Thursday, May 8, 2014

Alumni: Seminar soiled alma mater's reputation

12:16PM May 8, 2014
The organisers of a controversial seminar at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) have discredited the institution which is dedicated to educating underprivileged Malays since 1956.

Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud (left), an UiTM alumni, said the seminar which allowed Indonesian Muslim scholars to demonise Christianity before students was not only anti-unity but also alienated UiTM’s Christian staff and students.

"This incident discredits my alma mater and I, along with many of my UiTM brothers and sisters, are definitely not happy with it.

"UiTM should have organised an inter-faith seminar highlighting shared basic principles across religions to show how our differences are superficial and our similarities are deep, encouraging understanding among different religions and strengthen unity and togetherness," she added.

Dyana, who is also the political secretary to DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang, said participants may have even been duped into attending the seminar.

She said all UiTM undergraduates who were taking Sejarah Malaysia and ethnic relations courses, amongst others, were asked to attend the seminar and with class exemptions given.

"Looking at the title of the seminar, I myself as a graduate from UiTM was pleasantly surprised with UiTM’s openness to discuss a very sensitive issue and encourage intellectual discourse among the participants.

"Obviously, I was wrong after finding out that the content of the seminar was to demonise Christianity in the eyes of the participants.

"As stated in the event programme, there was a slot entitled 'Christianity threat' delivered by Insan LS Mokoginta from Indonesia," she added.

Dyana urged UiTM not to stoop so low again in order to satisfy the agenda of certain parties who are "closed-minded, full of hatred and obviously very backwards."

She also questioned why no action has been taken against the organisers while UiTM authorities were quick to punish student Mohd Fathihie Gadius for posting an anti-GST (goods and services tax) statement on Facebook.

The seminar was organised by Contemporary Islamic Studies Academy (ACIS), Warisan Ibnu Aaby and Majlis Agama Islam Selangor (MAIS).

The event was supported by Utusan Malaysia, Karangkraf Group of Companies, TV al-Hijrah, Zikay Group and Pantai Group of Companies.

~ Malaysiakini

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