I am proud to be a muslim, a sabahan muslim. But to call myself a Malaysian Muslim, I will have a second thought.
Is there any difference between Sabahan muslim and Malaysian muslim? Sabah is a part of Malaysia. Why it should be different. We all pray the same way. Fast in the same month and celebrate eid together. We read the same Holy Quran. There is no difference.
Why do the term sabahan muslim exist?
I also don't know why. But if someone came to Malaysia, there will first encounter the Malaysian Muslim people then we they travel to Sabah or Sarawak the game change.
As everyone knows, Sabah and Sarawak consist of many ethnic which are not practicing Islam. Historically, Islam was not the official religion in these region. Some way and somehow later, Islam was accepted as the official religion of Malaysia and we all do not want any difference between Malaya and Sabah Sarawak. We are one country after all. But the way we were brought up and teach is different.
Since my childhood time, I never encounter a time where religion separate me from my friend. I went to Saint school, I once vandalize the church beside my school but all of that was done on the basic of naughtiness and not religion cause. A lot of my friend are Christian and we never had theological discussion because there is nothing to discuss. My parent never taught me to stay away from that Christian boy, in fact that Christian boy is my best friend. Always celebrate eid together with my family.
Somehow, day by day thing change in this country with all the extremist in Islam start given a spotlight by the media, everything now become an issue. Christian cannot be a good buy to a Muslim anymore.
Is that real? Yes. But not entirely true.
Here in Sabah, I can still see whatever I've been raised with. No religion separation. We all live together in harmony.
We enjoy same food, same drink, halal or haram is a way of our religion but it does not cause us not to enjoy a good time together with our non muslim friend. In shopping mall, left side is halal section and the right side non halal section yet sometime we order different food but sit on the same table as a friend.
Will this last forever?
No. I have sense that with the good coverage of social media, mass media, free flowing information, thing likely to change. My muslim friend start refusing to eat in the mixed restaurant. People start doubting me when I enjoy eating sushi in sushi king. People label me as kafir for eating in Chinese restaurant which clearly stated did not serve pork or alcohol.
And my non muslim friend start making fun of my religion after a lot of stupid statement in the news such as dialysis for those who eaten that Cadbury chocolate which contaminated by swine dna. And they start showing off their pork meal, bacon, just to show off that they can eat pork and we could not.
In the end, respect has been lost by both party. Muslim look down on non muslim and non muslim disguise muslim. What a sick world we live in this day.
I hope, respect can be born again for me still holding my principal to respect other religion. I hope there will be more people that respect each other exist.
STOP MAKING FUN OF OTHER RELIGION OTHER THAN Yours.
This goes to you Muslims, and you Christians, and you Buddhist and you Hindus, and everybody else.