A worker cleans an Islamic plaque of calligraphy saying ”Mohammad” on the morning of Eid al-Fitr in a mosque in Kota Bharu, in Malaysia’s northeastern state of Kelantan in this January 8, 2000 file photo.
(Reuters) – Calls by Malaysia’s Islamist opposition party for strict Islamic law that includes amputations and stonings is symptomatic of a drift to more conservative Islam in politics and could further strain relations in the multi-ethnic country.
The push by the Islamist Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS) for the laws, known as hudud, also threatens to split a fragile opposition coalition that has been challenging the long-ruling Muslim party and its allies.
The disparate three-party opposition alliance that includes PAS won the popular vote for the first time in Malaysia’s history in a 2013 election.
While the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and its partners still won the most seats, they are more determined than ever to hold on to power which they have enjoyed since independence in 1957…