King warns against social media divisiveness and extremism

PUTRAJAYA, July 7 — His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim, the King of Malaysia, reminded the public not to turn social media platforms into venues for arguments, and shaming others as these actions only contribute to division and conflict.

Sultan Ibrahim also cautioned against extremism, particularly concerning issues related to race and religion.

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“Do not shame others or viral shameful contents, as this will only cause division and conflict,” said Sultan Ibrahim at the national-level Maal Hijrah 2024/1446H celebration at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre.

Her Majesty Raja Zarith Sofiah, Queen of Malaysia, was also in attendance.

Also present were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his wife, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, as well as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Naim Mokhtar.

The King acknowledged the challenges faced by the public today amidst the unrestricted flow of information through social media, which is difficult to regulate.

Therefore, His Majesty emphasised the importance for Malaysians to exercise caution when seeking religious knowledge on social media, ensuring that the content obtained is authentic and from authoritative sources.

Sultan Ibrahim said that there is growing concern about the dissemination of misleading, inaccurate, and misinterpreted information related to Islam, as well as teachings that deviate from true Islamic principles.

“In the past, religious education primarily involved reading books and attending ‘kuliah’ (religious classes) in mosques. Today, however, society increasingly turns to online sources like ‘Ustazah Facebook’ and ‘Ustaz TikTok’ for religious learning.

The King also reminded Muslims to exercise discernment in distinguishing between right and wrong, emphasising that the spread of inaccurate religious information via social media can lead to confusion, division, and deviations from authentic religious practices.

His Majesty also urged the government to enhance enforcement measures against deviant content and establish a religious reference centre to disseminate accurate knowledge and information.

Meanwhile, in the aspect of nation-building, Sultan Ibrahim said that Hijrah serves to unite the ummah and community.

Sultan Ibrahim also called on all Malaysians, especially Muslims, to strengthen the spirit of brotherhood in shaping a united future generation for the country.

“The Islam practised in our country is based on the teachings of Ahl al-Sunnah Wal Jamaah. However, I have noticed a proliferation of diverse Islamic beliefs and teachings, creating a ‘rojak’ (mixed) situation. This only serves to divide Muslims.

“Let us not be misled by teachings driven by personal interests. If this trend continues, how can Muslims unite? Please reflect on this carefully. I can only remind you; the choice is yours,” said His Majesty.

In conjunction with this year’s Maal Hijrah celebration, Sultan Ibrahim also urged all Muslims to abandon bad habits and practices contrary to the Quran.

Themed ‘Al-Falah Pemacu Malaysia Madani’, this year’s national-level Maal Hijrah celebration was attended by 6,000 guests. — Bernama

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