Quran reading campaign has non-Muslim backing, organiser tells Putrajaya

The Home Ministry has barred the publication and reading of the Quran in non-Arabic languages, saying it was against the law unless accompanied by Arabic text. — AFP pic
The Home Ministry has barred the publication and reading of the Quran in non-Arabic languages, saying it was against the law unless accompanied by Arabic text. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — The organiser of a Quran reading campaign said the campaign has received support from non-Muslims amid censure from the Home Ministry.

“Let’s Read the Quran” campaign organiser Anas Zubedy also pointed out that the original Arabic text accompanies an ebook from the campaign titled “Share The Quran” that contains verses from the Muslim holy book in four languages — Bahasa Malaysia, English, Mandarin and Tamil.

“Our objective is to encourage more people to understand the Quran in their own language, so that the message of the Quran is disseminated more effectively,” Anas said in a statement on his blog last night.

“This approach has received response not just from Muslims, but also from non-Muslims. Many of my non-Muslim friends and readers have said they are attracted to the good and universal messages of the Quran since the campaign was launched,” he added.

The Home Ministry has barred the publication and reading of the Quran in non-Arabic languages, saying it was against the law unless accompanied by Arabic text.

Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria, chairman of the Home Ministry’s Al-Quran Printing, Control and Licensing Board, said in a statement yesterday that the Quran was first written in Arabic and must be kept in that form, asserting that anyone who read the original scriptures would reap spiritual rewards even without understanding them.

The “Let’s Read The Quran” campaign, launched last month, features a selection of favourite Quranic verses of prominent Malaysians in English and Malay, including Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, wife of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, deputy minister in charge of Islamic affairs.

Anas pointed out that non-Muslim leaders such as Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Julian Leow and Buddhist Chief High Priest of Malaysia Datuk K. Sri Dhammaratana have similarly shared their favourite verses from the Quran in the campaign.

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