Malaysiakini
OPINIONS

COMMENT | No place for disruptive ethnocentric politics

Ameen Kamal

Published

COMMENT | There is no moral basis for accentuating the trend of ethnic polarisation and divisive identity politics capitalising on race and religion. Racism isn’t supported by Islamic teachings, value-based leadership and even science.

In addition to Malaysia’s historical context, the fact that Malays make up more than 60 percent of the population by race and Muslims make up 61 percent of the population by religious beliefs provide the demographic basis for Malay rights, leadership and the protection of the Islamic faith.

However, this is not an excuse for discriminatory and polarising racial and religious rhetoric.

Capitalising on the traditional collective memory of the romantic past, identity insecurities and demographic nature at the expense of others and using race and religion to push for personal interest and political gains are wrong.

It has to be made clear that Islam is against racism, chauvinisms or religious extremism. The Almighty declares in the Holy Quran "O mankind, We have created you male and female, and appointed you races and tribes, so that you may know one another. Surely the noblest among you in the sight of God is the most God-fearing of you (49:13)".

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was reported in an authentic Hadith (narration) to have said “There is no superiority of an Arab over a non-Arab, or of a non-Arab over an Arab, and no superiority of a white person over a black person or of a black person over a white person, except on the basis of personal piety and righteousness.”

The two undisputed sources for the Islamic perspective on...

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