By Ravinder Singh
March 6, 2015
So Isma has admitted that the giving of free Qurans is a proselytisation project, which was denied earlier, and not a no-strings-attached project to help non-Muslims understand Islam and dispel their fears of Islam as a religion of extremism. This also gives the lie to the purpose of recording the personal data of those given the free Quran.
Razali Zakaria, a senior editor with Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia’s (Isma) media wing, Media Isma Sdn Bhd, is blowing hot and cold that non-Muslims are trying to stop the spread of Islam among Malaysians by complaining about the distribution of free copies of the Quran.
He reminded non-Muslims that the Federal Constitution allows Muslims to convert anybody, whereas non-Muslims may only spread their teachings among themselves and not to Muslims.
Yes, what the Constitution says is correct. But can Razali point out any provision of the Constitution that says a non-Muslim cannot advise another non-Muslim not to convert into a religion from which he will not be able to get out of?
Is Isma saying that I will be committing a crime if I go up to a non-Muslim who is being proselytised by a Muslim and tell the non-Muslim to think very carefully before he makes his decision to convert for converting to Islam in Malaysia is a narrow one-way street with no U-turn?
Let us compare proselytising to direct sales. The sales tactics are similar – highlighting only the “goodness” of the product to make a sale. The “goodness” is usually exaggerated, and the targets are pressured into making an on the spot decision with statements such as “this offer is valid only for today”.
Thus, to be fair to the public, the Direct Sales Act provides a 10-working-days cooling off period during which they can reflect, research, discuss with others, and decide whether they really want to go ahead with the direct-sale purchase. If they decide not to, they can terminate the deal before expiry of the cooling off period and get back any deposits paid.
Similarly with life insurance where customers are given two weeks from the date of receiving the policy to scrutinise it and decide whether they agree to the terms and conditions, and if not, they can return it within the two week period and get a refund of the first premium paid.
So what is wrong if I tell my non-Muslim family members, friends or acquaintances to beware of getting into something from which it will be impossible for them to get out of? Does the constitution prevent me from doing that simply because the constitution allows Muslims to proselytise to non-Muslims?
Isma seems to be saying that non-Muslims have no right to tell other non-Muslims to think carefully before converting into Islam as they will not be able to get out of it should they decide somewhere down the line that Islam is not for them.
By all means promote Islam, but do it by showing non-Muslims through daily life of the Muslims that it is a religion of peace, that it does not tolerate corruption, that it does not tolerate baby dumping and so many other vices.
Show the non-Muslims by words and deeds that Islam is a better religion than theirs and you can expect them to come to Islam on their own. That will be genuine conversion.
Anyway, what is the purpose of Muslims trying to convert non-Muslims, of Christians trying to convert non-Christians, or Hindus trying to convert non-Hindus, and Buddhists trying to convert non-Buddhists, etc?
Why can’t each be left to his own?
“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”!
If you don’t want someone trying to convert you, you too should not try to convert someone.
Is trying to convert people of other faiths a game of some kind, to see who can score the most, or get some rewards?
Ravinder Singh is an FMT reader.