The Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (Abim) takes seriously the people’s concerns about racial sentiments that have flourished following the recent general election.
In this regard, Abim welcomes the determination of the police and Malaysians who are concerned about combating this phenomenon, which is reported to be spreading through social media.
Abim calls on Muslims to refer to the model devised by leading scientist Al-Biruni, to interact between different religions and races. This includes the concept of mutual recognition to erase any prejudice that reduces space for dialogue.
This model reminds us to get to know each other and not to isolate ourselves in our own groups.
We should attribute any negativity to individuals, not groups. This includes negative attitudes and bad behaviour that should not be ascribed to an entire race or religion.
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Islam and other religions in the world never incite their followers to hate each other. The fact is, hatred towards different groups comes from an attitude of bigotry, and being closed to the diversity and differences that exist.
In this regard, we should reflect on the words of the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin previously as follows: “After 62 years of independence, the voice of unity that unites the people and the voice of modesty that encompasses the people should not be allowed to be manipulated by any party for short-term narrow political goals. The future of the people and the country should not be handed over to groups that promote racial or religious extremism.”
Since 2014, Abim has set in motion a preventing and countering terrorism and extremism agenda together with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Anti-Terrorism Division (E8) of the Bukit Aman Special Branch and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (through the Southeast Asia Regional Center for the Prevention of Terrorism – SEARCCT).
In connection with that, from [22 November] Abim has also mobilised the hashtag campaign #KitaKawan #SebarkanSalam #TolakKebencian #SayangiMalaysiaku as a reminder of Malaysia’s longstanding harmony that needs to be defended from racial incitement by parties with narrow interests.
Abim calls on all Malaysians regardless of skin colour, religion or political ideology to jointly upload pictures or videos with elements of racial unity on their respective social media accounts with the hashtags mentioned above.
As concerned Malaysians, we all have a responsibility to carry a message of love and stay away from hate.
Zairudin Hashim is vice-president of Abim