KUALA LUMPUR • One of Malaysia's top clerics has declared that non-Muslims can join Muslims in breaking their fast during the holy month of Ramadan, amid a furore over the matter in Penang, reported news site Malay Mail Online.
Mufti for the Federal Territories Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri said yesterday on his office's website: "We tend to view that the rule for inviting non-Muslims to break fast is permitted and allowed in Islam. But, at the same time, the courtesy and positive values in the event must be preserved."
He added that the venue and dress code should be "appropriate", in accordance with Muslim values and that participants should act in a civil manner, by avoiding provocation and any unpleasantness.
The furore in Penang arose last Friday after religious group Jaringan Muslimin Pulau Pinang held a demonstration outside a mosque with about 50 protesters demanding that Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who is a non-Muslim, should not be allowed to break fast with Muslims.
In response, Penang state executive councillor Abdul Malik Abul Kassim had said on Monday that it is "un-Islamic" to forbid non-Muslims from joining Muslims in breaking their fast.
In his post yesterday, the mufti cited examples of non-Muslim world leaders such as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former US President Barack Obama and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who attended breaking fast events with their Muslim countrymen.