Segala usaha untuk menyatukan ummah mesti dialu-alu dan didokongi. Namun kerancuan antara pembaharuan dan Islam anjuran Nabi saw tidak dapat dibezakan oleh Shahidan, yang menerajui Umno dan BN Perlis!Perlis To Spearhead Islamic Renewal In Malay Archipelago
From Adnan Jahaya
Muslims should adopt an open attitude and accept renewal, he said, adding that this does not mean they have to change their basic Islamic identity.
"The renewal that they have to undergo in this context is the need to accept current changes, such as the use of high-tech in daily life," he told Bernama after delivering a keynote address at an international seminar on Renewal of Islamic Thinking here Sunday night.
Shahidan said the backwardness and disunity among Muslims came about, among other things, as a result of their obsession for sects, so much so that they rejected the views of others.
He said Perlis would spearhead the Islamic renewal movement by inviting ulama (Muslim scholars) in the Malay archipelago for consultations.
Seminars on the renewal of Islamic thinking would be held on an ongoing basis in institutions of higher learning in the archipelago, including in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, he said.
"If possible, we want to have them every two months. This is important because efforts must be made to coax Muslims to follow the path of change," he said.
Shahidan said he hoped that such seminars and consultations could be held at a higher level because the situation demanded that Muslims should unshackle themselves from narrow-mindedness.
He said that in Malaysia, Muslims have accepted the change although a handful of them insist on clinging onto their obsession for certain sects.
In delivering the keynote address, Shahidan said he hoped that Muslims would not regard government ulama as discharging their responsibilities in accordance with the remuneration they receive from the government.
"We do not want them to be followers of the government but to be with the government in figuring out good for Muslims," he said.
Shahidan said these people had their own views on Islam but they were also responsible in putting Muslims on a better path.
The seminar was opened by Prof Dr Nasarudin Umar, Director-General of Islamic Community Guidance in the Indonesian Religious Department, who represented Indonesian Education Minister Prof Dr Bambang Sudipyo.
He expressed concern over Muslim groups which opposed renewal, saying that violence resorted to by Muslims was the result of their reluctance to accept change.
However, he cautioned about undesirable change which he said could bring loss to Muslims.
More than 100 people comprising ulama and Islamic intellectuals from Malaysia and Indonesia attended the seminar, which was organised by the Perlis state government, the Islamic Da'wah Foundation of Malaysia (YADIM) and Jemaah Muhammadiyah Indonesia, at a leading hotel here.