JAKARTA: Islam Hadhari is not a new religion or a new religious order but merely re-emphasises the centrality of Islam in the daily lives of its believers, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said here on Monday.
“It serves as the guiding principle for appreciating and practicing the faith in these modern times,” he said in his address at the Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University.
“Malaysia certainly wishes to be a dynamic part of the modernizing and globalising world while maintaining its Islamic credentials.
“It is our intention that Islam Hadhari serves this purpose.”
He expressed Malaysia's hope that Islam Hadhari would be able to showcase Islam as a tolerant and caring religion and culture.
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Malaysia hoped to adopt Islam Hadhari as a comprehensive approach to the development of mankind, society and country, based on the perspective of Islamic teachings and civilization.
“As an approach to religion, we feel everyone should be comfortable with Islam Hadhari because it embodies principles which are universally familiar and accepted," he said.
“Islam Hadhari is a progressive approach for all Malaysians whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims.”
He added that there was no fear of any discrimination or persecution on account of religion in Malaysia.
He said the true teachings of Islam served as the basis and inspiration for good governance in Malaysia.
“We decided to call this approach, and articulate it as, Islam Hadhari,” he said, adding that the need to be just and fair forms an important part of the principles underlying Islam Hadhari.
Abdullah said he was delighted Syarif Hidayathullah State Islamic University had shown special interest in Islam Hadhari and would organise a seminar on the subject.
The university, set up in 1957, is regarded as an institution for civil servants for religious studies.
Prof Dr Azyumardi Azra, the rector of the university, who conferred the doctorate on Abdullah, is regarded as one of the world’s leading thinkers on moderate Islam.
The Fulbright scholar, who studied in Indonesia and the United States, is a widely sought after speaker on Islam.
Later, Abdullah called on Indonesian President Susilo Bambang at the Istana Negara here, where they had a short discussion.
The Prime Minister also met Malaysian students at the Malaysian Embassy for an hour before leaving for Kuala Lumpur.