Dr M: Malaysians have freedom of religion but with restrictions..

Dr M: Malaysians have freedom of religion but with restrictions..

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians have freedom of religion but there is restriction from propagating other religion to Muslims in the country, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Speaking at a press conference at the Parliament today, Mahathir also cautioned Shiites from proselytising to Muslims in Malaysia, reiterating that the nation officially follows only the Sunni school of Islam.

“If they want to become Buddhist or Shiite, it is their right. As long as they don’t spread their teachings among Malaysian Muslims or Ahli Sunnah,” he said.

The prime minister was responding to the forced cancellation of the Amman Message seminar, organised by the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies, that was supposed to take place this Saturday.

The event was cancelled by the organiser following a bomb threat by anti-Shiite groups on Facebook.

The Amman Message is a declaration to unite Muslims from various schools of thought and provides recognition to those who adhere to Sunnah, Shiites, Ibadhi and Thahiri versions of Islam.

In 2004, Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi signed the declaration of behalf of Malaysia.

Commenting on the bomb threat by anti-Shiite groups, Mahathir said they should not have resorted to such tactics to air their grouses.

“That is not the proper way to do it,” he said.

By G Vinod