KUCHING: Religious lectures or talks should be conducted in a suitable manner and place without affecting the sensitivities of others, according to Batang Lupar PKR chairman Abang Zulkifli Abang Engkeh.
In this respect, he welcomed the cancellation of a public lecture on the Prophet Muhammad which had raised concerns among Christians.
The lecture had been scheduled to be held at the Islamic Information Centre yesterday and at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) today, before Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Islamic Affairs) Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman advised the organisers to cancel it following objections from churches.
In a statement, Abang Zulkifli said the situation would not have happened if all parties respected one another and refrained from activities which affected the sensitivities of other faiths and communities.
“I’m not against lectures or forums on Islam, but these should be held in an appropriate venue and environment. It’s not suitable to hold such talks in a university which belongs to people from all races and religions,” he added.
He also reminded Sarawakians not to take unity for granted as it was the basis for development, peace and security.
At the same time, he said, the public should be open-minded and rational in their response to controversial issues.
“We cannot be guided by emotions to protect our own interests without considering the sensitivities of others,” he said.
He added that Sarawakians were known for their tolerance and courtesy and hoped that this would continue to be practised regardless of race and religion.