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Kampung Compass Points Current Affairs Scholar: Don’t define ethnicity by religion
Scholar: Don’t define ethnicity by religion PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 05 March 2010 12:41




First published in The Nut Graph


By Ding Jo-Ann

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MoucarryKUALA LUMPUR, 5 Mar 2010: Defining an ethnic group in religious terms can lead to oppression and arrogance, an Islamic studies expert said at a public lecture about Islam and Christianity in the Middle East.


Speaking at an International Institute for Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) lecture on 3 March, Dr Chawkat Moucarry said such definitions could suppress religious freedom or discriminate against those who wanted to embrace another religion.


"If you invest your ethnic identity with religion, you are giving a religious value to your identity," Moucarry told The Nut Graph after the lecture.


He said there was a tendency for arrogance when an ethnic identity was defined by a particular faith. This was because if one was born into a faith which one considers the truth, then one is likely to assume superiority for being born into the truth.


"How can you challenge something that occurred by birth?" he said.


During the lecture, Moucarry, who is a Syrian Christian, related his own negative experience when he travelled to Algeria in 1982: "[The name in my passport] is Chawkat George Moucarry as I was born into a Catholic Syrian family and was given the second name of George.


"The [Algerian] immigration officer asked me, 'Are you Arab?' I said, 'Yes'. Then he asked, 'Are you Christian?' I said 'Yes'. He told me, 'That cannot be. You are either Arab or Christian, you cannot be both.'"


Moucarry was detained for several hours and initially not allowed to enter Algeria due to the officer's disbelief about his ethnicity and religion.


"It was a humiliating experience," he said. "For the first time in my life, I was denied my Arab-ness, as being Arab was defined as being Muslim [only]."


Moucarry said a person should not have to give up their ethnic identity just because they have another religion.


Read the rest of the article at The Nut Graph




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Gopal Raj Kumar  - Enthnicity Religion and Race |2010-03-19 11:58:43
The most controversial of this class of commentary is that which the state of Israel which a large number of the opposition in Malaysia subscribes to and practices.

Its also what Hinduism is about. Hinduism is about beeing and "Indian" (an English word). People of the sub continent are called Hindus from the Hindu Kush to the Hindus river to the Hindi they speak.

The religious aspect of Hinduism is about worship and rituals and a philosophy or philosophies that attach to that culture.

The Agnlicisation of all such culture reduced to a Judeo Christian structure which does it no justice but confesses their ignorance. We do not have to subscribe to that iognorance as the writer here wants us to support.

The whole quesiton of identity is what people choose to make of it. But there is nothing more ridiculous than calling oneself Anak Bangsa Malaysia. just think about it.

How can you be of a race out of citizenship? Malaysia is state. Malaysians are citizens of that state inndifferent varieties. It is like saying you are Anak Bangsa America. Unless an American Indian of one of the tribes you are a mere citizen of th US and not a race by citizenship.

MarieDaniel  - answer this post |2010-05-30 07:14:18
People in every country get the business loans in various banks, just because it is fast and easy.
Last Updated on Friday, 05 March 2010 12:49

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