No easy task for Malaysia's Islamic Affairs Minister

Islamic Affairs Minister Mujahid Yusof Rawa (left) will have to tread carefully on how to tackle the religious divide following his appointment.
Islamic Affairs Minister Mujahid Yusof Rawa (left) will have to tread carefully on how to tackle the religious divide following his appointment.PHOTO: BERNAMA

Among the crop of Malaysian Cabinet ministers sworn in yesterday was de facto Islamic Affairs Minister Mujahid Yusof Rawa, an Islamic scholar who has found himself at the centre of a raging debate between conservative Muslims and so-called liberal Muslims on the country's religious compass.

Conservative Muslims are worried that the new government, in which the Chinese-dominated Democratic Action Party (DAP) has a key role, will dilute Malay and Islamic rights, and weaken the role of the powerful Islamic agencies, including the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim).

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 03, 2018, with the headline 'No easy task for Islamic Affairs Minister'. Print Edition | Subscribe