Natural disasters are terrible. That’s why they’re called disasters. Massive loss of life and tons of property damage…that’s not even counting the psychological impact and the massive cleanup efforts in the aftermath. There’s usually a silver lining to them though; it unites people for a common cause which is great. Not so if you’re a Malaysian Muslim preacher named Azhar Idrus it seems.
This ‘preacher’, Azhar Idrus, whether it’s through pure stupidity or plain spite, claims that it goes against Islam to help other religions clean up their places of worship during the flood cleanup in Malaysia.
Obviously, this ‘preacher’ failed at his religious classes. He’s just spreading intolerance and divisiveness in the guise of righteousness.
One of Islam’s core tenets is ‘Zakat’, which means charity. It can be interpreted as giving wealth to the needy or helping out and volunteering yourself to aid the less fortunate or those in dire need of it.
Guess what helping out the community and other religions clean up (whether it’s places of worship or otherwise) falls under.
According to Idrus, Islam forbids Muslims to help clean religious places of idol worship or wash their religions idols and iconography. That’s a complete crock.
Nobody’s asking for Muslims to worship other religions’ idols!
It’s a matter of helping clean up and setting right what’s been damaged by flooding. Even if you can’t wash religious idols, I guarantee there are a thousand other things you can do to help in that very building.
Despite zealots and wayward fools like this ‘preacher’, Islam isn’t a religion of war. It’s a religion of peace, of charity towards others and of understanding.
Thankfully, some Malaysians aren’t blind to the vitriol that’s spewing forth from Azhar Idrus.
They too have taken to the internet to condemn his speech as blasphemy that goes against what Islam should be. Some younger Muslims have even taken it among themselves to help.
As a Muslim, it really saddens me that some people are using religion to drive a wedge between people, especially when it comes during a national crisis.
If Singaporeans were in the same position, I know that Singaporean Muslims would have no qualms about helping other religions clean up.
I know I sure as hell won’t hesitate.