Oktoberfest hype like touting prostitution, PAS leader claims

Visitors sit in the new Marstall festival tent during the opening of the traditional Bavarian Oktoberfest festival at the Theresienwiese in Munich, southern Germany, on September 20, 2014. — AFP pic
Visitors sit in the new Marstall festival tent during the opening of the traditional Bavarian Oktoberfest festival at the Theresienwiese in Munich, southern Germany, on September 20, 2014. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 6 — PAS central committee member Nasrudin Hassan is adding his voice to Muslims’ call for Oktoberfest to be cancelled, even urging Islamic authorities to act against the beer festival aimed only at non-Muslims.

 

According to the PAS cleric, Oktoberfest has “offended the sensitivities” of Muslims by its brazen promotion, which he said is akin to the promotion of prostitution to the public.

Initially only telling Putrajaya, state government and local councils to halt the festivities, the Temerloh MP later asked religious authorities to overstep their jurisdictions and join in action.

“I also urge religious authorities such as Islamic departments and council at all levels to not just see this phenomenon in silence. Take appropriate action,” said Nasrudin.

“Don’t just give an excuse that this matter is outside their jurisdictions, when the Muslim community will suffer from the consequences in the future no matter their jurisdiction and position. Rise up before it is too late.”

Despite conceding that alcohol can be consumed by non-Muslims, Nasrudin said in a country with Islam as its religion of federation like Malaysia, it must only be done in private and not promoted as it is being done by the event.

Claiming Oktoberfest to now be an “open vice”, the PAS leader said it is “wajib” or obligatory for authorities and all Muslims to rise up and prevent Oktoberfest from happening.

“Don’t let the country be run with the cultures of sin and vices. Later, our civilisation will be ruined and our dignity will lose the blessing of Allah, followed by His wrath,” he warned.

Muslim groups including controversial Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) have taken aim at Oktoberfest this month, claiming the event will tarnish Malaysia’s image as an “Islamic country” and “bring ruin” to the nation.

Although the event is promoted to non-Muslims, several Muslim groups have urged their supporters to rally against the event and venues that serve alcohol as part of the festival.

Oktoberfest is held annually in Malaysia with the two biggest breweries GAB and Carlsberg holding several drinking parties in major towns nationwide.

Oktoberfest was originally celebrated in Munich, Germany to accompany horse races, but has grown into “the world’s largest funfair”, attracting millions of visitors every year.

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