UiTM seminar — switching shoes — Joshua Wu

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JUNE 22 — Malaysia’s very own Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education was of the opinion that the seminar on Allah and Christology at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) was just a form of “intellectual brainstorming which should be viewed positively”

Let’s do a simple recap. The seminar was an academic programme to explain problems related to the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims.

Pertubuhan Muafakat Sejahtera Masyarakat Malaysia (Muafakat) general-secretary Abdul Karim Omar as well as Indonesians Masyud SM, Irena Handono, Menachem Ali dan Insan LS Mokoginta were amongst the speakers at the event.

Insan LS Mokoginta claims to be a former priest but the Bishops Conference of Indonesia said it had no information or data on him.

Furthermore, Irena Handano did not complete her “education.” She was only briefly with the Congregation of the Ursuline Sisters as a novice.

Isn’t it amazing how individuals with such questionable backgrounds were invited to speak at an academic seminar? One would at least expect a public university of UiTM’s prestige to have vetted its guest speakers.

After all, the topic is about the problems related to the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims. Shouldn’t only the qualified be allowed to speak on such a sensitive matter?

Funny enough, it was Insan LS Mokoginta and Irene Handano who came up with statements completely unrelated to the topic of discussion and contrary to the claim that the event was not aimed at ‘belittling other religions or attacking the faith of other races.’

The former said, “Every Jesus follower should enter Islam. If not, it would be a betrayal to Jesus” while the latter’s input was that, “We shouldn’t wish Merry Christmas because it means that Jesus is reborn.”

Masyud SM (another speaker at the seminar) went on to say that the “Christian gospel is a fake gospel.” Mind boggling huh? What is mind boggling is how our Minister of Education considers that brainstorming!

That is an outright attack on the Christian faith! There was nothing intellectual about it, and there was definitely nothing positive to be taken from it.

In order to fully understand how the Christians feel after such a distasteful event, let us switch shoes. Let us envisage a hypothetical situation where a private university conducts a seminar about the “Persecution of Non-Muslims” but ends up talking about the “threat of Islamisation.”

As if that wasnt bad enough, a few half past six ulamas and former muslims were invited to openly criticise Islam and its beliefs. On top of that, the seminar was labelled a form of “intellectual  brainstorming which should be viewed positively.”

As a non-muslim, even I would be offended that such an abominable event took place! In a multi-religious country such as Malaysia, there’s no room for religion-bashing.

Daniel H. Pink once said, “Empathy is about standing in someone else’s shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes. Not only is empathy hard to outsource and automate, but it makes the world a better place.”

Our politicians need more empathy instead of opening their mouths to defend or support such revolting events!

* Joshua Wu reads The Malay Mail Online

** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malay Mail Online.

 

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