Main Awang Selamat Features
- The IFC threat and pluralism: we easily forget…
No living soul, even animals will sit still if their rights and territories are encroached. China is pissed
off with Japan because the Land of the Rising Sun has considered a small island, Senkaku, as part of its territory. China named the disputed island as Diaoyu. The Philippines too caused China and other countries including Malaysia to raise eyebrows when it sent 800 additional troops to Pagasa Island in the Spratly. The group of island is being claimed by several countries around the South China Sea. My cat will be furious if my neighbor’s cat came into my house. For animal, their territory is based on the place where they urinate and discharge. Muslims too will be furious if their religion is insulted. The entire ummah will rise up to defend their religion. So it is not wrong if we are to remind each other so that there are no quarters who bring up the issue that intrude the rights of others. It is not wrong if I remind Muslims in this country on the demand for the proposed set up of IFC or Interfaith Commission, which came about not long ago, but was rejected by the government. As we are often forgetful, my intention is just to remind because it is not possible that the demand will turn into reality if the BN government with UMNO as the backbone, toppled in the coming 13th General Election (GE
13). With sincere intention to remind each other, read about IFC, pluralism and the demand. Religious Pluralism movement in Malaysia is not that glaring or official as in Indonesia. In Indonesia, on July 28, 2005, the Indonesia Ulama Council (MUI) came up w ith a fat wa (decree) that ban
pluralism. In the fatwa, religious pluralism is defined as: “A belief that accepts all religion as the same and because of that the truth of every religion is relative: As such, every believer cannot demand that only his religion is right whereas other religion is wrong. Pluralism also teaches that all religious followers will enter and live side by side in heaven.” MUI has explicitly stated that pluralism in the context of religion is contrary to the teaching of Islam. What is happening in Malaysia is the idea of religious pluralism develops through indirect approach. It can be seen in various issues. In 2001, the idea came about to form IFC. This body is a commission set up as a statutory entity that has legal power to change the teaching of a religion due to the demand of other religion. The set up of IFC was proposed by the Malaysian Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism (MCCBCHS) through their memorandum sent by the President of the MCCBCHS to the Bar Council dated August 21, 2001. There were 14 demands of the IFC: A child born of Muslim parents should not automatically be a Muslim; A non
Muslim who converted to Islam should be given the liberty to return to his original religion and should not be hit by any legal action; Any case of religious conversion of a Muslim to non
Islam should not be handled by the Syariah Court but the Civil Court; It is not necessary that the identity card of any Muslim stating his/her religion as Islam. Non
Muslim should not be required to convert to Islam if they wish to marry a Muslim. Muslim should be allowed to leave Islam (murtad) if they wish to marry a non
Muslim without be imposed any legal action. A person or a couple who change their religion by embracing Islam should not be given the right to be guardians of the children. Non
Muslims who have family link with a person who embrace Islam should be given the right to demand their inheritance after their death. The government should provide enough funds to build and maintain houses of worship of non
Muslims as provided to the mosques. Non
Muslims should be allowed and cannot be stopped from using holy words of Islam in their conversation and so forth. Bible in Bahasa Malaysia and Indonesia should be allowed in public places. Non
Islamic religious class should be taught in all schools. Islamic Programme in the mother tongue of a community should be done away with. Dakwah programmes other than Islam should be allowed in their respective mother tongue. Muslims who pay tithes should not be exempted from paying income tax and the tithes should also be used by non
Muslims. Islam should not be mentioned as first choice of Malaysian society like in the case of Islamic dress of school children What is the implication of IFC demand to Islam? To widely open the door to non
Muslims to interfere in the affairs of Islam; To turn the law of Allah submit to international norms created by human beings which clearly affect the akidah (faith) of Muslims;
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