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Malaysia Again and Again! "We are sorry" Says Buddhist Chief High Priest to Muslim Public

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Gyani Jarnail Singh, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    We’re sorry, says Buddhist chief high priest

    Alyaa Azhar

    http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/ca...3/were-sorry-says-buddhist-chief-high-priest/


    Buddhist chief high priest K Sri Dhammaratana said as we live in Malaysia , we must be sensitive to other religions.

    PETALING JAYA: Buddhist chief high priest K Sri Dhammaratana Nayake Maha Thera has apologised on behalf of a group of Buddhists who meditated in a surau in Johor recently.

    “We would like to apologise to our Muslim brothers and sisters for the actions of a certain Buddhist group from Singapore in having their meditation session at the surau of a resort in Kota Tinggi,” he said in a statement today.

    The chief high priest was referring to a viral video clip depicting a group of Buddhists led by a monk chanting inside a surau of a resort in Tanjung Sedili Besar.

    The video showed the group sitting on mats while facing a picture of Buddha , which was placed on a table underneath Quranic verses that were hung on one of the walls.

    “I advise Buddhists in Malaysia and Singapore to respect the religious sensitivities of other religionists while carrying out our own religious obligations,” added Dhammaratana.

    Using common sense

    When contacted by FMT, Dhammaratana expressed hope that an incident of this magnitude would not repeat itself.

    “I try my best to encourage Buddhists to not have this kind of incident in the future,” he said.

    Declining to say whether the actions of the Buddhist group were right or wrong, he instead said: “We have to understand as we are living in Malaysia, you have to use a little bit of common sense.

    “We should not make other people unhappy, we should try our best to make everyone happy.

    “All Buddhists must at all time be conscious and aware of the fundamental principle expounded by Lord Buddha: ‘It is impossible to build one’s own happiness on the unhappiness of others’,” he said.

    Police have since arrested the resort’s 45-year-old operator, a Singaporean with Malaysian PR status.

    Known only as Ahmad, he was arrested yesterday afternoon at the Tanjung Sutera Resort. He has been remanded until Aug 16.

    Police said the incident is being investigated under Section 295 of the Penal Code for injuring or defiling a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class.

    Some comments to this article

     
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  3. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    re: Again and Again! "We are sorry" Says Buddhist Chief High Priest to Muslim Public

    Now contrast the previous article to this article

    Extending warmth and love: Sikhs help Muslims offer Eid namaz in Gurudwara during stormy weather in India


    NEW DELHI: In a country where religious intolerance and communal hatred dominate the news nowadays, here is something that goes to show that all is not rotten and ugly.

    Muslim residents of Joshimath in Uttarakhand offered Eid namaaz (prayers) on Monday in a gurdwara (Sikh temple), after being invited in by its head priest, according to the local media. There is no mosque or idgah in Joshimath, a town perched above the Alakhnanda deep in the Garhwal Himalayas. Usually its 800-odd Muslim residents offer namaaz at the town’s Gandhi Maidan, a public ground.

    On Monday, however, Gandhi maidan had turned into slush. It had been raining heavily for several days and Eid, the festival day too dawned in a downpour. The Muslim community was struggling with the problem when the head of the local gurdwara sent a heart warming message to them- The Muslims could use the main hall of the gurdwara for offering namaaz.

    So, at 9:30am, the congregation of Muslims in bright new clothes trooped down to the gurdwara and offered the ritual prayers in the big hall. After the ceremony, they embraced the Sikh community members waiting outside the hall. Some Hindus from the town were present too and offered greetings to the other two communities.

    Sardar Buta Singh, Prabandhak of the gurdwara, later told media persons that he had extended the invitation to the Muslims to help them in their crisis.

    Maulvi Asif was quoted by media as saying that by solving their problem, the gurdwara committee had presented an example of humanity and respect towards all religions. He said that the Muslim community was thankful to the committee.

    Read more: http://www.themuslimtimes.org/2012/...-during-stormy-weather-in-india#ixzz2brmhBRCK
     
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  4. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    And once again!

    http://dawn.com/news/1035672/sri-lanka-allows-mosque-expansion-despite-buddhist-objections

    Sri Lanka allows mosque expansion despite Buddhist objections

    Sri Lankan paramilitary Special Task Force (STF) commandos stand guard outside the premises of a vandalized mosque in the capital Colombo.

    COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's government said on Tuesday it would give the go-ahead to plans to develop a mosque in central Colombo, despite objections from Buddhist hardliners who have targeted members of the minority Muslim community in a spate of recent attacks.

    Requests to expand the mosque had been repeatedly rejected, Muslim clerics said, because the building work would mean having to cut down parts of a large bo-tree, considered sacred by Buddhists.

    A three-storey mosque was built in its place around a month ago, but it was attacked late on Saturday, triggering clashes between Muslims and Sinhala Buddhists and a two-day curfew in the neighbourhood in the centre of the capital.

    There has been increasing violence against Muslims in Sri Lanka since last year, mirroring events in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, which has also seen a surge of attacks by members of the majority community against Muslims.

    In Myanmar, hardline Buddhist monks have been at the forefront of campaigns against Muslims.

    In Sri Lanka, a group known as Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), or the “Buddhist power force”, has been trying to win over Buddhists to their own campaign. But the BBS has denied any involvement in the latest mosque attack.

    “The Urban Development Authority will hand over the land to the earlier mosque and the bo-tree will also be completely removed to facilitate the construction,” M.K.B, Dissanayake, secretary at Ministry of Buddhism and Religious Affairs, said.

    “The expansion of the mosque also will be allowed,” he told Reuters. “The government will help construct the earlier mosque, if they (Muslims) request help.”

    At the same time, the government said it would close down the new mosque, although it gave no reason for the decision. Buddhists in the area say that the new mosque was built without proper approval.

    As elite police officers armed with guns looked on, local authorities began to cut down the bo-tree to make way for the expansion, a Reuters reporter at the scene said.

    Local residents said that police could have prevented the weekend violence if they had acted more decisively. CCTV footage taken from a nearby house, and seen by Reuters, showed people attacking the mosque despite the presence of police.

    According to the Sri Lanka Muslim Council, a body representing most Muslim organisations in the country, the incident was the 25th attack on mosques reported to them from across the island nation.

    A European Union delegation in Colombo condemned the rise in attacks on Muslims.

    “The right to freedom of peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of worship are fundamental to democratic societies and should be protected by the state,” it said in a statement.

    “The European Union looks to the Sri Lankan authorities to ensure justice through speedy, impartial investigations and to enable all Sri Lankans to exercise their human rights freely.”

    Buddhists make up about 70 per cent of Sri Lanka's population of 20.3 million. Muslims make up about 9 per cent.
     
  5. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    And the contrast!


    Malaysia
    Johor resort’s surau may face demolition for hosting Buddhist worship
    KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — The Johor religious authorities may decide to demolish Tanjung Sutera Resort's surau as it had been used by non-Muslims to host their religious activities, a state Islamic leader said today.

    Citing the Quran, Johor Islamic Religious Council (MAINJ) advisor Datuk Nooh Gadut explained that if such a sacred place had knowingly been used for activities outside the Islamic faith, it should be taken down.

    “The most sacred places on Earth are mosques and surau. Accordingly, they are not allowed to be used to carry out religious activities other than for Islam and if a surau is found to have hosted other religious activities, it can be demolished based on surah At-Taubah verse 107 (in the Quran),” he was quoted saying on Bernama Online.

    Nooh added, however, that the demolition could not be ordered immediately as the surau in question is still considered evidence in the ongoing probe on allegations that Buddhist tourists used the venue for their worship.

    According to Bernama, the RM60,000 surau is now being guarded by the police and the People's Volunteers Corps (Rela).

    The national news agency also reported Nooh as saying that his team will take over the probe from the cops once they have completed their investigations, in keeping with procedures under section 7A of Johor's Syariah Criminal Enactment 1997.

    The Johor Fatwa Committee is expected to meet next week to deliberate the case and will likely issue its decision within a month, Bernama wrote.

    The Johor Sultan has also reportedly waded into the controversy and has ordered a full probe on the incident.

    Earlier today, a group representing Malaysian Buddhists apologised for the incident, which has irked followers of Islam, the country's dominant religion.

    In a brief statement by the Buddhist Maha Vihara, Chief High Priest of Malaysia Datuk K. Srï Dhammaratana expressed his group’s regret while urging followers of the religion to be mindful of others in their worship.

    “We would like to apologise to our Muslim brothers and sisters for the actions of a certain Buddhist group from Singapore in having their meditation session at the surau of a resort in Kota Tinggi.

    “I advise Buddhists in Malaysia and Singapore to respect the religious sensitivities of other religionists while carrying out our own religious obligations and responsibilities,” Dhammaratana said today.

    Yesterday, media reports surfaced of a video uploaded to YouTube last week allegedly showing a surau in the Johor resort being used by Buddhist tourists for prayers.

    This later led to the arrest and remand of the resort manager under section 295 of the Penal Code, which comes under the heading of “injuring or defiling a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class”.

    The 85-second-long video titled “Surau dijadikan tokong???” (A surau turned into a temple?) begins with an external shot of a small building and a close-up of what appears to be a sign in Arabic script over a doorway.

    The video’s maker then approaches the building to record what appears to be a prayer session by a dozen white-clad people led by a monk in red and saffron.

    Yesterday, Berita Harian reported the resort owner as saying he did not expect the offer to lead to the controversy now.

    “I do not think the action of giving permission to believers of other religions to use the surau is wrong. This is because they only wanted to use the surau for meditation.

    “I have no intention of hurting anyone’s feelings. My intention is to show that Islam is universal and tolerant,” said the Singapore-born Muslim.

    - See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/m...hosting-buddhist-worship#sthash.lijz5Mhk.dpuf
     
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  6. aristotle

    aristotle
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    The Buddhist priests deserve an appreciation for what they did. Moves like these can go a long way in diffusing religious tensions.
    But, I can remember stone pelting at a Gurdwara Sahib in Malaysia (whether more such incidences occured, I don't know) way back in 2010. No Muslim cleric or organisation came forward to tender any apology then. Simply because Islam is a majority religion, should not mean Islamists can act arrogant on matters as these.
    (Source: nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.php?c_id=2&objectid=10620032)
     

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