Mutual respect, goodwill and Islam

Family members and friends tossing yee sang in conjunction with Chinese New Year in Ipoh.NSTP/ABDULLAH YUSOF

LETTERS: IT is clearly stated in the Constitution that Islam is the official religion of Malaysia and there is no restriction in the practice of other religions.

The tenets of the Constitution reflect a tolerant attitude and respect among the adherents of different religions.

While Islam does not condone inter-religion mobility, it nevertheless adheres to the principles of co-existence and non-discrimination.

There is no forced proselytisation or persecution in attracting people to the faith, only through the demonstration of deeds and an ethical and moral way of living.

Islam promotes harmonious interactions among its believers and adherents of other faiths through mutual respect and goodwill, as well as by providing facilities for places of worship in recognition of the right to practise one’s faith.

This is evident in Malaysia where mosques, churches, Hindu temples and Chinese temples adorn the landscape of this country.As such, the rituals of worship and their celebrations are part of the gamut of Malaysian life.

Although the rituals of worship are restricted to its own adherents, there is no constraint in sharing the celebratory joys of another’s religion.

Thus, the opposition to the celebration of Ponggal and the hanging of Chinese lanterns in schools are not in line with the Islamic concept of Muhibbah.

It is trite to assume that participating in such activities would adversely affect one’s faith.

Far from being an attempt to proselytise, they create awareness of the cultural practices of people of other faiths.

We should, therefore, not allow bigots to create suspicion and dissension among the people.

Wishing all our Chinese friends Gong Xi Fa Cai.


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