Boycotting non-Muslim businesses bad for Malaysian economy, says Perlis mufti

Mohd Asri said instead of boycotting non-Muslim businesses, a campaign to prioritise buying Muslim-made products would be a better option. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Mohd Asri said instead of boycotting non-Muslim businesses, a campaign to prioritise buying Muslim-made products would be a better option. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3 — While supportive of a campaign to buy Muslim-made products first, Perlis Mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin has panned calls to boycott non-Muslim businesses.

The religious leader said the anti-Muslim campaign does not help the Malaysian economy improve.

“Although there are significant anti-Muslim attitudes especially among politicians, not all non-Muslims are like that.

“Some of them have good relations and have respect for the Muslim community. Islam does not teach us to hate those who do not,” he said in his Facebook page last night.

Asri said instead of such boycott, the campaign to prioritise buying Muslim-made products is a better option as it helps the economy.

“In other words, we put the effort in different ways to strengthen the economy among ourselves,” he said.

He further pointed out that boycotts are going to be tough as some key products required by Muslims are not produced by the Muslims themselves.

“Other parties should not see this campaign to buy products from Muslims as a form of enmity. We are just merely trying to strengthen our economy, just like how others are doing,” he said in his statement.

Calls for the boycott originated from the Islamic Consumers Association of Malaysia’s suggestion to the Islamic Development Department on August 23, when they said halal certificates should be issued in the native language of the product’s manufacturers so that consumers can identify if they are Muslim or otherwise.

Yesterday Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution said there has not been any reported effect of the call to boycott halal products sold by non-Muslims.

He said none of the business associations he is in contact with as minister had informed him of any noticeable impact from the call.

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