KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 ― Pasir Puteh MP Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh’s claim that the Bible has been distorted exposed his callousness and misinterpretation of his own religion, said Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Anwar also said the PAS lawmaker failed to uphold the Islamic tenet of initiating discourse in a spirit of solidarity instead of antagonism.
“Pasir Puteh MP Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh’s commentary on the Bible is insensitive and reflects a poor understanding of Islamic teachings on using wisdom in our discourse with members of other faith communities,” he said in a statement.
“When we initiate sincere dialogue between Muslims and Christians, these discussions should be based on a spirit of brotherhood encapsulated in the Quranic verse, ‘Oh People of the Book, come to a Common Word between us and you’ (Ali ‘Imran :64) – which is to say the common bond of worshipping God.”
Noting Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s message of unity in his Merdeka address, Anwar urged the former to put the words into action by rejecting religious bigotry.
Nik Zawawi made the remarks during the debate on the Road Transport (Amendment) Bill 2020 to propose heavier fines for drink driving offenders on August 26.
His allegation that the Bible has been distorted was part of his larger claim that all religions forbid the consumption of alcohol.
The PAS lawmaker has rejected calls for his apology by insisting he was right that the Bible has been twisted.