Riding Oktoberfest controversy, hardline Islamist group makes case for Islamic state
The group, whose aim is to establish an Islamic state in Malaysia and a worldwide caliphate, also blamed Malaysian leaders for allowing the alcoholic beverage industry to take root in the country.
“Would you realise that the idea of freedom which is the core of the secular capitalist democracy today has opened the space to unimpeded spread of vice festivals?” the group said in an article on its website.
According to the group, the democratic Malaysian government is guilty for licensing and, therefore, “allowing” the industrial-scale beer production for public consumption in the country.
“How weird, when Malaysian leaders try hard to claim that Malaysia is an Islamic country which protects the objectives of Islamic laws, but they actually allow the prevalence of the beer industry which can ruin minds and lives,” it alleged.
Although conceding that other religions permit the consumption of alcohol, Hizbut Tahrir said any events that promotes “hedonistic culture” must not be allowed.
“We must distinguish between permitting other religions to drink, and organising beer festivals which promote vices.
“Islam guarantees the rights of non-Muslims, but those rights must not overstep the limits until they tarnish the purity of Islam and threatens national harmony,” it warned.
Muslim groups including controversial Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) have taken aim at Oktoberfest this month, claiming the event will tarnish Malaysia’s image as an “Islamic country” and “bring ruin” to the nation.
Although the event is promoted to non-Muslims, several Muslim groups have urged their supporters to rally against the event and venues that serve alcohol as part of the festival.
Oktoberfest is held annually in Malaysia with the two biggest breweries GAB and Carlsberg holding several drinking parties in major towns nationwide.
Oktoberfest was originally celebrated in Munich, Germany to accompany horse races, but has grown into “the world’s largest funfair”, attracting millions of visitors every year.