Home Media statements 2012 Media Statements Do we have faith in the politics of fear?

Do we have faith in the politics of fear?

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Aliran is relieved to know that the organisers of the forthcoming Islamic seminar in Johor – ‘Strengthening the faith, the dangers of liberalism and pluralism and the threat of Christianity towards Muslims’ – have dropped the purported ‘Christian threat’ from the title after objections particularly from certain quarters within the Christian community.

Perkasa members protest against the alleged proselytism of Muslims, outside the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, 19 August 2011. — Photograph: Malaysian Insider

It is a relief to well-meaning Malaysians because in a society where religion and ethnicity are often easily and deliberately exploited to the hilt, those with ill intent and ill-will can easily stoke suspicion and hatred. But what about the content of the seminar? Will it still discuss the so-called threat of Christianisation even though it has been dropped from the title of the seminar?

We are cautious as narrow-minded vested interests and the politics of divide and rule still hold sway while those espousing the fire of ethnic and religious discord can undermine our unity and harmony.

To be sure, every religious community has every right to practise and fortify its collective faith but it is also expected to have respect for others from different faiths. 
Additionally, one would expect the faithful of any revealed religion to be duty-bound to promote peace and goodwill among fellow human beings – and not sow seeds of discord and enmity.

That said, it is rather disturbing and very disappointing to note that the powers-that-be have glaringly kept mum over this serious controversy. This silence can be easily mistaken by irresponsible elements in our society as tacit acquiescence that could encourage them to further breach the accepted boundaries of decency in a multi-ethnic society.

Dr Mustafa K Anuar
Honorary Secretary
30 March 2012

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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Dr Mustafa K Anuar, a longtime executive committee member and former honorary secretary of Aliran, is, co-editor of our newsletter. He obtained his PhD from City, University of London and is particularly interested in press freedom and freedom of expression issues. These days, he is a a senior journalist with an online media portal
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7 Apr 2012 2.56am

Without respect, there’s little else to say ’cause it is a major pillar we hang on to either as individuals or as a member of society. All else pale to insignificance. Respect is a primary ingredient not only for cooking but all else in life.

charlie chan
3 Apr 2012 6.12pm

another acting play by the powers that be?? the song – i am a great pretender aptly describe this episode

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