Gerakan was lambasted recently because of their remarks on the involvement of churches in Bersih 5.0. Hermen Shastri who is the general secretary for Council of Churches Malaysia (CCM) was fast to comment. Hermen resented at Gerakan’s focus on the involvement of Christians.
The fact that Bersih was promoted in churches and joined by Arcbishop Bernard Paul, shows direct involvement in the event. It should be noted that it is the non-Muslims that emphasise a secular Malaysia and not the majority Muslims. This is despite the Federal Constitution declaring Islam as the Religion of the Federation, in Article 3(1).
Secular in simple words, refers to the separation of state and religion. Involvement in politically inclined rallies does not reflect such ideals in any way. There is always “reminder” from some groups, on the nature of our nation as intended by our fore fathers.
Maybe this relation to the wishes of our “forefathers” should be avoided if religious bodies continue to participate in demonstrations of such nature. What we see now is a very contradictory approach to what is usually preached. If the active promotion and participation in such programs continue, the definition of secularism would have to be revisited.
So much fuss about political Islam and today this is what we see. We are not questioning the multi-religious and multiracial turnout. What we want to emphasise is the promotion of such events by the same people who want to see Islam separated from the government.
It was the same people who opposed the amendment of Act 355 with the pretext of hudud. Judging from what is happening currently, one can’t help but ask. Are we experiencing the rise of political Christianity?Since political Islam is so feared then should political Christianity be allowed?
As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.
Rehan Ahmad Bin Jamaluddin Ahmad
Research Fellow, Institut Kajian Strategik Islam Malaysia (IKSIM)