Thursday, December 5, 2013

PAS lawmaker meets Catholic church leaders from peninsula

BY ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH
DECEMBER 05, 2013
(From left) Bishop Paul Tan, Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam, Datuk Mujahid Rawa and Bishop Sebastian Francis at the meeting in Pakiam's official residence in Kuala Lumpur.  – Pic courtesy of anilnetto.com, December 5, 2013. (From left) Bishop Paul Tan, Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam, Datuk Mujahid Rawa and Bishop Sebastian Francis at the meeting in Pakiam's official residence in Kuala Lumpur. – Pic courtesy of anilnetto.com, December 5, 2013.A PAS politician, who has been instrumental in organising interfaith dialogues with Christians nationwide, recently met up with leaders from the Catholic church in the peninsula as part of his efforts to build bridges with the community following the “Allah” controversy.
Datuk Mujahid Rawa, whose name is now synonymous with interfaith dialogues, told The Malaysian Insider that he met Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam and Bishop of the Malacca-Johor diocese Paul Tan in the capital city two days ago.
"I had always wanted to meet the both of them but time did not permit it. And I was fortunate enough to do so on Tuesday," said Mujahid.
Francis had previously lauded Mujahid's efforts to reach out to Christians, saying: "The world and our nation needs more of such persons who can reach out to others beyond boundaries."
He revealed that his old friend, Bishop Sebastian Francis, who is in charge of the Penang diocese, set up the 40-minute meeting, which took place in Pakiam's official residence in Bukit Nanas.
"It was a good time and we discussed many issues concerning national unity and interfaith relations," Mujahid said, adding that he had received a “warm welcome” from the Catholic leaders.
The Parit Buntar MP, who was recently appointed to Putrajaya’s National Unity Consultative Council, said they agreed with his call that initiatives for interfaith dialogues should be broadened and strengthened to address issues hindering relations.
“We talked about how we could enhance the dialogues. And they (the Catholic leaders) supported the idea that this should continue.
"Of course, we also discussed the challenges that could hinder national unity and how things could be made better.”
Mujahid, in his efforts to promote unity among Christians and Muslims following the “Allah” controversy, has visited more than 30 churches since 2010.
He had previously said that he had been receiving more invitations to hold dialogues in churches after the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Muslims, banning the word “Allah” from being used in the Bahasa Malaysia section of the Catholic weekly, “Herald”. – December 5, 2013.
~ The Malaysian Insider

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