I just read MFZ's comments of Sept 10 in which he said that malaysiakini may find itself labelled 'anti-Islam' for giving space to non-Muslim Malaysians and others to write about politics and Islam in Malaysia.
Frankly, MFZ is typical of those Muslims who cannot accept criticisms from 'others' in our polity concerning their perceptions of Islam as practised in Malaysia and elsewhere today. When somebody disagrees with us, we resort to labelling, and then close our minds to other perspectives. Non-Muslims are not qualified to have a view on a subject that affects their security and lives. How unfortunate that we have come to this.
There is so much confusion about the subject, given countless versions that are being put out by leaders of different political orientations in our country and around the world. Today, we have political Islams everywhere, and murder and acts of terror are being perpetrated in the name of this sacred religion. I think it is a duty of every Muslim to explain his religion to others in a dispassionate and reasoned manner so that the humane and liberal side is seen.
For me, Islam is a religion that preaches peace, tolerance, co-existence and the pursuit of knowledge for the betterment of the human race. It was never intended that Islam should be obscurantist and exclusivist. It is certainly not a refuge, where Muslims can retreat from the challenges and dilemmas of the real world, and resort to labelling others who happen to have some opinion on the 'Islamic' phenomenon. A narrow- minded and insecure Islamic ummah does not contribute to peace and stability in our plural country and the world.
Malaysiakini, therefore, provides a good avenue for an intelligent exchange of views on the subject, which is of concern to us, all citizens of this beautiful country.