Dr Asri: My poem refers to Modi's government

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 22 Apr 2017

PETALING JAYA: Perlis Mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin says his controversial poem on "cow worshippers" was actually referring to recent events in India, and not intended as an insult to local Hindus.

In a Facebook posting on Saturday, Dr Asri said the poem referred to an incident in western India earlier this month, where a Muslim man was killed by "cow protection vigilantes" after being suspected of eating beef.

He said there were plenty of videos and articles online of the violence propagated by these groups merely because they worship the cow and consider it sacred.

"The poem is directed at (Narendra) Modi's government which allows Muslims to be killed just because they eat beef.

"They are willing to kill their fellow human beings just because of an animal that is consumed widely around the world," he wrote.

Dr Asri, popularly known as Dr Maza, said that Hindus in this country should not feel offended as they do not worship cows.

"For those who do not worship cows such as in Malaysia, I hope you will not be offended.

"I believe there are many educated people in this country who do not worship cows or consider it sacred, especially to the extent of killing another human being because of it," he said.

The prominent religious scholar added that those with common sense would reject such beliefs, just as they would reject the labelling of certain castes in India as "pariah".

He said that the term "pariah" and the caste system did not exist here because Malaysians believed in equality for all.

"This matter has nothing to do with the people here, who could not possibly believe in such nonsense," he added.

Dr Asri's poem, which was written in Malay and posted on his Facebook page on Friday, drew negative reactions from the public after it appeared to insult the Hindu community.

The poem was believed to be in response to the criticism of controversial Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik, who is wanted in India for allegedly inspiring terrorist activities through his preaching.

Dr Naik's Islamic Research Foundation has also been declared an unlawful organisation by the Indian government.

On Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi confirmed that Dr Naik had been granted permanent resident status in Malaysia some five years ago.

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