"...It was their first time to touch a Bible and read it, so we do exercises that they have to read and compare it with the Quran, so there's no fear or stigma about it."
- PKR's Penanti assemblyperson Norlela Ariffin
COMMENT | The “Bible sessions” organised by Norlela Ariffin (above) to foster interfaith dialogue is an admirable attempt at grassroots-level activism that should be built upon by the vast religious bureaucracy of this country.
However, I think Harapan’s religious czar Mujahid Rawa Yusof, who finds preacher Zakir Naik “inspiring,” will instead focus his attention on “disturbing” elements like encouraging “dehijabing” instead of changing the mainstream Islamic narrative of this country.
Speaking of Zakir Naik, he would probably accuse the Penanti representative of spreading pornography behind closed doors. In his 2016 “lecture” held at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) with the crowd reportedly numbered at 20,000, Zakir Naik claimed that the Bible contained pornographic passages.
He further claimed that his religion did not allow him to read “obscene things in front of the audience,” so even for a million dollars, he would refrain from quoting those passages. Zakir Naik reassured the audience that he was not there to “degrade” the Bible...