Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi: Inter-Faith Guidelines A Must

Are you saying that many in your community are too narrow and feudal in their mindset that they need guidelines for such simple matters of respecting one and another and living in harmony?

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — Tun Abdullah Badawi pushed today for guidelines on inter-religious interaction, saying they are necessary to ensure good relations in multi-ethnic Malaysia. The former prime minister (picture) said this was due to “maximum interaction between Muslims and non-Muslims.”

“These guidelines are very necessary. Through these guidelines, we can have good relations. As with the Islam Hadhari I implemented before they are not in conflict with other religions,” he said, referring to the brand of Islam he espoused during his administration.

The Ulama Association of Malaysia (PUM) said last Thursday official guidelines that govern conduct between Muslims and non-Muslims were needed to avoid any confusion between the two groups and to help people understand Islam.

PUM secretary-general Dr Mohd Roslan Mohd Nor said the guidelines were to ensure that those who do not have “authority” in Islam would no longer issue conflicting views and opinions.
The association recently urged Muslims to stay away from non-Muslim religious festivals following Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s visit to Batu Caves in conjunction with Thaipusam celebrations.

The prime minister’s visit has divided opinion over whether Muslims should join religious festivals celebrated by other faiths.

Influential former Perlis Mufti Asri Zainul Abidin also weighed in yesterday saying such guidelines were needed as politicians have abused Islam to further partisan ends.

Abdullah, the chairman of the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM), said today Islam Hadhari focused on good governance, justice for minorities, the environment and other issues that could be pursued by all.

“People are concerned with the Muslim community due to Islamophobia. Steps must be taken to ensure good relations between Muslims and non-Muslims.”

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