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Call on Abdullah to sent out a directive to all UMNO MPs to stop kafir mengafir in Parliament to fully respect non-Muslim MPs, whether Barisan Nasional or Opposition,  as well as non-Muslim Malaysians, and to  reprimand  Raja Ahmad Zainuddin for trying to split OIC into Islamic states and “kafir states

Media Statement (2)
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Parliament, Wednesday): The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should sent out a clear directive to all UMNO MPs to stop kafir mengafir in Parliament to fully respect non-Muslim MPs, whether  Barisan Nasional or Opposition, as well as non-Muslim Malaysians who represent 45% of the population.

Abdullah should also reprimand the UMNO Member of Parliament for Larut,  Raja Ahmad Zainuddin bin Haji Omar for trying to split the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) into  Islamic states and “kafir states” and in the process insult OIC countries, the overwhelming majority of which are not Islamic States.


In the debate on the Syariah Court Evidence (Federal Territories)  (Amendment) Bill 2005 last Thursday,  Raja Ahmad Zainuddin sought to divide countries into Islamic States and Kafir States - “Negara Islam” and “Negara kafir” -  when he said:


“Kita menjadi Pengerusi OIC. Negara-negara Islam, berpuluh-puluh buah, beratus-ratus buah di dunia ini. Ternyata bahawa kita negara Islam. Takkan Negara kafir hendak menjadi Pengerusi OIC?”  (Hansard 7.7.05 p 46)


Senegal will be the next OIC Chairman after Malaysia.  Is Raja Ahmad Zainuddin implying that Senegal is a “kafir state” as it has  no state religion and the Senegal Constitution specifically defines the country as “a secular state” although 94 per cent Senegalese belong to the Muslim faith?


In OIC, there are other countries  which describe themselves as secular states like Turkey, Mali, Indonesia, Guinea and Niger. Are they  “kafir states”?

OIC has also members which can never be Islamic states because of their Muslim-minority  populations, and  countries with Muslims   20 per cent or  less of  their populations include  Cameroon,  Mozambique and Suriname (20%),  Uganda (16%), Guyana (15%),  Togo (12%) and  Gabon (1%). Are  these countries become “kafir states”?


The Prime Minister should repudiate Raja Ahmad Zainuddin’s irresponsible and mischievous statement in Parliament which is not calculated to promote Malaysia’s foreign policy interests by winning friends, as it  can only generate international ill-will and animosities against Malaysia.


The term “kafir”, though it means non-Muslims and non-believers, is  highly offensive and derogatory in the Malaysian context.


Furthermore, non-Muslim  Malaysians  are not  “protected people” in an Islamic state  but full-fledged Malaysian citizens by virtue of their constitutional birthrights in a democratic secular Malaysia where  Islam is the official religion but  is not an Islamic state – whether ala-PAS or ala-UMNO.  


UMNO had often accused PAS leaders of the mischief of kafir mengafir, but PAS leaders and MPs whether inside Palriament or outside had never kafir mengafir non-Muslims, which seems to be the  monopoly of certain UMNO leaders and MPs.


The first step to multi-racial and multi-religious harmony in plural Malaysia is for UMNO leaders and MPs to show greater sensitivities and respect to non-Muslims, those inside the Barisan Nasional and outside, starting with a ban on all UMNO MPs from using the derogatory term of kafir on non-Muslims, whether in Parliament or elsewhere.




*  Lim Kit Siang, Deputy Chairman of Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights and Parliamentary Opposition leader

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