GMM’s anti-Shiite remarks show they don’t know moderation, NUS academic says

Maznah said that the world appears to be moving towards extremism, and not moderation. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Maznah said that the world appears to be moving towards extremism, and not moderation. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 ― Global Movement of Moderates (GMM) chief Nasharudin Mat Isa’s comments about Shiah Islam show that the group is not committed to moderation, a National University of Singapore (NUS) professor said today.

Dr Maznah Mohamad, who is associate professor at the Department of Malay Studies at NUS, added that the world appears to be moving towards extremism, and not moderation.

“I don’t believe this whole movement we have in the country, GMM, is committed to moderation, simply because they don’t know what moderation is all about,” Maznah told a forum on Islam and democracy organised by G25, a lobby group comprising Malay retired senior civil servants.

“You read the news today about chairman of GMM Malaysia saying the Shiahs should be abolished or banned, all in the name of moderation. It’s a kind of very twisted logic we have of people that claim to be fighting for moderation,” she added.

Nasharudin, who was a PAS deputy president, told local daily The Star in an interview published today that non-mainstream Islamic teachings, such as Shiah and Sufism, need to be “controlled” to help Malaysia develop Islam to its current dominant position.

Shiah, also spelled Syiah locally, is Islam’s second-largest denomination and practised by an estimated 15 per cent of the 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, but is regarded as deviant by Malaysia which only recognises the Sunni denomination.

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