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Seeking forgiveness for taking God’s name in vain

As country celebrates first day of Syawal, there is need for united effort to uphold respect for all religions.

IRRESPECTIVE of your faith, religion teaches us to see God in everything. Be it the first light of day or the shadow of the moon, the wind in the trees, or the chirping of the birds, in the laughter of children as well as the suffering of the less fortunate.

This universal teaching is to remind us to be grateful to the Almighty for our blessings and also to do our part to alleviate the sorrow and misery of the poor, the persecuted and the grieving.

In this country of late, certain parties have been seeing God in queer places, like shoes, for instance. On social media, the list appears to be getting longer.

In the case of highlighting the name of God in shoes, those who highlight it claim they are doing so to defend their religion.

Unfortunately, in the latest installment, these so-called defenders of the faith achieve just the opposite – they bring their religion into ridicule and mockery and create the perception that their faith is one that is unreasonable and derides logic.

It is regretful that as we celebrate the first day of Syawal today, the name of God is being used transactionally by various parties – and it is not limited to just politicians.

As the country’s official religion, it is incumbent on all parties – Muslims and non-Muslims alike – to ensure that Islam is respected and not treated or discussed callously.

This is because other faiths too – just like Islam – teach us to embrace our brothers and sisters of other faiths; where it is incumbent on us, especially as fellow Malaysians, to protect the sanctity of all religions.

With this in mind, businesses must be more sensitive and aware of the goods and services they are plying.

Policymakers must ensure just and equitable policies for all, which includes the enforcement of the law.

And politicians should not further treat their religion as currency to gain personal relevance.

In the spirit of Hari Raya Aidilfitri today and the recently launched Maaf Zahir Batin Hari-hari (#MZB365) campaign, let us turn a new page.

Let us seek forgiveness today for the turmoil of the past month and for taking the name of God in vain. – April 10, 2024

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