Ugly public protests is a disservice to the sanctity of religion

By J. D. Lovrenciear

It is widely known that most often politicians fan public anger involving protests of sorts over allegations, smears, bad intentions or even misunderstandings from any quarter affecting another’s religion. And the gullible foolish only make things worse.

The burning of effigies or holding boisterous street protests is not alien to the Malaysian politicizing of religion. The on-going ‘Azan’ issue is a classic example.
Malaysians have also registered their displeasure by the burning of national flags and effigies of personalities as they joined in a global protest to register their disapproval over issues taking place in a far away land.
Expressing your support or disapproval towards issues of religious concerns is not a wrong thing to do as all faithful have a deep obligation to take care of the reputation and image of their respective faiths. The defining difference is in the philosophy, i.e.  ‘the end does not necessarily justify the means’.
Hence, for the love of Islam and its beauty we must not resort to rowdy displays that send loud, negative and distorted messages to the public. The burning of effigies and threatening street protests is not the way to protect, promote and live by the teachings of Islam in a globalizing and increasingly scientific environment.
On the contrary, in this age of modernization, we must take a more professional and learned approach to resolving issues that threaten the sanctity of and liberty to practice our faith.
It would serve us all Malaysians well to think carefully. There are avenues to bring our concerns of faith and have them addressed respectfully and with reasonableness just as much as the advent of the new media is not an automatic lane to rubbish and tarnish another’s religion.
People who write profanities or unreasonable comments with malicious  intent  on the net for example are only displaying their gutter mindset and deserve no notice or responses whatsoever.
Religion is not politics. Politics in a large part of the world is about power to rule over man under the pretext of taking care of the public.
Religion is humanity’s gateway on earth to heaven (for all believers) and mortal man does not own it. Hence, it does not serve the dignity and beauty of Islam in a justifiable manner if people join in ugly street protests that threaten and intimidate people or tanish the sanctity of Islam.
Unless and until we understand this principle, the chances of  promoting the beauty of Islam remains a shortcoming on our part and for which we must account for in the hereafter.
The bottom line is not only must a follower be encouraged and motivated through leadership by example to practice the teachings of his/her beliefs but also to be a guardian of those beliefs.
Guardians do not rant and scream and burn and scheme adversity but promote peace, understanding, acceptance and appreciation.
So please stop smearing the beauty and the Gift for mankind – Islam. Let it shine like a star for those in search of a religion. Let it shine like a moon for those who are in the dark. Keep it lighting up like a rainbow for those who have respect for the religion.
Hopefully Malaysian Muslims can show the world the way forward.
All these may sound very simplistic. Why not? It is in the basics that we find the pathway to truth.
After all when the Almighty revealed The Holy Qur’an, His Word was, is and always shall be for all mankind – for slave and master, for the poor and rich, for the knowing and unknowing, for the learned and the fool, till eternity.