Now that the ‘holy’ month of
Bombadan Ramadan has ended, Muslims are now celebrating the holiday of Eid (‘Hari Raya’ in Malay parlance). For most Malaysian Muslims, this holiday means food (day-long feasts are common) and being with family, with journeys back to hometowns (‘balik kampung’) being firmly embedded in local culture. And as the Malaysian government has reminded Muslims, ‘Hari Raya’ is also another opportunity for them to proselytize to local infidels non Muslims. “Share beliefs with others, Muslims urged”, The Star, 30 August 2011.
PETALING JAYA: Muslims should take the opportunity of Hari Raya to share their beliefs and practices with those of other faiths, said Selangor Mentri Besar [State Governor] Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.
“The celebration [‘Hari Raya’] may be for those of the Islamic faith but this does not mean we should take an exclusive attitude. We must use this opportunity to share our knowledge, which is required by its followers and in Islam,” he said.
This ill-timed pronouncement comes on the heels of a scandal involving Christians alleged to have proselytized to Muslims at a church dinner in Selangor earlier this month . Such acts are, of course, illegal under Islamic and Malaysian laws. Yet Muslims are never restricted from engaging in their own prosetylization activities, AKA ‘dawah’, either through lavish government-supported programs, or via their own unofficial efforts. Religious freedom for Muslims, but never for the non Muslims — Islam forbids it.
It’s doubtful that this Malay minister quoted above can see the monumental arrogance, let alone the irony of issuing such proclamations such as this. But pointing out such hypocrisy par excellence would undoubtedly be Islamophobic.