PETALING JAYA: The Malaysia Hindu Sangam says it accepts Perlis Mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin’s apology for his controversial poem, but believes he has missed the point.
Earlier, Asri, in a Facebook post, apologised to Hindus who “misunderstood” his poem which he maintained wasn’t aimed at Hindus in general but the government of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
But Malaysia Hindu Sangam president RS Mohan told FMT this wasn’t the point.
“We accept Asri’s apology but he missed the point.
“In Malaysia, we live in peace and harmony, we love and understand each other’s religion.
“There was no reason for him to draw a link between what is happening in India to Malaysia, nor link Zakir Naik to our religion,” he said, alluding to the controversial preacher from India.
Going by Asri’s logic, Mohan said Hindus could also highlight acts of violence in India against Hindus, which were being carried out by Muslims.
“But we don’t do that because we are two different countries.
“So as a mufti, Asri should understand that we don’t want Naik here because it can disrupt the unity between Malaysia’s multi-religious and multi-ethnic people.”
He noted that Naik has been banned from entering several countries.
Mohan also questioned how Asri could brand Hindraf as “extremist” when the Hindu rights body was merely highlighting what was happening in Malaysia.
In his post, Asri also took aim at Hindraf, labelling it as an “extremist organisation” which was intent on creating tensions between Hindus and Muslims in the country.
Asri’s poem, posted recently on Facebook, caused a stir especially within the Hindu community.
The poem had, among others, slammed a group which he said “worshipped cows” and practised the caste system, for attacking “our preacher”.
Asri didn’t name the preacher, but his poem came in the midst of protests by Hindu groups, including Hindraf, against the government’s protection of Naik, who is wanted by Indian authorities for alleged money laundering and for “promoting hatred”.
Asri’s poem was removed from his Facebook page yesterday following criticism and police reports lodged against him, who has time and time again come to the defence of Naik.
Asri, however, has stood by his poem, saying it had nothing to do with Naik, but was merely about the Modi-led Indian government’s policy, which he claimed had acted cruelly against Muslims for slaughtering cows, an animal held to be sacred by the Hindus.