SHAH ALAM, 29 December: Dialogues among religions in this country should be nourished to avoid misunderstandings between religions until it is being politicised.
These dialogues are necessary when religious sensitive issues become political issues to attack political opponents for the sake of respective political interests.
For Lecturer Dr Maszlee Malik, from the Faculty of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences at the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), actually this issue is only a symptom of bigger problems such as ignorance of the believers of one religion about another religion in this country.
From this mutual ignorance, mutual misconceptions emerge that become fertile space for prejudice, slander and misunderstanding.
Therefore, he reminded politicians to enhance integrity, morality and ethics respectively so as to not ‘fish in murky waters’ due to their ignorance together with the people of this country.
According to him, common misunderstandings can be avoided or minimised if the Ministry of Education creates a subject about the religions in Malaysia as a core subject which is compulsory for all students.
“Public and Private Institutes of Higher Learning also must have the subject as one of their core subjects.
“Similarly for Islamic studies, it should be attended Similarly, the subject of Islam, should be attended by all as Islam is the official religion in the country to be known by all our citizens,” he said.
Dr Maszlee also told every citizen in this country to appreciate community pluralism in this country.
“It is the responsibility of every Malaysian citizen to mutually appreciate society pluralism of Malaysians and it must be addressed as a strength rather than a factor of conflict,” said Dr Maszlee in a media statement.
Previously, the issue of the word ‘Allah’ by Christians in Sabah and Sarawak became heated up and faced a stalemate when some politicians deliberately made the issue a weapon to attach their political opponents..
Their actions eventually added to the mess of the situation so as to trigger tension between Muslims and Christians in the country.