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The parade of “Muslim sensitivities”: Where is it taking us?

AND so Perkasa has made the news again. And this time by its own doing, not because a media bent on sensationalism tried to cultivate the Malay nationalist group in order to increase readership.

Church plays are insulting? (© PBoGS | Flickr)

Church plays are seditious and insulting? (© PBoGS | Flickr)

In the latest of Perkasa moves, its Petaling chairperson, Zainal Abidin Ahmad, lodged a police report against a Protestant church in Shah Alam and its pastor for planning to stage a Christian play during Ramadan. “We want the church and pastor to be investigated for sedition and for insulting the Sultan,” Zainal Abidin told The Malaysian Insider on 17 Aug 2010. Zainal Abidin also accused the church of deliberately attempting to preach Christianity to Muslims in Muslim-majority Shah Alam.

We may be lulled into thinking that the issue at hand is limited to a Malay, and hence Muslim, rights group making wild and curious allegations against non-Muslim, non-Malay Malaysians. If only that were the case. Unfortunately, much more is involved. Indeed, what is really at stake is the control of public space and what it means for all of us.

My space, not anyone else’s

What Perkasa’s actions boil down to in Shah Alam is this. It’s saying that because it’s Ramadan and because Shah Alam is a Muslim-majority suburb, no other faith group is allowed to practise freedom of religion, expression or association. If they do, they can be cited for sedition, insulting the Malay ruler, and the crime of proselytising to Muslims.

I suspect that the citations of sedition etc are just a means of asserting control and power. By making out non-Malay non-Muslims to be criminals of the highest order, it becomes that much easier for lesser-thinking members of the public to believe that non-Muslims deserve to have their constitutional rights denied.

We may dismiss Zainal Abidin, and even Perkasa as a whole, as lunatic. That would be a mistake. Because Zainal Abidin and Perkasa are not the only ones who want complete control of public space, and who use a particular version of Islam to exert that control. Additionally, they are not the only players in town who do this at the expense of the rights and freedoms of other citizens.

Let us remember that before Perkasa started making the headlines, the national censors in 2005 banned the movie Babe because it starred a pig, considered haram in Islam, as the lead character. Following that, anecdotes from parents tell us that in some schools, non-Muslims children are told what they can and cannot pack in their lunch boxes in deference to Muslim sensitivities.

How about pig-eons? (© grendelkhan | Flickr)

How about pigeons? (© grendelkhan | Flickr)

A Malaysian columnist once also told me that the word “pigmentation” was censored from a documentary he had watched presumably because the first syllable was “pig”. And in 2007, I discovered that Guardian pharmacy did not offer Piglet as part of its Winnie the Pooh gift redemption promotion.

Over in Section 6, Petaling Jaya, the local mosque has no qualms blaring the terawih prayers till late at night at decibels that are inconsiderate to the neighbourhood.

And let us also remember PAS’s own moves to define what can and cannot be done in the public domain. Everytime PAS Youth calls for a concert ban, what it’s effectively doing is telling all those — Muslims and non-Muslims — whose faith would not be threatened by attending a live concert, that they cannot because PAS says so. Similarly, when Selangor PAS tried to ban the sale of beer in Muslim-majority areas in the state, what the party is saying is that the lifestyle of all non-Muslims must be subservient to those of some Muslims.

And so the proscriptions on public spaces don’t just include what a Protestant church is allowed to do during Ramadan. It also affects the food our children are allowed to consume in schools, the drinks non-Muslims can buy in their neighbourhood, the movies and concerts and words we are allowed to watch and hear, the gifts we can redeem at a pharmacy, and the airwaves in our neighbourhood.

Piglet (©  Bo Gordy-Stith | Flickr)

Piglet (© Bo Gordy-Stith | Flickr)

What do these events tell us? They tell us that there is a creeping, even if not concerted, effort by state and non-state players, to determine what is publicly kosher and what is not. It doesn’t matter if nothing in Islam actually prohibits non-Muslims from staging a Christian play during Ramadan, drinking alcohol, eating pork and watching a pig character in the movies.

The bottomline? Public space is no longer everyone’s space. It’s theirs — those Malay Muslims who believe that their imagined sensitivities alone give them the right to deny others access and use of public spaces.

The biggie

The biggie of all proscriptions in the current Malaysian context is of course, the Barisan Nasional (BN) government’s ban of the words “Allah”, “solat”, “Kaabah” and “Baitullah” among non-Muslims.

Even though Muslims don’t own copyright to these Arabic words, the BN government is asserting that these words belong to Muslims, and Muslims alone. Particularly Malaysian Muslims who apparently are prone to being confused should another faith community use the same words.

Can one religion own certain words from the Arabic language?

Can Malaysia ban non-Muslims from using the Arabic language?

The ban on “Allah” and the three other words is no different from what Perkasa is doing in Shah Alam. A publicly-used word, like publicly-shared spaces, only belongs to Muslims. It’s as if these Muslim state and non-state actors are declaring, “Our space, not anyone else’s. Our word, not anyone else’s.”

And because their demands have no historical, cultural or legal legitimacy, they resort to demonising non-Muslims, accusing them of crimes and ill-intentions. And they use the powers of the state to impose and enforce ownership over “our space” and “our word”.

And so the biggie isn’t that our political landscape is littered more and more with irrational demands and wild allegations from certain Malay Muslim quarters. The biggie is that increasingly, there are more and more concerted attempts by these forces, which include the Umno-led federal government, to take over shared public spaces.

What’s the limit?

Guinea pigs eating (© shimown | Flickr)

Guinea pigs eating (© shimown | Flickr)

After the story on Perkasa’s police report was published, someone on Twitter commented that we can next expect police reports to be lodged against non-Muslims for eating during Ramadan. Indeed, I believe that’s not too far-fetched a scenario if we continue to allow those who try to control the public domain for their own narrow vested and bigoted interests, to continue doing what they do.

Already, non-Muslims are constantly being told to defer to the sensitivities of some Muslims. At the rate Muslim “sensitivities” are paraded about, one would think Muslims lived their lives like exposed nipples, ever excitable. When the truth is, we know that Muslims are thinking, rational human beings who belonged to one of the most historically advanced civilisations.

To be certain, there is a need to be respectful of different customs and belief systems. But “Muslim sensitivities” cannot and must not be the measure by which a non-Muslim citizen is denied the right to eat pork, watch a movie or use “Allah”. If we allowed that to happen, we would be a nation where behaving like an exposed nipple trumps constitutional rights to freedom of religion, assembly, association and expression.

Jacqueline Ann Surin is thankful her perception of Islam has been shaped by intelligent, rational, kind and fair-minded Muslims who have been rocks in her life.

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170 Responses to “The parade of “Muslim sensitivities”: Where is it taking us?”

  1. Yeo Kien Kiong says:

    Guinea pigs are cute.

    • ben says:

      So are piglets! Cutest in the world. :)

    • carmillie says:

      I can sense based on your article that you seem to have a lot of emotion and disappointment with those involved in the enforcement of religion. I trust you have no problems with Muslims in general, except for certain restrictions as you’ve mentioned in your article which you find ridiculous. I’m a Muslim and I’m proud of being one. I’m not an expert in this matter, but I do have some opinions to share.

      Pigs – as cute or annoying as they are, what is wrong with looking at them? They are also God’s creation. As a Muslim, yes, you are prohibited from eating it. This is in black and white. However, there are no restrictions on touching a pig, provided you clean yourself later with the specific procedure. There is proof that flexibility exists in Islam. People who misinterpret and can only see what’s on the surface are to blame. This is where all the “no” happens; in reality, it’s deeper than this.

      When bad things happen in life, there is a purpose. We have to analyse and learn from it. This is Islam. Simple and moderate. God created multiracialism so that we may learn and observe from one another. Respect is the key word. We don’t have to like a person personally or to know someone personally in order to respect him or her. Have an open heart and open mind and you are able to see where it will lead you to.

      Again, I’m not an expert in all this. I’m still seeking my for own personal growth in religion. Thanks.

    • Nicholas says:

      [...] Have you forgotten what you said here:

      http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi/2010/08/nonmuslims-fasting-during-rama.html

      Spouting “Ramadhan is OUR holy month, damnit” does not make you a moderate Muslim, sorry!

    • Mat Nonimous says:

      When sections of the Republican conservatives, its counterpart the BN conservatives, sound like they want to go to holy war over Ground Zero, it’s comforting that Malaysian Christians, find it in their hearts to fast with their Muslim brothers.

      We remind ourselves, that it takes all world citizens, not just Americans to build a peaceful world future for our family and children.

      Should Christians decide to cease their fasting on 1 Syawal, we can truly all have a Big Day, the Hari Raya. Then on we have hope that despite everything, it’s not lost on anyone to learn anything.

  2. dropout says:

    Perkasa is so irrational and childish. If the Protestants wanted a play during Ramadhan then let it be. Nobody forces Muslims to attend the play. How is it logically possible the play is seditious and insulting Islam/ Sultan/ Malays? I think the Perkasa lot really loves the limelight regardless the reason.

    Another thing, I am ashamed by so-called Muslims who are extremely sensitive for pigs…even it’s just a partial phrase unrelated to the animal. I’m at loss for words on their idiotic behavior. Their nipple-exposed (borrowing the author’s phrase) behavior reflects their shallow knowledge and understanding in Islam. A dangerous combination for shallow people with power to talk about Islam.

    • 1Malaysia says:

      Very very true… these shallow people will not only make a fool out of themselves but its disgraceful… no wonder why Muslims are condemned & labeled as terrorist because of these idiots…shame on them.

  3. Jo says:

    Such a well-written article.

    1Malaysia, indeed.

  4. nik says:

    Thank you for a well articulated article. Sometimes there needs to be words put out for people to read otherwise these issues tend to be dismissed in our busy lives – to make a living, tend to our family etc etc… A reminder from TNG as always is welcome!

  5. Sooner or later they will tell you not to breathe because the air you breathe is not halal and it is offensive to them.

  6. Hiden says:

    What if Christmas falls during Ramadan?

  7. Tony says:

    Empty barrel makes the most noise. Extremely fitting. “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue”.

  8. farha says:

    Nice article!

    Perkasa behind this? Why am I not surprised? They should all wear superman-like togs,…way to go, you guys are doing a favour for some section of society! (*tone dripping with sarcasm*)

    You know, and this is just my opinion…I think it’s a race to show who’s more Muslim, who’s more bumi, who’s more ‘perkasa’ in upholding bumi/Muslim rights…because I don’t think there’s any law in Islam stating that Christians cannot conduct their own activities in their own churches during any month including Ramadan.

    For Perkasa and their ilk, no one is more ‘perkasa’ than them ….I’m a bumi and a Muslim…so I’m not bumi/Muslim enough if I believe Christians have the right to conduct their own activities peacefully…?

  9. I am a Muslim and I look forward to such plays. They are useful and educational. As far as my faith is concerned it is a direct personal matter as Allah stated that in the hereafter I will be judged not of what others say or do, but what I am or did in this world.

    So whatever others do should not be of a threat nor impact to me. I have to figure out for myself my own path to be either kind or evil in this world. To whether I truly love Allah or if I’m just using His name in vain.

    • wwtt says:

      Salam Redhuan.

      Unfortunately, how many Muslim in Malaysia think like you?

      Consider these:

      I always wonder why Muslims not performing puasa can be arrested? Don’t you think it is between me and Allah. Who are they to arrest me in the first place? Are they sent here by Allah?

      Non-Muslims eating in front of me during puasa. They eat pork in front of me. They drink liquor in front of me. SO WHAT!!!? Does it automatically means that they don’t respect me? Bullsh*t!!! Can’t I take it as a challenge to test my “keimanan” instead of accusing them for not respecting me?

      Have I ever asked myself whether I did really care when I am eating beef in front of Indians? Did Indians ever complain that they are not respected because of my act?

      I therefore condemn the brainless Perkasa for showing their shallowness and stupidity in our beloved country. Just hope that all Malaysian, especially Malays would not fall into their stupid trap…

      God bless Malaysia!

      • gee says:

        wwtt, Just the point I was thinking about while reading this article. When I was in school, class parties rarely took into consideration about the Hindu students. So if someone brought meehoon goreng that had beef in it, they wouldn’t even inform the others about it. School canteens would would use the same utensils to flip the beef and chicken burger. No one ever made a fuss.

        It’s sad that while we (Malaysia) points its fingers to the west accusing them of being immoral, inconsiderate and what not, we ourselves practice discrimination in this form.

        I hope more people would be like you and Redhuan.

      • dominik says:

        Very well said, wwtt. If only all Muslims have your way of thinking and belief, living in Malaysia would be blessed.

        However, looking at those so-called silly actions and comparing it with a number of Muslim countries, there are some similarities in the way some of them behave. Example, in a recent report in Indonesia, the Muslims there protested and started throwing stones, etc at the Christians praying in their own property which is the same as the event happening in Shah Alam.

        Is this the dangerous trend where Muslims (those not well versed with the Quran) in quite a number of Muslim countries are reacting negatively towards non Muslims and their practices. I urge those righteous Muslims especially in Malaysia to speak out against this trend. They should form a group of righteous NGOs to condemn the negative actions of groups like Perkasa. Personally, I feel only righteous Muslim NGOs can check against this negative trend.

        God bless Malaysia.

      • Colin Wong says:

        WWTT,

        Non-Muslims have always anguished over this matter of state enforced faith. I raise my kids in my religion. They are taught what pleases God, what doesn’t. What God prescribes for them for a fulfilling life and what doesn’t. It is between them and God. Follow all of God’s command’s and prompting with all your heart, mind and soul. It is between them and God. Would I be able to secure their path to heaven by holding captive their body when their soul is lost for eternity? I doubt so. Anyone who believes that God is pleased with such an offering is so misguided. Do Muslims share the same concept of God, His creations and their salvation?

        The whole problem that surrounds the issues of mak nyah (80% Malay) and buang bayi (the PDRM said yesterday that they are mostly Malay) could be due to the fact that in our country, it is not between you and God, but about how well the people around you “enforce” your faith. Failure to obey is their failure and that brings shame to them. Do this (action/appearance) and you will get pahala (guaranteed results). It is a system of “must do’s” and “guaranteed to get” cause and effect system of belief, the way it is taught in this country. So, everyone is hung up about “doing”. If thing still go wrong (e.g. getting pregnant), the parents must have omitted some crucial religious observance. Sigh, what a load to carry… I don’t think I can live such a life. I don’t think I want my children to live this kind of life either. If I choose to become a Muslim, maybe then not in this country where I literally surrender myself to being observed and forced to obey a set of rules that are not wholly divine in nature but man-made in a large part. Ever wondered by the rate of conversion is so low among Chinese? In many blogs, we are told that non-Muslims do not have haram halal. This is so disrespectful, demeaning, ignorant and reeks of self-conceit. How can Muslims be so delusional to think that we do not have a sense of right or wrong? Speaking as an ethnic Chinese, the story of my forefathers shows that we HAVE a great sense of right and wrong. We HAVE managed to translate that into action, implemented in laws of the land, rules of the home, and ethics in our hearts. That is why we are successful in many ways.

        My view is this: do not think that being Muslim means that you got it right (that others have not seen the light). That God has suddenly bestowed upon you the title to my freedom and rights, God wants you to get everyone to listen to you regardless of how unendowed you are with His blessings of intelligence, sense of love, fairness and morality in comparison to your “make believe subjects”. Live and let live. We are a blessing to one another if we allow [this]. Otherwise, there are also demons and shadows at every turn. Live in the light and celebrate life in this multicultural home of ours.

      • Ellese says:

        I think from Muslims’ perspective it’s not the same with some other religious practices where the adherence is between one self and god. It’s more than that as the Quran comprises of moral codes which are enforceable. Thus meting out offences is also part of a duty to adhere. That’s the reason why PAS insists the moral code of hudud is enforceable.

      • just malaysian says:

        Dear wwtt & Redhuan,

        I salute both of you. True Malaysians!

    • gee says:

      Redhuan, Kudos! I totally appreciate the way you think. If only there were more of you around.

    • Ujian says:

      Kalau seseorang hendak lulus ujian, seseorang itu mesti menduduki pepereksaan. Kalau dia lulus bermakna berjayalah dia, dan sepatutnya dia memberi terima kasih. Kalau dia gagal dia patut belajar lagi dan jangan sesekali menyalahkan orang lain kerana kegagalan sendiri.

      Adakah orang yang memberi atau membuat kertas ujian dianggap sebagai pesalah ?.

  10. Kasut says:

    “Where is it taking us ? ”

    These complaints comes from frustrated people called extremists. There are Extremes on both sides of anything and we cannot avoid this.

    In my opinion, these extreme reactions, these police reports, against freedom of religion and probably against Islamic values are taking us to a better Malaysia, because too much is too much … huh ?

    Unless someones manage to put regularly “sleeping pills” in our Teh tarik, our kopi peng, our soda …

  11. Poh Soon says:

    I guess, soon we also can’t use the word “Ayah” as some people might be too confused that our “Ayah” are their “Ayah”.

  12. Hwa Shi-Hsia says:

    It’s a bigger problem than just regarding one particular race or religion. Favourite tactic of repressive governments – “sensitivity”. I just read on the BBC yesterday that Venezuela is banning gruesome photos in the newspaper supposedly to protect children from psychological harm. Because why? An opposition-sympathetic newspaper published photos of the bodies of alleged police brutality victims. I think a fine balance has to be drawn between reasonable and unreasonable censorship or political correctness, but it has to be open to public debate otherwise the government can just say anything it likes is “sensitive”.

  13. Puteri Shehnaz Majid says:

    EXCELLENT article Jacqueline. Very well written. Articulate, eloquent and intelligent.

  14. myfish says:

    “I suspect that the citations of sedition etc are just a means of asserting control and power. By making out non-Malay non-Muslims to be criminals of the highest order, it becomes that much easier for lesser-thinking members of the public to believe that non-Muslims deserve to have their constitutional rights denied.”

    There is every reason to say that that is exactly the intention of those involved. Are we still dreaming our dreams that it is just some unfortunate “crazies” who are doing that for some crazy reasons. No, it’s not. It is the very intention to erode and eventually completely deny non-Muslims from exercising what is deemed un-Islamic.

    And it’s a world wide phenomenon. Do you not read the news?

  15. moggy says:

    As a rejoinder to Bangmovie.net above, my thoughts on this so-called sensitivity of the powers-that-be.

    Some time ago, “Yorais” made a statement that H1N1 should only be identified as “Flu Babi”.
    My contention is whether a person contracting Flu Babi becomes “haram” automatically as no amount of “samak’ (read: ritual cleansing after coming into contact with forbidden or faecal matter) would be able to rid the person of contamination since the virus would have penetrated the victim’s systems.

    Now where would they place their loved ones if they were to contract the disease?

  16. Intan Apryl Shahril says:

    Ever wondered why cars are indiscriminately and irresponsibly parked outside our neighborhood mosques every Friday afternoon? They are not only triple-parked along public roads and main streets but also on some beautifully-landscaped road dividers, road junctions and at operating traffic lights thus obstructing traffic, causing congestion, damaging public property and posing a danger to others. This is a common sight in Malaysia and no one seems to mind. Can anyone tell me why? Thanks.

    • kiwi says:

      Because there was no iniital planning when building the mosques, and no one is there to enforce the law..

    • Yee says:

      Because nobody dares to complain for fear of violent retaliation.

      • Intan Apryl Shahril says:

        Yes, you mean retaliation by the mosque goers? If the conducting of a business or “religious” rites disrupts the order of things, the public is expected to be quiet?

        • Ellese says:

          The answer is simple. Where mosque are full [to the brim], there’s surely not enough parking. And because of the limited time, people park as near as possible.

          One might relate this issue [to that of] improper planning. But no mosque will have adequate parking for weekly Friday prayers, or once a year eid-ul-fitr and eid-al-adha, or other occasional events.

          I think even you complain not much can be done. [It is currently impossible] to solve this [problem of parking at mosques] all over the nation. It requires huge amounts of money to acquire the land.

          Rather than battling them, can’t you show a bit tolerance or better still — some cunning, by avoiding these roads or doing other things (like shopping) around this time? Or better still, to get it out of your system, blame BN. It sure does help a lot of people.

          • JW Tan says:

            What rubbish.

            It’s not impossible to solve. It just requires mosque-goers to acknowledge that their desire to fulfil their religious obligations does not trump their civic responsibility to use the roads considerately, as well as their social responsibility to maintain road safety for their fellow citizens.

            Take a bus to the mosque. Or walk from the nearest carpark. Or use a different mosque. Why should anyone be tolerant of people who disregard road safety?

          • Owl says:

            Every problem has a solution (or at least a trade off). To say that we just have to live with it is like saying we have to live with the rampant corruption, crime and whatever else you can think of that’s making our country regress while the rest of the world moves forwards. It’s precisely this sort of “tidak apa” attitude that’s ruining this country.

  17. Jeffrey Lim says:

    Dear All,

    It is sad that in Malaysia, we have :

    1. “Educationist” rejecting aid to students as in the case of UTAR;
    2. When Pornthip testified that she was sure that TBH’s death is not suicide and providing all her reasons for arriving at that conclusion, there are people who question the % of her certainty. When it is sure it means 100%;
    3. When there is an undisputed case of a relationship between a key witness /complainant and a DPP, instead of declaring a mistrial, the complaint is rejected;
    4. When cases of people fighting corruption being brought to trial instead of the MACC going after the corrupted culprits;
    5. When public money is used for junkets and “gifts” and self enrichment, where are you Abu Kassim of MACC?
    6. When MAS is brought to its knees and complains filed, where are you Abu Kassim?
    7. When “Ah Longs” plaster their “advertisements/offers” every where, including covering up road signs/names, where is the police and Musa Hassan?
    8. When the streets and homes are becoming unsafe, where are you Musa Hassan?

    • Anon C says:

      What kind of comment is this? No causal link and substantiation. Anybody can make such statements. Let me see:

      I blame DAP because of current polarisation of our nation.

      I blame DAP for making Chinese [Malaysians] more chauvinistic and arrogant.

      I blame Pakatan for pushing Malaysians to be more racist.

      I blame Khalid Ibrahim for playing politics and neglecting the rakyat’s interest in dealing with the water issue.

      I blame Pakatan for politicising everything and stalling the nation’s progress.

      The list can go on and on. But what does it do? Nothing. Pure spin.

  18. Kamil Yunos says:

    I agree with Cik Intan. I am a Malay guy too and feel ashamed of this behaviour of our Muslim brothers.

    You see, last semester break, our family friend from Jordan came for holidays here and my father ask me to drive him around our housing area in Taman Melati as he was also planning to purchase a terrace house. It was a Friday and he was shocked to see the messy parking near the masjid and asked me if this is illegal.

    To be frank, I didn’t know what to reply because this is very common in our area which [is] about 90% Malay [Malaysian]. Even Pasar Malam and Pasar Tani events are also like this. Many cars parking in a messy way on the main road and blocking traffic. Before, I used to think this is normal but now I feel shy to answer my Jordanian friend.

    He also asked if church members also park the same way as the masjid goers. Honestly I also found it hard to answer that question from my tourist friend :(

    I just wish that all our Muslim brothers would try be more sensitive and caring towards other citizens and park nicely next time. KL is a first-world city so let’s forget our 3rd world mentality. We do not own the roads in KL!

    • JW Tan says:

      This is a real bugbear for me. We have (1) extremely inconsiderate drivers and (2) many licensed drivers who do not actually know how to drive. This is because it is very easy to get a licence by means of bribery. We don’t have a culture of frowning upon rude road behaviour either, which is very strange indeed, given that we scold each other for not being polite (even on this relatively anonymous forum).

  19. StraightTalking says:

    To stop and solve all these uncivilized, unfair, racist, and extremist actions, we have to first ask this question, “Who allowed this?”. And the answer is – it is the BN government.

    The duty and responsibility to stop all these nonsense rests with the BN government. Does it look like the BN government wants to stop this, or does it look like the BN government is actually encouraging more of this?

    You can shout and rant, or curse and swear, or shake your head, or close your eyes, or shut your ears, or continue to hate such nonsense, or hope that it will somehow go away, believe me…all these nonsense will continue to flourish. If all these racist, hate-mongering, unfair, uncivilized, and extremist actions is a product, then BTN is the manufacturer and our Ministry of Education is the sole distributor and manufacturer.

    Personally, I feel, very strongly, that the ONLY way to effectively stop all this manufacturer and distributor is to stop the BN government. And to stop the BN government is to kick them out.

    There is no shorter way or longer way. Replacing the government is the ONLY way.

  20. Ben Nordin says:

    Brilliant article. Articulate. Precise.

    I kinda like that movie ‘Babe’. I Think he’s cute.

  21. Hazel says:

    Well done, well written.

  22. What I do want to see is someone, a Malay Muslim leader of this country, to stand up and say to Perkasa, “No, you are wrong and we do not support you.” A Najib, an Anwar, an Izzah, or even a Khairy. You are all supposed to represent our “moderate” Malay voice, fighting to build a new Malaysia where moderate Islam is its hallmark. Speak, or with your silence, affirm your consent.

    • Lynn says:

      Aizuddin, well said! Prominent moderate Malay Muslims must stand up now if we, moderate Malaysians do not wish to see our nation in a situation “where behaving like an exposed nipple trumps constitutional rights to freedom of religion, assembly, association and expression.” Will visit your blog soon.

  23. Ah Too Kia says:

    DOGgone… my neighbourhood kids wont be able to play with my HAMsters anymore.

    Now, don’t you think their childhood social, nature and cultural development would be HAMstrung if they are paranoid to see haram in everything?

    Surely, these LARDed comments should be able to make some sense, lest it be seen as casting “pearls amongst swine”.

  24. ChodeMcBlob says:

    LMAO. “Exposed Nipples”. That was very very funny. God/Allah/Yahweh/Shang Ti/The Monotheisic God says in the Qur’an not to eat the meat of pigs… but those who claim to be believers go around being phobic of pigs.

    Eating pork –> Not ok.
    Wearing pig leather shoes –> Ok =D
    Buying “piglet” fluff toys from Winnie the Pooh –> OK =D

    Pride and arrogance is sin.

    No compulsion in faith –> True.
    But there is ALOT OF COMPULSION IN _RELIGION_

    Religion is not faith.
    Faith is not religion.

    Faith cannot be taught.
    Faith is not inherited.
    Faith is not determined by a piece of plastic you carry around.
    Faith is not determined by your name (eg. David or Luther or Abdullah)

    In Malaysia, the statistics for “moral crimes” such as babies out of wed lock, drug use, etc prove it. As a whole, the people who follow “religion” are failing or in denial…they can only use Jews as scapegoats for their own incompetence for so long…

    Religious arrogance, and coercion in matters of faith, along with a lack of civil liberties, are the root causes of the problem. As Jacqueline puts it beautifully, people become naive and have “exposed nipples”. Sensitive to every thing to protect the Religion they inherited, [because of] arrogance and insecurity, as religion has nothing to do with faith.

    It is remarkably stupid how people can be “classified” by their faith when only God knows who the believers are. The five letters printed on a piece of plastic determines if religion is forced down one’s throat in Malaysia.

    This is an insult to the basic principles of monotheism…and those living in darkness will never prosper, as it has become evident in Malaysia despite years of affirmative action.

  25. Birdy says:

    Perkasa is like the Taliban in the making..geez..

    • hclau says:

      I think comparing Perkasa to the Talibans is an insult to the Talibans. At the very least the Taliban has a principle. Whether we agree with it is another story. Perkasa is just an opportunistic, racist group started by Mahathir for his “own reasons”.

  26. Fuzzy Logic says:

    Oh dear! Looks like Malaysia once again may be providing tabloids all over the world with more embarrassing and laughable material! I can just imagine it now.

    “Hey look that country that wants to ban football tops, the word Allah, is obsessed with sodomy, promotes child marriages, canes women, and…on and on and on…is at it again”.

    As a Muslim I find this all very embarrassing. Why are these people so paranoid? Feels like the very sight of a cross or mentioning “pig” (oooh scary) can convert me to Christianity and that the heavens above shall open up and smite me upon the very the ground I stand! Ridiculous!

    I went to a Christian school and, lo and behold, I am still Muslim. I enjoyed going to church everyday and singing the hymns, and even partaking in the readings and events.

    If anybody is being sinful here is Perkasa, for using and abusing Islam for their own use and personal gains. Quite frankly I find it disgusting and it does indeed leave a very sour taste in my mouth. What a way to embark on our 53rd year of Independence….

  27. fab4 says:

    How exactly do you ban words for a section of society? When a non-believer refers to the ideas denoted by the taboo words, does he utter bleeps such as we see on TV for the now-routine “f-word”? Is there a corresponding ban on the use of these words by believers when addressing others, so that the latter are not tempted to err? Would such speech by believers be incitement of non-believers to break the law? Is creating a law that cannot be enforced an attempt to bring about anarchy through disrespect for all law?

  28. nirwant says:

    It is like a bunch of desperate failures attempting to exert their control on others at the expense of the dignity and respect that their religion and, for that matter, any religion should receive. But what do you expect from a system that separates fertile young minds into ethno-centric streams even before they equip themselves to understand and deal with the pluralistic nature of our society and, consequently, breeds such intolerant and fanatical demons. Imagine, at that tender and impressionable age, being exposed to bigoted and extreme views about race and religion. Is it not conceivable that, kept clear of all manner of moderating interferences, such places show no restraint whatsoever at poisoning the minds of the young. And, imagine the same situation prevailing at practically all places of learning : at public-funded national type schools which have been transformed into virtually monolithic establishments, the BTN and, even at national service training camps.

    Would you, therefore, blame the Malays, who are the product of this myopic system, to harbor a deeply entrenched suspicion, hatred and blinkered opinion of all that are different from them. Although, vernacular schools for non-Malays may themselves, although to a much lesser extent, limit the exposure of their charges to other races but, in their case, the dangers are never as real and imminent. It is a fact that most Malays appointed into public offices, and empowered to make policies that often seriously impact the welfare of society at large, are the products of early separation from mainstream education. Given their limited exposure to the cultures and the sensitivities of the ethnic mix in our society and, either due to their inability or refusal to accommodate the concerns of the rest, it is inevitable that we face the situation we are in today.

    I may be able to accept the often erratic and nonsensical edicts issued by religious authorities; theirs is, after all, the business of defending and ensuring total and unquestioning compliance to Islamic teachings although, it seems inconsistent with the present day and times, that a person’s liberty and right of choice should be controlled and regulated by the State. I could even learn to accept and acknowledge that, conceived and created by BN and that the continued survival of BTN is at the mercy of BN, notwithstanding that it is the public that eventually funds BTN, BTN’s raison d’etre would be to galvanise support for the ruling party. However, I strongly detest and protest the inclusion of extreme racist content in their courses. Then again, what could one expect from BTN, which is run and staffed almost entirely by Malays who were the products of early streaming.

    Now, imagine the same situation at a much lower end of the social engineering efforts of BN, the NS camps. Akin to what is happening at BTN, here we have almost an identical scenario. People who are hardly acquainted with the cultures, customs, traditions and sensitivities of others, attempting to impart multi-racial tolerance, the essentials of nation-building and to invoke the spirit of nationalism among our youth. NS by itself is an anachronism. Regardless of the ‘positive’ feedback that is often spun, one only needs to focus on the policy-mandated composition of each intake and the denial of meals of choice to participants.

    A little further down at primary and secondary school level, we hear of the horrors that were so deftly articulated by Surin. Yet, all that the DG had to say was it may have been a misunderstanding. The DG and others in position to punish culprits who display such obscenity and arrogance in their attitudes, who show no remorse whatsoever for their actions and are even willing to go to the extent of intimidating and victimising defenseless children, just because they can, must act swiftly and firmly to erase this scourge, once and for all, before it penetrates further and becomes an epidermic infecting all public schools. I, honestly, am skeptical that the DG and others in position, will ever act to preserve what small good is left in our society. The fact that the DG seemed to react so indifferently , proposing that the incident with the school in Johor was just a misunderstanding, is in itself, a damning indication of how lightly all forms of abuse directed at non-Malays are treated by those in authority.

    Rather than investigating the report made by the Perkasa imbecile, the Police should show professionalism and impartiality, and a keen understanding of the constitutional rights of all citizens, and instead charge this madman for intentionally inflaming and provoking religious sensitivities. But, then again, as you would have gathered by the depth of my faith in our present system that I have expressed throughout this writing, I would be delusional if I were to hope that anything of that sort could ever happen, not after decades assault and rape the socio-political climate of this country has suffered at the hands of BN. We have plummeted into such a state of despair from which salvation seems remote. Given the increasing abuse of race and religion among politicians who seem to have made politics their career and an end to itself, what hope is there. We even have today a DPM, who, either due to his lack of schooling or his intellectual incapacity to distinguish moral right from wrong, seems undeterred to openly declare that national interest is of no consequence to him – he is first a Malay!

  29. StraightTalking says:

    What Aizuddin Danian said is very true. What we need is for Malay [Malaysian] leaders from both BN and PR, not just any leader, but those who are “up there at the top”; leaders like Tok Guru Nik Aziz, Ibrahim Ali, Anwar Ibrahim, Najib, etc. to speak up, loudly and clearly, that Perkasa is wrong and dangerous and they don’t support Perkasa.

    Their silence is very disturbing.

  30. noct says:

    What happened to the time when we were more tolerant with each other and had politicians who were intelligent ?

    I remember watching a few TV shows where the words ‘pregnant’, ‘sex’, ‘Jesus Christ’, ‘Judaism’ and ‘zionist’ were [censored]. I also remember leafing through a particular magazine and a small picture of a semi topless woman was blacked out with a marker while a very detailed article about sex techniques was left untouched.

    What does a small play in a church staged for its own parish have to do with the sultan or Muslims? Were they selling tickets to the Malays? Is it being staged in the palace or Istana Budaya? I’m sure they wont be televised either. Even the pastor’s own flock aren’t being forced to attend anyway.

    I also remember that the late Yasser Arafat would attend a Christmas sermon every year in a church. I’m sure his faith wasn’t threatened by it…

  31. Subliminal says:

    It’s interesting to see that Perkasa can still operate and find its place among many Malay Muslims. I guess they are still barking up the wrong tree because truth be told they are a minority and are obviously clinging to a siege mentality. Which is more of a self-imposed paranoia then an actual attack. LOL!

    • Yee says:

      Siege mentality, self-imposed paranoia. LOL you really put them all across perfectly! Cheers! ; )

  32. madi says:

    A very well written, rationally thought out with feelings for all. Congratulations. There is still a future for Malaysia with young people like this writer willing to pen the majority’s view on personal issues. It is unfortunate that we have the minority like Perkasa who act like they own everything including the air we breath. They are encouraged by some cowards and has-beens who are bent on maintaining power for their corrupt activities. I am ashamed of such so called leaders. My friends and I do not differentiate Malays, Muslims, Non-Malays, non-Muslims etc are all laughing at the IQ level of Perkasa. We are really furious that Perkasa has made Malaysia in the eyes of all a laughing nation. Perkasa is trying to taking away every individual’s rights and freedom and it is time the public needs to put them in the right place. They are nobody and distance them into the wilderness before they become the cancer of our beloved nation.

  33. Mohamad says:

    They were quick enough to ban Hindraf. If the government is really serious about fighting racism then they should ban Perkasa as well. Why the double standard?

    • People on this forum are probably pretty learned. Education wise, we’re… what? the top 10% of this country? At the very least we care, and that’s why we’re here.

      Having said that, I think we need to be careful about double standards. Many of us want this proud nation to move forward, and that means having principles in place such as freedom of expression and speech.

      I thought the same as well at first: lets ban Perkasa. Then I gave it a bit more thought and decided that just because I don’t like what they’re saying, it doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to say it. I’m sure for every one person here that doesn’t agree with them, there are probably 10 conservative Malays out there that do.

      No, banning them will just make them martyrs, and at worst, make us hypocrites.

      What we should be clamoring for is for our leaders, especially those who claim to be moderate Malay Muslims, progressive modern Muslims… they should be the ones disowning the words and actions of Perkasa. Let them set the example for the nation: we will not tolerate religious bigotry.

      Are you reading this, KJ?

      • Adam says:

        Aizuddin,

        Fully agree with you on letting Perkasa have their say as we all should but the country’s leaders must come out with their opinion as you and other rational thinking people have done. Otherwise, it would appear that Perkasa has been given the green light by the leaders’ silence.

        From your blog, I find that you are a sensible chap with the right attitude and sense of fairness and justice. Keep it up.

        Malaysia needs many of your kind to progress.

  34. googlyeyed says:

    I am curious. If Perkasa can tap the power of Islam and Bumiputera-ness as their gunpowder to use for destructive and cynical objectives, can’t someone start an anti-Perkasa [grou[ tapping the same power of Islam and Bumiputera-ness for the good causes of fairness and racial harmony? I mean, being a Muslim and a Bumiputera does not equal racist, narrow-mindedness and intolerance of other people’s faith and color, am I right?

    So, why allow Perkasa to hijack and turn Islam and the meaning of Bumiputera into something so grotesque? Someone should start a reverse of it, and use Islam and Bumiputera-ness for the good of this country!

    • lotsabull says:

      “can’t someone start an anti-Perkasa [grou[ tapping the same power of Islam and Bumiputera-ness for the good causes of fairness and racial harmony?”

      Well, someone already have. Two actually. They are named PKR and PAS. Minus that Bumiputera-ness though. Doesn’t make sense to equate Bumi or non Bumi in this matter, we’re all Malaysians for heaven’s sake!

      • Ellese says:

        Since when has PKR been fighting for race and religion? Never heard of it. Ask Zaid.

        PAS is still too busy with politics. They are putting it above religion now. Occasionally they raise the Islamic state issue, but get hammered by DAP.

        And you’re still wondering why these right wing voices are gaining momentum. Duh….

  35. soul survivor says:

    Perkasa and their master Umno of course are a bunch of hypocrites and munafiks. They are using religion to satisfy their evil political narrow-minded purposes. Claiming to be champions of Malay [Malaysians] is utterly disgusting. As TG Nik Aziz mentioned, why does Umno keep discriminating Kelantan even when the state is ‘Malay’ too? Umno amd Perkasa have long [left] islam and Allah! They have long submitted to their new gods i.e MONEY and POWER! They are planning to disrupt our harmony because they knew that they are going out come GE13! In the Quran God says those evil-doers plan but Allah plans too and Allah’s plan shall be victorious, insya-Allah!

    • Anon C says:

      PAS not a munafik and hypocrite? Anwar not a munafik and a hypocrite? How do you explain this: When PAS is with their grassroots, they still say they will implement Islamic state with hudud etc etc when Pakatan is in power, but with non-Muslims especially DAP says that’s not the main agenda. Anwar led thousands on an anti Jew crusade in KL one day but on another day in US apologised for this. Nik Aziz condemned corruption but without hesitance accept high end Hajj packages for his whole family from people whom he gave concessions. And you don’t call them hypocrites? Something is wrong with the assessment.

  36. kay says:

    Thank you for writing this piece.

  37. Farouq Omaro says:

    Yes, agreed with Mohamad! You can ban Hindraf which just wants to fight for the rights of certain people, but you cannot ban Perkasa which speaks against a play organised by another religion!

  38. Krishna Shanmugam says:

    Well said Jacqueline. The flag of sensitivities has been waved till belligerence by a militant minority… And yes it has been used to curb the civil liberties of those who are not so anal. Very timely as most are unaware in their stupor that quietly capitulating has just led and continued to lead to ever increasing demands…

    @Nicholas, your quote referred (original extracted from @Aizuddin) :-

    Spouting “Ramadhan is OUR holy month, damnit” does not make you a moderate Muslim, sorry!

    Dude, as has been said you seriously need to learn the nuances of sarcasm before getting into someone’s face… more so of someone who seems to have lot more sense then you…..

  39. Sherry Siebel says:

    Wonderful article! Exposed nipples, indeed!!! :D DD

  40. C. Moloney says:

    I remember when they showed Jesus of Nazareth back in the seventies at the Rex cinema. There were definitely a good number of Malay [Malaysians] in the audience. There were no restrictions in place. How did Malaysia manage to “de-progress” so rapidly? And why do the powers-that-be feel the need to not only dictate what non-Muslims do, but also effectively decide for Muslims what is and isn’t good for them?

  41. myfish says:

    Where it will take us is social disaster and possibly permanent damage to the country. That will be the gist of it. Just note what the same demagogy brought so many other countries. This government seems to have made a decision to follow the same path.

  42. Yee says:

    A very well written article pointing out the incompetency of both the government (Umno) as well as the opposition (PAS). Reading stuff from both sides has made me realized that whether who rules, we may still be facing the same old race-cum-religious bigotry crap. Umno plays the race and religion card; remove the race card and you’ll have PAS which plays the religion card. Umno and Perkasa goons are spouting racist stuff for the sake of cheap political mileage while PAS fanatics are trying to exercise their own version of Islamic fascism over everyone else.

    Talking about a better future for Malaysia, I think it’s not just about who’s ruling and who’s not, but more importantly, about eliminating all these rotten apples in our country, whichever political affiliation he/she might be. It would be extremely absurd to confine Malaysia’s potential as a thriving multicultural hub with conditions as mundane as racial and religious egoism. Yeah, we can shout all day about kicking out the current regime, but admit it, our votes just aren’t meant for the same old trash.

    • Eric says:

      Yee, can’t agree more. Whoever is voted in or out, Malaysia’s civil society will have to stand guard and rebuild check-and-balance institutions that have been wiped out. There is no saviour on this earth, be they BN, PR or other.

      • Ellese says:

        Very balanced view. What many fail to contemplate is what the political schism along religious line will be like in Malaysia after Umno and race based politics are decimated in the next election? Will Malaysian Malaysia prevail over the Muslims who are united towards supporting an Islamic state? Historical anecdotes of religious politics and conflicts elsewhere in the world are not encouraging.

        • Adam says:

          Our best bet is to stick to our secular constitution where everyone is protected including our Monarchy, Islam and other religions, the majority Bumiputras and the minorities as well. Once you implement Islamic state, a lot of things will change. The Monarchy may have to go, other religions will be controlled (not that it is not now) and the Non-Muslims will be further intimidated.

          Even Bangladesh has recently tried to separate religion from politics by banning religious parties from getting involved, [but it does not help] because Islam is said to be a complete system of governance. So, looks like we will have to live with this catch 22 situation for quite a while, maybe till kingdom come.

  43. gst says:

    This all because of Malaysia’s education system in the history syllabus. Malaysian history is rubbish with racial & religious supremacy. 80% of Malaysian history is the [creation] of political parties and make Malaysian school children see each other with suspicion & enmity. If 1Malaysia is to be achieved, it must teach truth & honesty in history. Must teach our kids [now so] the future generation will [develop] friendships.

    • Ellese says:

      If you really want unity our kids must meet, play, laugh and cry together with other kids of other races, we can’t have separate schools and segregate our kids from young. This is a sure recipe for disaster.

      • BahGah says:

        I whole heartedly agree with Ellese. Being educated in Chinese during primary years and moving on to Lasalle for my secondary education, I enjoy the company of my friends, regardless of skin colour.

        However, what is really needed in national school are not better syllabus to encourage better racial relations, this is where the educators come into play. Teachers were once highly respected. Sad to say, they are hard to come by these days, some even promote racism as of late. =/

        • Kong Kek Kuat says:

          @ BahGah

          Are you sure you know what Ellese A means?

          You have to read between the lines dude.

          What she meant was: “If you really want unity our kids must meet (ON MALAY PLAYGROUNDS OR IN MALAY KAMPUNGS), play (UNDER MALAY RULES), (YOUR CHILDREN MUST) laugh and cry together with other kids of other races (i.e. LAUGH AND CRY WITH THE MALAY KIDS), we can’t have separate schools (i.e. WE CAN´T HAVE NON-MALAY SCHOOLS) and segregate our kids from young (OTHERWISE NON-MALAY KIDS WILL GROW UP NOT SENSITISED TO MALAY SENSITIVITIES). This is a sure recipe for disaster.”

      • Eric says:

        Just like all Malaysian citizens should be made Bumiputra. Another key divider in BN’s rule-and-divide strategy.

      • Eric says:

        Dear Ellese;

        Can’t agree more. Just to be clear, please confirm you support the following then:
        1) the integration of SJKC and SJKT into normal SK
        2) likewise for Sekolah Agama
        3) similarly all MARA tertiary institutions should be open to ALL Malaysian citizens, irrespective of race and religion
        4) same goes for MRSM (which by the way are unconstitutional anyway)

        I personally do. Thanks in advance.

        • StraightTalking says:

          Generally speaking, it would be ideal to have a single education system, where all kids go to government schools. However, this is only good if the educational standards are high. It is useless to have everyone attend government school and not get the best education from the system. The parents who opt for “other” schools, in my opinion, are not racists per se. They have only one objective in mind – to give their children the best possible education. If they feel that their child is not getting it from government schools, they will register them somewhere else. This is only natural because their children’s futures only begin after they finish their education. And the moment they step out, only the fittest will make it and pass that benefit to the next generation.

          If the standard/quality of education is high, there’ll be a natural migration from private to government schools. It is just common sense.

        • Ellese says:

          From national unity point of view: yep.

          Our schools are too fragmented. In fact it should be more. If we really want to practice no racism, we should have non-discriminatory law. Then all is fair. All activities including social, government and business activities must not be racially discriminatory. What do you think?

          By the way in what way is mrsm unconstitutional? Which article of the constitution are you referring to?

          • Eric says:

            Glad you said it. Can’t agree more then.

            I am referring to article 153 of the constitution, particularly: “scholarships, exhibitions and other similar educational or training privileges or special facilities given or accorded by the Federal Government” which only covers tertiary education.

  44. ironlad says:

    All these incidents started from the time the populace was polarised into muslims and non muslims in the late 70′s with the start of the education system skewered by MM and his ilk. The Nons realised the need for the muslims to be given special treatment for a headstart since by nature they were slow but now they have become sloths and spoiled brats who throw tantrums everytime they want it their way. The problem was further compounded by the so called leaders of the country who deliberately encouraged this trend, the result of which the spoilt brats have grown up without any moderation or control. Frankesteines on the loose…….

  45. MIchael says:

    Sigh. I want Dr. Syed’s comments.

    The comments are predictable, it’s boring! :)

    • Adam says:

      Dr. Syed must be busy. Knowing him, he would most likely be condemning the actions of Perkasa in this case.

      Then again, I could be wrong. Better to let him speak.

  46. Ellese says:

    I am not defending Perkasa on the Shah Alam issue but I don’t understand why Nut Graph keeps bringing the Allah issue time and again. Every time they do then I should be entitled to rectify the spin.

    The issue is in essence between the practices of east Borneo Christians of a few decades (Christianity was introduced in Borneo fairly recently) and practices of the Malays in the Peninsula for hundreds of years. Both parties have hardened their position and it is incorrect for Nut Graph to spin one way traffic.

    The argument that it’s used differently in other Muslim countries is untenable for practices of Muslims vary for one country to another. Otherwise all women must wear burqa or can’t drive without a man. There are historical and jurisprudential justifications for the differences if you care to read.

    Whether you like it or not the usage of Allah has an emotive assertion. It’s a term of endearment to both sides. The twain cannot and will not meet.

    To argue Muslims who are against the usage of Allah as uneducated and have Perkasa mindset is shallow, unhelpful and in fact “uneducated”. There are many western educated and from the top schools in this world who are against this.

    To say PAS is united on this issue is grossly incorrect. Read Harakah. Many have reservations and Khalid Samad admitted it’s not well-received at grassroots level. In fact one of the esteemed leaders in this move against the Allah issue is Harun Din, PAS’ respected deputy mursyidul am. He even once said he may leave PAS due to this as this issue cuts to the core of belief.

    In short overwhelmingly, Malay/Muslims are against this issue. For you to dismiss casually their view shows ignorance. For you to show a one-sided view is contemptible.

    • Kong Kek Kuat says:

      @ Ellese

      Are you the same Ellese A who said “it’s bewildering to the Muslims that they as the majority are the one required to change their usage [of 'Allah'] rather than the minority. What angers most is that most non-Muslims would never use Allah in their daily use like they do. Surely the left can’t expect that the Malay/Muslims to just take this ‘insensitive’ offence lying down,” in a comment under Malay Malaysians under siege? Utusan Malaysia reports?

    • BahGah says:

      I have to disagree with you on this point. Yes, the issue was about usage of the word by Borneo Christians. But the government made it a nationwide problem by banning its usage and brought it into legal proceedings. If the judgment went in favour of the government, it would only set precedence for future cases of similar nature.

      That being said, Malaysia by constitution is a secular country with Islam as the official religion, thus your comparison regarding rules of other Muslim/Islamic countries can’t be applied. Besides the etymological argument of the word, another point is, if there are no laws governing the usage of the word Allah in Islamic countries, why can’t it be used in a secular country?

      This event exposes the increasing fundamentalist nature and Malay nationalism amongst (most) Malay-Muslims, even when it wouldn’t affect them on a day to day basis. They argue that it might erode the meaning of the word, but that doesn’t change the fact that it pre-dates Islam and is also used by Arabic Christians.

      Even with the favourable court ruling, churches in the peninsular aren’t going to use the word in their worship — as you mention, the usage is prevalent only in West Malaysia. It was a non-issue before and it’ll be a non-issue after. It becomes an issue when the government brought it into court and second, when it was sensationalised.

      Yes, this article may generalise PAS’s stand on the issue, but it is also right to bring up the Allah issue as a relevant example to the parading of “muslim-sensitivities”.

    • Michael says:

      I beg to differ. You seem to think Malay/Muslims in short are against this.

      ‘To argue Muslims who are against the usage of Allah as uneducated and have Perkasa mindset is shallow, unhelpful and in fact “uneducated”. There are many western educated and from the top schools in this world who are against this.’

      I believe the same may apply vice versa.

      Also i don’t think it’s right to categorise this issue as Borneo/Peninsular. It has become a Malaysian problem because Christians do use the term Allah when Bahasa Malaysia is used. I guess because most Christians are english/chinese speaking save the Orang Asli, it’s uncommon to hear the word Allah spoken. But if the word Allah is forbidden, then it will become a problem for all Malaysians be it they are from Pen/Borneo.

      Regarding PAS, i think it’s only natural that there will be people who disagree. But PAS’s official stand is such. Doesn’t that speak volumes for the sentiment of the people since there isn’t exactly a huge backlash towards PAS.

  47. bkk says:

    I don’t get it, why are they so sensitive and insecure about their faith and identity? They sounds like a bunch of spoilt kids that want attention. I guess 40 years of the NEP have really created a generation of bigots and fools. Only those with an inferior complex would try to step on others to make themselves feel good. They are fearful and weak inside, they will always blame others for their own weakness.

    • Ellese says:

      If you are also referring to Allah issue you’re certainly misguided. It has nothing to do with having an inferiority complex. Please read above.

      Anyway you have made a sweeping statement. Our constitution said islam is official religion. All can practice their religion but none can propagate non-Muslims teachings to the Muslims. We have distinct provisions separating civil and shariah courts where civil courts cannot override shariah. Then we have a list of items protecting the bumiputera where even if you get 90% vote you can’t amend it. You need the consent of the rulers. The rulers are made to protect these rights under our constitution.

      So have you asked yourself why they are like that? There is a moral and social value that not only we have agreed upon but which all of us have avowed to protect. Perhaps that’s where these people are coming from. It’s not an inferiority complex.

      I’m not defending Perkasa’s Shah Alam incident. But to make a sweeping statement like that is wrong. To call these people racists and [say they have an] inferiority complex is making it worse – it is unhelpful. The Nut Graph’s agenda to widen this divide is also not helpful. (their chastisement of non-Muslims who fast reflect their push for a further split ). Now we see every side is hardening their positions. No one, especially both BN and Pakatan, is bringing this to the centre. Very sad for our country.

  48. m.k. says:

    As we can see everyday, Islamisation of Malaysia is slowly but surely gaining momentum in conflict with what is enshrined in our Constitution.

    Let us be patient and wait for GE13 to change the government. That will be the dawn of a new era for Malaysia. There is no other way…

    • Ellese says:

      Funny statement. What makes you think that if PAS wins, the Islamisation agenda will be lessened? I think we will be worse off, because if race-based parties are no longer relevant, people will then fight along the religious line.
      PAS is still bent on [having an] Islamic state. More states will have separate queues for [different genders]. Our cinemas are unislamIc. All these moral issues are kept in abeyance now to get BN out. But what happens after BN loses? Think carefully.

      • Yee says:

        Basically, there’s no permanent savior. Be it BN or PR, check and balance is strictly needed. If the opposition is corrupt then the voters will bring them down. Simple. I believe that no governance can reign forever.

  49. Isa ben Yusof says:

    All the time we are told of Muslim and Malay sensitivities as if though the other races and religions have no sensitivities. Is it not time now to turn round and tell the Muslims that their particular action or habit or statements are very sensitive to non-muslims and that they should desist from such actions in order to maintain harmony. Should not the Muslims be told that it is only the Muslims who are having problems blowing each other up all the time in all the lands where they exist, and that they do not respect countries that give them land and homes and the means to survive which they were denied in their own sand-ridden homelands? If my late Boss was alive, he would call it — INGRATITUDE INGRAINED.

  50. ALEX says:

    Jacqueline Ann Surin can always get out of Malaysia and migrate to a western country like Australia or USA.

    Malaysia is fine. Islam is a great religion. It is [people] like Jacqueline Ann Surin who neither knows the Western values or Asian values who complain too much.

    Usually, [persons of illegitimate parental heritage] and [persons of mixed ethnic heritage] make the loudest noise.

    • Adam says:

      Alex,

      It is people like you who, having no answer to her comments and article, who resort to asking her to migrate. She is a full-fledged Malaysian who aspires for our nation to progress and not be bogged down by racial and religious sensitivities.

      Nobody is saying that Islam is not a great religion as practised by the majority of peaceful Muslims. But, some Muslims have hijacked the religion for their own selfish agenda. And I am pretty sure you are one of them, seeing how and what you have written about our lady.

      Please repent and join the majority of peace-loving Malaysians to condemn the politically motivated racial and religious bigots who are hell bent in trying to destroy the social fabric of our multi-racial society.

  51. beyetwiser says:

    I wonder what would happen if Raya falls on Christmas and Chinese New Year again and this time with Perkasa around, the churches may not be allowed to celebrate Christmas nor the Chinese allowed to have their 14 days makan celebration in case it clashes with their fasting month (thereby offending their sensitivities) and may be investigated for sedition and for insulting the Sultan, and also be accused of deliberately attempting to preach Christianity to Muslims in Muslim-majority Malaysia during these festive seasons.

  52. dirty fly says:

    I would like to quote from a Chinese idiom: 欲加之罪,何患无辞

    For those who don’t know Chinese, it means: He who has a mind to beat his dog will easily find his stick.

  53. Flag of Truth says:

    To: Intan Apryl Shahril says:
    August 20, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    “Ever wondered why cars are indiscriminately and irresponsibly parked outside our neighborhood mosques every Friday afternoon? They are not only triple-parked along public roads and main streets but also on some beautifully-landscaped road dividers, road junctions and at operating traffic lights thus obstructing traffic, causing congestion, damaging public property and posing a danger to others. This is a common sight in Malaysia and no one seems to mind. Can anyone tell me why? Thanks”.

    Well I want to give my humble opinion here.. Miss Intan (I am assuming she is a Muslim) does not understand the reason why this happens. I must admit that due to lack of car parks and also limited time that Muslim men have during their Friday prayer has led this thing and I want to apologize on behalf of my Muslim brothers who double or triple park their cars. But I am sad that this comment came from a Muslim regardless of their level of faith. Muslim women like Miss Intan is not obliged to performed the Friday prayer and surely she doesn’t have to face the problem of having to find vacant car parks. I am asking, do Muslims do this every day? It only happens on certain occasions only…

    Frankly speaking, I have seen the Chinese community set up tents and blocking the roads just to have their religious celebrations (I do not mind, I can always find another road) and I certainly don’t mind seeing Hindu devotees carrying processions to Batu Caves during Thaipusam.

    Double parked or triple parked cars is a common sight in KL. You can see it on daily basis. And sad to say the way Miss Intan commented on this issue shows lack of understanding of the current situation.

  54. kay says:

    Why do non-Muslims have to be sensitive to every Muslim? Have Muslims been sensitive to non-Muslims? Just because we are the minority, does it mean we have no rights?

    Why do Muslims impose their cultures/values on us, and then, when we want to practise our cultures/values, we are told we can’t because it is against their culture?

    If their argument is they are native [people], not pendatang/penumpang, then how about the Orang Asli, the natives in Sabah and Sarawak? They treat those people like rubbish.

    I bet Ms Surin’s ancestors have lived longer on this land than [Khir Toyo's] or [Mahathir's].

  55. abdullah37 says:

    God does not judge a person on what he [or she] eats or does not eat, and neither will a person be judged on what he [or she] wears or does not wear. Sincerity and purity of the heart and fear of God matters most. What Perkasa is doing is just to project its image as a force to be reckoned with and runs 100% contrarily to the teachings of Islam.

  56. TheOthers says:

    Pigs are the most victimised creature created by God. Poor little cuties.

    Hope there is sensitivity to reduce the loudspeakers every early morning.

    And if conversion is one-sided, we will never be 1Malaysia, because eventually, everyone else will be wiped out. Or perhaps that’s the goal too? Just extrapolate the current population.

  57. TheOthers says:

    I hope the people know that giving special discounts for housing as affirmative action or rights will not distribute the wealth to the poor. Only the richer bumi politician can afford to snap up the row of 10 houses! Think again, you’re fighting to affirm this right, but end of the day, you still cannot buy property. Then the big Datuk buys them, and you blame the system and politics again. It will never ever end.

    We need to focus on the country and the progress of all. Think like Korea or Japan – they move everyone forward. And China is doing just that – [one simple example is their] public transport. Our KL Sentral is supposed to be the centre of all transport. We were so proud of it when it was launched. Then corruption became evident. The Monorail doesn’t connect to it! My Korean friends keep asking me this question, why didn’t the government connect it? Not a single politician uses it frequently.

    And the biggest problems and safety hazards still exist today. There is only one staircase leading from the ground-level bus stop. Imagine a fire? A single MRT station in Guangzhou has 12 exits, 12 staircases, and elevators. Even in Bangkok, there are several staircases to get commuters in and out fast and safe. Here we were cattle-prodded into one single file. Alas, is this 1Malaysia?

  58. anthjoe says:

    For all the fear about anything Christian, the design of our KLIA airport satellite building looks like a cross. Please do something about it!

  59. Flag of Truth says:

    I believe that non-Muslims who say that we Muslims are not sensitive to other religions or cultures are quite unreasonable. We have always formed a majority in nearly every state and did you people ever hear that temples or churches were torched down by Muslims? We never complain of the Hindus’ procession ceremony during Thaipusam. The same goes for the Chinese Buddhists when they hold their Hungry Ghost festival, Chinese New Year, and so on. Come on guys…I am just saying that Muslims have never done any wrong to non-Muslims.

  60. faith says:

    Flag of Truth and Jacqueline are very concerned. That’s good. What is better is in the notion of the question: Are Muslims free to choose “Islam”?

    To be concerned for oneself is good. To be concerned for others, too, breaks many more barriers and extends understanding greatly.

  61. Flag of Truth says:

    Jacqueline… thank you for the link.. but seriously ask yourself!.. is it wrong to educate my own Muslim brothers and sisters to be more pious in his or her religion?.. and what is wrong with that?.. banning beer sales in majority Muslim areas like Shah Alam is seen as intolerance?… come on.. don’t say that it is hard to get beer in Subang Jaya or KL which is a distance away?.. and yes are concerned about our Muslim brothers and sisters who commit adultery. What non-Muslims like Ms Surin or Kong Kek Kuat fail to understand is about Islam. Maybe, non-Muslims here want Muslims to criticize their own religion but ask yourself Ms Surin and Kong Kek Kuat.. do you dare to bear the responsibility in doing that?.. Trust me.. you do not want that to happen.

    • There is nothing wrong with Islam. It doesn’t need criticism. What is needed is for Muslims to be critical of the interpretations and administration of Islam in Malaysia, especially when injustices and acts of unfairness are committed in the name of Islam.

      Further, why do non-Muslims have to be inconvenienced because some Muslims choose not to drink alcohol or enjoy entertainment during Ramadan? Muslims in other countries don’t need others or the environment around them to help them be good Muslims. In Malaysia, are Muslims so weak that non-Muslims must forever be inconvenienced because of some Muslims’ own weakness? How about taking responsibility for their own lives and their faith instead of acting like victims who don’t have the capacity to make informed choices about how they will live out their faith?

      • faith says:

        Why is the BN/Malaysian government prosecuting Muslims now? For various [reasons]. A month ago, some Shias were thrown in jail. Some Muslims protested this. I didn’t hear the Christians protest this.

        This government is not only policing the Christians, they’re policing the Muslims! My question: Are Muslims free to choose Islam?

        I didn’t hear the Christians say anything! Did you?

        • Flag of Truth says:

          Why must Christians protest something that is totally within Muslim jurisdiction? Don’t tell me that Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox don’t compete with each other in harmony? Like what happens in England, and even Bosnia. Must I recall here the bloody struggle between these sects? No I don’t want to say it here because honestly it’s non of my business. And you should do the same, too when dealing with something that is totally out of your jurisdiction.

          • faith says:

            Muslims and other other Malaysians of different faiths are living in respect of each other. The gomen of the day has no respect for Muslims or others. No dumb gomen is gonna tell us what we should believe in.

            When a citizen of any faith cannot appreciate the plight of his other neighbour, their faiths will be threatened as what is happening now! UMNO are worse corruptors than any people of any faith. They have no respect for others’ freedom or faiths and demonstrate ignoble and unholy intentions of any Malaysian citizen. Any Muslim, who has any gray matter in his head, would be able to distinguish the corrupting transgressions now are no different from similar fundamentals that enlightened their prophet.

            If we do not reform our institutions now and kick these ignoble hypocrites out of our lives, regardless who we are, we will be walking zombies!

      • Flag of Truth says:

        Ms Surin.

        It’s good that you agree that there is nothing wrong with Islam and it doesn’t need criticism. You should embrace Islam because Islam is the true religion and the way and only path to heaven, Insya Allah.

        • Please read: http://www.thenutgraph.com/the-perils-of-being-muslim-in-malaysia/ There is no compelling reason for me to want to embrace Islam in Malaysia, as beautiful as the religion may be. What? Embrace Islam so that I can voluntarily allow the state and non-state actors to further deny me my constitutional rights and civil liberties? So that I can be told what I can read, what I can wear, what entertainment I can enjoy, what I can drink, that I deserve to be killed if I leave the religion, and that a Muslim woman has to suffer her spouse’s right to have three other wives? There are better ways to reach heaven if one lives in Malaysia.

          • idris says:

            Using your location as an excuse? Oh dear. Why not just say it out loud – you think Islam is full of g*rbage? Some Muslims might be offended, but not me. Certainly cannot and will not blame you for thinking such.

            But to say that being in Malaysia puts you off is quite silly, to my mind.

            Anyway, you exaggerate. For example: You’re saying that the very possibility of your husband (assuming you ever got married to a Muslim) legally having three wives, never mind if he has absolutely no intention of [doing so], is enough to put you off? That’s plain silly.

            All your “Muslim” friends who discouraged you from embracing Islam, which you once claimed to have the intention of doing … do they follow the state’s idea of Islam to the letter? If not, have they been persecuted for it? Honestly now. No spite please. And no we are not talking about the more “extreme” cases like Lina Joy (who isn’t a Muslim to begin with, anyway).

          • Flag of Truth says:

            Well.. :) … too bad that you have made up your mind, Ms Surin. Clearly, you view Islam from a different perspective – a negative perspective, I might say. You acknowledge Islam but you do not want to embrace it because you will be denied your civil liberties? There is only one God, Ms Surin. But then again, I respect your beliefs as much as I respect other non-Muslims’ right to their religion.

    • Kong Kek Kuat says:

      @ Flag of Truth

      Oh no, banning beer sales in majority Muslim areas such as Shah Alam is not intolerance. No sir-ee, I agree with you. Mashaallah, I wonder how it is even “seen” as intolerance. In fact, since Muslims have always formed the majority in nearly every state, we should just ban beer sales in Malaysia because Muslims form the majority. Never mind if the “majority” figures may be Bumiputera and Muslims lumped into one (for pride and political reasons), or (assuming that the 60% majority is to be believed) that the majority is merely by 10% only. Hey, majority is majority. Come on, don´t say that it is hard to get beer in Singapore or Thailand which is a distance away?

      • Flag of Truth says:

        Well that is the way it should be, slowly but surely. The banning of liquor during Prophet Muhammad’s time was also implemented in phases before strictly prohibiting Muslims, I repeat, Muslims, from drinking liquor. You miss the whole point, Mr Kong Kek Kuat. Islam’s principles are there to be adhered to. It is the duty of the Umara to impose the law to govern Muslims. The concept is the same as having civil law, to educate and to prohibit crime. And I don’t understand, what are the benefits of drinking liquor? Can you name them?

        And yes the majority is merely by 10% and we are slowly and surely growing in number. And even though we are the majority, Muslims will not, I repeat, will not violate non-Muslims’ rights.

        • Kong Kek Kuat says:

          @ Flag of Truth

          Masyaallah… you are so funny [...]. For example, I don´t understand why you have to justify yourself and Islam when I didn´t even ask you to. Didn´t I say I agreed with you? Sensitive? I suppose flagging the truth hurts so much, huh?

        • They already have violated non-Muslim rights. What’s worse, they also violate fellow Muslims’ rights. You only need to follow the news in Malaysia. If you believe otherwise, then it’s a fiction you’ve created for yourself.

        • JW Tan says:

          Well, red wine is good for your heart. Guinness Stout is good, nutritious food. And for myself I find that good single malt whiskey is the best aid for relaxation, creativity and self-reflection.

          There are benefits and risks. But banning liquor sales because you believe that it is bad for health is as stupid as banning rendang for causing heart disease.

          • Flag of Truth says:

            Lol… Well, you surely are not educated in Islam. Banning alcohol sales is one of the steps to the ultimate goal which is to adhere to Allah’s commandment (not to consume liquor). Your answer to my question above shows how ignorant you are. Though there may be some goodness in alcohol but drinking liquor has lots of negative effects… it impairs your judgement. The same goes for drugs. AGAIN, drinking liquor is prohibited by Allah. And there are many of us Muslim who consume liquor and I urge them to stop doing it.

          • Pak Su says:

            Flag of Truth still doesn’t get it and keeps parading that self-entitlement syndrome, thinking that he has every divine right to impose his religion on everybody. “Though there may be some goodness in alcohol but drinking liquor has lots of negative effects” – - – > haha like what JW Tan said, hmm, though there might be some goodness in rendang but eating rendang has also got negative effects, such as causing heart diseases, hypertension, obesity, etc, so we should also ban rendang because after all obesity is a major health concern in Malaysia.

    • JW Tan says:

      Yes, banning alcohol sales in majority Muslim areas is discrimination. Last time I checked there were many non-Muslims in Shah Alam still. I could easily turn this around and say, for example, that in Penang we should ban broadcasts of fajar prayers from mosques as it’s a majority non-Muslim area. That’s as discriminatory as the banning of alcohol sales that you suggest.

      You might say that Malaysia is a Muslim country and non-Muslims should be tolerant while Muslims need not be. That is, at least, honest, and is the reality. I think that’s abominable. Malaysia is a country for Malaysians. We should aspire to be equally tolerant and respectful of each other, but not because the law says so.

      • Kong Kek Kuat says:

        @ JW Tan

        Just so you know where you stand as a non-Muslim (but not necessarily a non-Malay) in Malaysia: Penang (island and Butterworth) used to be a non-Muslim and non-Malay majority area. Mahathir changed that a few times by shifting the border of Penang farther into Kedah on the mainland in order to incorporate more Malays into Penang. It´s been going on for donkey years. I think Bersih has also made such arbitrary acts (nation-wide) an issue. It is supposed to be public knowledge, because it´s been gazetted. But I´ve never heard of any of the lackey component parties in BN complaining about it.

        Sarawak is the only State which is still non-Muslim and non-Malay majority. The Sarawak Constitution was amended in 1976 by inserting Article 4A on the “Religion of Islam”. But the new Article is nothing more than to state that the DYMM Agong is the head of the religion in the State and he will act on the advice of a Sarawak Council on Islam, and that the DUN shall make laws to regulate the religion and its affairs. Nothing mentioned about Muslims, and nothing to allow the Muslims to intentionally misinterpret the new Article into a “Supremacy of Islam/Malay” issue.

        p.s. The Sarawak Constitution was enacted by virtue of the Malaysia Act 1963 — the Act that gave birth to Malaysia, not Merdeka Day. So, in view of the Malaysia Agreement, it (together with the Sabah and Singapore Constitution) is more supreme than any of the Malayan States´ Constitution in relation to the Federal Constitution. But that would slowly change due to an alleged agenda not dissimilar to the one carried out across the Straits Settlement States. It is only a matter of time that the Sarawak Constitution will be amended to make it West Malaysia-friendly. Sarawak already has a sudden increase in Muslim/Malay teachers in rural and interior areas [and] some Sarawakians claim [they] are preaching Islam (the UMNO version) and the hadith to young tender minds in schools. I suppose UMNO must change the order of racial composition in Sarawak in order to settle down in Sarawak (currently it is, 1. Natives, who are convertible to Malays once masuk Islam, 2. ethnic Chinese, 3. Malays, 4. others, in that order).

        I hope you Sarawakians reading this will know that UMNO should not be underestimated. Beware!

        • JW Tan says:

          That’s actually pretty awful. I should have expected it I suppose – gerrymandering for political advantage is a timeworn tactic used by politicians everywhere.

  62. Flag of Truth says:

    Ms Surin.

    How sure are you that Muslims from another country don’t need others or the environment around them to help them be good Muslims? Can you give me the list of nations Ms Surin? I can assure all of you here that Muslims in Malaysia are one of the most tolerant communities compared to other nations. Your articles breed hatred, Ms Surin. That is what I want to say.

    • That’s right. Promoting self-reflection, thinking, review and understanding promotes hatred.

      • idris says:

        No doubt the likes of Perkasa and Utusan Malaysia also think they are promoting self-reflection, thinking, review and understanding. But they aren’t, really, and you are. Of course.

        • Kong Kek Kuat says:

          @ idris

          Thank you for stating the obvious that Perkasa and Utusan Melayu are promoting self-reflection, thinking, review, and understanding in otder to promote hatred.

      • Flag of Truth says:

        Ms Surin, you are saying something else now. I just want to prove my point here – that Muslims in Malaysia are tolerant towards other people.

        • No, I’m not saying something else. I’m responding to your charge that my articles “breed hatred”. Pray, how do they breed hatred?

          If a bully is called out for being a bully, then the person who exposes the bully is the one causing hatred? Not the bully himself/herself? How clever. No wonder the bullies in Malaysia keep getting away with their antics.

          • Pak Su says:

            Again, the disgusting holier-than-thou attitude. Right now he’s dismissing the criticism towards Muslims abuse of their own religion using the typical Islamophobia premise and expects us to just close one eye and put up with all the unfair treatment towards the nons. It’s no wonder why this country is slowly going backwards, with this kind of disgusting holier-than-thou attitude that still exists.

    • JW Tan says:

      That’s simply not true. I’ve lived in two other countries, and worked in three others, that are far more tolerant of religious differences compared to Malaysia. None of them are Muslim-majority. I’ve come to the opposite conclusion based on personal experience – Malaysia is one of the most racist societies on the planet.

      • Flag of Truth says:

        JW Tan, can you give the names of the countries you mentioned above?

        • JW Tan says:

          Why? Even if you had sufficient examples to convince me, against personal experience, that these 5 countries were somehow less tolerant than Malaysia, you would still need concrete support for your assertion that Malaysia is more tolerant than the other 187 UN member states, plus Taiwan and Palestine. I think that Malaysia is religiously less tolerant than Singapore, never mind countries further afield.

          • Flag of Truth says:

            If you can not provide us with solid proof (that you claim you have), come on, why is it hard to give examples so that we can debate.. :)

  63. Flag of Truth says:

    @ Faith…

    It does’t matter, whether through PAS or UMNO. We Muslims will always continue to protect Islam, no matter who is the government of the day. Don’t worry about that. Just leave Islamic matters to the Muslims. You will see that Muslims in Malaysia are more determined to protect the principles of Islam through whatever means that we can. Insya-Allah.

    • idris says:

      Seems to me us Muslims are more bent on embarrassing ourselves and making our religion look like (self censored) than anything else.

    • stewoolf says:

      You sound like Islam needs a lot of human protection?? Do you not have faith in Allah?? Is the almighty not able to do that and more??

      After ending alcohol sales in Malaysia, what’s next?? Close down Genting resorts, ban P. Ramlee movies, stop pork consumption, end education for girls…etc, etc?

      • Pak Su says:

        Flag of Truth’s comments show a very typical insecurity and holier-than-thou attitude among [some] Malaysian Muslims, selfishly believing as if his practice of his own religion gives him the divine right to compromise over other people’s rights. He keeps on harping the same old tune, claiming that his kind is righteous and never oppresses other people, while conveniently ignoring the fact that in the name of his religion, non-Muslims have been subjected to numerous unfair treatments, such as the recent three Orang Asli pupils who got slapped for not reciting prayers. [...] And for actually trying to spread his religion to Jacqueline Ann Surin claiming that it is the only true religion, [...] he has also clearly shown contempt to other people’s religious beliefs.

        • Flag of Truth says:

          Pak Su..

          Lol, your comment makes me wonder whether you are someone else disguised under a Malay Muslim name. You have stated that three Orang Asli (claimed to be non-Muslim) were slapped for not reciting prayers!! And you said that I am selfish for believing my practice of Islam and I have to agree with you! I am selfish! If that means I am only trying to defend my religion from criticism, so be it. I stand to be corrected but I have not for once said anything bad about other religions. Come on! Pak Su, you should follow the post from the beginning rather than making this statement. It only shows your true colours.

          • Pak Su says:

            Yes, I said that you are selfish because you claim that you want to practice your religion and hence because you want to practice your religion, it is alright to compromise the rights of others – the non-Muslims – such as outright banning of alcoholic beverages in Shah Alam, all because you want to practice your religion. Again, the disgusting holier-than-thou attitude. You actually want to defend your religion from criticism? LOL, typical. It’s indeed funny how the mentioning about injustices done in the name of Islam has been taken by you as an assault on Islam itself. LOL, like what Jacqueline Ann Surin said, victims of bullying complaining about bullying end up being unfairly accused of promoting hatred instead. Nah, lay off the siege mentality, will ya.

  64. idris says:

    Apologies, I would like to make a correction to the paragraph below.

    Anyway, you exaggerate. For example: You’re saying that the very possibility of your husband (assuming you ever got married to a Muslim) legally having three wives, never mind if he has absolutely no intention of [doing so], is enough to put you off? That’s plain silly.

    Should be:
    Anyway, you exaggerate. For example: You’re saying the very fact that your husband (assuming you embraced Islam and married a Muslim) can legally have three wives, never mind if he has absolutely no intention of doing so (and lets just say we somehow know he will maintain this intent), is enough to put you off? That’s plain silly.

  65. Flag of Truth says:

    Lol… All of you are missing the point! Islam remains as it [has been] for centuries, drinking alcohol, close proximity with another woman that is not your wife, are prohibited and this has not changed a bit. And it is a duty of the Muslim (of course, depending on their level of faith) to tell other Muslims that we should not do these things. I’ve noticed that most comments here are complaints about being stripped of one’s rights. Gentlemen, there is no absolute freedom. We humans must be governed by certain laws. Otherwise if Ms Surin and all of you believe in freedom of absolute rights then (just an example) a killer or a rapist should be given their right to conduct their free reign of terror. Islam has its own principles which is very clear to me. Come on guys, what does Islam do to strip you from the right to exercise your own religious beliefs?

    • JW Tan says:

      If you ban the sale of alcohol, you strip me of my right, as a non-Muslim, to enjoy alcohol. Whether you think that is bad for my health is irrelevant. My enjoyment of alcohol does not impinge on your ability to not enjoy alcohol, so I am not infringing your right to practise your religious beliefs by doing so.

      It is rather ironic that as a Muslim, you claim to be so well versed in the effects of alcohol that you can tell me what the trade off between positive and negative effects should be. If I may be crude, just because Allah said so doesn’t really qualify as an argument with evidence.

      • Flag of Truth says:

        Well, to me, what Allah says is what matters the most. period. I am a Muslim and Insya-Allah I will do whatever I have to do as a Muslim.

        • JW Tan says:

          Sure. Do whatever you wish. Just don’t make me do whatever you wish, because that’s disrespectful at best and oppressive at worst.

  66. Flag of Truth says:

    I am not with PERKASA or UMNO. I am just a Muslim who wants to clarify to all of you that Islam has its own principles (like all religions) and it is unique, so please… non-muslims, do not complain about these principles. If you guys are still doing that then I have the obligation to explain.

  67. Flag of Truth says:

    Mr Kong Kek Kuat.. this is your statement earlier:

    “Just so you know where you stand as a non-Muslim (but not necessarily a non-Malay) in Malaysia: Penang (island and Butterworth) used to be a non-Muslim and non-Malay majority area. Mahathir changed that a few times by shifting the border of Penang farther into Kedah on the mainland in order to incorporate more Malays into Penang. It´s been going on for donkey years.” – Kong Kek Kuat

    Since when did Mahathir change the border between Penang and Kedah? You are not only ignorant of Islam but you are certainly also IGNORANT about the history of Malaysia!! Lol… sorry for crying out loud my friend :) .

    Seberang Perai or Province Wellesley were given to Penang by the Sultan of Kedah in 1800!! and if Mahathir ever did so (shifting borders), prove it to me. Don’t just say it for the sake of writing.

    • Kong Kek Kuat says:

      @ Flag of Truth

      You mean the late Sultan of Kedah had to “give” Province Wellesley away because he didn´t lose the battle with Francis Light? That Sultan of Kedah and that Province Wellesley? Ya right, such a kind-hearted soul. We should all learn history from you.

      Seeing that you appear to be a novice in politics and its methods (for example, shifting borders to increase racial composition or to create small constituencies to make it easy to win), sure, I´ll prove it to you. I´ll even prove it in such a way that even a Judge will take cognisance that borders were shifted (unlike your kedai kopi talk of “I just want to prove my point here – that Muslims in Malaysia are tolerant towards other people”). But make me an offer I cannot refuse. Make it worthwhile for me.

      • Flag of Truth says:

        Kong Kek Kuat

        The Sultan of Kedah did not give the Province of Wellesley to Francis Light because he lost a battle! It was the Penang island actually and not Province Wellesley. Province Wellesley was ceded to the British by George Leith (Governor of Penang) because of the defense requirement (the British had to increase payment to the Sultan of Kedah because of this).

        And as for the ‘accusation’ that the Penang-Kedah Border has been shifted, well, people want the truth right. So bring it on! Lol. Show me proof that the border between Kedah and Penang has been shifted in favour of the Malays in Penang!. That was what you said right? I can’t wait to read it, Kong Kek Kuat. :) if you indeed a person who ‘walks the talk’.. :)

  68. Pak Su says:

    Oh dear, Flag of Truth, you need to step out of your narrow well and see the real world.

    • Flag of Truth says:

      This is the real world, Pak Su? How real do you want it to be :)

      • Pak Su says:

        How real do I want it to be? Our world is a colourful and inclusive world that is built upon diversity; your world is confined within your own little Islam-feel-good utopia. That’s the difference.

  69. Adam says:

    It is noteworthy that an article of more than two years ago would still be commented upon. It indicates the relevance and validity of the topic under discussion. Muslim sensivities will not go away too soon unless the religion is reformed and transformed into one more in line with today’s realities.

    Ktemoc Konsiders has put up a few interesting articles on the same issue and I quite agee with him on most points which I could summarise as follows.

    [Some Muslims promote a brand of] Islam [that uses] the 3P’s of prohibit, persecute and punish on their adherents and their ability to do so hinges mainly on criminalising apostasy. Muslims are discouraged and prevented from leaving the religion and the authorities are therefore able to do what they think is “good” for the religion. So, Muslims are stuck with no choice but to endure whatever the authorities do. The more prohibitions, the more people will be turned off and the more superficial adherents become. It is a vicious cycle.

    In this time and age, the 3C’s approach of care, counselling and compassion (may I add charity) [should be used instead to keep] adherents within the fold. This has many advantages. The most important thing is that they do not have to run around in circles trying to justify criminalising apostasy and at the same time be able to reconcile the teachings of kindness, peace and compassion the religion has been espousing and not succeeding in deeds and action. In other words, the religion['s teachings and the practice of it] is in constant conflict, not only with others but also within.

    If only the Islamic authorities could strengthen the faith of their adherents and then allow the freedom to disbelieve, most of the present problems and issues would be things of the past and a new era awaits. If only….

  70. Murdan Benny says:

    Allah is the Great Creator, and He creates in perfection because He is Most Perfect, and all His creations are useful and nothing is wasted. Why do Muslims hate pigs, dogs and even small lizards. This means they hate Allah too and they belittle The Great Creator, as if Allah was wrong is His creations. SubhanAllah…

  71. Shah says:

    You think you Christians got problems.

    What about Shias. Have to live underground !

  72. Seladang says:

    In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

    – by Martin Niemöller


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