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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Who's threatening whom?



Strengthening faith (Perfect idea. No one's going to say "no").
Liberalism and pluralism are dangerous (Emm...This is questionable, at least I think lack of liberalism and pluralism is the real danger).
Christians are threatening the Muslims (Wow! This one is real sedition that could threaten national security and solidarity).
Don't misunderstand me. Those are not slogans of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Neither are they slogans of the Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
They are the core ideas of a seminar jointly organised by the Johor state education department and the state religious affairs department aptly titled Pemantapan Aqidah, Bahaya Liberalism dan Pluralism Serta Ancaman Kristianisasi Terhadap Umat Islam. Apa Peranan Guru? (Strengthening Faith, Threats of Liberalism, Pluralism and Christianity Towards Muslims: What is the Role of Teachers?)
National schools in the state have been instructed to send representatives to the event.
It is absolutely not a problem to strengthen the Islamic faith. Religion is a part of the school curriculum in this country. By all means strengthen it!
However, defining liberalism and pluralism as something "dangerous" does not go well with the prevalent trends nor our national aspirations.
Malaysia is a multiracial and multicultural country. Pluralism is the foundation stone of our nationhood and the basis of our steady development over the decades. It has manifested the country's superiority but why is it rendered "dangerous" now?
Liberalism goes along with pluralism. Without liberty there would not be options, and hence pluralism.
The most absurd thing is the subjective judgement that Christianity is posing threats to Muslims.
I was thinking such arguments could only be made by people in the same league as Hasan Ali, trying to exploit religious sensitivity to polarise the nation and instilling fears and confrontational sentiments in a bid to fish political gains.
The real dangerous part is that the state education and religious affairs departments, as components of the state mechanisms, have adopted a like-minded stand.
The consequences could be grave if the poison is allowed to spread through education channels to become part and parcel of the national educational system.
This is more than "protecting the rights of Muslims" claimed by the organisers and the minister in the prime minister's department Senator Jamil Khir b Baharom.
If this concept is eventually endorsed by the government, our schools will be segregated into two rival camps whereby one religion is posing threats to the other religion while one group of students is posing threats to the other.
Confrontation could seep in if one side feels intimidated.
With the students eventually leaving their schools, such a preconceived belief will make its way into the core of our society. This kind of education will only breed conflicts and confrontation, not protection for anyone.
If our leaders still subscribe to the common understanding of our nation-building and national characteristics. they should bar and censure such acts and make sure such fallacies are put to a halt once and for all.
-Sin Chew Daily

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