Thursday, February 01, 2007

Perlis mufti ready to raise funds

01 Feb 2007

KUALA LUMPUR: Perlis mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin is willing to start a fund-raising campaign to build mosques for Chinese Muslims.

"If state governments can’t provide any of the recently constructed mosques to the Chinese Muslim community, at least they should approve the application for private Chinese mosques.

"I’m willing to start a campaign to collect funds for these Chinese mosques. I’m sure Muslims of all races wouldn’t mind contributing towards the good cause of Islam," he said.

Dr Mohd Asri, who mooted the idea for a Chinese mosque recently, has reminded state religious authorities to think of the universality of Islam when considering applications from the Chinese Muslim community.

He said it was important for the Chinese to have the mosques as it could also prevent cases of Muslim converts reverting to their former religion.

"In cases of divorce, for example, when a husband leaves his Chinese Muslim wife, she is usually left in the lurch.

"With Chinese mosques, she can always go there to seek guidance and comfort, and be accepted as an equal Muslim," he added.

He also said there were no reasons for state governments to delay approving applications from the Malaysian Chinese Muslim Association (MCMA) and other Chinese Muslim organisations.

The New Straits Times has been highlighting the plight of Chinese Muslims trying to build mosques for their community but are hampered by bureaucracy. Yesterday, MCMA received an offer from a good Samaritan to donate a piece of land to the association.

MCMA vice-president Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah said he would discuss with the potential donor as well as begin preparing a fresh application.

Religious scholar Maszlee Malik, who has been working with the Chinese Muslim community for the past decade, admitted that the mosque administration system in Malaysia had not been too friendly with non-Malay Muslims.

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