Jom Ziarah Programme Up To State Govs To Decide, Says Religious Affairs Minister
Religious Affairs Minister Na’im Mokhtar said each state government will decide whether to allow the Jom Ziarah in their states.
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Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar said it’s up to the state government to decide whether the Jom Ziarah programme is allowed in the respective states.
Mohd Na’im came to this conclusion since there was a difference in opinion regarding the Jom Ziarah programme in each state, Free Malaysia Today reported.
There is a disagreement, a difference of opinion. I respect the decision at the state level. There are states that prohibit the programme and there are those which allow it.Religious affairs minister Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar
On 17 March, the Penang Islamic religious council (MAINPP) said there was no prohibition on anyone organising the programme that invites Muslims to visit non-Muslim houses of worship as long as it does not violate existing laws.
The organisers must also refer such programmes to MAINPP to ensure they adhere to all the guidelines.
However, the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) prohibited the programme.
According to Malay Mail, Mais chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof claimed such activities tend to be negative towards Islam and violate the laws preventing the proselytisation of other religions to Muslims.
He added that Islam does not prohibit friendship and tolerance towards non-Muslims, but programmes such as Jom Ziarah should have some restrictions to ensure no Muslims are being influenced to be interested in other religions.
READ MORE: Selangor Muslims Banned From Attending Events At Other Houses Of Worship
The Jom Ziarah programme, an initiative under Project Article 11 by Impact Malaysia, organises trips for youths to different places of worship to promote understanding among different beliefs and cultures.
The programme drew controversy when it was accused of proselytizing Christianity to Muslims with its Jom Ziarah Gereja announcement on Impact Malaysia’s Instagram. The programme has previously organised a trip to a mosque and a gurdwara.
Since the programme is also under the Youth and Sports Ministry, its minister Hannah Yeoh was also accused of similar accusations.
READ MORE: Hannah Yeoh Addresses Claims Of Proselytising To Muslims Under Jom Ziarah Programme
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