NECF Malaysia has cautioned that religious harmony in the country may be disrupted if the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM) went ahead with its plan to release a book titled “Malaysia, an Islamic State”.
It was reported in a local daily that IKIM would launch the book in February to explain that Malaysia is considered an Islamic state because its legal, economic and social systems is based on Islam. IKIM is a government think-tank on Islam.
Immediately following the report, NECF issued a statement calling IKIM to consult religious leaders first before even considering launching the book. “The understanding of an Islamic state is still very controversial and misunderstood at this point in time.
“The publication of the book that presents a particular point of view may lead to confusion instead of clarification. The exact meaning and intended purpose of the book will also be questioned. This is especially so when no opportunity is given to other religious communities or their leaders either to review or to comment on the book,” the statement said.
NECF urged IKIM not to repeat the past mistake of the Ministry of Information, which in 2001 had to withdraw its book Malaysia Adalah Sebuah Negara Islam (Malaysia is an Islamic Country) after much public protest.