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 Malaysia: Politics Behind the Issue of Khat Jawi syllabus at school
Politics Behind the Issue of Khat Jawi syllabus at school – Special Public Discussion exposed the motives and underlying deep-rooted racist sentiments within the fabric of multiracial society in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, 22 August 2019 – The Khilafah Center Kuala Lumpur (KCKL) in collaboration with Hizbut Tahrir Malaysia (HTM) organized a Special Public Discussion program entitled “Politics Behind the Issue of Khat Jawi”. The program was held at the Khilafah Center Kuala Lumpur, which is located near the Masjid Abu Ubaidah, Taman Sri Rampai. The panellists were Dr Norazlan Shah, (member of HTM's Lajna Tsaqafiyyah) and Brother Khairul Effendy (HTM Central Leadership), with Brother Jailani as the moderator of the discussion.

Khat Jawi is the art of calligraphy for the traditional Malay alphabets adopted from Arabic letters. The decision to include lessons on the Khat Jawi in the syllabus by the Malaysian Ministry of Education received flak from several Parents & Teachers Associations (PTAs) and Education Body representing Chinese and Indians vernacular schools. This issue was also brought forward by a certain politician claiming that the move was a step backward and should have focused on lessons on computer coding instead.

The discussion highlighted the attitude of politicians who often employ any tactic to gain political mileage. The issue of Khat Jawi was originally used by certain groups to create discord within the Democratic Action Party (DAP), one of the component parties of the ruling coalition and would eventually affect the support towards Anwar Ibrahim’s bid to become the next Prime Minister. This, among other issues has consequently led to the growing disharmony along the racial lines within the multiracial society in this country.

Muslims were reminded by the panelists that they should not be influenced by racial sentiment or assobiyah struggle. This is in line with a hadith narrated by Abu Daud

«لَيْسَ مِنَّا مَنْ دَعَا إِلَى عَصَبِيَّةٍ، وَلَيْسَ مِنَّا مَنْ قَاتَلَ عَلَى عَصَبِيَّةٍ، وَلَيْسَ مِنَّا مَنْ مَاتَ عَلَى عَصَبِيَّةٍ»

"It is not from our people who call for assobiyah, not from our people who fight for assobiyah and not from our people who die in defense of assobiyah".

Panelists explained that racial sentiment has long been inculcated by the British colonialists. The sentiments such as patriotism, racism, and nationalism which were ingrained by the British into this society would eventually create disharmony and led to racial politics.

The bond that is created based on these sentiments is weak and temporary. The lessons from the fall of the Caliphate should have taught us of the weakness and the dangers of such sentiments. Thus, the panelists stressed again that Muslims should not be influenced by such racist sentiment. Islam, on the other hand, guaranteed the protection of the rights of all nations from different racial background including the non-Muslims who lived under the auspices of the Caliphate that implemented the system of Islam as a whole (kaffah).

The Delegate of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir
in Malaysia


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