Thursday February 5, 2015
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Tan Sri Joseph Kurup (centre) is pictured at the launch of the World Interfaith Harmony Week 2015 in Klang, February 5, 2015. — Picture by Yiswaree Palansamy Tan Sri Joseph Kurup (centre) is pictured at the launch of the World Interfaith Harmony Week 2015 in Klang, February 5, 2015. — Picture by Yiswaree Palansamy KLANG, Feb 5 ― The“I’m Muslim, I love Hindus” campaign by the Young Interfaith Peacemaker Community of Indonesia (YIPCI) is proof of positive interfaith ties and how people of different religions can respect each other , Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said today.

The minister in charge of unity in the Prime Minister’s Department said that the campaign instilled positive values about the importance of loving and respecting one another’s faith.

“No, no we have to look at it with an open a mind and a positive attitude. As far as I’m concerned, when I look at it I am very happy.

“Happy in the sense that they had the feeling of respect for one another and that’s what the placard said. I don’t think they had any ulterior motives,” Kurup told reporters after launching the World Interfaith Harmony Week 2015 here.

He was responding to Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia’s (Isma) allegation that the YIPCI campaign is a veiled attempt at pushing for religious equality in Muslim-majority Malaysia.

The movement’s information chief Mohd Hazizi Ab Rahman took issue with a photograph of a YIPCI representative, who appears to be a Muslim female clad in a headscarf, holding up a placard that read “I’m a Muslim, I love Hindus” at the Thaipusam celebration in Batu Caves — saying that this could erode the faith of Muslims in the country.

He went on to add that that such campaigns, which claimed to push for multi-religious harmony are largely backed by foreign funders to convince Muslims that other religions are equal to Islam.

Mohd Hazizi said it was “strange” to launch such a campaign as Muslims have been the target of insults and persecution by non-Muslims in many countries worldwide.

In response, Kurup said that moderation, tolerance and unity is the key for the country to progress further.

“The government is very, very serious about propagating moderation,” he added.

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