‘Malaysia, don’t go our way’ call rings out

by M Krishnamoorthy
Nov 25, 10

Malaysians were urged not to take the path of religious fanaticism and not allow politicians to exploit religious or racial issues when campaigning for votes.

“If politicians use religion or race to sway the people’s minds then the country may head for disaster,” said Pastor James Wuye and Imam Muhammad Ashafa in a public talk to an audience of over 200 last night at the Hussein Onn Eye Hospital.

Organised by MRA/ Initiatives of Change Malaysia, they concurred that religious leaders should be sincere, fair and mediate conflicts without any agenda for political advantage.

“Neither should politicians use religious leaders to influence the people, and in countries which have used such propaganda have torn their social fabric and were doomed,” Pastor Wuye said.

The net result of any wrong actions by politicians will be a political tsunami and governments can be brought down if religion or race is preached the wrong way to win the people’s support, Ashafa stressed.

Once these religious figures, Pastor Wuye and Imam Ashafa were bitter rivals, but now consider themselves as brothers. In fact, at one time, they each tried to have the other killed.

Force of two for change

James Wuye and Muhammed Ashafa are living proof that people can change, and that the urge for revenge can be replaced by an urge to for love, forgive, foster reconciliation, understanding and peaceful coexistence.

Both the religious leaders were awarded honorary doctorates from Glasgow University and the Open University of India. The DVD that portrays their experience won the first ‘Conflict Prevention’ prize awarded by the Jacques Chirac Foundation, Paris, France

The Imam and the Pastor is a documentary from the heart of Nigeria and represents a moving story of grassroots peace building that gives hope to humanity.

Originally, both leaders belonged to opposing religious militias in Nigeria, and were in constant war through Christian and Muslim militias.

Then both experienced a spiritual transformation and became activists for interreligious dialogue. Together in 1995 they created the Interfaith Mediation Centre (IMC) in the State of Kaduna in northern Nigeria.

They have since worked to pacify their country and to spread their method of dialogue to other countries.

Founded in 1995 in Kaduna, IMC trains teams of religious leaders and religiously motivated individuals in conflict resolution throughout the country.

They lead seminars and workshops in schools and universities on subjects ranging from democracy to interreligious dialogue. Religion as a factor of rapprochement is presented as part of their method.

“It’s the incompetent religious leaders who turn out to be ugly and instead of preaching compassion and they manipulate people who can be easily influenced by politicians. Be careful because politicians play the card to win votes. For this reason, religion and politics cannot be brought together,” said Imam Ashafa.

Go for basic issues advice

For that matter, Ashafa added that politicians should not play the card of identity but instead be issue based like looking into the improvement of water supply, transportation and fulfill other basic needs.

Nigeria is regarded as one of the most religiously sensitive places in the world, stressed Imam Ashafa, but what has our religiosity got to do with life.” We are also one of the most corrupt societies in the world”.

They were looking forward to their visit to Malaysia as they were captivated by the international advertisements that captioned Malaysia as truly Asia.

“You have a diversity of people in Malaysia that has to be cherished” they said. Pastor Wuye stressed that peace is cheap but war and violence are costly.

“Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue, communicate, communicate, and communicate,” Wuye stressed. “Even until you sweat but do not lose a pint of blood,” he added.

The two protagonists have experienced forgiveness and healing. “We have used our experience to strengthen the call for unity which is critical for humanity at this stage in history, even in Malaysia,” they said.

  1. #1 by monsterball on Thursday, 25 November 2010 - 4:24 pm

    All the religious leaders can advise..teach the right path..but the fact lies…without race and religion dirty politics..UMNO B is finished.
    But it is gratifying to note..religious leaders indirectly know Satan is ruling Malaysia…and they know it is very wrong for Najib to submit to Satan.
    However…it is already deep rooted..involving his own survival too.
    Will Najib dare to give up race and religion politics?
    In any case…this devilish ways to win votes have been encouraged and still being encouraged by the Devil himself,……Mahathir and when comes o Mahathir…all UMNO B crooks are under his mercy…..if they do not tag along…all are in trouble.
    He is old…and a retired Dicctator that never retired at all.
    UMNO B crooks.. never had it so good…being filthy rich…quickly…winning this or that tender…to make sure the ill gotten money known as profits or commission are legal in the eyes of our Malaysian crooked laws.
    Time ad time again…you get religious leaders to stand firm and united ..discouraging race and religion politics.
    You can bet your last ringgit…Najib have no power over such matters..
    The very word..”UMNO” is a racist party and members are for one race only.. signify…UMNO B must keep on having race and religion politics…which is also indirectly against Allah’s wishes..under … present situation and lifestyle..which have totally changed ..compared to 50 years ago. …but UMNO B can never change.
    Mahathir….the racist spent 22 years to make sure his UMNO B stays like that to keep fooling his own race.

  2. #2 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Thursday, 25 November 2010 - 6:54 pm

    Pakatan Rakyat must stay on the high road and not slosh around in gutter politics with the likes of UMNO and the cabal of BN politicos.

    The latest by Ridhuan Tee Abdullah on ‘ultra kiasu” – well, Ridhuan, just go get yr head checked!
    Knowing two words of BM doesn’t make u a patriot or a genius which I think the narcissistic u think u are.

  3. #3 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Thursday, 25 November 2010 - 8:01 pm

    And our courts should remain aboveboard too – above the swirling filth of partisan politics.

    And so, kudos to the Bar Council on its call to grant access to documents vital to the defence to conduct its case.

    How can any sane person deny an accused access to medical notes, chemistry reports, DNA samples et. al. which form the crux of the allegations? How can one tell which milk is from which cow if the milk sample is not adduced?

    How can courts become so lembu! Or as Shakespeare would have put it : “You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things”.


  4. #4 by cemerlang on Thursday, 25 November 2010 - 9:12 pm

    What is fair ? Nothing is fair. Religion, race and anything sensitive are just at the superficial level. These are just the tools. If you say Allah is good, you should be good to all. Why must you be bad ? A simple reason that says that it is not about religion at all. Do politicians really know what is happening at the grassroot level ? No. They depend on their informers. So if the informers tell them everything nice, then everything is nice. Imagine if you were to know everything, you probably need a psychiatrist to be your advisor in addition to being your mental health healer. May be even your political advisor. Imagine if even little unimportant things you have to manage. It is silly. But if your informers have not been telling you the truth, then it is a good time for you to know those unimportant small silly business. Or else why do the people vote for you ?

  5. #5 by johnnypok on Friday, 26 November 2010 - 3:53 am

    When Azahar was shipwrecked, Jesus came down to rescue him, and God will send his son to rescue bolehland from being destroyed.

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