Monday, 2 April 2012

The Johor Seminar was held without any incidents

Sourced from, linked here:

In the end, after all the public posturing from the Opposition and Christian groups, the Johor seminar passed off peacefully on Saturday. This is something that The Choice had pointed out all along, that the seminar posed less of a threat to inter-religious harmony than Pakatan's public stoking of passions.

The organisers even changed the title of the seminar, removing any mention of the "threat of Christianity", yet this didn't quench the vociferous criticism from non-Muslim groups.

The one-day seminar was attended by around 300 religious schoolteachers from Pasir Gudang, Johor Baru, Kulaijaya and Pontian, and conducted by Ustaz Rashidy Jamil Muhammad Al-Rashid of the state education department.

The Johor Mufti defended the seminar, saying it was for the good of teaching Islam.

According to The Star, Datuk M. Tahrir Kiai Samsudin told the teachers attending the seminar that the event was not tied to any political party or ideology.

The daily also reported that the seminar compared verses from the Bible and Qur'an.

"The seminar aims to strengthen the faith of Muslims and it does not need to be politicised by any party that claims it (seminar) is a threat to other religions," Datuk Maulizan Bujang, the state executive councillor for education, recently told Bernama.

The seminar followed recent allegations that Christians were attempting to convert Muslims, which had resulting in heightened tension between followers of the two religions.

Last August, the Selangor Islamic authorities raided a church in Petaling Jaya to investigate allegations that Christians were converting Muslims covertly at a fund-raising dinner.

It is illegal in Malaysia to try to convert Muslims to another religion. Muslim leaders have therefore maintained that the Malaysian government had a duty to defend the religion.

Despite the seminar being aimed solely at Muslim teachers, Christian groups have continued to protest the event.

On Saturday, the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) still insisted the seminar would create suspicion.

Rev Dr Thomas Philips, vice president of the interfaith group, told The Malaysian Insider, "These kind of seminars will cause disharmony and create more suspicion and misunderstanding among the people."

"What kind of atmosphere are they (the teachers) creating for the minds of young children?" he, referring to the schoolteachers attending the seminar.

This kind of inflammatory comment could well escalate tension further. Perhaps the reverend should ask the same question of Christian schoolteachers.

This heightened tension between Muslims and Christians does not help our multicultural society in any way.

Inter-religious harmony is further threatened by Opposition leaders who stoke passions in the name of politics.

What is urgently needed is the toning down of rhetoric and the cooling of passions on both sides. Political parties should not be debating a peaceful socio-religious event, particularly one that was meant solely for Muslim teachers.

The FMT carried a superb article by Helen Ang who shot down Anwar Ibrahim's crude  attempt to politicise the seminar organised by the Jabatan Agama Islam Johor, read it here: 

My thoughts: 

1. While I am not going to question the reason why the seminar was mooted, I trust that the Johor religious authorities have very good reasons for it, however, I am thankful  that the  authorities had amended the original title of the seminar as it is certainly insensitive considering that we are a multi religious society and more importantly the Religion of Islam has plenty of protection under our Perlembagaan. 

2. It is not easy to convert a Muslim in Malaysia and the best way to prevent conversion is through religious education and strengthening the aqidah of our fellow Muslims, certainly not by putting the fear of  proselytisation by Christian missionaries in our young.

3. The Church has lost a great opportunity to tell and assure all Malaysians of all religions that they are not proselytising, instead they have chosen to criticise the seminar and even asked the Government to make a stand against it, which will guarantee that there will be future seminars organised by Muslim religious authorities in other States discussing about the same thing as well.


BIGCAT said...

These people never going to stop at anything till they attained power in this country. They will use any issue available to undermine the government. It doesn't matter to them that we ordinary Malaysians may end up butchering one another in the name of race and religion.

eddy said...

Bigcat, we must fight subversives in any way we can for the good of this country.