Don’t trivialise Ramadan, please

Malaysians from different faiths attend the buka puasa event hosted by the Church of the Assumption. (Pic: Jonathan Andrew/Gregory Chan FB)

One would have thought that if one wanted to learn about the significance of Ramadan, the mosque would be the place to go. I was therefore disturbed to read about a buka puasa gathering at the Church of Assumption organised with Yayasan 1Malaysia.

This sort of gathering trivialises Ramadan. Coming together to prepare food and distributing it during Ramadan is only an incidental aspect of the holy month.

There is a limit to interfaith practices. It has to be accepted that there are irreconcilable differences between faiths, and facetious practices of holding a buka puasa gathering at a church is not going to bring about concordance in differing beliefs.

So I ask, if we have a buka puasa gathering at a church this year, will the next multi-faith buka puasa event be at a Hindu temple? And if not, then please explain why not.

Are we also going to have passion plays and nativity plays in mosques, interfaith hot cross bun baking in gurudwaras on Good Friday, navarathri festivities in Taoist temples or at the church of the Assembly of God?

There are many other ways to foster unity among people without intruding into the religious practices of the adherents of any particular faith.

We have our Rukun Tetangga to bring about good neighbourliness among us, and for us to appreciate our common humanity; a Rukun that recognises that while we are of differing creeds and races, we are at the core part of humanity. This equips us to navigate our multifaceted country, but as far as religion goes, you have yours and I have mine, and let us accept that.

If you want to know about Ramadan, please go to a mosque.

Fathima Idris is an FMT reader.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.

PJ church hosts interfaith buka puasa event