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mahatir on ourside!!!!

  1. jimjj

    1,669 posts.
    [MAHATIR - ON OUR SIDE]

    from Straits Times

    KUALA LUMPUR - Defence Minister Najib Tun Razak tackled a prickly issue head-on yesterday when he warned that growing intolerance by some Muslims towards non-Muslims, and an Islamic religious school system that preached extremism and hatred were threatening the Malaysian way of life.
    His remarks followed recent reports of instances where, for example, male teachers in a Kuala Lumpur school refused to shake hands with female students on the last day of school, citing religious reasons.
    It has also been reported that a discipline mistress in a Penang school told an 11-year-old to either wear a headscarf or not bother going to school.
    Both trends had to be checked and Malaysians had to speak out against them, he said, or their cherished multi-racial and multi-religious society would be in jeopardy.
    Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad noted recently that zealots who were more interested in the form than the substance of Islam, had created an overly Islamic atmosphere in the classrooms.
    This scared the parents of Chinese and Indian students, who then sent their children to vernacular schools instead.
    Few Malaysian leaders have dared to tackle this issue head-on, concerned about the political cost.
    But at a conference on the strategic outlook for Malaysia yesterday, Datuk Seri Najib said it was the duty of every Malaysian to speak up. 'The silent majority must dare to speak out and stem the small minority of religious zealots and racial bigots,' he said.
    Malaysians had little choice but to work towards a more tolerant community.
    'It has been observed that instead of becoming much more tolerant with time, there are worrying signs of intolerance. Instead of Muslims becoming more open-minded, we are beginning to see a much narrower and myopic interpretation of Islam,' he said without citing examples.
    And yet, the two basic sources of Islamic teachings - the Quran and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad, or Sunnah - make it clear that non-Muslims in Islamic states have co-existed with Muslims, often sharing in the economic, political and cultural life, he said.
    'The government's action shows that it has the political will to tackle this problem which, if unchecked, could well become a time-bomb that will soon explode, jeopardising the very way of life that we all cherish,' said Datuk Seri Najib.
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