Withdraw memo on dakwah in schools, council tells Yadim, ministry

Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism vice-president RS Mohan Shan says schools are places of learning and are not places for propagation of any faith. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: An inter-religious council has asked the education ministry and Islamic Propagation Foundation of Malaysia (Yadim) to withdraw a leaked memo allowing Islamic programmes in schools and colleges.

It wants it replaced with a new memo to state the propagation will be carried out only among Muslim students.

Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) vice-president RS Mohan Shan said the council wants a letter to assure there is no propagation of Islam among non-Muslims in schools.

He said even though the education ministry had denied the claims of Islamisation in schools by Yadim, the original memo still remained.

He told FMT the council is concerned there could be a “silent intention” to preach Islam to students of other religions.

Mohan, who is also the president of Malaysian Hindu Sangam, said they had received reports from Hindu students in teachers’ colleges on the propagation of Islam.

In a statement to FMT, the council further said it is alarmed by the leaked letter, dated Oct 2, that gives permission to Yadim to conduct religious propagation in schools, teachers’ training institutes, polytechnics, community colleges, public universities and selected private universities in Malaysia.

“These propagation activities are planned to be carried out on a wide scale among young and impressionable, students,” it said.

It said there is no contrary intention shown in the original memo.

“The targeted students appear to be non-Muslims as there is no question of proselytisation of students, who are already Muslims,” it said.

The council further said the original memo states Yadim is a missionary body that wants to make Malaysia a model Islamic administration, including developing Islam by having trained Yadim propagators.

“The intent is clear, that is to carry out dakwah activities through appointing propagators in schools to carry out their work,” it said.

It further said to contain the fallout, the education ministry had immediately refuted claims of Islamisation in schools.

“But no such guarantee has been given in the ministry’s memo. It is impossible for the ministry’s officials to monitor thousands of schools and the guarantee given is meaningless.”

The council also called for efforts to stop Yadim carrying out religious propagation in schools and other institutions of higher learning.

“Schools are places of learning and equipping children with proper skills. They are not places for the propagation of any faith,” it added.