Lately, we can see than there are parties that are taking advantage on issue related to Malays and Islam. It seems that in Malaysia, Muslim are Malays and Malays are Muslim. That is the main problem here.
Any issue related to Muslim is taken care as if it is a Malay issue. Malays are sensitive because they think that anything insulting Malays means it is insulting Islam. But they are not sensitive of other religions sensitivity when they stepped on the cow head which is the God of Hindu, which in Malaysia ironically refers to Indians. Malaysians have the wrong understanding where they tend to relate certain race with certain religion. Muslim are Malays and Hindu are Indians. There is no where in the Holy Quran stated that Muslim refers to Malay. When a Muslim dies, the angel would not ask what race are you but instead will ask what religion are you?
So, my question is whether should we tackle the Islam sensitive issues from a Malay’s perspective or from a Muslim perspective. If you take it from a Muslim perspective then it will be easy to resolve because your judgment is based on what is best for Islam and what does Islam say about it. But if you tackle the issue based on the Malay’s perspective that is where the all disagreements come from.
For example, the latest issue on Prayer’s for Lim Guan Eng. Even though it is yet to be proven true but let us just make it as a basis for our intellectual discussion.
From Islam point of view, it is not wrong to pray and ask for Allah’s forgiveness for your non Muslim friends. You may pray to Allah asking for good health of a non Muslim friend who might be ill, that is not wrong in Islam. Plus, you can do it anywhere and at anytime, such as after your 5 daily prayers or when you visit him at the hospital. It means that you can also pray for him in any occasion including Friday sermon. That is what Islam says. Every Muslim believes that Islam is a very friendly religion and it teaches us to be good to each and every creature created by Allah.
Now, let us take it from the Malays point of view. Some Malays do not feel comfortable to pray for the good health of his enemy which might be a Muslim or might be a non Muslim. The Malay’s mindset is stuck to Malays are Muslim and Muslim are Malays! They forgot than is it never mentioned even a single word in Al-Quran about Malays. Quran mentions about Arabs and Jews but none about Malays. It means Malays has no special place near to Allah, but Muslims are. So is it right for Muslims to make judgment by prioritizing race rather than Islam? Is the race much more important that the religion of Islam?
This is the root cause of our Malay Muslim problems in Malaysia today. We need to think Islamically in order to move forward. Islam has never asked Muslim or Malays to treat other race or other religion believers differently. Islam asked Muslim to respect everybody without considering his religion and race. We cannot tackle an Islam related issue using a Malay friendly solution. Your Malays influenced decisions might make some of the Malays happy but in the end you might be punished by Allah as your decision is not based on Islam guidance or it might also go against Islam’s guidance.
So, is it Islam that is root of all the problems or is it the Malay’s mindset that is the main root problem? We have to be rational in order to come up with a rational and fair decision. An Islam related issue must be tackled using Islam guidelines and principles and you can't solve it emotionally or politically. Remember only Muslims in Malaysia are related closely to Malays but around the globe Muslims are from all races and skin colors, yet they are all the same in the eye of Allah, you can see it when the Hajj comes. Malays, Chinese, Indians, African, Arabs and all others races in the world unites in front of Kaabah praying to Allah. It is Islam that matters doesn’t care whether you are a Malay or not!