PETALING JAYA, Oct 8 — Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa has slammed some Muslim leaders today for jumping the gun and criticising him over a remark he made on moral policing.
The minister in charge of religious affairs said he was disappointed by those who read the headline of a news report on his interview — in which he spoke about vice raids — and jumped to conclusions about his credibility as the minister tasked with protecting Islam.
“Dear sirs, in Malaysia, this thing about the issue of Islam has always been a sensitive topic. From this issue, we are able to gauge the state of our mentality,” he said at a roundtable discussion at the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies here.
“There are some who did not see the transcript as a whole. They just read the headlines, and then degrade and insult, as if the religious affairs minister is that stupid. As if he does not have a religion. Please.
“I am not taken aback by what social media users say. It’s not our level to discuss, but sometimes, who are the ones who do that? Religious scholars. Those from the levels respected by the community,” he added.
Mujahid said religious experts who criticised him could at least have asked him for an explanation and heard him out.
“This thing affects Islam. In the end, when I pointed out the mistake in the heading and requested them to read the transcript, where are we going to put our faces?” Mujahid asked.
“That’s why I do not speak unless I know what I’m talking about. Don’t underestimate,” he added.
Mujahid came under fire over the weekend after The Star ran a story about khalwat raids from an interview with him, saying he had called for an end to the practice of “knocking on doors at night”.
The minister later denied making those remarks and accused the editor of putting words in his mouth, pointing to The Star’s transcript of the interview, which did not contain the remarks as reported.
His press secretary Siti Zulaikha Zulkifli issued a statement late last night demanding a public apology within 24 hours from The Star for the article headlined “No More Moral Policing” in the print edition and “No more night khalwat raids or intrusion into Muslims private lives says Mujahid” on its website.