Malaysian Ulama Fear the Erosion of Islam

June 15, 2006

Source: The Star

On June 15, 2006 The Star reported, "Present your argument with facts backed by the law, the Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister told the ulamas who want celebrations such as 'kongsi raya' and open houses to be reviewed for fear that the practice could erode the faith of Muslims. Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said the ulamas should make an official statement to the Government on the matter and substantiate their views with concrete findings. 'I want it in black and white, substantiated by an official statement from the ulamas to the Government. You cannot simply say it is wrong and not in accordance with the religious tenets and not substantiate your claims.' Dr Rais added that the Government would not simply do away with the celebrations 'simply because such comments were made without being tabled for the Government to analyse'. 'As such, the celebrations will go on as usual,' he said, responding to the ulamas' call on Tuesday after a conference in which they had adopted several resolutions, including that calling for a review the celebrations. Conference committee chairman Datuk Seri Harussani Zakaria had said this was necessary because the National Fatwa Committee had decided that celebrating festivals of other religions could erode the faith of Muslim and lead to blasphemy."