KUCHING: A seminar was held at Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) building here yesterday to trace the history of Islam in Sarawak.
The seminar attended by 250 persons was an extension of an earlier one held on Aug 4 last year at the Institute of Language and Literature, Sarawak (Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) Sarawak). The previous seminar received great response from the participants who included researchers on the history of Islam and Borneo.
Yesterday’s seminar was aimed at extending the efforts of certain parties that are studying Sarawak Islamic history, and contribute to the enrichment of related information.
It was also a preliminary effort of civil society organisations such as Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (Abim) Sarawak to raise discourse and stimulate intellectual activity.
Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (Yadim) deputy president, Zolkarnain Abidin, in his speech said managing racial and religious differences in society is something that must not be overlooked.
“Sarawak may not feel the anxiety of those of us who live on the Peninsula but the issues like ‘Muslim-made first’ campaign and Zakir Naik were raised because they emerged from racial and religious differences, and as such they have significance in that they could cause a great deal of conflict between Muslims and non-Muslims,” he said.
“Thus, let us work together to promote ‘fiqh’ (Islamic teachings) so that we can translate our ‘syariah’ perfectly in line with existing reality. This effort will lead to the formation of a nation that embraces diversity and uses it to expand the reach of Islam.”
Amongst those present at the event were Abim president Mohamad Raimi Ab Rahim, Abim Sarawak president Muhammad Hazim Azhari, Wadah Pencerdasan Umat Malaysia (Wadah) Sarawak chairman Raslie Saharan, Persatuan Kebajikan Pelajar Islam Sarawak (Perkepsis) president Muhammad Zhariff Azhari, Yayasan Madani chairman Jahidin Abang Abdul Latif and Yadim Sarawak director Awang Dulhadi Awang Mat.