We must be sensitive to the practices of all religions, says Najib

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians should understand the sensitivities of all religions practised in the country, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

“One of the most important aspects in whatever we do is that we must have mutual respect and understanding,” he said during a buka puasa dinner with Selangor Umno members here last night.

Najib reminded the audience, which comprised people of different races, of the edict issued during the muzakarah (discussion) by the National Council of Islamic Affairs in March.

The edict proclaimed that non-Muslim visitors to mosques and surau must first obtain permission from mosque officials before taking part in any activity in the prayer hall or the mosque grounds.

“They should dress appropriately and must not violate the sanctity of the mosque,” he added.

Najib, who is Selangor Umno chairman, said the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, had also issued a similar decree in line with Section 3 of the 2003 Selangor Islamic Enactment.

“For example, during the visit by Queen Elizabeth II to Malaysia in 1989, she was dressed to cover her aurat (exposed part of the body) and also didn’t enter the main prayer hall of the mosque,” he said.

On the action of non-Muslims giving sermons (tazkirah) to Muslims in a mosque prayer hall, Najib said such behaviour contradicted the teachings of Prophet Muhammad.

Najib was commenting on the controversy arising from Serdang DAP MP Teo Nie Ching, who had entered the Al-Huda surau in Kajang Sentral without covering up her head last month.

“I’m saying this not to fan the flames (of the issue) further, but I hope that the Islamic religious edicts will be respected by non-Muslims. Muslims must also respect the holy places of other religions to ensure harmony is maintained,” Najib said.

Najib also witnessed the donation of RM500 each to four fire victims in Gombak.

Officials from 18 mosques in the state were also given RM1,000 each for the Hari Raya celebrations, while donations were also given to 158 orphans and 142 needy people.

Radicare Sdn Bhd also gave RM10,000 to Masjid Jamek Al-Amaniah in Batu Caves.

Source : The Star

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