JOHOR BARU: Two foreign preachers Ismail Menk and Haslin Baharim have been banned from entering Johor, a day after Malaysia's deputy prime minister said the government had no intention to prevent the speakers from entering the country.
Johor Islamic Religious Affairs Committee chairman Abdul Mutalip Abdul Rahim said the Sultan of Johor had decreed on Wednesday (Nov 1) that the Zimbabwean Menk and Malaysian Baharim would not be allowed to preach in the state, local news outlet Berita Harian reported.
"The content of talks previously delivered by both speakers is likely to bring disruption to racial harmony," said Abdul Mutalip.
"The Johor Islamic Religious Department will continue to monitor future religious talks in the state, in order to ensure that no elements or views that promote racial disunity will be delivered," he added.
On Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the preachers had not broken any laws or said anything that could cause conflict in the community.
This ruling also comes two days after the preachers were banned from entering Singapore. The country's Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said the duo's "divisive views" would "damage social harmony and cause communities to drift apart".
The Council of Islamic Scholars in Zimbabwe meanwhile released a statement on Tuesday saying that the allegations against Menk was an "inaccurate perception".
"We are aware of a very short edited clip that was used to prove the allegation against our mufti," said the statement published on Menk's Instagram account.
"We would like to place on record that out mufti has never prohibited greeting others during their festivals. However he has maintained that the wording should be inclusive to ensure that it is agreeable to all. In his opinion, greetings such as Happy Holidays, Season Greetings, Have a Good Day are fine."
Singapore's MHA had given the example of Menk's segregationist teachings when he preached that it was the biggest sin for a Muslim to wish a non-Muslim Merry Christmas or Happy Deepavali.