GEORGE TOWN, Aug 7, 2014:

The Penang-based coalition of Indian movements (Copingo) wants the “ustaz” title of Muslim preacher Shahul Hamid Seeni Mohd to be revoked.

The proposal was made to the Penang Mufti Department (JMPP) today.

Copingo chairman N. Ganesan said such stern action would send a strong deterrent message to other potential overzealous teachers or missionaries from making utterances that would cause disharmony in a multi-religious environment like Malaysia.

“The problem should be addressed at an early stage to ensure ensure there is continuing peace in our country.

“It will be wise to take necessary deterrent action early during any problematic situation,” said Ganesan in a press statement to clarify a petition submitted to Penang Mufti Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor at the JMPP office here today.

Shahul Hamid had sparked outrage among Hindus in the country following a video that went viral on cyber space showing him insulting Hinduism and calling on Muslims to boycott curry powder manufactured by Indians during several closed door Islamic forums held in Penang several years ago.

In the petition, Copingo reasoned that the Shahul Hamid incident was merely the tip of the iceberg as there were other similar episodes that had had yet to be leaked out.

The petition cited past incidents involving former Perlis Mufti Datuk Dr Asri Zainul Abidin, Muslim convert Shah Kirit and former Kulim-Bandar Bharu Member of Parliament and lawyer Zulkifli Nordin as examples.

Copingo had also demanded the Mufti office or the state Muslim Fatwa Committee to clarify Shahul Hamid’s remarks in his subsequent apology statement that his anti-Hindu utterances were consistent with his learning of Islam.

Ganesan said it was crucial for Muslim authorities to clarify where Shahul Hamid gained his “ustaz-ship”.

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