Muslim human rights advocates share concerns of Malay Rulers

KUALA LUMPUR: Muslim human rights advocates today echoed the sentiments and concerns of the Malay Rulers on the eroding unity and harmony in the country.

Welcoming the statement issued by the Rulers, Sisters In Islam (SIS) stressed that any action or policy that segregates the multiracial community will increase risks of tension and disharmony.

"No form of prejudice, bias and bigotry should be tolerated in any form especially in actions and policies that reinforce stereotyping of any particular group.

"This is harmful to society and would only lead to discrimination, directly or indirectly," it said.

Sisters in Islam has always called for moderation and inclusivity in the practice of Islam given the diversity we have here in Malaysia.

"We echo the call made by the Rulers to adhere to the core principles of the Federal Constitution and to abide by the spirit of the Rukun Negara to preserve the unity and harmony of the people in Malaysia," SIS told theSun.

Similarly, human rights lawyer Siti Zabedah Kassim said the recent actions by certain quarters does not go well with the moderate progressive Malaysia.

"I think the statement of the Rulers was timely. Allowing extremist elements to taint religion must never be allowed. Radical preachers must be checked.

"The government must not allow such preachers to spread their irresponsible extremist views that actually radicalise the Malay themselves to extreme and not necessarily right way of thinking," she told theSun.

"We want a united and harmonious society not a society further split along racial and religious lines. The protests to the beer fest etc truly disconcerting.

"This is a non-Muslim right. As a moderate progressive Muslim majority nation these protests reflect badly on our reputation and the reputation of Islam as a tolerant and peaceful religion," she said.

Siti said the protests actually points to radicalism and extremism becoming mainstream in Malay society.

On Tuesday, the Malay Rulers expressed concern that unity and harmony in the country is eroding following a series of racial and religious controversies.

Keeper of the Rulers' Seal Tan Sri Datuk Seri Syed Danial Syed Ahmad in a statement said the Rulers found that in recent weeks, the actions of certain individuals had gone beyond all acceptable standards of decency, risking the harmony that currently exists within the country's multi-religious and multi-ethnic society.