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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22, 2015:

“We are giving the best possible educational approach to help the people understand Islam better,” argues Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) director-general Datuk Othman Mustapha.

He was responding to former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who had made a statement about Jakim wanting to impose its own version of Islam on everyone.

While agreeing with the Quranic view that there is no compulsion to embrace Islam, Othman added that Muslims were bound by Islamic law in the same way Malaysians had to abide by the laws and Constitution of the country.

“Our existence is still significant in educating the people about Islam so that the Muslims can practise it moderately and righteously.”

He said Jakim honoured and accepted diverse opinions in terms of Islamic practices as long as they were based on the Prophet’s teachings and followed the Syafie sect.

In addition, Othman also said that such education and approach could help prevent extremism, which is against the absolute teachings of Islam.

Earlier, Dr Mahathir had said that Jakim wanted to impose its own version of Islam after several prominent personalities declared that the department was unconstitutional and should be abolished.

He made the comment after the book launch of former Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim last Friday.

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