Malaysian Islamic Preacher Cautions Against Growth Of “Jediism” Amidst Star Wars Craze

An Islamic preacher has expressed concern over the “Star War” craze in Muslim-majority Malaysia, days after the latest installation of the epic cult movie series premiered here.

Rohidzir Rais took to Facebook to warn against the growing influence of “Jediism” in the country that was spread by fans of the movie, after reading a newspaper article titled “gila Star Wars” or “Star Wars craze” in English.

“In the West, there is a new religion called Jediism which makes this film the basis of their ‘faith’. Do you not realise this? Do you still want to defend your ‘faith’?” Rohidzir wrote in Bahasa Malaysia last Sunday, in an open appeal to Malaysian Muslim fans of Star Wars.

He claimed that Malaysia’s Gen-Y have become “lost” in the “3S”, which he said stood for “screen, sports and sex”.

In a separate post a day earlier, the Al-Azhar University graduate had mocked the creator and director of the Star Wars series, George Lucas, as a prophet who was proselytising the “Jedi religion” worldwide with his “magical sabre”.

“With the chaos in the battlefield and false fights in the imaginary world, we forget the real battle are against Muslims across the world,” he wrote.

His post drew mixed responses from Facebook users, with some fans castigating the preacher over his views.

“Pitiful, expecting those learned in religion but the antiquated thinking is as deep as the sea. Because of that many of our Malay Muslims have such backwards thoughts because preachers like you exist,” user Rusdi Muhammad responded and urged Rohidzir to watch a TV Hijrah programme that had provided a positive discussion of the movie.

Others, like Syed Fadzil urged Rohidzir to speak based on facts.

“There are a lot of fans from Generation X who are knowledgeable about this film and thank God there is no news of them who have lost their faith. You need to study the root of this issue,” he said.

“Don’t be like the black metal case. Even Black Dog Bone has been classified as Black Metal… because of the word black,” he added, referring to a 1980s pop group.

Another Facebook user Mohd Hayat said he sympathised with the Star Wars characters but could also feel for Muslims in strife-torn Yemen, Syria, Palestine and Ukraine.

“So what’s the problem? Don’t be a bonsai religionist,” he wrote.

Rohidzir was unperturbed in the face of the criticisms against him and responded in a similar mocking vein.

“The Malaysian galaxy is fortunate to have Muslim Jedi fighters that are brave and strong to defend their galaxy. We are convinced if World War 3 ever happens, they are ready to be martyrs with the Force that are strong in them.

“Congratulations once again to the Jew George Al-Lucas for succeeding in giving birth to Jedi martyrs who are ready to attack anyone who challenge their galaxy,” the author of 30 books who regularly appears on TV9’s “Tanyalah Ustaz (Ask Uztaz)” show wrote.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the seventh installation of the sci-fi hit dating back to 1977 and premiered in Los Angeles on December 14.

The last movie in the series, “Revenge of the Sith” hit the silver screen 10 years ago as part of a prequel trilogy.



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