Mujahid defends MP’s iftar programme at Sikh temple

Mujahid defends MP’s iftar programme at Sikh temple

PUCHONG: The ‘buka puasa’ event at a Sikh temple recently did not go against Islamic teachings, said Minister in Charge of Islamic Affairs in his defence of Johor Bahru MP Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir.

Mujahid Yusof Rawa said the matter is a non-issue as the programme was aimed at strengthening ties among people of different race and faiths.

He also said the ‘buka puasa’ event was held at a community hall and not in the Gurdwara temple itself.

“This isn’t an issue that should be played up. Only a few would sensationalise such matters and I fear it would lead to Islamophobia,” he told Bernama last night.

Last night, the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, expressed his disappointment with Akmal for attending the event and failing to consult the state religious authority on the matter.

He said Akmal should realise and understand the difference between religious and political actions.

Sultan Ibrahim said events at non-Muslim houses of worship presented an opportunity for non-Muslims to proselytise to Muslims, and this implication would be more serious when a Muslim politician attended an event such as ‘iftar’, which could set a precedent.

“It could create unease among Muslims, cause confusion and strain ties within the community, especially among those without proper religious knowledge, the ruler was reported saying.

However, PKR senator Dr Syed Husin Ali defended Akmal saying,” “Does Sultan Ibrahim have any verses from the Quran or the Hadith that states that one cannot break their fast in a non – Muslim place of worship?”

On Tuesday, Akmal attended the ‘Majlis Iftar Muhibbah Bersama YB Akmal Nasrullah Nasir’ at the Johor Baru Gurdwara Sahib temple, next to the mosque where Akmal had earlier performed prayers.

His attendance drew mixed reactions on social media, but the PKR politician defended his decision saying it did not make him less of a Muslim or erode his faith.