Let us start from the basics......and see if the answer we are looking for is staring right at our face.
1. Religious Intolerance is rising compounded by the lack of "understanding" and the "cultural race based" need to "protect" own community interest
2. Lack of "basic" fundamental solution which can be applied across all ethnic and religious groups in Malaysia
3. Lack of "understanding" of the original context and of how our constitution came into writing which lead to the lack of National Identity after 51 years of nationhood arising primarily from the "absence" of a "commonly shared" values and a unifying national language which is practiced widely as a true medium of communication among the various races in Malaysia
For the purpose of this article i shall focus on Problem 1 and 2, as many have written on the Need of A unifying language and the lack of the National Identity or the "Bangsa Malaysia" which we all hope for......so here are some basic Key Basic Facts in Our “Humanly Written” Constitution
1. All persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law
2. Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation
3. Every person has the right to profess, practice his religion and to propagate it but subject to the State law and in respect of the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Labuan, federal law which may control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam.
Allow me now to indulge you in my perspective of as Malay Muslim Malaysian. I am a firm believer of Islam and i put more faith in Al-Quran which acts as the book of specifications for all mankind. Time and time again it has always provided an avenue for adjudication when all “human” laws and rules fail to deal with a particular situation........
Fundamental Assumption 1
Religious Freedom is Central To Islam
To believe or Not to believe is a decision to be made by the individual and Allah SWT provided many reminders to all in the Quran
“Say the truth from your Lord. Now whosoever will, may believe and whosoever will, may disbelieve” (Kahf, 29).
“If your Lord so willed, He could have made mankind one nation, yet they do not cease to differ.” (Hud, 118)
“If it had been your Lord’s will, all who are in the world have believed altogether. Will you, then, force the people to become believers?” (Yunus, 99)
“There is no compulsion in religion.” (Baqarah, 256)
“O Muhammad! Invite to the path of your Lord with wisdom and kindly exhortation.” (Nahl 125)
“To you belongs your religion, and to me mine.” (Kafirun 6).
As such, Islam does not seek to interfere in the beliefs of other religion, not only that it also undertake the responsibility to protect the rights of other customs, religion, the property and the honor of the Non-Muslim populace.
Fundamental Assumption 2
Islam encourages dialogue with Non-Muslim
Islam is not a "buta tuli" and "katak bawah tempurung" religion which only serve the needs of the Muslim ummah. It encourages dialogues in order to promote the strengthening of relationship among the Muslim and the Non-Muslim.....and Allah SWT said
"O people! Behold, we have created you from a male and a female and have made you into nations and tribes so that you might come to know one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold, God is all-knowing, all-aware." [Qur'an 49:13]
“And if they incline to peace, incline also to it, and trust in Allah. Assuredly, He is the hearer, and Knower.” (al-Anfal 61)
“Allah does not forbid you to be kind and equitable to those who have made war on your religion nor driven you from your homes. For Allah loves those who are just. Allah only forbids you with regard to those who fight you for your faith and derive you out of your homes and support others in deriving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances) that do wrong.” (al-Mumtahinah, 8, 9)
So folks what can we infer from the two fundamental assumption in relation to the on-goings in our ethno-religious interaction embedded in the social fabric of Malaysia........ As you can see our "humanly-written" constitution is in agreement with both Fundamental 1&2 laid out above in its "spirit" .....Our challenge have always been the implementation of the down line policy action as well as the institutions and the people who are tasked to "deal" or manage an issue when a "dispute" arises....What are we seeing on a daily basis, how situation are evolving and of how the authorities are dealing with them...........crap i say.....too much worldly attachment in the decision making process.......
First and foremost i believe that every Tom, Dick,Harry, Ali, Abu , Ah Kau , Ah Seng, Lingam, Mutu etc must realize that regardless of our ethnicity or religion, everybody have got a share of the common responsibility to make our Tanah Air Tercinta a place that we can live together in peace and harmony. So if we agree on that to begin with, then the most important step for us is to start with building the "common understanding" of our "differences" so that we got something to hold on to in times of "uncertainty"
I do hope that all of us regardless of our race and religion can look at the issue at hand with maturity and also ask simple basic questions like does all religion promote us to do good things? How does our religion ask us to treat people who are different in their belief from us? How does our religion ask us to treat our neighbors and all within the society that we live in?.....these are blardy basic question that requires URGENT consolidated understanding among the various races and religion in Malaysia....as the malay saying goes "kalau tak kenal maka tak cinta".....
So what are you gonna do about it??????????