KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 26 — Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) has today distanced itself from the act of a graduate who gave a “Heil Hitler” salute during its convocation ceremony recently, but said it was his “personal view”.
The public institution expressed regret that the photo of the graduate, who performed the Nazi salute while on stage to receive his degree scroll, was then uploaded on Facebook.
“All students were informed of the convocation’s protocols, including the reminder that they should look at the camera after receiving their scroll,” it said in a statement.
UMS added that students are supposed to not move or make any hand gestures, such as waving to the audience. It said the salute occurred in a matter of seconds.
“This act does not reflect the views or opinions of the university, but the graduate’s own personal view.
“In light of this, UMS will take appropriate action to prevent similar instances like this from repeating in the future,” it said.
The graduate, known only as Ibn Ruru on Facebook, drew fire from social media users after uploading the photo on Facebook.
An accompanying caption praised the former dictator and German Reich Chancellor for committing the Holocaust during the Second World War, which exterminated up to six million European Jews.
Ibn Ruru justified the salute by claiming solidarity with the plight of the Palestinians against the Israeli establishment, and his anger, hatred and vengeance towards the Jewish people.
The post was subsequently removed from Facebook following several reports lodged against it, for violating the Facebook Community Standards. The graduate later made a follow-up post in which he claimed he made the gesture as a joke.
Some Muslims worldwide, including in Malaysia, have publicly expressed their admiration for Hitler for executing the Jews.
In 2014, Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Bung Moktar Radin tweeted a salute to Hitler, while now Perlis mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin wrote that the Nazi dictator “might have been right” in exterminating the Jews.