Sensitivity of non-muslims to Islam

Sensitivity of non-muslims to Islam
by Farah Pang Abdullah

March 22, 2006
The Editor (editor@thestar.com.my)
STAR Publications
Malaysia

I am alarmed by ‘Mosquito” who wrongly misquoted Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Dept. at his meeting with 43 Muslim NGOS on March 20 at the Parliament House. Her caption ‘Refusing to engage in dialogue a disservice to Islam’ can cause concerns to both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. I was personally present at the press conference and sat beside the minister. So I heard all he had to say.

He did not say that Muslims should not engage in dialogue with non-Muslims. In fact he reminded all of us that our harmonious coexistence is the result of our mutual respect for our religions and culture.

What he did say and rightfully so, was to tell non- Muslims not to make inflammatory and unwarranted remarks about Islamic jurisprudence as it is a specialized science with a specific methodology. He also said that Muslims do not make offensive comments about other religions in the country and asked that the same be given to Islam.

I was the spokesperson for the NGOs that day and I supported what the Minister said. I also publicly declared that we look forward to have dialogues with our non-Muslim friends in order to promote a better understand of Islam. I even gave a copy of my statement to your reporter present.

I hope I have cleared the air for ‘Mosquito’ and I support her in her call for Muslims to engage non-Muslims in dialogue for mutual understanding of our religions.

Signed (pl call me at 016 2445405 to confirm authenticity)
Farah Pang Abdullah
8 Lorong Burhanuddin Helmi 3
Taman Tun Dr Ismail
Kuala Lumpur