Why Muslims must support the Iam#26 petition


We must become an inclusive society and anything that drives any divisions between Malaysians of different ethnicities or religions must be avoided.

Tariq Ismail, FMT letter

The Malays have lived and worked with other races for centuries since the time of the Malacca Empire. Our culture has been a melting pot of Chinese, Indian, Arabic and Indonesian cultures and this is what makes Malays unique to the world.

Age-old traditions are still practised today and one Malay custom that stands out is respect for elders, family members, neighbours and even wayfarers. above the rest –

RESPECT. It has been ingrained within us since childhood to respect our elders, our neighbours and each other. But before we begin to respect one another we must first respect ourselves.

I grew up a spoilt brat, but what held me together was religion, for which I thank my parents and late grandmother. l believe that God is supreme, the Quran is His word and only He judges.

My being a Muslim and my own beliefs aside, I live in Malaysia. I was born here, my children were born here and it is here that we will live out our lives and ultimately die.

It is therefore in my personal interest as well as the interest of every Malaysian that Malaysia should remain peaceful, free from ethnic tensions and prosper.

In order to do so, we must become an inclusive society and anything that drives any divisions between Malaysians of different ethnicities or religions must be avoided.

Whatever one’s personal feelings may be, I feel it is imperative that all Malaysians cast aside any tendency to vent those feelings in a manner that may offend or threaten other Malaysians.

Insensitive statements by politicians, NGOs, illegal demonstrations, even irresponsible Facebook posts and teh tarik talk are all things that damage our nation and thereby hurt us all, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. It is only a matter degree.

We must realise that we are partners, brothers and sisters and that we are all in the same boat. We are one and what hurts any part of us hurts us all collectively and instead of engaging in speech and activity that hurt us, we should resume the task of nation building and we need to build on each other’s strengths while recognising each other’s weaknesses.

Above all, we need to recognise that by focussing on the negatives, we compromise our unity and risk reducing our nation to a shambles, to the detriment of us all.

The very real threat that racial or religious disunity will bring about the downfall of our nation is not new. Our founding fathers and the Reid Commission were well aware of the dangers that the newly-born Malaya would self-destruct if we failed to unite and safeguard against this danger. The safeguards were hard-wired into our Constitution.

I believe that this was the motivation behind the recent call by the 25 eminent Malays for discourse and clarity regarding the position of Syariah Law vis-a-vis the Civil Law and the Constitution. It is a call for collective preservation in order that we may all live together harmoniously.

It is in this spirit that I promise to defend any Muslim’s right to practice Islam as he or she sees fit and. God Willing, I will fight anyone who forces anybody else to practice it any other way. By the same token, I will fight for the same right of every Malaysian to practice his own religion, within the bounds of the Federal Constitution and the Rule of Law.

It is for this reason that I support the Iam#26 Petition and why every Malaysian Muslim needs to do so. We need to know clearly what and where the boundaries are. If we don’t find clarity in this situation, the resulting confusion will result in a lot of acrimony and, God forbid, strife not only between Malaysians of different religions, but also between Muslims.