KUALA LUMPUR: Efforts to raise awareness about the sensitivity of religious matters concerning Islam to non-Muslims must be strengthened following the sale of socks with the word ‘Allah’.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar said the urgency comes after seeing certain groups, especially non-Muslims who questioned the necessity of making a fuss out of the socks issue.
He said such directives will be given to the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) and Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (Yadim).
He said the agencies are expected to play a pivotal role in disseminating information and fostering understanding among non-Muslims.
“It is crucial for non-Muslims to comprehend why the name of Allah holds such sanctity for Muslims.
“This is not just about accountability but also about fostering mutual respect and understanding among different communities,” he said, after attending the Ramadan Packs Distribution programme to the New Straits Times, Berita Harian, and Harian Metro editorial at the New Straits Times Press Bhd in Balai Berita here today.
Also present were Media Prima Bhd chairman Datuk Seri Syed Hussian Aljunaid, NSTP group managing editor Datuk Ahmad Zaini Kamaruzzaman, NST group editor Farrah Naz Karim, executive editor Sharanjit Singh, BH deputy group editor M. Thillinadan, and Harian Metro group editor Husain Jahit.
Na’im said initiatives for interfaith dialogue and engagement sessions would be encouraged to further promote unity and understanding.
He said the initiatives will hopefully bridge the gap in understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims, Malays and non-Malays, thus reinforcing the nation’s social fabric.
Previously, photos of the socks being sold at a KK Supermart in Bandar Sunway went viral, drawing criticisms from social media users, with some even calling for the chain to be boycotted.
This led to investigations being carried out by Batu Pahat police after it was revealed that the socks were imported from China and sent to a factory in Johor.
Majesty Sultan Ibrahim, King of Malaysia had yesterday expressed his displeasure and sadness regarding the sale of the socks.
He had called for enforcement agencies to investigate and take the strictest action according to the existing laws so that the same mistake is not repeated.
In heeding Sultan Ibrahim’s call, Na’im hopes that the investigation will be diligently pursued as announced by Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah.
“Despite apologies being issued, investigations must proceed, and upon identifying the responsible parties, the prescribed stern action, as directed by His Majesty, should be executed.
“Beyond seeking accountability, it is essential that manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers involved in this incident learn from it.
“As a nation of diverse ethnicities and religions, fostering harmony and unity is paramount.
Issues concerning religious sensitivities, especially those involving the name of Allah, must be handled with utmost care,” he said. – NST Online