Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. Source: AFP
Islam in Malaysia is on “a steady slide towards fundamentalism and even violence”, according to a leading expert who is backed by a growing chorus of concern expressed in the country this week.
Farouk Peru, editor of the book Critical Thinkers for Islamic Reform, made the warning yesterday in welcoming an open letter from 25 leading Malaysians, which expressed “deep dismay” about the growing assertion of extremist Islamism in their country — with the support, or toleration, of the government.
The letter, from senior Malaysians including former public service heads, judges, ambassadors and generals, focused on the increasingly harsh application of Islamic laws, including turning “sins” into crimes against the state. It has triggered a huge debate about the country’s direction.
“At last, some prominent Malays have decided to speak up to save the race and this country from becoming an ISIS state,” lawyer and former legal affairs minister Zaid Ibrahim, referring to the Islamic State group fighting for a caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
He said Malays must be exposed to various interpretations of Islam that are consistent with a modern world. Mr Peru said sharia law, whose authority is steadily growing in Malaysia, was developed within an expansionist, imperialist framework — and “such laws are usually against the letter and spirit of the Koran”…
Sharia is AGAINST the Koran? Introduced by imperialists? WTF?