Anti-Islam sentiment worse now with more Chinese Christians, PAS Ulama deputy claims

Newly-elected PAS’s Ulama wing deputy chief Datuk Dr Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh claimed that Christian Chinese are less tolerant than Buddhist Chinese. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Newly-elected PAS’s Ulama wing deputy chief Datuk Dr Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh claimed that Christian Chinese are less tolerant than Buddhist Chinese. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

GOMBAK, June 3 — The newly-elected deputy chief of PAS’s Ulama wing today blamed the spread of Christianity among the Chinese for the alleged increase in opposition from those in the community towards Islam and its laws.

Datuk Dr Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh claimed the Chinese were not that hostile towards Islam when they were still Buddhists, compared to when they embraced Christianity, a religion that he said fears Islam’s advances in the public sphere.

“There is a new wave happening. The wave of Chinese who were Buddhists leaving their religion and embracing Christianity,” Nik Zawawi said today in the wing’s muktamar, or annual congress.

“This situation has changed after some of them converted into Christianity. This religion is a missionary religion, which has always clashed with Islam for ages.”

Nik Zawawi claimed that the situation was very different a decade ago when non-Muslim politicians, including those in the DAP, did not oppose the implementation of Islamic laws in Kelantan.

“This is not just happening in DAP, but also in MCA, Gerakan and other Chinese groups. That is why we see, those who have left into [Christianity], their actions are different from those who stayed in Buddhism. They could take it and did not attack the struggle and faith of Islam before,” he said.

Nik Zawawi, however, did not provide any statistics of conversion within the ethnic Chinese to back up his claim.

Muslims make up 61.3 per cent of the Malaysian population, followed by Buddhists at 19.8 per cent, and Christians at 9.2 per cent, according to the latest census data from 2010.

On March 19, the Kelantan state assembly approved the Shariah Criminal Code (II) (1993) 2015 Enactment with 31 votes from PAS lawmakers supported by 12 from Umno.

PAS is now seeking to debate two private members’ bills in Parliament to enable Kelantan to enforce the Islamic criminal code widely called hudud ― one will seek approval for the state to legislate punishment for crimes under the Penal Code.

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