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Friday, January 15, 2010

Nik Aziz to host inter-faith meeting

KOTA BARU, Jan 15 — More than 20 leaders of various religions have been invited by Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) spiritual leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat to a late breakfast meeting on Jan 28.

The online version of Harakah, the newspaper of PAS, reported yesterday that those invited included Islamic scholars, Christian clerics and Buddhist and Hindu priests.

Nik Aziz (in white) visits the St. Francis Xavier church in Petaling Jaya following the string of church attacks. — file pic

Nik Aziz told reporters at his office yesterday: “Up to now, we have been informed that 18 of them consisting of Christian clerics have agreed to attend, whereas the priests from other religions have yet to confirm their attendance.”

Nik Aziz is also the Mentri Besar of Kelantan and a respected Islamic scholar. He has said that non-Muslims could use the word “Allah” to refer to God.

Amid the current controversy over the use of the term “Allah”, PAS issued an official statement last week stating that followers of the “Abrahamic faiths” — Islam, Christianity and Judaism — could refer to God as Allah.

The breakfast meeting will take place at the Kelantan state government complex called Kota Darul Naim, and is intended to build rapport, Harakah said.

“The state government is meeting them to raise an environment of peace and harmony between religions in this country,” Nik Aziz was quoted as saying. “Although there is harmony in Kelantan for so long, it is hoped that the meeting will improve this.”

Kelantan has been under PAS rule for the past 19 years. — The Straits Times


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