Malaysia’s Need for an Enlightened National Policy on Interreligious Peace: A Dictate of Maqasid al-Shari'ah

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Osman Bakar

Abstract

As a nation, Malaysia is characteristically pluralistic and diverse in its cultural makeup. It is precariously balanced in its ethnic and religious compositions displaying a distributive pattern of cultural diversity in its demographic map in a way that is matched by few countries. Its pattern of cultural diversity is particularly distinguished by the fact that there is a close identification of religion with race. Malaysia is only barely a Muslim-majority country. It has a large non-Muslim population comprised mostly of Buddhists, Hindus, and Christians. There are other religious minorities such as Confucians, Taoists, and Sikhs though these are much smaller in size.

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