Building a culture of trust

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COMMENT | Recently, a few students from a local university were complaining to me about their lecturer who teaches Islamic Studies to the Muslim students and Moral Studies to non-Muslim students.

Apparently, the lecturer tells his Islamic Studies class that they are the lucky ones, for Islam is the true religion and heaven is reserved for Muslims only. The lecturer also has a habit of belittling the religion and the God(s) of non-Muslims.

However, when the lecturer teaches Moral Studies, he tells the non-Muslim students the importance of being united and working together in a multi-racial, multi-religious nation like Malaysia.

"Respect one another, focus on our similarities and accept our differences," he often reminds them.

Unbeknown to him, the group of students he teaches – Muslims and non-Muslims – are good friends who regularly discuss matters pertaining to their classes. Upon discovering how the lecturer conducts both Islamic and Moral Studies, they were frustrated.

"He is such a fake!"

"A man with forked tongue!"

"The real Two-Face!"

I can truly understand the frustrations of the students. After all, students look up to their lecturers for guidance and inspiration. And finding out that the person you look up to is an untrustworthy individual who doesn’t practise what he or she preaches can be a great disappointment.

But then again, it is so easy to get frustrated and disappointed with people whom we trust these days...

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