HER years of traveling around the world and meeting varied 'types' of Muslims, including those in Malaysia naturally, have inspired journalist Dina Zaman to start writing the 'I am Muslim' column in malaysiakini three years ago.

Dina explained she created the column because of her intense curiosity about Islam in Malaysia and other related issues about the faith that she was keen to encourage a discussion.

Today, she has successfully compiled her selected essays into a book, aptly titled 'I am Muslim' which has been noted to be 'a fresh take on Islam in Malaysia'. The book was launched last Wednesday in Kuala Lumpur.

"It is a personal journey for a writer, who wanted to discover her faith as it is really practiced among people and Malaysians. This book is about Malaysians and how they viewed their faith and country," Dina said in a souvenir programme, printed in conjunction with the launching.

Konrad Adenauer Foundation Malaysian Representative Peter Schier and Silverfish books owner Raman Krishnan jointly officiated at the launching.

In his speech, Schier said that the book helps to open the eyes of the public on the meaning of Islam in the plurality and diversity of Malaysian society. It helps others to understand what Islam really means.

"Dina's writings is lively and interesting and it will attract people who have less interest to read and encourage them to think out of the box," he added.

Suitable for all

Dina also has an unbiased approach in her writings where she had provided fair arguments on what is right and wrong, said Schier.

Schier asserted that 'I am Muslim' is important for public reading and the messages are not only suitable for Muslims but non-Muslims as well.

Meanwhile, Raman described the book as 'simply a voice waiting to be heard' and it is important for the public to hear that 'voice'.

The highlight of Dina's book, he said, is its ability to prompt pertinent questions about Islam.

Dina is an award winning writer of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. She has had a media presence locally and abroad as a columnist since 1994 and a commentator of current affairs since 2005, Dina is also known for her independence and resilience.

The book is priced at RM30 and is available in all major bookstores.

WONG YEEN FERN is a malaysiakini team member. Comments can reach rentakini by emailing [email protected]

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