By Lisa J. Ariffin
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 19 — Nurul Izzah Anwar flayed Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria today for flip-flopping over whether Datuk Seri Najib Razak had “sacrificed his faith” by attending Thaipusam celebrations recently.
“It is hypocritical of him to say that, and then have a meeting with the prime minister, and all is fine,” the PKR vice president told The Malaysian Insider today at the Lembah Pantai Maulidur Rasul celebration here.
“(Harussani) has raised this, and it will affect the natural peace between Muslims and non-Muslims to congregate in Malaysia,” the Lembah Pantai MP added.
On February 10, Harussani had expressed dismay over the PM Najib’s decision to “sacrifice his faith” to attend Thaipusam at Batu Caves celebrations, saying his presence was against Islamic doctrine.
However, he retracted his comments after Najib personally spoke to him about his role on the day. The Perak mufti went on to say that as a national leader, it is not wrong for Najib to join other races for festive celebrations so long as he does not endorse or participate in the rites of other religions.
Nurul said today she was “shocked with Harussani’s about turn” as “it doesn’t do anyone any good.”
Nurul, who also attended the Thaipusam celebration, said she had consulted with former Perlis Mufti Dr Asri Zainul Abidin, who had assured her that it was okay for Muslims to attend religious festivals as long as they stayed uninvolved with the practices.
“We must understand that we (as Muslims) cannot get involved in other religious practices,” she said.
“I have been comforted by Dr Asri’s assurance that if we remain confident of our belief, then come what may, we may not sway.”
The maverick scholar had yesterday accused those who criticised Najib’s visit to Batu Caves of practising double standards as they had kept mum on a similar visit by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in Ipoh in conjunction with Thaipusam.