Building Bridges to Understanding: with Principles, Courage and Compassion

For the last couple of years, the silent majority have had to live with the annoying regularity of pompous, belligerent and nasty statements made by so called leaders. Some of these are political leaders and other more nasty noises have come from some fringe NGOs who seem to think that they possess the sole right to make unreasonable and idiotic statements. These then are faithfully reported in the mainstream newspapers.

Inability to Debate and Dialogue

These uncouth individuals have neither the courage nor the grace to debate and dialogue with others who do not share their views. Rather these groups have even gone to the extent of issuing threats and have on a number of occasions followed up with provocative acts. These so called leaders operate on the basis that if they shout loud enough, threaten those with whom they disagree with dire consequences, they must be right!

The real problem here is that these individuals and fringe groups are clearly unable or unwilling, by any reasonable standard, to engage in the art of debate or even to simply dialogue in a civilised and professional way. Instead they resort regularly to threats and obscene gestures or even extreme statements.

Puppet Master at Work

And what gives them courage to indulge in this sort of threatening behaviour is the apparent lack of any concrete action by the authorities to nip this vile problem in the early stages. Some believe that there is a sinister puppet master at work here who is easily able to manipulate these unthinking fringe groups to act and behave as they do!

Courageous Maverick continues Christian Outreach

Contrast that obnoxious behaviour and attitude with that of a respected and principled politician from PAS. This courageous maverick visited a church in Sungai Petani, Kedah recently to meet with Christians. PAS Member of Parliament, Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusuf Rawa came with a message of peaceful co-existence and said that Allah was for all. The decision by the federal government he said was political, not theological. Datuk Dr Mujahid was speaking at the packed event that was billed as ‘ An evening in Harmony, Mercy for All‘. This was the MP’s second visit to the church.

He went on to state that Islam is the religion of the Federation but non- Muslims have the freedom to profess and practise their religions. Only propagation to Muslims is prohibited. He further stated that the setting is already there for interfaith relations. But it has been derailed and manipulated by politicians for their own interests and to split votes among the races.

Bridge to Inclusiveness in Religion

Datuk Dr Mujahid went on to state that the bridge to inclusiveness in religion in a diverse society was through mutual respect, understanding and dialogue. He also cautioned against any confrontational actions that can cause hatred.

This maverick politician has to date visited about 20 churches nationwide to promote interfaith dialogues.

Act of Kindness by a Concerned Muslim

I was also particularly struck by an act of kindness and compassion shown by Mr Azrul Mohd Khalib, a thirty seven year old Malaysian living in the state of Selangor. He was upset by the wanton and mindless desecration and destruction of graves and headstones in a cemetery in Kajang. He rallied friends and associates through a Facebook Group called Malaysians for Malaysia.

Mr. Azrul received encouraging and prompt support from Malaysians who supported his efforts. Within a short time, he had managed to collect over RM 9,000.00. The money will be set aside to repair graves that were vandalised at that cemetery.

When an idea is right, decent and appealing to all Malaysians, it will receive good support. This action by Mr Azrul is a case in point.

Silent Majority should not remain Silent

For far too long, the silent majority has unwittingly allowed a group of thugs masquerading as NGOs to threaten and bully the rest of us. This has been to our detriment. It is time for the silent majority to be more vocal. Otherwise the forces of hate and evil will triumph and tear this previously harmonious society apart.

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