Do unto others as you would have done unto you

If you want others elsewhere to be kind to your minority Muslim brothers and sisters in their midst, should you not be kind to minorities in your own vicinity?

By Haris Ibrahim

I attended the “Allah : Siapa yang punya?” forum organised by Free Public Forum, PMIUM and KLSCAH at the Chinese Assembly Hall last Monday.

If you were not there, you missed out on a great effort by our youth at civilised discourse on a difficult issue plaguing this nation.

To the organisers, I say well done. Go forth and organise more of these forums. Educate our rakyat not just on the truth behind the issues confronting our society, but also on how to exchange thoughts and ideas without abandoning decorum and good form.

For an insight into the proceedings that evening, take a peek at what one of the speakers, Hasmi Hashim, had to say HERE.

I want to share with you about an encounter I had with three Malay youths outside the hall when I stepped out for a dose of nicotene.

After confirming that I moderate this blog, they wanted my views on this ‘Allah’ issue.

I told them that when I was in Batang Ai last year in the run-up to the by-election there, I had the opportunity to chat with some Dayak Catholics on this very issue.

I was told by these Dayak that “Allah” was integral to their recitations during the baptismal ceremony, during Holy Communion and in the Lord’s Prayer.

I was told that if “Allah” was not mentioned, then their prayers were nullified.

I asked the three youth if they were aware of this.

They all said ‘No’.

I asked them if they were aware that in the Christian Arab world, God was referred to as “Allah”.

All three said ‘Yes’.

I asked them to now imagine a country where the majority of the inhabitants were Christian who spoke Arabic and for whom, reference to God was by the name “Allah”. Imagine, too, a small minority of Muslims in that country who also referred to God by the name “Allah”.

The Christians in that country now want to ban the minority Muslims from using the name “Allah” on the stated reason that they fear such use of that name will confuse many Christians. They insist that this may lead to many of their Christians converting to Islam. This may lead to a breakdown in public order, they say.

Would this be fair to the minority Muslims, I now asked the three youths.

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