lose, you accept it.

“Whether we win, or you lose, there is no problem,” he quipped.

After chairing the 260th Conference of Rulers, Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan Tuanku Muhriz Tuanku Munawir decreed yesterday for political leaders to cease and desist from raising religious issues to flame public anger.

The conference came following a divisive GE15 which saw ethnoreligious rhetoric amped up by political coalitions, especially Perikatan Nasional (PN) and its component Islamist party PAS during campaigning.

Meanwhile, Mohamad said a name for the government coalition is in the works.

He said the decision will be made by the top leaders.

“Our cooperation is still being negotiated. The child that has been born doesn’t have a name yet.

“But our team is discussing between BN, Harapan, and others, what to name our coalition.

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“We leave it to the leadership,” Mohamad said.

It is unclear whether the “name” for the government coalition will be purely a branding matter, or if it will be a registered coalition.

Previously when a change of government took place in 2020, it was called Perikatan Nasional.

However, PN later became its own registered coalition with Bersatu and PAS as lynchpin parties.

There were talks at the time to make BN – which is a coalition itself and partner in the 2020 government – a formal member of PN but this did not follow through.