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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Day after anti-semitic sermon in Malaysia, an anti-Christian seminar

The day after the official Malaysian Friday sermon calling Jews a "brutal race" was broadcast, an anti-Christian seminar was held for teachers.

From Malaysia Insider:

The seminar with the theme "Strengthening the Faith, the Dangers of Liberalism and Pluralism and the Threat of Christianity towards Muslims. What is the Role of Teachers?" requires the attendance of two religious teachers from each of the 55 national schools across Johor.

The Johor Mufti Department has said its seminar on Saturday is to ensure young Muslims are not influenced by “the threat of Christianisation.”

The officer in charge of the seminar told The Malaysian Insider yesterday the department was jointly organising the seminar with the state education authorities because they “fear young Muslims will be confused and not understand” when faced with attempts to convert them.

“Even if there is no threat, we must be careful so that the faith of Muslims will not be influenced,” the official, who declined to be named, said when asked if he had proof of proselytising by Christians.

The Cabinet’s interfaith panel head Datuk Azman Amin Hassan said the “provocatively-titled” seminar flies in the face of the government’s school-level interfaith harmony week launched last month by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He added that while “it is fine to improve your faith”, such seminars “will cause the [non-Muslim] community to feel uncomfortable.”

Azman also said in a text message that he has informed the federal government’s “education director-general for immediate action.”

Pakatan Rakyat (PR)’s de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yesterday labelled the seminar as “a disgusting political manoeuvre to use religion to frighten the people”.

But the Malaysian Ulama Association (PUM) and Malay rights organisation Perkasa supported the seminar as necessary, insisting that the threat is real.

The Johor Mufti Department officer also said that as part of their responsibilities to Muslims, similar seminars have been held to “educate (Muslim) youths and rural folks so there would be no misconception when these issues arise.”

Christians form 9.2 per cent of Malaysia’s 28.3 million-strong population.