Rights lawyer fact-checks Isma’s claim that Muslims ‘bullied’ due to church on postal stamp

Civil rights lawyer Syahredzan Johan says that the stamps were introduced in 2016 when Barisan Nasional was still the government of the day. — Picture by Zuraneeza Zulkifli
Civil rights lawyer Syahredzan Johan says that the stamps were introduced in 2016 when Barisan Nasional was still the government of the day. — Picture by Zuraneeza Zulkifli

KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — The president of Islamic group Isma, Aminuddin Yahaya, asserted that a Malaysian postage stamp bearing the image of a church was further indication that Muslims were increasingly being sidelined in Malaysia.

However, his attempt was quickly debunked by civil rights lawyer Syahredzan Johan, who pointed out on Twitter that the stamp series was first issued in 2016 when Barisan Nasional (BN) was still the government of the day.

“According to Aminuddin Yahaya, the president of Isma, Islam is being bullied because now there is a stamp with a church. But in 2016 was under Barisan Nasional. So Isma kept quiet then.

“In 2016. Was Islam also bullied in the BN era?”

The stamps are part of a commemorative series showing the different houses of worship in Malaysia and include a mosque, a Chinese temple, a Hindu temple, a gurdwara, and a church.

The 2019 edition that Aminuddin highlighted was the second issue of the series.

The aide to DAP MP Lim Kit Siang appended a screen capture of Aminuddin’s remarks.

The complete set of Pos Malaysia's 2016 ‘Rumah Ibadat’ commemorative issue. ― Picture via Pos Malaysia's website
The complete set of Pos Malaysia's 2016 ‘Rumah Ibadat’ commemorative issue. ― Picture via Pos Malaysia's website

In these, the Isma president signalled his audience not to be upset if the stamps cause foreigners to consider Malaysia a Christian country.

“Another form of ‘bullying’ towards Muslims. Oh, my country,” he wrote.

Twitter users have been and are continuing to scorn the Isma president’s remarks.

Since BN’s defeat in the general election, religious groups such as Isma have been pushing the narrative that Islam and its adherents in the country are under threat from the Pakatan Harapan administration that they portray as DAP-dominated.

Aminuddin is also the head of the Ummah group that organised the controversial Himpunan Pertahanan Kedaulatan earlier this month, which the police are investigating for suspected violations of public assembly laws.

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