PETALING JAYA: The Muslim preacher Zamihan Mat Zin, who has been arrested in a sedition probe for remarks he made against a Malay ruler, has a track record of targeting Christians and those he labels “liberal” or “moderate” Muslims.
Most of his statements can be found in a series of video clips uploaded to the “OnLine Majlis Ilmu” YouTube channel, which has more than 27,000 subscribers.
He has trained his eye on other, more moderate Islamic non-governmental organisations like Sisters in Islam as well.
In one video, uploaded in April, he labelled lawyer and activist Siti Kassim an apostate.
Last December, he had claimed that it was wrong for Muslims to wish Christians “Merry Christmas”.
The Pertubuhan Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah Malaysia (Aswaja) president seemed aware of the incendiary nature of his statements, adding that “Let them call us racists.
“We are crude and tough on this matter because this is about akidah (creed),” he added.
Zamihan also trained his barbs on moderate Muslims, urging the audience in his YouTube channel to not follow the teachings of moderate Islam, which he labelled as “narrow”.
“This is about akidah. Festive celebrations cannot be underestimated at all. Do not follow those who practise ‘narrow’ religions, and those who simply issue fatwas.
“They don’t even know a thing about Christians, and they want to say that ‘It's okay, we are a pluralistic, multiracial and multi-ethnic country, so we must be open’,” he added.
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Zamihan was under investigation after he had allegedly said, in a more recent video, that it was wrong of Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar to prohibit a Muslim-only laundrette from operating in the state.
This came after the Johor Sultan said he was unhappy with a “Muslim-only” launderette operating in the state.
In an exclusive report by The Star on Sept 27, His Majesty said: "I cannot accept this nonsense. This is Johor, which belongs to Bangsa Johor and it belongs to all races and faiths. This is a progressive, modern and moderate state."
The owner of the launderette later apologised for his actions and opened his door to all customers.
On Sept 28, the Raja Muda of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullai, visited a similar launderette in Kangar with his mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin to tell its owner why his business model was not acceptable.
In a statement on Wednesday, Zamihan said he would take legal action against news portals if they do not retract and apologise for their articles over the video, claiming he never mentioned the name of the Johor Sultan in his recent video and neither did he use any abusive or seditious words.
He said that he would give a number of news portals, as well as former minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, seven days to retract their articles and to publicly apologise to him.
“If they fail to do so, I will take legal action against them for defaming me without prejudice," Zamihan added.
The Home Ministry on Tuesday said that it would also be investigating Zamihan over the viral video.