MIRI – Sarawak’s indigenous community leaders are questioning why the police in peninsula Malaysia have not arrested Ustaz Syakir Nasoha, who is alleged to have incited racial and religious hatred in a sermon recorded on video.
Society for Rights of Indigenous Peoples of Sarawak (Scrips) secretary-general Michael Jok said that the preacher appears bent on inciting hatred and even violence with his shockingly extreme accusations.
“He insulted the Dayaks, too, and made serious accusations against us. It is obvious he was trying to provoke Muslims into hating Dayaks.
“His accusations against the Dayaks and non-Muslims have the potential to incite violent attacks against us.
“Why have the police not arrested this ustaz by now, despite the video evidence, and despite so many police reports against him?
“Extremists like this must not be allowed to walk around freely,” Jok told The Vibes.
Late last night, Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department (CID) director Datuk Seri Abdul Jalil Hassan said that police are investigating the viral video clip containing disparaging remarks on non-Islamic faiths and race linked to the preacher.
He said that the minute-long video, which had gone viral on social media, has incited public anger.
The case is being investigated by the Classified Crime Investigation Unit, Prosecution and Law Division of Bukit Aman CID under Section 505(c) of the Penal Code for making statements with intent to incite, or which is likely to incite, any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community of persons.
It is also being investigated under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1988 for the abuse of network facilities or network services, he said.
Last week, the video of Syakir saying Hindus, Buddhists and Dayaks want to annihilate Muslims made the rounds on social media, including on WhatsApp.
In the clip, he is heard saying that “at the end of time, disciples of non-Muslim religions will be scrambling together to kill Muslims in the world”, among other things.
Police reports have been lodged nationwide against Syakir since last weekend.
Jok said that it is imperative for police to show they are taking this case seriously.
“There must be concrete action taken against this ustaz, otherwise, we will see more of such extremists going public to incite even more hatred against non-Muslims,” Jok said.
Sarawak govt told to make stand
Michael Ding, a community elder of the Lakiput ethnic group, said the ustaz’s accusations against Dayaks and non-Muslims could jeopardise national unity.
“It looks like the intention of the ustaz is to stir up hatred between Muslims and non-Muslims,” he said.
He added that various ethnic and religious communities have existed together in harmony for centuries, and do not go around inciting hatred.
“We in Sarawak see Muslims and non-Muslims living in the same household via inter-marriage,” he said.
He also called on the Sarawak government to make a stand against Syakir.
“State government leaders must not remain silent,” he said, stressing that police must also act quickly.
Global Human Rights Federation president S. Shashi Kumar has said that there are more such videos featuring Syakir making disparaging remarks about other religions.
“I have all the full videos of his speeches, and will lodge another police report and submit the evidence,” he said.
Syakir has responded to the controversy by claiming that his comments were misconstrued.
The sermon shown in the viral video was meant only for Muslims, he said, adding that he never intended to have it recorded or shared with others. – The Vibes, October 7, 2021