Malaysian netizens were aghast today at a widely circulated photo from a recent University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) graduation ceremony in which a student appears to be giving the crowd (and camera) a Nazi sieg heil salute from the dais.
Now in case you were wondering whether this poor soul merely happened to have been unfortunately caught mid-wave, the student himself dispelled that possibility, taking to social media to clarify that the action was indeed done in praise of Adolf Hitler, the man responsible for the death of millions of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, individuals with special needs, and many, many more.
Writing under the account Ibn Ruru, he praised the former Fuhrer’s policies that aimed to cleanse German territories of Jewish people and other “undesirables” during World War II, and seemed to equate his hateful gesture with a show of support for Palestine.
“This Hitler symbol that I style on the sacred UMS stage is because the world is blind and deaf when Jews rule, as if Islamic countries are clowns for the world’s entertainment,” he wrote in Malay, adding #SaveGaza and #Pray4Palestine to the post.
“Therefore, in solidarity with Gaza and because of anger, hatred, and vengeance towards Jews. Therefore, I thank Hitler for the Holocaust.”
While Malaysia struggles with a strain of antisemitism that sometimes creeps into the public discourse, Malaysian netizens were quick to pounce on Ibn Ruru’s stunt for the ugly act of hate that it was.
In one of the most retweeted condemnations of his post, Twitter user Puteri N. Balqis highlighted that the irony of Ibn Ruru’s attempt to oppose the persecution of Palestine by endorsing the most catastrophic act of persecution in modern history required even more “mental acrobatics” than the famed Malaysian gymnast Farah Ann could muster.
Others agreed, pointing out that had Muslim Malaysians been subjected to Nazi power, they too would have been victimized.
“Hitler-praising Muslims always seem to forget that if we had lived under Nazi leadership, we would probably have been persecuted as well,” wrote Syafiqah Othman, under the handle @Sfqomhz.
UMS has yet to issue a statement over the incident. However, Facebook has since deleted the post, saying that it violated community standards.
Ibn Ruru has also since attempted to walk back his earlier statement, claiming that he was only “joking” about the matter. (Yeah, real fucking knee-slapper, pal.)
As much as we here at Coconuts KL would love to tell Ibn Ruru to kiss our tuchus, we’re gonna take the high road on this one, and just let him know that he’s always welcome to join us for Hanukkah and tell us to our face why he hates Jews so much — perhaps over a platter of piping hot latkes.