KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 1 — Malaysian Muslims complaining of discrimination by the West should first acknowledge the injustices against minorities in their own country, a renowned Muslim academic said critically today.
Speaking in defence pluralism, Swiss academic Dr Tariq Ramadan recounted anecdotes from non-Muslims here that they are being treated as “second class citizens”, which he said contradicted principles of Islam.
“I’m sorry but some of your fellow citizens in this country who are not Muslims are facing this discrimination, they are facing injustices,” Ramadan said in a question-and-answers session after a talk on “jihad”, or holy struggle.
“If you want to be good Muslims, instead of preventing people from believing, you become better believers. Don’t be scared of people who are not Muslim. Be scared, be afraid, be worried about our own lack of consistency.”
Ramadan said that just as the West, the Muslim world is equally guilty of having double standards, discrepancies and inconsistencies when it comes to criticism and practice of values.
Earlier in his talk, the ethnic Egyptian academic also urged Malaysian Muslims to speak out against parts of Malaysian culture that are un-Islamic, which included stigmatisation of the minorities and censorship of ideas.
“Malaysian Muslims should struggle against anything in Malaysian culture which does not protect dignity and equality of human being,” said Ramadan.
Last year, Selangor has declared a fatwa, or religious decree, against “liberalism and religious pluralism”, calling those involved with the ideologies as “deviants”.