PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) says it has never agreed to any form of discrimination or bullying against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
Jakim director-general Tan Sri Othman Mustapha said that acts such as labelling, condemning, insulting and demeaning the community were extreme and overboard.
“Such acts are against the community-centric approach of advising and counselling to follow the truth in accordance with religion,” he said in a statement on Monday.
Othman said Jakim was objective and was not prejudicial against the community.
He said Jakim invited anyone in the community who wanted to improve their lives to join its programmes.
“For Jakim, any behaviour that is against the law should be dealt with by the law or by preaching to the wrongdoer,” he said.
Jakim, however, said that the fight in the name of human rights and equality in the LGBT issue was just "cosmetic" and looked nice from the outside, but was rotten inside.
“It doesn’t solve the actual problems. What is more important is the demand to live life according to the tenets of Islam which is in accordance with the Federal Constitution that places it as the religion of the federation,” said Othman.
He said that Jakim always made continuous efforts to educate members of the LGBT community, citing the voluntary Mukhayyam programme to lessen the stigma they face by bringing them together with religious leaders.
Othman added that Jakim carried out Quran classes to increase knowledge among the community as well as to allow them to share their experiences with their peers so that there would be greater empathy.
“Every Ramadan since 2011, we organised iftar (breaking of fast) with the community. This wasn’t a space to fight for rights against the religion but so that they would return to the religion’s requirements,” he said.