TOH GUO SHEN KEW080021, LEE JIAN HSIEN KEW080012, TOH KHAR PENG KEW080022, WONG KIA MING KEW080025, OOI THIANG CHIEN KEW080018, LAU CHUN WO KEW080011

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TOH GUO SHEN KEW080021, LEE JIAN HSIEN KEW080012, TOH KHAR PENG KEW080022, WONG KIA MING KEW080025, OOI THIANG CHIEN KEW080018, LAU CHUN WO KEW080011

Post  tohguoshenkew080021 on Tue 09 Feb 2010, 8:58 am

(b) Ethic and Religious Pluralism: An Islamic Perspective

Introduction
“Islamic revelation presents a theology that resonates with the modern pluralistic belief that other faiths are not merely inferior manifestation of religiosity, but variant forms of individual and communal responses to the presence of the transcendence in human life. All persons are created in the divine nature (fitrat Allah), with a disposition that leads to the knowledge of God, the Creator, to whom worship is due simply because of the creation” (Sachedina 2001:14)

The term “pluralism” is increasingly becoming one of the most important catchwords in the era of globalization. As Sachedina argues, pluralism of our present world whose diversity of cultures, belief system, and values inspires both exhilarate at the endless shadings of human expression and dread of seemingly irreconcilable conflict, even among the followers of religious. The invocation of pluralism has become as much as a summons as a celebration – an urgent exhortation to the citizens of the world to come to terms with their increasing diversity.

Today’s world is a place of confluence of many cultures and interest. There is no country where the torch of pluralism has not lighted. Pluralism in respect of race, religion and culture has continued to colour and shape the demographic contours of every nation. Thus, it is quite common to find people of various ethno-religious-cultural backgrounds living side by side in harmony and in total tolerance of one another. Frequently, this tolerance is stretched to its limits when issues pertaining to religious sensitivities and interests are affected.

Islam, as a faith and civilization is known to have accommodated the principle of pluralism, including religious pluralism. This is manifest in both Qur’an and Sunnah, the two principal sources of Islamic law, the shar’iah, laws that are obligatory upon all Muslims, whatever their ethnic, political and economic backgrounds and other differences.





Clarifying the meaning of pluralism
Comment:
After reading the ethnic and religious pluralism in Islamic perspective, plurality and pluralism can be differentiated. The pluralism includes the quality or condition of being plural. On the other hand, the plurality is the policy of favoring a certain kind of relationships between group within a nation or society. Overall, the pluralism is the ethnic, cultural patterns, and religion. From our opinions, every country needs the pluralism because it is the relationship between human. Because that the pluralism is refers to the total accumulated beliefs and practices of a particular human collective, and especially in a ruling group within a society.

Doctrinally, the Islamic position on the issue of ‘pluralism’ is clear. The Faith more than accommodates diversity and pluralism, including religious pluralism. The Qur’an, the foremost source of Islamic law (shar’iah), mentions this categorically: “To you your religion, to us, ours; for Truth and Falsehood are clear”. Not only is there no compulsion in religion and in religious choice, in the Islamic scheme of things, the very existence of the plurality of races, religions and creeds are a deliberate act of God. Such a respect for religious freedom was borne out in Islamic history, notably, during the time of the governance of the very first Islamic State under Prophet Muhammad in Madinah in the 7th century. The Prophet institutionalized what came to be, the first written Constitution in the world, called the Madinah Constitution (AlDustur AlMadinah) in 622 A.D., a Constitution that guarantees a fair and equitable treatment to all, irrespective of race, religion or creed.





Why the Issue of Pluralism is Important to Human Well-Being
Comment:
Undeniably, there is an important connection between a society’s philosophy of pluralism and its well-being. Religious pluralism or cultural pluralism has a better chance of survival and nourishment in democratic societies for the simple reason that these societies are governed by the rule of law. One area of concern is the Muslim’s attitudes and actions as members of a plural Malaysian society, consisting of a diversity of ethnic and religious groups.

Today, there are stresses and strains in Malaysian Islam. Although it is expected that the majority Malays in the country support the Islamization process (since Islam is integral to Malay culture), it is also evident that non-Malays have been wary of such a process, fearful that their lifestyles and interests will be compromised. Like the case of mountain-climber M.Moorthy’s Muslim burial against his Hindu wife’s wishes in 2005, and the prosecution, on the grounds of ‘indecent behaviour’, of a non-Muslim Chinese couple seen kissing in public in 2006 - both bear testimony to such anxieties.

Malaysia’s pluralism experiment is also constrained by the intraethnic tension from within the Malays community. While the traditional pulls of dialect and regional loyalties are no longer solid, Malays are torn apart in their support of the two main Malay-based political parties, UMNO and PAS, both claiming to be champions of Islam. Still, to many Malays in Malaysia, UMNO appears to be more nationalistic and secular.

The above stresses and strains in Malaysian Islam notwithstanding, the country, however has an admirable record of both democratic rule and economic prosperity. These qualities, when added to the general understanding among all racial and religious communities of the need to respect issues of sensitivity, have generally led to a manageable degree of stability in relations between Muslims and non-Muslims. We should realize that how we deal with our diversity in the country will be major determining factor of Malaysia’s future.





Islamic theology of pluralism

Comment:
We agree with the concept where state that “unity to multiplicity; through multiplicity back to unity”, because every human in this world are need each other and no any human is 100% perfect, we need other people to supply our gap, so that our lives can be cosines. A person succeed, need a lot of people supported and cooperate. For example, a company can not function if there is no system management, system can not function if no human control of organize it, a company can not be succeed if there is not admit by commonalty, that is why the human in this world are interrelation with each other.





The Qu’ran and Ethnic Pluralism
Comment:
Human is created by a pair of male and female, without our parent how we born in this world, so that we need always respect and appreciate of every human in this world, always remember the origin of each of us. Different human have different background, different background will shape the ability of human, but at the end of the purpose is to build a good human being. So we should respect each human from different face, religion, country and skin colour. Each human are the combination of spiritual, knowledge and moral, with the spiritual, we can gain the knowledge from the universal, with the knowledge we can build up our moral. Without one of them, we can’t consider as a human.

Through our opinion, we do not think that language is defining element of ethnicity but not the most important, because nowadays, different ethnic can learn different kind of language beside their mother language, so language no more specialties for certain ethnic. Defining element of ethnicity should be combination of language, culture and tradition. With these three elements are the souls of ethnicity, without one of the elements the ethnicity can’t be perfect.





The Qu’ran and Religious Pluralism
Comment:
We agree with one of the concept, where we should appreciate to everything surrounding us. We should protect the entire thing in this world, and use those things in correct way. Every thing we done, at the end will return to the natural and the natural will continues supply the source for us and we continues product it, this circulation will continues until the end day of the world. When we do something that will destroy the world, then that mean we also will be destroy, because when the world had been destroy where we lose the place for stay, food, and other thing, to protect this world from being destroy, we need to have high virtues and use that for benefit everything surrounding us. Actually not only Islam, other religions also deliver the same message, only thing is different in language so every religion is in the same level. Maybe a person is not concern to any religion, but if the person has a high ethic, he also will contribute to the world. Without any religion is not a mistake, at least the person knows what he or she should do. Maybe few year later more and more religion are born, but all this religion are good for shaping human being, so why not to have more religion!





The Islamic view of ethnic and religious pluralism
Comment:
We agree with the concept of “human being as vicegerents on earth” because every step that human taking will cause the earth to be change, human holds the power to control earth besides God, God control the visitation of Providence, and human control other thing beside that. So every step human taken should be considering carefully, protecting our world from destroying. Human civilization is build up from different ethnic and religious, but remembers that we are from the same family, which we all are human, so we need cooperated to each other and have a healthy competition because competition is a invisible force that can pushing toward, so we can improve ourselves with high level of ability and knowledge.





Islamic teachings and Muslim Practices – Bridging the Gap
Comment:
“Need to propagate Islamic teachings on diversity – biological and cultural”
From our opinions, all religions’ teaching should be propagated, depending on the particular person who chooses to believe in which religion. And, I am sure that each religion has its own teaching on diversity.

“Need to understand the societal mechanisms Islam has put in place in order to realize its philosophy of ethnic and religious pluralism”
We partially agree that in order to realize the philosophy of ethnic and religious pluralism, it is necessary to understand the societal mechanism of the religion which we believe in during our upbringing.

“Muslims must strive to have more meaningful dialogues with the non-Muslims and to promote better inter-ethnic and inter-religious relations”
We strongly agree with it. Communication indeed is the best way of strengthening interrelationship between many things. Without it, people will suspect each other and many problems will arise.

“The core social teaching of Islam is justice. An enlightened pluralism is one seeks to serve the cause of justice in the human order”
We partially agree with the statement. It is because enlightened pluralism can only solve part of social problems, not all of them.





Conclusion
It is said that for the progress and development of any society or country, stability is a must. To ensure stability of any country peaceful co-existence of all its members is very vital indeed. Such peaceful co-existence of the citizens of any country would not come about without the harmony, mutual respect, tolerance and understanding of all the member communities which go to make the nation, irrespective of whether such communities are ethnic or religious. In whatever way the leaders of a nation try to bring about this inter-ethnic or inter-religious harmony, respect, tolerance and understanding, it invariably assumes the name of national unity or national integration.

Perhaps the best approach to mould the minds of people of different religions into one in order to achieve the cherished goal of national unity or integration is by allowing every individual or community to practice and preach his or its religion, without encroaching the perimeter of another, and for the government to guarantee to everyone of them then its right to do so. In constructing religious tolerance in a pluralistic world efforts should be made to understand and then celebrate commemorating their imaginative and misconstrued unity.









References
1. Hussin Mutalib. (2007). Religious pluralism in democratic societies: Challenges and prospects for Southeast Asia, Europe, and the United States in the New Millennium. In Nathan, K. S. (Ed.), Religious diversity and pluralism in Southeast Asian Islam: The experience of Malaysia and Singapore (pp. 35-43).Singapore: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.

2. Azyumardi Azra. (2007). Religious pluralism in democratic societies: Challenges and prospects for Southeast Asia, Europe, and the United States in the New Millennium. In Nathan, K. S. (Ed.), An Islamic perspective of religious pluralism in Indonesia: The impact of democracy on conflict resolution (pp. 225-228). Singapore: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.

3. Nathan, K. S. (Ed.). (2007). Religious pluralism in democratic societies: Challenges and prospects for Southeast Asia, Europe, and the United States in the New Millennium. Singapore: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.

4. Hikmatullah Babu Sahib. (2008). Dialogue of civilizations and the construction of peace. In Simon, T. W., & Azizan Baharuddin (Eds.). Constructing religious tolerance in a pluralistic world: An Islamic view (pp. 83-110). Kuala Lumpur: Centre For Civilisational Dialogue.

5. Al-Mustaqeem Mahmod Radhi, & Khairul Anam Che Mentri. (Ed). (2006). Islam dan pluralisme. Kuala Lumpur: Middle-Eastern Graduates Centre Sdn. Bhd.

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Post  Leong Jia Wei KEW080013 on Tue 09 Feb 2010, 10:01 am

Maybe few year later more and more religion are born, but all this religion are good for shaping human being, so why not to have more religion!
Yes, religious practices = righteousness. But some religion's teachings are just plain weird - Scientology anyone? lol!
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Leong Jia Wei KEW080013

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Post  Cheah Meng Kit KEW080006 on Sat 27 Feb 2010, 2:34 pm

I do not mind to have more and more religion in this world as long as the religion is good for mankind.
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Cheah Meng Kit KEW080006

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