The right to practise religion


  • Letters
  • Tuesday, 21 Apr 2015

MY name is Nasri and I as a Muslim am exercising my freedom of speech.

Malaysia is a country with various faiths being practised within her borders. While most of us are Muslims, there are among us those who believe in other faiths.

Each faith has its own division and denomination, Islam, with Sunni and Syiah, Christians, Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist and many more while Hindus, Shaivism, Vaishnavism, et cetera. The point is, interfaith and intrafaith differences exist.

Everyone wants to be a good believer, earning their God’s blessing and having a good life and afterlife.

To make this possible, everyone must have the liberty to practise their religion freely without any hindrance and interference. It would be great if we are aided to achieve divine satisfaction.

We can see people from different faiths protect each other, be it from a bigot, tyrant and natural disasters.

There is no reason to be mean to other people with different faiths just to prove that you are a better person with a better faith.

The recent incident at Taman Medan makes me feel ashamed as a Muslim, sorry and sympathetic to those Christians and angry at our authority for failing to protect those in need.

Our Constitution guarantees religious freedom and this freedom applies to everyone.

It really disturbs me that some Muslims believe that a Cross is all it needs to shake their faith. It is insulting. Are we that weak spiritually?

These also apply to some rulings made by the authorities. For example, eateries cannot operate normally during Ramadan.

This ruling make us look as if we are incapable of fasting properly without such rulings, creating inconvenience to our non-Muslim Malaysians to have breakfast and lunch while generating problems to food operators’ business when their business hours are reduced.

I believe we can be good Muslims without putting any obstacles and hardship on our non-Muslim brothers and sisters. Plus, treating them good is part of Islamic teachings.

I believe our love for Allah is stronger than what some people perceive. We live in Malaysia where everyone is equal and created equally. Do not deny our fellow Malaysians their rights as we do not want them to deny ours.

We disapprove of the veil ban in France or minaret ban in Switzerland as human rights violation but at the same time, condone similar acts at home in Malaysia.

I can’t say I represent anyone else in this matter, but as for myself, I apologise for the unnecessary episode you have to go through to be good Christians.

NASRI

Perai, Penang

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