KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8 — Federal Islamic authorities today joined the call for online attacks against Islam to be punished severely, following recent complaints that authorities were not vigorously pursuing non-Muslims for such activities.
Telling Muslims they were duty-bound to defend Islam against threats and insults proliferating on the Internet, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) said these actions were against religion and the law, and urged for a crackdown against such cyber-attacks.
In its weekly Friday sermon, Jakim alleged of numerous cases where social media and communications technology have been used to demean Islam, belittle Malay sensitivities and insult the Malay Rulers.
The Infidel Task Force web site was especially criticized for its high intolerance to Islam.
(I added this…BBJ :))
“The actions of these groups pushes the limits of Muslims’ patience. With all sorts of insults before this, we no longer want any rude and uncivilised statements or actions by any party to pass without stiff action and maximum punishment under existing laws,” read the sermon, posted on Jakim’s website.
“Stiff and prompt action by the authorities is necessary so that this is not repeated and serves as a lesson to all to not play with fire and go overboard,” it added.
The sermon called on all Muslims to take up the role and responsibility of standing up to the challenge posed by Islam’s cyber-enemies, using “whatever reasonable means” including social media to protect the position of Muslims, especially in Malaysia.
It also urged Muslims not to be taken by the provocation they came across online, stressing the need for each and every Muslim to have a deep understanding of Islam while building their spiritual fortitude, knowledge, intellect, political maturity and unity among the faithful.
Jakim’s message comes amid a backdrop of recent complaints against the police, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) over perceived inaction against alleged non-Muslim attacks against Islam.
Detractors such as Umno Youth and the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia daily have accused the agencies of “selective action”, contrasting the prosecution of a Malay road bully and Muslim preacher against the case of a Facebook user who remains at large despite a derogatory remark aimed at Muslims.
All three agencies have denied the allegations of bias towards non-Muslims, explaining that the complexities involved in each investigation precluded the use of one to benchmark the level of action in another.