In ‘unity convention’, liberalism, Christian evangelism again painted as ‘threats’ to Malay-Muslims

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
Gerakan Pembela Ummah chairman Aminuddin Yahya delivers his speech during the Ummah National Unity Convention at the Kuala Lumpur International Hotel August 25, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 25 — A convention organised by a coalition of Malay-Muslim groups has today listed several issues it deems “major threats” against the majority community, which included liberalism, Christian evangelism, and human rights movements.

In his opening speech, organiser Gerakan Pembela Ummah chairman Aminuddin Yahaya claimed that liberalism threatens to cloud the understanding of Islam among the community by allegedly masking their values as progressive religious views.

“It is a Western strategy that attempts to confuse the understanding of Islam among the Muslim community to a point where it triggers disputes among themselves,” he said, referring to liberalism.

“If there is no sincere and honest effort to answer and debunk all the confusion by religious scholars, the position of Islam will in the end be a mere ritual.”

Aminuddin, who is also the president of Islamist group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma), then accused Christian evangelists of becoming more brazen in spreading their beliefs to the community, which he said went against the tenets of the Federal Constitution.

“Christian evangelists are now not shy to spread their flyers from house to house despite it going against the Federal Constitution which does not allow the spread of other religions to Muslims.

“Among their objectives are those contained among the resolutions of the Christian Federation of Malaysia, which is to place as many Christians as possible as the country’s leaders,” he claimed in the National Ummah Unity Convention at the Kuala Lumpur International Hotel.

Another threat he claimed was the push for universal human rights and values, which he alleged would result in Islam being seen as unfair and ultimately sidelined.

“They are highlighting a new mindset which through its interpretation rejects religious values and looks to replace it with the term universal values.

“From here negative elements such as the practice of LGBT between men and women, the freedom to apostate and speak without limits, and other issues will be detrimental not only to individuals, but the country,” he said, using the initials of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Aminuddin added the push by certain quarters to amend laws, such as the Sedition Act, and the repealing of the death penalty was also detrimental to the development of Malays, Islam and the Malay Rulers.

“We are confident this is not coincidental, but a plan by certain quarters to weaken the position of the Pribumi and the religion of Islam,” he said, using the Malay word that refers to the indigenous population.

He also pointed out how the Malays, trailing other races in terms of economic development, paired with the uncertain global geopolitical situation, as having a negative effect on them.

Also in his list was the threat of what he described as an extremist movement looking to challenge the position of Islam and Malays through education.

“There are quarters who are getting braver in challenging the position of Islam and Malays.

“There are those who continue to challenge the education system by bringing up a foreign system that leans more towards learning the history of foreign nations rather the history of their own country,” he claimed.

Liberalism encompasses a wide array of ideas, but its supporters usually push for civil rights, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, free trade, private property, and free and fair elections.

Malay-Muslim conservative groups, such as Isma, have also consistently spoken out against Christianisation, human rights, and religious pluralism as alleged threats against the Malay-Muslim community in recent years.

Ummah had in May organised a rally to defend the “sanctity and sovereignty of Islam”, which was lambasted by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as a ploy to draw support for certain political parties.

The convention today also included speakers such as Umno information chief Datuk Shamsul Anuar, former inspector-general of police Tan Sri Musa Hassan, and Malay Consultative Council Datuk Hasan Mad.

Related Articles Mujahid: ‘Rahmatan Lil Alamin’ concept created with Malaysian context in mind Hadi: Solidarity with Muslims above fellow citizens, ‘one million’ PAS members back Zakir Naik PM: Non-Muslims, Shi’ites free to practise own teachings, just don’t spread to Muslim Malaysians