An article entitled “Speak up against intolerance and bigotary” published by Star online on 30th October coincide with my budget speech which fell on the same day. I read the article in the afternoon and spoke at 5.30pm in the Parliament.
The profilic writer Johan Jaaffar, was representing the voice of moderation and described the growing conservatism as an issue of concern. He quipped by saying : ” I am begining to think tolerance is a virtue that is fast dissapearing among muslims today”
I had similar thinking during my speech when I alerted Pekan who presented the budget of RM 280B that the nation is not going on the right direction as the rise of racial and religious hatred is alarming. Religion and Race has been radicalized at the cost of achieving a Liberal and Tolerant Society by 2020.
Radicalization has two pronged state , one is the inherently bad features by those who believe in it but the other state of radicalism could well be tools at the disposal of a formal regime not because they believe in radicalism but it effectively served their purpose to stay in power. The Middle Eastern experience is a living witness how radicalism was intended to excecute a new geo-political landscape in the Middle East.
Back home, I highlighted examples of certain preachers under the payroll of public coffer intendedly impart radical views and potrayed intolerance in a multiracial society. How religious authority used law of ‘mengajar tanpa tauliah’ (imparting knowledge without authority) on foreign muslim speaker who presented his academic views on particular religious issues in a seminar. How one mufti labelled certain political party as Kafir Harbi ( infidel permissable to be kill). These examples represent the government institutions.
To think other non-official trigger happy ustaz talked about kafir harbi, ‘wahabi sesat’, RUU 355 and other divisive message is horrible enough. To think there were masjids and surau who invited them and promoted them and prepared an audience for them is a nightmare! Where are the religious authority?
While moderate voices across political barriers must unite and talked about the rise of intolerance, a law to curb such as Racial and Religious Hate crime must be supported by-partisan. I have used the Private Members Bill in 49(1) of Parliamentary Rules and Regulation (Standing Orders) to submit such bill in the budget sitting.
More Muslim scholars must bold the odds in a growing intolerance society. Speak up like Johan Jaafar, MP’s of both divides, unite against radicalism so Malaysia and Asean will not be another Middle East where radicalization was intended. Silence of a friend is remembered not the words of your enemies. Malaysian friends speak!
Dato’ Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa
Vice President of AMANAH
Member of Parliament (Parit Buntar)
2 Nov 2017.