Shocked By Bon Odori Group Calls For Malay Civilisation Day
The Islam Defenders’ Associations (Pembela) has announced plans to commemorate July 30 as Malay Civilisation Day.
This comes after the NGO expressed its disappointment in seeing Muslims celebrating the Bon Odori Festival, an annual cultural festival originating from Japan.
“I was shocked to see 35,000 people celebrating this Bon Odori Festival, who were mostly Malay-Muslims, even though the asatizah (religious teachers) group, including the religious authorities and the mufti forbade it.
“This is based on the results of their study, which found that there are elements of syirik (idolatry) behind it,” said Pembela chairperson Aminuddin Yahaya (above) in a statement today.
He referred to Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, who earlier proposed that the Bon Odori events in Malaysia be renamed.
Asri said doing so will avoid any confusion about the event’s traditional origin which contained elements of syirik (idolatry) and khurafat (superstition).
“If possible, the event should be given a new name or additional names... For instance, it can be called a ‘Japanese cultural festival’,” he said.
Aminuddin also expressed his disbelief at Muslim leaders who celebrate and promote the event ostensibly out of the spirit of culture, unity and harmony, even though the festival does not celebrate the races in Malaysia.
“In any case, various views have been given by many parties. It is up to the people to judge,” he said.
Suitable for whole family
Aminuddin said this issue was what prompted his plan to organise a day dedicated to Malay civilisation.
“If Bon Odori is considered an ‘important’ cultural festival even though it has nothing to do with us, then I think there is no reason not to celebrate Malay Civilisation Day for the first time.
“I have discussed with some friends that it would also be good if Malay-Muslim NGOs could organise a day to celebrate Malay civilisation.
“Friends from silat (martial arts) organisations and arts and culture associations are also excited to succeed together,” he stated.
The Pembela chairperson is planning to make it an annual event with exhibitions, sales parades, performances and shows suitable for the whole family.
The NGO is also holding a press conference at noon today to announce the details of this programme.
Bon Odori is an annual event held during the Japanese Bon Festival. Over the past three decades, the event has been held in Malaysia at various locations. - Mkini
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