Local journalist and digital programme host Finaz Yunus took to Instagram earlier today to express her agreement with Religious Affairs minister Datuk Idris Ahmad’s words of advice towards celebrity preachers, whilst delivering a profound message of her own.
Datuk Idris Ahmad previously told celebrity preachers to ensure they do not get caught up in immoral acts and lose the trust of the community.
First, he said, they need to always practice every one of their preachings that is delivered to the community; second, always self-reflect; third, be aware of the risk of being an individual who has an influence on the community and lastly, to mind one’s own behaviour.
This advice came after the reporting of several sexually heinous cases allegedly committed by famous celebrity preachers, with the latest instance involving an independent preacher and actor who was arrested by the police last Thursday after purportedly committing sexual crimes against teenage boys.
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“Thank you YB Minister of Religion. As a media practitioner who often receives the first news regarding misconduct involving religious groups, I sincerely hope celebrity preachers can conduct their responsibilities in a trustworthy manner.
“If you are not able to control your lust, give up the title of Pencetus Ummah, Young Imam, Murabbi, Preaching Icon, Ustaz, Mudir etc. Find another career. The title holds too much value and by bearing it, you carry the image of Islam.
“It is not just a matter of popularity, to be invited here and there. It is enough that Islam is often slandered by disbelievers,” Finaz wrote on Instagram, alongside a screenshot of a report highlighting Idris’ statements, as well as the hashtag #betruthfulnotneutral.
Of the matter, numerous netizens have acknowledged the journalist’s perspective, asserting that the celebrity preachers who commit wrongdoings whilst holding the titles are tarnishing the image of Islam; while others noted that the religious titles are self-proclaimed and misused due to their lack or complete absence of official endorsement by the government’s religious departments in Putrajaya.