October 15, 2016: Muslim majority country, Malaysia since the time of its independence in 1957 believed that the minorities ought not to be made to feel threatened thinking that they would not be able to maintain their own respective identities or promote their cultures. This kind of understanding is mainly based on the belief that there was political and cultural space for each and every religion and culture to thrive but Islam continues to be the state religion.
This kind of understanding is mainly based on the belief that there was political and cultural space for each and every religion and culture to thrive but Islam continues to be the state religion.
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The peaceful co-existence of Hindus and Muslims which was there in Malaysia for decades is now slowly giving way and is leading to intolerance. In this year’s June, Malaysians were shocked to know that the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s (UTM) Islamic and Asian Civilizations module, derogatory comments were made about Hinduism as well as about Sikhism, mentioned straitstimes.com.
It was insulting to know that the lecturer claimed Islam introduced civility to the lives of the Hindus in India. He also added that the Hindus preferred to be “dirty”, and that that only Islam talks about the importance of cleanliness. Though the offending lecturer is terminated, this conduct of his was astonishing.
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Muslims in Malaysia should also think more about their Hindu countrymen. One the best ways to do so is to acquaint themselves with the writings of, a Muslim scholar known as Abu al-Rayhan Al-Biruni. He was in the court of Mahmud Ghaznavi (979-1030).
With the troops of Mahmud Ghaznavi, Al-Biruni travelled to India and lived there for years, during that time he mastered Sanskrit, and also translated a number of Indian religious texts into Arabic. He also studied many Indian religious doctrines and have written several books and treatises, which includes the Kitab Fi Tahqiq Ma li-l-Hind (The Book of What Constitutes India).
According to the straitstimes.com report, it was his view that the Indians believed in one god, which means the same god that is being worshipped by the Jews, Christians and also the Muslims. Malaysia in general always speaks of a harmonious society. Only due to the political developments in the recent years, people are getting to see an unhealthy development by making reckless statements by the politicians, religious leaders and also the educators and is upsetting the current harmony of the society. That in turn, is affecting the Hindu-Muslim relations.
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It is important that for the sake of each other maintaining mutual respect and tranquillity in the country is required. Muslim leaders have a greater responsibility, which means that the Muslim political and religious elite should not just merely tolerate the presence of the non-Muslims or the minorities but also should actively protect their rights and properties.
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