KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 ― Ahead of an international Freemason conference in Penang at the end of this month, an Umno Youth executive council member has called on Islamic groups and parties to rally against it.
In a statement on his blog yesterday, Armand Azha Abu Hanifah also demanded the Penang government to explain why the International Scottish Masonic Conference was allowed to hold its meeting in the state.
“Many who contacted me agreed to reveal this meeting and although I was advised to not meddle as their movement is considered strong and major, I hold to Islamic teachings. Guided by Quran’s 30 verses, I felt it should be stopped and cancelled,” Armand said in his blog.
“I would like to urge and openly protest against this meet. I want Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng together with Pakatan Harapan leadership to explain why this Freemason/Illuminati meet was allowed,” he added.
Freemasonry is a collection of diverse worldwide fraternities that started out as local groups for stonemasons, steeped in rituals and symbolisms.
It is usually linked to the Illuminati, a conspiracy theory where secret group of masterminds allegedly control world affairs and try to establish a New World Order, although there is no evidence suggesting such a group exists.
Some Muslims oppose Freemasonry, among others claiming that it is linked to Jews, Zionists, worship of Satan, and even linking it to Dajjal, the purported anti-Christ in Islamic tradition.
According to documents posted by Armand, the International Scottish Masonic Conference is scheduled for February 24 to 27, and is organised by the District Grand Lodge of the Middle East (DGLME), which is based in Klang, Selangor.
Freemasons worldwide are divided by Districts, and DGLME is among the 26 District Grand Lodges under the main organisation, Grand Lodge of Scotlands ― with jurisdiction over 22 lodges in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
DGLME started operations in Kuala Lumpur in 1916, bringing together three lodges in then Malaya ― Lodge Scotia in Penang, Lodge Tullibardine in Kuala Lumpur, and Lodge Malay in Klang.
The conference planned in Penang will also celebrate DGLME’s centenary.
Besides DGLME, there also exists the District Grand Lodge of the Eastern Archipelago under a different movement, the United Grand Lodge of England, dating back to Penang’s foundation by Francis Light in 1786.