YOURSAY 'In this battle, we need the secular Malay/Muslims to come out and lead the effort. Without them, there's no light at the end of the tunnel.'
NGO seeks religion, state separation
ACR: Secularism simply means religious considerations do not influence public policy or administration. Religion is personal to oneself. Places of worship exist in secular nations and would not be demolished.
Some Muslims in Malaysia have a warped understanding of secularism. Other than Islam, other religions do not have a problem with the idea. In Malaysia, our forefathers have engineered a wonderful compromise where Islamic personal law governs the personal lives of Muslims.
Islam as the official religion has ceremonial importance at official functions. It does not, and should not, be a consideration in public policy making which affects all citizens.
Malaysia ABU: I support this move, this was what Malaysia (including Sabah and Sarawak) understood when we formed this nation, and this should be the direction we go.
No religious institution should encroach and have power in state administration. Clear lines should be spelt out.
Anonymous#007: Thomas Jefferson once said: "Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights.
"Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the ‘wall of separation between church and state', therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society."
Robert G Ingersoll meanwhile said: "They knew that to put God in the constitution was to put man out. They knew that the recognition of a deity would be seized upon by fanatics and zealots as a pretext for destroying the liberty of thought. They knew the terrible history of the church too well to place in her keeping or in the keeping of her God the sacred rights of man.
"They intended that all should have the right to worship or not to worship, that our laws should make no distinction on account of creed. They intended to found and frame a government for man and for man alone. They wished to preserve the individuality of all to prevent the few from governing the many, and the many from persecuting and destroying the few."
Jefferson and Ingersoll foresaw this hundreds of years ago. They would be dying to tell Malaysians "I told you so", if they were alive today and could see what is happening here.
Indeed, the Malaysia Secular Forum (MSF) would be a body to save religion(s) from the government's religious bigots.
JimmyKL: For me, even if Pakatan Rakyat comes to power, this ancient nexus between Islam and state can never be disentangled completely due to the fact that it has already been bureaucratised, institutionalised and embedded too deeply within the state structure not just recently, but since 700 years ago when Islam was first embraced by Malay sultans.
To dismantle this ancient Islam-state nexus of hundreds of years in Malaysia is an extremely difficult task to do, what more if the leadership and members of MSF comprise mainly of non-Muslim and non-Malays - it will render this noble effort almost impossible.
In this battle for secular Malaysia, strategically we need the secular Malay/Muslims themselves to come out and lead the effort. Without them, this effort will see no light at the end of the tunnel.
Paul Warren: Even if I were a religious type, I would also endorse this. Simply because every time a government acts on the presumption that it has heavenly authority, every time it fails in any way on anything, it insults and undermines the religion itself.
As self-professed defenders of Islam, Umno is responsible for all its failings. But when they suggest everything that they have done is all perfectly acceptable, then it would be like saying Islam approves of all its acts and conduct.
Then it becomes that Islam gets assessed by the actions of its defenders. It is quite alright to say that you might be guided by your Islamic or Christian or Hindu faith. Fine. Then if your conduct becomes unbecoming, your religion remains untainted.
What people wanting religion in politics don't realise is that they are being irresponsible and fundamentally, they are users of the religion rather than serving that religion.
YF: Anyone who has never read history or has a whitewashed view of their religion would assume that theocracy is doable. History has shown that it is not, and so does the Bible. Jesus states clearly that his kingdom is not of this world and all men have fallen short of the glory of God.
Name just one kingdom/state that has adopted every letter of what their holy book demands and are still standing as a kingdom/state today. The answer is a big zero.
Hence it is absurd to find some misguided political parties wanting to set up (yet again) a theocratic state without referring to the failures of theocratic states of the past, where absolute power can even corrupt the most ‘pious' person.
One good example is what's happening in Iran, Egypt, Afghanistan and all these states whose political and economic futures have been ruined by misguided religious bigots who know nuts about running a country, and even less on what their religion teaches. The end result - chaos and religious gangsterism.
Jstom: I'm sorry, I would not hold my breath for this proposal to become reality. It is doomed to failure from the beginning.
They will simply charge the whole group as fighting for a republic (although they obviously are not). I can't foresee the sultans becoming akin to bishops for the Muslims.
Genesis: There are two versions of secularism - one that does not permit any religion in the public sphere at all, and another version that does not prevent religion from entering the public sphere but does not allow any religion to dominate that sphere.
Why can't we as Malaysians adhere to the second version? This will allow the inclusion of views of those who do not adhere to any religion to be heard.
Jk7462000: Separation of religion and state? It's about bloody time.
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