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Bullies and the practice of superficial Islam

Photograph: sabahkini.com

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Forcing a church to take down a cross has no place in Malaysia and the authorities are obliged to act, asserts Hafidz Baharom.

The recent occurrence in Taman Medan, Shah Alam, did not show the best of Islam by any means.

If anything, it showed how miseducated the Malaysian Malay community can be.

To the 50 people in Taman Medan, if seeing a cross on a building is enough to shake your faith, I suggest you go to a mosque or surau and pray for your weak belief.

Instead, you were advised by some to take to the streets and bully the church into taking the cross down.

I am deeply angered by this stupidity. This lack of logic is tantamount to saying that hudud be applied to these 50 and the death sentence be dealt out.

If their faith in Islam was really shaken by a cross on a shoplot, then perhaps they should be declared apostates.

Islam can do without them. Malaysia can do without them. Perhaps we may even cut some government expenditure wasted through BR1M.

Not only was the Taman Medan protest in bad taste, but in accordance to section 298A of our Penal Code, it is illegal. As such, our authorities must act.

Unlike an earlier case involving Ibrahim Ali, there is video to prove their actions, and the cross has been taken down to show that their threats were taken seriously.

As such, Nancy Shukri cannot say they didn’t mean it this time around.

Most importantly, Malaysian Muslims must take note that our country is now being threatened by those who look at our faith in the most superficial way.

And we must speak out against it.

We see this lack of meaning and depth not only in our treatment of Christians, but also in the way we treat our fellow Muslims.

Threats of death or violence against those who speak out against hudud, the content of Friday sermons or even for not wearing a headscarf are not compatible with Islam.

Faith in Islam is determined by the personal actions and intent of each individual. It is not determined by how you voraciously attack others or how much you protest against crosses on buildings.

Where in the teachings of Islam is the belief that a cross can suddenly inspire someone to leave their faith in Islam?

To the church that became the victim of a bullying and maybe even politically motivated Muslim mob, I extend my apologies as a Muslim — even if I’m not exactly the pinnacle of piety.

Put your cross back up. The cross is your symbol, so wear it with pride. You have every right to put it on the building, provided you have the licence for it.

You are not propagating your Christianity to the masses. You are practising your constitutional right to practise your faith.

It is high time Malaysia puts an end to threatening religious discrimination.

Source: freemalaysiatoday.com

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