Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Posted by Astora Jabat at 5:51 AM
Rancangan penyatuan dan penyeragaman azan ini mula dibincang di Mesir lebih 15 tahun lalu dan ia mendapat tentang yang hebat di kalangan ulama negara lembah it, tetapi ramai juga ulama yang bersetuju.
Muslims make adjustments for uniquely ‘harmonious’ Singapore
July 14, 2010SINGAPORE, July 14 — An international conference on Muslims in multicultural societies today heard how Singapore minority Muslims adjusted some of their religious practices to suit the unique circumstances in the city state.
Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said the local Muslims first modified the call for prayer or azan by tilting the loudspeakers inwards and away from nearby houses, and limits were set on their volume levels.
Later, a radio frequency was allocated to allow the call to prayer to be broadcast over the radio, and in this way, all Muslims who wished to receive the call to prayer could just tune in to their radio, Goh said.
Over time, he said the mosques did away with loudspeakers, and “this showed the pragmatism of our Muslims and their sensitivity to the feelings of non-Muslims.”
Speaking at the conference organised by Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS), Goh said the local Muslim community understood and appreciated that Singapore was a multi-racial and multi-religious country with a common and secular space for all.
The minister said other religions too had to make adjustments, such as Taoism which had a long-standing practice of burning giant joss sticks during the festive celebrations, not only in temples but also in the open.
He said the Taoists agreed to limit the number and size of joss sticks and confine them mostly to temples after realising that the smoke from hours of burning caused irritation to a large number of people, many of whom were not Taoists, living nearby.
He said Singapore society was a secular one, thus allowing the government to treat all religions equally and no one religion was regarded by the state as superior to another.
Goh said the attitudes and roles played by the Muslim minority, the 75 per cent Chinese majority population, and the government were very important in ensuring religious harmony in the city state.
He said Singapore was fortunate as its non-Muslim majority was tolerant and accommodative, and their actions set the tone and provided an affirmation of the trust and respect needed to establish peace and harmony.
“If the majority uses its dominance to over-ride the interests of the minority, we would not enjoy the social cohesiveness that we have today,” Goh said.
The minister said Singapore had formed several bodies such as the National Steering Committee on Racial and Religious Harmony and the Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circles to promote dialogue and interfaith understanding at both the leaders and grassroots levels.
The government had also enacted the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act which enabled the Minister for Home Affairs to restrain any person from causing ill feelings between the different religious groups.
However, despite the government’s best efforts, tensions could still boil into the open from time to time, Goh said, adding religious fervour was rising here in Singapore, as it had all over the world with all faiths.
He added the challenge faced by Muslim leaders and scholars was especially acute because many of them received their theological training and inspiration from countries where Islam was dominant, and where adaptation of Muslim practices to suit a multicultural society was given less emphasis. — Bernama