Malaysians, after 55 years of claiming to be "independent from the shackles of colonialism", what have you achieved? What would Jesus and Muhammad say to the current regime and the hatemongers ...? Did Islam not borrow heavily from Jewish, Sabean, and Christian sources to construct its doctrine ... ?
A REPUBLIC OF VIRTUE
Dr Azly Rahman
The question of "proselytizing" is here again .. of "Christians spreading Christianity to Muslims" .. isn't this a political strategy to create fear amongst the people and next, a savior will come to the rescue? The process of "Islamization" is ongoing since time immemorial and so too has "Christian civilizing mission" ... what is there to fight against in a monotheistic context of believe?
Why instill fear of worldviews that are supposed to be similar wherein one complements each other .. unless those fear-mongers target people of lower cognitive-class consciousness and choose to play this dangerous game of religious hatred ...? Have we not seen the consequence of this in the case of church burnings, temple demolition, cow-head dragging? Can't you sober up, Malaysians? Why don't you experts sit down and craft an educational program of awareness of the importance of building bridges of faith and help the next generation understand each other so that they will become "world-wise" and can talk sense about race, religion, creed, class .. and help each other understand what it means to be a "spiritual being framed cross-culturally"?.
Politicians spend too much wasting time neglecting this aspect of nation-building and let religious bigots run around on a rampage to show-off their idiotic-religious pride ... shallow understanding of the evolution of religion, the nature of god and the ways to teach tolerance and understanding. Bigots many have become. Isn't religion about "making connections between the spirit and the divine" and a precondition of it is to understand the universality of the religious experience, of the phenomenology of belief?
Malaysians, after 55 years of claiming to be "independent from the shackles of colonialism", what have you achieved? What would Jesus and Muhammad say to the current regime and the hatemongers ...? Did Islam not borrow heavily from Jewish, Sabean, and Christian sources to construct its doctrine ... ? "read ... Iqra' ... read ... " as Islam tells its followers .. read ... for is not the greatest enemy of knowledge the illusion of wisdom ...?
DR AZLY RAHMAN, who was born in Singapore and grew up in Johor Baru, holds a Columbia University (New York) doctorate in International Education Development and Master's degrees in the fields of Education, International Affairs, Peace Studies and Communication. He has taught more than 40 courses in six different departments and has written more than 300 analyses on Malaysia. His teaching experience spans Malaysia and the United States, over a wide range of subjects from elementary to graduate education. He currently resides in the United States.