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Tuesday January 18, 2011

Religious paranoia can wreak havoc if unchecked

I READ with dismay the decision by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) to ban Muslims from working in entertainment outlets serving alcohol and the Selangor State Government’s seeming support of these actions.

Why focus on just these workers alone?

To be fair, and if the principle underlying such action is correct, the authorities should be looking at the whole supply chain, i.e. banning Muslims from working on the construction of beer factories; on vehicles that transport alcohol from the factories or ships (if imported); in companies that lay the road that enables the alcohol to be transported to the entertainment outlets, in the Customs department, which approves the importation or sale of alcohol to the customers, and collects revenue from the sale of alcohol; in Tenaga National which supplies electricity to these entertainment outlets so enabling them to sell alcohol to customers, and so on.

Religious paranoia can wreak havoc if left unchecked.

I remember well the words of one Quranic sage, a truly spiritual man whom I had the blessed fortune to come across, that no one can be truly religious if he is paranoid about religion.

Words so true when we look at the extremism and intolerance that is creeping into “religion” these days.

AHMAD MUSTAFFA ABDUL MANAF,
Petaling Jaya.

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