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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ritual slaughter not to be questioned by non-Muslims, says Muslim NGO

Non-Muslims should not question the ritual slaughter of cattle on school grounds for Aidiladha if they do not understand the teachings of Islam, a Muslim non-governmental organisation (NGO) said.
People of other faiths were “unqualified" to question the slaughter ritual (“korban”), said Pertubuhan Kebajikan dan Dakwah Islamiyah SeMalaysia (Pekida) president Jamaludin Yusof.
"They do not understand the teachings of Islam so (they) should not question (the ritual).
"The ritual is not carried out daily and is only for the Aidiladha celebrations. The ritual is a part of our beliefs," he told The Malaysian Insider today.
The slaughter of cows, which are considered sacred to Hindus and Buddhists, at SK Puchong Jaya in Selangor for Aidiladha earlier this month caused an outrage among non-Muslim communities who considered the act insensitive as it was carried out in a public school.
While Jamaludin said people should respect each other, he criticised those who raised the issue "on purpose" and reminded them that Islam was the official religion of the country, which should be respected and not questioned.
He said everyone should observe tolerance regardless of race, citing the example of how Muslims did not question rituals of other religions like the smashing of coconuts in the middle of the road, which was the practise during the Hindu festival of Thaipusam.
He also said Muslims should handle the slaughter issue calmly and resolve it amicably without provocation.
"We must take care of the sensitivities in this so that the matter does not escalate," he said
The issue has attracted various comments from politicians, Muslim leaders and NGOs.
When Deputy Education Minister II P Kamalanathan said the slaughter of cows was never permitted in schools and termed what happened as an oversight, he was lambasted by Malay NGO Perkasa. Kamalanathan was even told to bring up his unhappiness with the Council of Rulers.
Perlis mufti Dr Juanda Jaya has said the matter should not be turned into an issue as the people should continue to practise religious tolerance.
Education Minister II Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh, meanwhile, said the ritual should be allowed to be conducted in Muslim-majority schools.
In a posting on his Facebook page, Idris said the ministry would not stop the ritual from being carried out in schools but added that all programmes should take into account the sensitivities of the various races and conducted with mutual respect.
Meanwhile, Tasek Gelugor MP Shabudin Yahaya said yesterday that the ritual was "educational" and "practical".
"The act was not carried out in front of non-Muslim students and they were not involved nor invited to attend such events.
"The slaughter of cows is not a regular affair. It is part of the subject and 'korban' is in the Islamic studies subject that is being taught in schools as part of the Islamic faith,” he said in Parliament.
"It is also practical as it teaches the correct ways of slaughter and what should be done. As such, people should not be overly upset over it," he said. 

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