Borneo: Newspaper Launches Weekly Interfaith Harmony Column
KUCHING: Interfaith dialogues can cause religious strife instead of promoting understanding if they were held to find faults with the teachings of other religions instead of trying to understand their true teachings.
Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Islamic Affairs) Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman said such dialogues if carried out properly were vital to the promotion and preservation of religious harmony.
“Interfaith dialogue is not meant for people to find faults. It is not for you to compare which religion is better but understand other religions besides your own,” he said.
He was speaking at the launching of the weekly Interfaith Harmony Column in the thesundaypost (Sunday edition of The Borneo Post) in collaboration with the Malaysian Interfaith Network (MIN) at Crown Towers here yesterday.
“The interfaith column should set out to promote understanding among different religions. “Let us practise the religion we believe in and do not try to look down on other religions.”
Daud believed the new column would be well received by the general public “because people want to know all religious teachings.”
Peace would not prevail without dialogues Daud asserted that peace among religions would not prevail without dialogues, which served to enhance mutual understanding and he said the column would be an excellent forum for such dialogues for the people in the state.
He called on Sarawakians to understand other religions besides their own as only through understanding could they care for and love one another. “I believe we Sarawakians are very mature and wise in our thinking and handling of issues relating to religion. At the heart of every Sarawakian is the conviction to uphold peace and harmonious co-existence.
“This is vital as in respecting human dignity religions must be part of the solution, not part of the problem.”
Daud urged people in the state to promote and value the unity among various religious groups in the state to preserve social harmony to keep religious tension at bay.
“We have to accept the fact that we are different and in this multi-cultural, multi-racial and multi-religious society, we have to continue living in peace and harmony.”
On religious misunderstanding and stereotyping, Daud said it was wrong to associate any religion with violence and terrorism because the perpetrators of such acts were actually acting against the teachings of their religions.
“All religions give good teachings and there is none teaching violence.” Touching on the Islamic Information Centre (IIC) here, he said the centre aimed at nothing more than disseminating Islamic teachings and not to convert non-Muslims to be Muslims.
He said the true teachings of Islam clearly stated that should be no compulsion.
Among those present were MIN representative Dr John Fozdar, The Borneo Post general operations manager Phyllis Wong and senior managing editor Francis Chan.
Source: The Borneo Post
Photo Credit: The Borneo Post (Copyright)
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