While Umno is taking the initiative to boost its membership and fight for the Malays, the party must also play a more active role on religious issues.
Expressing ire, several Muslim non-government bodies demanded the reaffirming of Islam's position in the Constitution be one of the core motions at the 2013 Umno general assembly from December 2 to 7.
Malaysian Ulama Association secretary-general Dr Mohd Roslan Mohd Noor said, as a major party which had ruled the nation for 56 years, Umno should focus on this aspect to ensure Islam's position was not open to ridicule.
"The formation of Umno is tied to the Malay race and Islam. As such, it should be safeguarding the religion.
“Umno should not be just thinking about how to boost its membership or fight for the Malays but it must also prioritise Islam,” he said today.
Mohd Roslan clarified that Islam's beauty and strength should also be highlighted.
“Religious issues are sensitive among Muslims and non-Muslims, and they must be thought out seriously and tackled to prevent disunity among Malaysians,” he said.
Echoing the view, Malaysian Islamic Consumers Association (PPIM) activist Datuk Nadzim Johan said the Umno machinery must play its role to ensure Islam's supremacy.
"If Islam can be subject to ridicule, what is the point of making it the official religion?
"We urge Umno members to work together to return Islam to its rightful place so that it continues to be respected by all," he said.
Malaysian Muslim People's Coalition (IRIMM) president Amir Amsaa Alla Pitchay hoped issues such as the use of the term “Allah” and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transexual practices would be discussed in the Umno meeting this time.
"Other than the direction of the party, Umno must discuss the issue of insulting the religion, including social ills and moral collapse.
"Umno must uphold and defend Islam," he said. – Bernama, November 30, 2013.