YOURSAY | ‘Don’t belittle other religions if you want others to respect yours’

YOURSAY | ‘Does Zawawi agree that what is sauce for Islam is sauce for non-Muslims?’

PAS MP won't apologise over Bible remarks, willing to have dialogue

PurpleJaguar0553: No amount of learning from a comparative study of religions can ever equip a person to be able to rightfully make any statement or comment on a faith that is not one’s own.

It is faith that opens one’s eyes to the meaning and depth of the precepts underlying it, not a study of religion without an ounce of belief being poured into it.

Some Muslim leaders, teachers and preachers in this country have arrogated to themselves the right to make unfair, uninformed, hurtful, disrespectful and disparaging remarks about religions that are not Islam.

They have attacked Christians and Christianity many times in the past with impunity, for example impounding Bahasa Malaysia bibles, seizing Christian VCDs, pretending to be Christians and taking part in the Holy Communion and then publishing them spitting out the sacraments, and forcing some churches to bring down the cross.

I honestly believe they do this because they are confident that the security forces will not act against them, nor will the government.

The government cares not about criminal seditious conduct committed against anyone who is not Muslim as they focus only on strengthening their support from Muslims by reinforcing conservatism, bigotry, intolerance and imagined threats to Islam.

This deepening of divisions amongst Malaysians is going to tear this country apart, all to serve only their greed for position, power and satisfaction of their personal hatred for believers of other religions.

MPs like Pasir Puteh MP Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh are inimical to Nazis and communists in their single-mindedness to eliminate anyone who they consider are not only different from them but who they treat with abhorrence.

RR: Zawawi is certainly arrogant. Many of us study comparative religions to appreciate the similarities; not to put down other religions by saying that my religion is supreme.

Like Zawawi, others too can make critical views of other religions, including Islam. We must take the stand that “what’s yours is yours and what's mine is mine”. This is the way to build a harmonious nation which is multiracial and multireligious.

Therefore, politicians should refrain from making statements belittling other religions to promote their own. Our police chief, who is a no-nonsense man, should charge Zawawi for sedition if he does not apologise to the Christians regarding the Bible and the consumption of alcohol.

Also, it will be chaotic to debate on any religion. All adherents are proud of their own religion. Leave it at that.

David Dass: The Bible does not forbid the consumption of alcohol. It does not encourage it either. It cautions against the excessive consumption of alcohol.

It says that the consumption of alcohol should not affect your observance of the law - whether it be man-made law or God's laws. It also says that one should not offend one’s neighbour by what one eats or what one drinks.

The suggestion that the Bible has been distorted is absurd. The Bible is the most examined and investigated religious book in history and in the world. If there is a true version of the Bible, then where is it? Produce it.

There is nothing that stops anyone from publishing what they consider the 'true' version of the Bible. Or even writing it. Christianity is not threatened by silly statements and claims like this.

IndigoKite6964: Zawawi really shouldn't open this can of worms in Parliament. He is welcomed to open it on any public forum outside Parliament but I believe cowardice restrains him.

Of course, he won't apologise. He knows that Christians often turn the other cheek.

That said, Parliament is not a place for theological discourse and debates. This is the problem of having an Islamic political party. They think it is a licence to trample on non-Muslim beliefs - and Christianity is and has been their favourite punching bag - because of the parliamentary immunity to prosecution.

But there is recourse. Zawawi can be referred to the parliamentary rights and privileges committee. He could be told off by the House speaker, but I don't see this happening.

Nonetheless, something has to be done to stop Zawawi destroying the harmony of this country with his "I know all and I am correct" arrogance. If our MPs cannot or refuse to sanction him, then the people would have to sanction Parliament in the next election.

Vijay47: Zawawi is another of those accidents of creation, smug in his confidence that his misbegotten origins accord him protection from being accountable for anything he says or does.

Sadly, this belief is not misplaced. Of late, we have seen many instances where those for whom enforcement is expected seem indifferent to the law being broken or they view such offences with generous tolerance.

Where such enforcers disregard decisions of the court and seem more intent in achieving inexplicable win-win conclusions, we realise that we as a nation are headed deeper into damnation.

His basic defiance is apparently the belief that whatever he said demands no apology since it is the truth. If such is the rationale for acceptance, then he surely would not object if we too shared some truths about the pillars of his religion.

Does any possible justice in his faith enable him to agree that what is sauce for Islam is sauce for non-Muslims? Sadly, we are aware that sauce of any flavour often sends certain sectors of the community into a frenzy.

Zawawi struts about holding himself as a paragon of - what is that he calls it? - comparative religion. Obviously, he must have acquired this learning from that other fount of Muslim knowledge, Zakir Naik. If these two are testimony to the virtues of their beliefs, then non-Muslims have every reason to sigh in relief over their own faith.

“Christians have no right to be offended by what he said,” argued Zawawi.

I will not attribute this to ignorant arrogance. Rather, it is the product of a sick mind unable to view the world beyond his own fanatical upbringing where, from cradle to grave, extremism is taken to be a new form of piety. The greater tragedy is that he is not alone in the attitudes he harbours.

As is only to be expected, House speaker Azhar Azizan Harun did not appear particularly outraged that a member of Parliament expressed such incendiary comments. Is he aware or even concerned that Parliament itself offers no protection for those who indulge in seditious statements? Perhaps he will request, not order, only when words set the House aflame.

What a shame that those who insist on being beacons to heaven only succeed in making life hell.

Cicak Boy: This is another insight into PAS and why there is so much conflict among Muslims and non-Muslims.

When they say Christians have no right to be offended, they must mean that minorities in Muslim-majority countries are dhimmis and so have no rights other than that allowed by the Muslim majority.

The question now as to whether this is the mainstream Muslim view or just a deviant view. That will be proven by how much, if any, condemnation will come his way from other top Muslim leaders in Malaysia. Let's not hold our breath.

If Zawawi is allowed to freely air his opinion about other faiths, then the followers of other faiths should be similarly allowed to air their opinions about Islam. There should be no double standard.

Kleeo: Religion is a strange thing. We are allowed to think critically about other people's beliefs, but they must never be critical about our beliefs...

YOURSAY | A word of advice for PAS MP

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