Unfair to impose one’s belief on others if one’s own faith is weak

RECENTLY, an MP visited a shopping mall in his constituency to express discomfort about alcohol being displayed in the open. He was apparently acting on complaints from his constituents.

Some questions:

  • How many people complained?
  • What was the specific nature of their complaint?
  • What specifically is the MP’s view on this?
  • Are the large number of Muslim visitors so weak that they are disturbed and distracted by the mere sight of alcohol?

With due respect, the MP in a way is implying by his own action that a faith is weak and the persons who practise it are weak. He is, in effect, insulting the faith and its adherents.

Is the MP dictating to others what, when, how and where we should purchase and consume drinks? Why should we follow his dictates? It is unacceptable and disrespectful when one imposes his or her morality on others based on religion.

A religion is only as strong as its understanding towards those who are not adherents. As far as I know, the faith is impregnable and incontestable in its true values. My good Muslim friends in a couple of online groups are a living testimony to their faith.

What the MP has done is an abomination of his party’s politicisation of Islam.

I don’t trust political religious characters. They show they are ‘defending’ the faith – but what an intentional toxic misinterpretation of faith. The faith is not weak; they are the ones who are weak and make it look weak! If one’s faith has genuine strength, one does not need to be intrusive or divisive.

They also advocate nonsensical government regulations. If one’s faith, inner sense of morality, spirituality and discipline are strong, one does not need such controls.

Liberty must never be surrendered. There always seems to be the illusion of greater security among people who choose an individual because they assume he or she knows God better.

The late PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat was a pre-eminent and prime example that religion can have a positive effect on politics. If you have persons of calibre and character, the moral compass in their conscience will navigate past the treacherous waters of controversial concerns and issues.

Nik Aziz was a Muslim politician who could reach out across the political, social, religious and racial divide, despite his human weakness. PAS and their politicians have lost this and are on a toxic trajectory.

Is there hope? I am certain true Muslims will rise up and counter those individuals who are simply unworthy of the mantle of being Muslim. Enough of these twisting, turning characters who claim the faith despite their lack of honour or dignity. – Jan 16, 2023

Dominic Damian, an Aliran member, is a poet, music educationist, composer, instrumentalist-vocalist recording spiritual and social songs – and parent of five young lives. His full opinion was first appeared in aliran.com.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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