KUALA LUMPUR: Religion can be used as a major force of unification by focusing on the commonalities, said Selangor Islamic Religious Council chairman Datuk Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa.
He said that while each faith has its own identity, recognising the values and principles shared by various religions would result in unity despite the differences.
“Take, for example, the recent statement by Sarawak Archbishop Datuk Bolly Lapok on the stamping of the 321 Bibles containing the word ‘Allah’.
“Bolly said in the statement that he regretted the concerns raised in the media and added that there was no intention on the part of the authorities to desecrate the Bibles or disrespect the Christian community,” he said.
He added that he was pleased with Bolly’s statement and said that it was important that everyone played a role to ensure the continued promotion of cooperation among the various cultures in Malaysia.
“Religion should be used to bring people together and allow them to maintain constructive channels of communication,” he said.
Mohamad Adzib also thanked Bolly for being understanding about the matter.
The 321 Bibles were seized by Selangor Islamic Affairs Department from the Bible Society of Malaysia’s premises in Petaling Jaya on Jan 2 last year for containing the word “Allah”, the first time an Islamic authority had confiscated religious books of non-Muslims.
The Malay and Iban language Bibles were eventually returned on Nov 14.