Malaysia's top clerics on Monday issued a fatwa, deeming it "haram" for Muslims to participate in demonstrations that cause disturbance in the country, days after thousands defied government orders to stage a rally.
Malaysia's National Fatwa Committee, which a few years ago had ruled that Muslims should not do yoga, has now advised Muslims against participating in any gathering that is unproductive, against the law or causes disturbance.
National Fatwa Committee chairman Abdul Shukor Husin said the committee viewed seriously the issue as some had resorted to rioting during the recent opposition-backed electoral reforms demonstrations.
"Rioting, causing disturbance and damaging public property are all forbidden by Islam. This also applies to any intention to topple a duly-elected government by organising such demonstrations.
"No one is exempted, and cannot support any efforts that can cause harm, anxiety or unrest among Muslims to the point of the community becoming split, what more if there is bloodshed," he said after chairing a meeting of the committee here.
He also told Muslims not to be involved in any movement or campaign that supports LGBTs.