MUSLIM-CHRISTIAN RELATIONS IN MALAYSIA: ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS

Main Article Content

Abd Hakim Mohad
Ros Aiza Mohd Mokhtar
Mashitah Sulaiman
Latifah Abdul Latiff

Keywords

Tolerance, Religion, Islam, Christian, Malaysia

Abstract

Purpose: The issue of Muslim-Christian relations in Malaysia is often in the limelight of the mass media, domestic and foreign. Within recent years, there have been incidents directly related to this topic of discussion. This paper discusses these the issues and challenges faced by the Muslim and Christian communities in Malaysia.


Methodology: This is a qualitative study, and the data were collected from library sources such as books, journals, newspapers, periodicals, websites, and detailed interviews with members of the Muslim and Christian faiths. The data was then analysed through a documentary analysis technique.


Main Findings: This study found that Muslim-Christian relations often go through ebbs and flows. Generally, incidents involving religious sensitivities are fanned further by the mass media and interested politicians, although these issues are not as serious as reported. These situations then create an uneasy tension between the two communities, thus negatively affecting foster unity in diversity within the plural societies in Malaysia. What should be encouraged as an alternative is dialogue between adherents of different religions for them to know one another, and to promote religious harmony.


Implications: In the New Malaysia era, room of dialogue seems to flourish with the inclusive approach of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government. This is a positive development, which hopefully would be a catalyst to building a Malaysia society united in diversity.

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Extra Readings:
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https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2013/11/03/why-get-emotional-allah-not-exclusive-to-muslims-saysoxford-theologian/555257.
https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/265733
https://www.mstar.com.my/lokal/semasa/2013/01/09/bukan-islam-boleh-guna-kalimah-allah--hadi.
https://www.mstar.com.my/lokal/semasa/2013/10/17/jangan-sampai-berpecah-dalam-isu-kalimah-allah--ahmad-zahid.
https://www.mstar.com.my/lokal/semasa/2013/10/21/keputusan-isu-kalimah-allah-tidak-libat-kristian-di-sabah--sarawak-najib.
https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/07/393834/religious-and-racial-hatred-act-pipeline.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-malaysia-religion/malaysias-islamic-authorities-seize-bibles-as-allah-row-deepens-id USBREA010C120140102
https://www.statistics.gov.my/censusatlas/images/ReligionEN.pdf
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