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MIC chief: UTM module shows ignorance reigns even in ivory tower
Published:  Jun 14, 2016 7:32 AM
Updated: 8:35 AM

MIC president Dr S Subramaniam said the erroneous claims on Hindusim and Sikhism taught to students at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) show that ignorance pervades the country, even in universities.

UTM yesterday said it would fix its Tamadun Islam and Tamadun Asia (Titas) modules which state that Islam taught Hindus manners and cleanliness, as some of them believed dirt on the body is part of a ritual to attain nirvana.

Another UTM Titas slide circulated online also said the founder of Sikhism borrowed elements from Islam, but had poor understanding of the religion.

"The supposed pedestal of knowledge has become a pool of ignorance.

“We have seen this in schools before and now we realise it is also evident in universities," he said in a media statement today.

Subramaniam said the Hindu scriptures which predate Islam encouraged followers to rise at dawn, bathe and pray before starting the day, contradicting claims made in the UTM Titas module.

"When will we have intellectual honesty?

“There has to be a sincere desire by those within the educational system to the historically and factually true. Attempts to compare cultures and religions are always dangerous," he added.

Subramaniam, who is also health minister, said soul-searching was required to find out why such a "distortion" occurred.

"I pray that a day will dawn where such things will become something of the past," he added.

Sowing seeds of extremism

Demanding an apology, Wanita MIC chief M Mohana said such lessons should be blamed for extremist behaviour.

"It is precisely for this hatred teaching in the varsities that even a doctor who is a Malay Muslim became a fanatic to the extent of destroying idols in temples recently," she said in a statement.

"Open revulsion against other races must be stopped at any cost. We have come across many similar incidents yet no immediate and harsh action has been taken to put a full stop," she said.

The announcement that UTM would make corrections was made by Deputy Education Minister P Kamalanathan yesterday.

In a Facebook posting today, the MIC supreme council member said the "misrepresentation" in the UTM Titas module disappointed him "not as a politician or deputy minister, but as a Malaysian".

Kamalanathan also urged the Higher Education Ministry to ensure all public universities vet its syllabus with experts in the religion.

"This will ensure such painful experiences are not repeated," he said.

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