Indonesian Muslim Leader Reminds Zahid About Geography After He Blamed Earthquakes On LGBT

He said this in response to Zahid's allegation yesterday, 23 October.

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An Indonesian Muslim leader gave a brief geography lesson to opposition leader Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi after he blamed lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders (LGBTs) for causing the recent fatal Indonesian tsunami and earthquake

Ahmad Syafii Maarif, former chief of the second largest Indonesian Islamic organisation Muhammadiyah, told Free Malaysia Today (FMT) that he was surprised that such a statement came from an "important" person like Zahid.

Ahmad Syafii Maarif

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FMT reported Syafii as reminding Zahid that Indonesia was located in a "ring of fire"- an active area covering 40,000km in the Pacific Ocean

The 7.5-magnitude earthquake that occurred on 28 September triggered a tsunami in the city of Palu. More than 2,000 bodies were recovered, and about 5,000 people are believed to be buried in the ruins.

Indonesian authorities reportedly said on Sunday that 220,000 people lost their homes to the disaster.

Image via CBS News

"There are geographical factors involved," Syahii said, adding that earthquakes are not a divine punishment but should be seen as an opportunity to help fellow humans affected by the disaster.

"If we have sinned, we seek forgiveness from God. But never link it to the tsunami," said Syafii.

Yesterday, 23 October, UMNO president Zahid alleged that the earthquake struck Palu, Indonesia because it was a punishment from Allah

He claimed that the disaster, which left thousands dead, was caused by LGBT activities practiced by the community there.

"The entire area was destroyed. This is the punishment of Allah," Zahid said yesterday in Dewan Rakyat, according to Malaysiakini.

"We need to ensure that Malaysia and those who are against LGBT are spared Allah's punishment," he added.

Other Malaysian MPs have since spoken up against Zahid's remarks

Malaysia's Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq questioned Zahid's remarks on his Twitter yesterday, 23 October.

"How about (God's punishment on) those who accept bribes and conspire with others to steal money from the people?", Syed Saddiq asked.

Syed Saddiq

Image via Sukan Sinar

Deputy Minister of Women, Family, and Community Development Hannah Yeoh also criticised Zahid's remark saying that, "corruption was the biggest social ill and immoral activity in Malaysia".

In a tweet, she wrote, "Of all the pressing issues the Opposition Leader @Zahid_Hamidi could have raised, he chose this. "

Hannah Yeoh

Image via Sinar Harian

Read more of Zahid's allegations here:

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