KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 ― Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin today apologised to Hindus who misunderstood the contents of his controversial poem criticising “cow worshippers”.
The Perlis Mufti reiterated that his poem, which he wrote on his Facebook page last Friday, was directed at Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s administration.
“Anyway, to the non-Muslims, especially the Hindus, who misunderstood my poem, I sincerely apologise as I did not mean to offend the Hindus,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
Asri had written the cryptic poem criticising “cow worshippers” for trying to have an unnamed preacher handed over to a tyrannical government.
The characteristics he described in the poem resembled practices that exist in India. Other facets of the poem similarly resemble ongoing local developments.
Hindraf chairman P. Waythamoorthy had reportedly said that Asri was “under the influence” of controversial Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik from India, who was recently given a permanent resident (PR) here.
Touching on this, Asri, who had previously not mentioned Dr Zakir in his posts, today said the latter might have different ideologies with some here, but that did not mean the Indian televangelist supported terrorism.
“Don’t be deceived by Hindraf on this, instead, find evidence from his (Dr Zakir) speech that showed his supported terrorism.
“If there is a clear proof, I am prepared to object this,” he wrote.
At least 10 Muslim men have been killed in similar incidents across the country by Hindu mobs on suspicion of eating beef or smuggling cows in the last two years.
Critics say the vigilantes have been emboldened by the election in 2014 of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.