Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Allah decision turns back clock on interfaith ties

For Parit Buntar MP Mujahid Yusof Rawa, yesterday's Court of Appeal decision indicated that interfaith relations are moving backwards and he blamed right-wing forces for the woeful situation.

Mujahid, who is also PAS central committee member, said while he respects the appellate court's decision which banned Catholic weekly The Herald from using ‘Allah', he disagreed with the way the issue was handled by the government.

NONE"There has been a lot of media coverage by the government media, representing the extreme right-wing views. These are people who are not able to understand the need for interfaith relationships. They were given attention as if they represent the whole (Muslim) society, which is not the case," he told Malaysiakini.

Mujahid, the son of former PAS president Yusof Rawa, said having read the court judgment, he disagreed with the threat of proselytisation among Muslims as highlighted by the judges as this would only show that Islam is weak.

"Muslims should protect other faiths to ensure freedom of religion. We should show the example that there is no compulsion in Islam," he said.

According to him, the three appellate court judges could have been influenced by right-wing groups.

"We should be able to see the bigger picture. The decision would only mean that people of all faiths cannot be united if we continue to be like this," he said.

Major impact

Mujahid said yesterday's decision will have a major impact on especially those in Sabah and Sarawak, who use the Indonesian/Malay Bible.

He said even the Sikhs use ‘Allah' to refer to God.

"It is upsetting that the far-right groups had indicated extending the ban to Sabah and Sarawak. If this is done, it would create more problems as the Iban in Sarawak have been using the word ‘Allah' in reference to their god," he said, adding the case is similar in Sabah.

Mujahid said since the Dec 31, 2009 Kuala Lumpur High Courtlandmark decision, he has been holding dialogues with Malaysians of different faiths.

"I have gone to 30 churches to meet them and to promise that in Islam we would protect all places of worship," he said, following the vandalism of churches and mosque in the wake of the High Court decision.

"These meetings have managed to bridge the gap. What is important is we managed to build trust and this should be continuously be supported and extended - followers of various religions should continue to sit down and talk in a civilised manner.

"Interfaith dialogue is the way forward," he stressed.

~ Malaysiakini

1 comment:

Winston said...

All Malaysians must bear in mind that everything the UMNO/BN government does is just a lot of cock & bull.
What they are really interested in is enriching themselves.
And once they have bankrupted the country, they can always make a fresh start in another country.
And Malaysians will have to pick up the goddam mess after them!!!
That's why the faster they are gotten rid of, the better!!!!