KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 ― Independent preacher Wan Ji Wan Hussin has again defended a mosque bilal who provided shelter to non-Muslims flood victims at a surau in Penang, saying the state has long practised peace among adherents of differing faiths.
Wan Ji, who is also the information officer for the Penang chief minister’s office, said the state rejects hardline interpretations of Islam, and chided those from outside the state trying to ruin the harmony between the islanders.
“In Penang, we practise peace among Muslims and non-Muslims; to help each other, lighten each other’s loads, and tolerance. This has long been practised.
“Therefore, we have peace among Penang folks, although there are those who provoke irresponsibly, usually the provocations come from outside Penang,” he said, in a brief statement on his Facebook page.
Wan Ji provided a hadith, the narration of Prophet Muhammad’s deeds, telling that the prophet had brought a non-Muslim into a mosque, who later converted into Islam. The hadith is used as an argument in support of allowing non-Muslims to enter Muslim places of worship.
“We Muslims in Penang, were educated that the approach of spreading blessings for the whole world, is the most exalted approach when it comes to Islam,” the PKR Youth religious bureau chief said.
“Therefore, it is not weird and hard for us to help whoever that faces hardships and disaster such as with the floods, although it involves our places of worship such as mosques and surau.”
The media reported that Taman Free School surau chief Sapno Tukijo provided shelter for about 70 non-Muslim flood victims in Penang despite criticism from some Muslims.
Controversial preacher Zamihan Mat Zin, who recently was subjected to royal ire after supporting segregation among Muslims and non-Muslims in laundromats, had criticised the surau’s move.
After citing several religious scholars in a Facebook post, Zamihan concluded that the Penang flood situation should not be categorised as an “emergency” in order to give shelter for non-Muslims.