Non Muslims Need Not Be Educated About Islam - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
What justifications can Khairuddin provide to support his claim that Islam is supreme compared to other religions?
I am not talking about the constitution or what not. It does not say Islam is the supreme religion in Malaysia. I am talking about economically, scientifically, technologically, socially, etc. We have seen many incidents of terrorism perpetuated by Muslims in the name of defending Islam against other Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The most recent bombings occurred just a month ago in Sri Lanka.
We have seen Muslims fighting among themselves, killing each other in Syria, in Yemen, in Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc. Closer to home, we have seen many cases of incest, baby dumping, corruptions, dishonesty among Muslims. Obviously, Khairuddin does not think the golden rule, which forms the basis of most religions, applies to Islam.
Either Islam's concept of peace and ethics is very different from the rest of the world, or Muslims themselves do not understand Islam or practice what they preach. If it is the former case, I say, no thank you. You can keep your faith, I am perfectly fine with mine.
Malaysiakini : “The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark.” ― Thomas Paine
| Lim Kit Siang in 2017, attempting to put a positive spin on the
Islamisation process, said the DAP supports the Islamisation process in
Malaysia if done through the Constitution. He defined the
Islamisation process as one that “promotes a nation-building process
based on tolerance and mutual respect in a plural society, and not one
which engenders bigotry, hatred and extremism.” Has the Islamisation process, as defined by Lim, ever been this way? Is it this way under the Pakatan Harapan regime?
PAS central committee member Khairuddin Aman Razali (above),
in welcoming a move by the Education Ministry to reject a proposal to
teach non-Islamic religions in schools and universities, claimed that such a move could run afoul of the constitution.
the relevant statute, which essentially means the proselytisation of
non-Islamic religions is a big no-no, the PAS central committee member
instead put forward the idea that non-Muslim students should be taught
Islam. This is how politicians manipulate racial and religious
issues for political gain or appeasement. To appease Islamic sentiments
in whatever coalitions non-Muslims find themselves in, Lim puts forward
such an idea as he did in 2007, while someone like the PAS committee
member trolls non-Muslims with his statements, and retreats to the
constitution to justify non-implementation of religious or racial
egalitarian policies because he knows Malay power structures will not
stray from the reservation when it comes to issues like these.
We have an education minister who has strong Islamic education bona fide which, to some like the DAP’s Ong Kian Ming, is “impressive,” but who routinely parrots right-wing talking points. In a piece questioning the need for religion in our public education,
I asked: “If a Malay/Muslim academic had to be chosen, surely there
were candidates in a party like Amanah, for instance, which is stacked
to the brim with academic types. Their CVs may not involve the subject
of Islam, but a wide range of disciplines which would have looked very
good in the Education Ministry portfolio.”
This is the point of a kakistocracy, right? An unqualified candidate to further entrench incompetency. The
Islamisation process in our education system is the most potent weapon
the Malay establishment has in its arsenal. This idea that non-Muslims
have to be educated on Islam comes in various guises. A couple of
years back Pahang Umno objected to people politicising the fact that a
school in Kuantan forced non-Muslim students to stay in school until
after Muslim prayers were carried out. All this was justified on the
grounds that non-Muslims students could learn about Islam. This was just an overt way to demand compliance.
idea that non-Islamic religions should be introduced in schools to
foster some kind of “unity” was not a well-thought idea in the first
place. How can you impart non-Islamic religions to young people who have
been taught from a young age that their religion is superior to all
others? How can you attempt to discuss religious truths, never mind
religious history, to young people who have been taught that submission
to dogma is the only way to demonstrate piety?
One of the best articles about reforming the education system, which in turn would foster cross-cultural ties, was by Siti Kassim (above):
"Please leave religion at home. Teach it if you want, but do it outside
of normal school hours. Let our children be among their peers as human
beings without any differentiation of beliefs and faiths. Let them
celebrate their differences without adults telling them who is better
Whenever we talk about religion in our
education system, it is always about politics. How could it not be? A
couple of years ago, I got into a public spat
with Rafizi Ramli about the Titas course ((Islamic and Asian Civilisation Studies) which he thought was a good idea to make
compulsory for private tertiary level students. His justification was
that this would encourage some kind of engagement between young people
in this country.
In defending Lim Teck Ghee against charges of
being “anti-Malay” for opposing such a proposal, I reminded Rafizi of
the basis of Lim's objection: “It was his (Teck Ghee's) contention that
such educational imperatives were akin to the indoctrination courses of
the Biro Tatanegara (BTN) and merely another form of state-sanctioned
propaganda. Those same BTN courses that were manipulating Malay
sentiment and using Islam as a tool to divide the nation was disavowed
by Pakatan on a state level.”
Non-Muslims do not need to be taught
about Islam. The religion of the state is present in every facet of
our lives. We are constantly reminded not to comment on Islam. We are
constantly reminded that the sanctity of Islam needs to be protected,
and often this means disparaging other religions. We are censored or are
censured when we object to religion encroaching into our public space.
rarely have to learn about the culture of the majority. As minorities,
we understand the world we live in. This has never been about
non-Muslims not understanding Islam. The reality is that we understand
Islam all too well. This is just another way in which the political
process is subverted to further the far-right agendas of this country.
a young age, non-Muslims are taught to be mindful of what they say to
Muslims or how they define the religious dialectic in this country. The
Muslim narrative of non-Muslims (and their culture) is that they are a
danger or a bad influence on the Muslims polity in this country.
does the state encourage cultural exposure when you have a quota
system? How can the state encourage cross-cultural exposure when the
mainstream narrative of the state is based on the rhetoric that
non-Malays are an economic and social threat to the dominant majority?
What Harapan should be doing is keep religion out of the education system. It is as simple as that.