Malaysia: Sultan calls on Muslims to protect religious diversity

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Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong said, in comments published by Bernama news agency, that the attempts “not only could bring about negative impact, but could also destroy the harmonious ties among the people in the country.

“Malaysia is a multi-racial country which comprises people of different religion, language, culture and economic status,” he continued.

“The fact that Islam is the official religion in the country and that other religions can also be practiced in peace and harmony as stipulated in the Federal Constitution, as well as in state constitutions, should be respected by all,” he said when opening the 54th International Qur’an Reciters Assembly at the Putra World Trade Center on Friday.

Sultan Muhammad said Muslims who love their faith and the Qur’an should “feel responsible to preserve unity of the ummah and should use their potential to foster unity.”

It comes as the government this past week, launched a new educational program that will teach terrorism in schools in order to combat “radical Islam.”

“We all must react to any attempts to tarnish the image of Islam and we must also help cleanse the image of Muslims which had been portrayed as terrorist and extremist by enemies of Islam,” the Sultan said.

Jamil Khir, the chairman of the Islamic assembly in the country, said the government had “always practiced the concept of moderation as a catalyst for 1Malaysia concept in ensuring the effectiveness of the national transformation program.

“The concept is a continuous approach in the existing government policies, especially the Government Transformation Program, Economic Transformation Program, Rural Transformation Program and the transformation program in religious agencies,” he said.

Source: Bikyamasr

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We, as leaders of  faith communities, need to develop a more inclusive view of the religious other, to recognise the humanity of the religious other as a starting point. We need to recognise the essential equality of all human beings regardless of religious beliefs. We need to affirm the mutuality and interdependency of all people... We may need even to extend this and recognise that religious other may, just may, have at least some access to the Truth. We may need to accept that the religious others also adopts more or less the same set of essential universal ethical-moral principles we share; that the religious other has feelings of pain and pleasure just like us; that the religious other has similar expectations about their children and family and the preservation of life, property and security; and that the religious other has the same fears and anxieties about the world and the future, just like us.