I strongly disagree with Umno’s Kelantan liaison chairman Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed when he claimed that the DAP’s intentions to build a mosque in Kelantan is an insult to Muslims.
He was reported to have said that a mosque is a sacred place of prayer for Muslims and that the funds for its building needs to be from a halal source.
Is it because the DAP is considered a Chinese political party and hence they cannot contribute towards building a mosque? As far as I know, there are Muslim party members too.
And, anyway, is there anywhere in the religion of Islam that states Muslims are not allowed to receive assistance and goodwill from those who are not of the same faith?
To prove my point, let’s go back into history, say around 50 years ago to the year 1965. This was the year when the National Mosque, or Masjid Negara was opened in Kuala Lumpur.
Every single Malaysian is familiar with the Masjid Negara. No one can deny that it is a national icon and landmark. Even many of those outside of Malaysia are familiar with it.
It was conceptualised a month before Merdeka and was supposed to symbolise how Malaysia was, and how Malaysia should be now and forever.
It was designed and built by a Brit and two Malaysians (Howard Ashley, Hisham Albakri and Baharuddin Kassim). Wait a minute! Non-Muslims were involved in designing it?
The building cost RM10 million and a bulk of it was donated from the non-Malay, non-Muslim, community, specifically the Chinese, Indian, Christian, Buddhist and Hindu community.
Wait a minute! Non-Muslims were involved in financing the building of the mosque? Can this actually be true? Well, go to the National Archives if you need convincing.
What are the chances of something like this happening today? Well, it looks like it would be a very rare chance seeing that when it does happen now, it gets criticised as an insult.
Now let me throw this question out there and see how people react to it. What are the chances of the Malay-Muslim community donating towards a church or temple? Unthinkable or possible?
It saddens me to see that, as the years go by since the establishment of Malaysia as a united country, we are seeing an increase in the polarisation of religion and race in Malaysia.
Why can’t we see the gesture of building a mosque just as a kind and respectful gesture? Oh, and it is the month of Ramadan right? Aren’t we Muslims suppose to be at our best selves?
But Ramadan or no Ramadan, Malaysians in general need to be more gracious and united. We’re suppose to progress as a society as the years go by. Not regress.