“Don’t interfere”: Islamic module only for Muslim students, MAPIM tells interfaith group

A NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisation has slammed the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) for labelling the implementation of the “Imam Al Nawawi’s 40 Hadith” appreciation module at national schools by the Education Ministry as unconstitutional.

The Malaysia Consultative Council of Islamic Organisation (MAPIM) said MCCBCHST has no right to question the Education Ministry’s efforts to instill the right Islamic knowledge and values in Muslim students based on the al-Quran and the Prophet Muhammad’s sayings or ‘hadith’.

According to MAPIM president Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid, MCCBCHST’s statement that Islam should only be limited to private affairs and official events that are merely ceremonial in nature clearly indicates its attempt to interfere in Islamic affairs and studies.

“We would like to remind the parties concerned not to try and interfere and intervene in the country’s Islamic affairs,” he said in a statement today (Aug 25).

The interfaith group had previously expressed concern that non-Muslim students may need to attend the “Imam Al Nawawi’s 40 Hadith” module as well.

The MCCBCHST argued that the module promotes the complete Islamic way of life, which they believe goes against the principles of religious freedom enshrined in Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution, adding that Article 12(2) and Article 12(3) also safeguard Malaysians from being instructed in any religion other than their own.

The council said the government and the education minister should act according to the FC which does not allow Islamic religion as a way of life to be introduced in national type schools.

Elaborating, Mohd Azmi said Islamic education based on the study of the al-Quran and hadith is integrated in Islamic education to produce Muslim students who have integrity and good moral values.

He said the concerned party’s “threat” of legal action if the module is used as part of a study module for Muslim students is an unacceptable form of provocation.

“We will take legal action as MCCBCHST is trying to challenge the authority of the Islamic religion when it said Islam as a religion is merely bound to rituals and are only meant for official events,” Mohd Azmi stressed.

“They are challenging the country’s education authorities who want to instill Islamic references in the education system. Their objection is clear that they are questioning the position of Islam as the religion of the Federation.”

As such, MAPIM demanded that MCCBCHST withdraw its statement and stop any “silent campaigns” to question the position of Islam in the country. – Aug 25, 2023

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