Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Inter faith Forum- Why wasn't PAS invited to the Dialogue?
Greetings to all.
Although it has been 5 days since the DAP organized the Malaysia -After Lina Joy Forum or Dialogue, a major question keeps disturbing me.
How come the DAP did not invite PAS @ The Islamic Party of Malaysia to the forum?
PAS, the most relevant political party that champions Islam in Malaysia, must be amongst the main representative of Muslims at any forum or dialogue that the Non Muslim entities who want to discuss or debate about something as sensitive and important as the matter of apostasy from the very faith that PAS stands for!
The DAP must be responsible to ensure that the next interfaith dialogue or forum that it intends to hold following this initial dialogue at Hotel Armada last Thursday must not leave out PAS if it is really sincere in wanting to bridge the relations between Non Muslims and Muslims here in Malaysia.
PAS is not wanting in personalities who can hold discussions or dialogues with the Non Muslims of Malaysia for it has distinguished scholars and professionals who can hold their own no matter if the forum or dialogue is held in English, Malay or Mandarin.
I know that the Deputy Spiritual Adviser @ Timbalan Mursyidul Am of PAS, the learned Islamic scholar and much respected Professor Dato' Harun Din can explain so very clearly about the Syariah issues and principles of Islam and the matter concerning apostasy of certain Muslims that Non Muslims here are so worked up about.
I ask that the next time DAP or any other Non Muslim organizations want to invite representatives from the Muslims of Malaysia to any such dialogues or forums to make sure that you do not leave PAS out from such an important event!
I just asked and confirmed about this with the National Youth Chief of PAS and Member of Parliament for Kubang Kerian, Kelantan , YB Salahudin Haji Ayub and he affirmed that they did not receive any such invitations from the DAP! There was no fax from the DAP received or even a verbal invitation from them.
The interfaith dialogue will be a failure if you invite 'Muslims' whom we know for sure aren't exactly rooting for our faith and presenting the true authentic teachings of Islam as practiced by mainstream Muslims here in Malaysia.
It's like inviting the big bad wolf to act as the shepherd of the flock ! Doesn't do justice to us mainstream Muslims of Malaysia. Really!
I believe I speak for the masses of my fellow Muslims who feel that we have been shortchanged by having only Brother Yusri Muhammad explain from the mainstream Islamic point of view to the attending participants of the mainly Non Muslim majority.
I also think that the organizers of any future dialogues must take into account the neutrality of the location chosen in terms of religious sensitivities.
Stadium Merdeka, Stadium Negara or even Stadium Putra Bukit Jalil would be a better venue.
This interfaith dialogues can decrease the religious tensions amongst the Malaysian multi ethnic , multi faithed population brought about by the recent cases which have troubled our hearts and disturbed our souls.
If you have folks such as the ones you had the other night speaking up for the Non Muslims side, you must ensure that the relevant true Muslim leaders here in Malaysia especially the PAS leaders are properly invited to be there to speak for us.
Plan well in advance and invite them to speak for us failing which your dialogues will come to nothing. Make sure that the PAS leadership are notified weeks ahead so that they can arrange their schedules accordingly.
I also feel that you must have officials of JAKIM present to speak from the government's point of views and also those from UMNO! How come they were all missing?
Did the DAP do a rush job in the initial dialogue?
Please improve on this if you want to solve our nation's bout of Islamophobia and return this country to the harmony we all have enjoyed and appreciated all these while.
You guys did a good job last Thursday but I am sure that you can do even better in the next forum. I am all for these interfaith dialogues and will help out if asked.
Please take into consideration all my points above and let's make this 50th Merdeka Celebrations a truly meaningful year with peace, understanding and harmony flourish in all our hearts and minds.
May Allah the Most Compassionate guide us all. Ameen.