I have always been uneasy with them.
Because they are always going to be about the majority. In Malaysia everyday, in public functions – events begin with a prayer, and there is absolutely no reason for them.
I am not disallowing from praying, I believe they can pray most hours of their lives, but do they have to pray at a public meeting – a meeting that must belong to everyone equally.
It’s a short while
First the duration of the prayer does not remove the principle of it. It is imposition. Second, if it is really short, why not do it before the meeting proper?
I am not challenging the right of people to pray, I am challenging their right to use my time to make their prayer.
And it is nothing to with Islam or Christianity or any other faith. But people have to respect my space.
Don’t even go there. There are enough semantical arguments
I stand on the side that despite an official religion statement in the constitution is only symbolic.
And yes there are contrary arguments, I concede.
The context is important.
In the pre-Mahathir days there were 3 bars in Parliament and the old Rahman days, Parliament was opened with a champagne toast.
When I started school, there were no school prayers. They just stopped Christian prayers in the missionary school. By the time I was in university every event known to man in Malaysia has a prayer to kick start it.
The only contest
My contest is that my time is mine.
It is not an agenda against anyone or any faith. Whether it is a minute or five minutes it is fairly discomforting, just as much as if I was imposing the Klingon or Vulcan prayer on non- Star Trek enthusiasts.
Pray all you want, just not at public events.