No Ban On Debates Between Religious Scholars

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KUALA LUMPUR – The government will not prevent any religious debate programme as
long as it is conducted within the law and regulations.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi
Dusuki told the Dewan Negara today that any debate on differences of religious
opinions should be held with the aim of discovering the truth.

“(But) we don’t want it to play up on emotions and cause friction among
Muslims,” he said when replying to a supplementary question on whether the trend
of holding debates between religious figures was healthy.

Asyraf Wajdi said among the measures taken by the government to strengthen
unity in the Muslim community was through the establishment of the Institute of
Wasatiyyah Malaysia and introduction of the concept of wasatiyyah, which means
moderate, centrist and balanced, as a catalyst to the 1Malaysia concept.

He said the government had also boosted the role of the Islamic Consultative
Body, which was set up in 1982 as a think tank and adviser to the government in
naional development, especially with regard to Islamis matters.

“In the effort to enhance Islamic understanding and practices towards
forging solidarity and unity among Muslims, the government has fine-tuned the
system of managing religious policies, fatwa (edicts), guidelines and sources of
reference,” he added.