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aws试用账号(www.2km.me)_Does the Malaysian religious establishment condone bigotry?

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LATELY, I spend some time browsing through news and issues related to civil rights in the United States.

One of the most prominent issue of the current modern times that touched the conscience of the nation was the murder of George Floyd.

This created an unprecedented scene during a tumultuous week across the country. It was provoked by nine horrifying minutes captured by onlookers outside a convenience store in Minneapolis as George Floyd’s life was extinguished by local police.

His death quickly generated outrage across the United States and then the world.

Of those who were from the civil society condemning such inhuman act by a certain white police officer, was the religious establishment in the United States, which was steadfast in condemning racism and abuse of power.

For instance, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops released a statement: “We are broken-hearted, sickened, and outraged to watch another video of an African American man being killed before our very eyes.

“What’s more astounding is that this is happening within mere weeks of several other such occurrences.

“This is the latest wake-up call that needs to be answered by each of us in a spirit of determined conversion.

“As members of the Church, we must stand for the more difficult right and just actions instead of the easy wrongs of indifference.”

There were also dozens of Muslim organisations in the United States who came together to call for reform to policing practices and to support black-led organisations.

What is obvious from religious leaders and their followers in the United States is the understanding that behaviours and actions with a racist element are morally and universally unethical, and should be condemned in all forms.

Looking at Malaysia – where there are followers of Islam, the official religion, and those from minority religious groups – what is obvious is its religious leaders are not speaking up, so are condoning or becoming passive receptors of racism and religious bigotry.

What is more troubling is there is no common stand against bigotry, among Muslim, Hindu, Christian or Buddhist leaders.

They don’t question institutional racism and bigotry in the public sphere. Even if there are statements, they are targeted at issues that are communal in nature.

They tend to target something specifically instead of going beyond a person’s communal sentiment and speaking out for the rights of those who are treated unjustly.

Why is there such apathy among Malaysian religious leaders and followers when there is death in custody, what more when a minority community has been the most affected?

It is time for religious leaders of all religion in Malaysia to wake up make a stand of conscience against institutional racism and bigotry.

Yet, is this possible when religion, ethnicity and politics are intertwined, in pursued of power? – November 13, 2021.

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