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The MALINDO DEFENCE Daily

Monday, March 1, 2010

Jesus wept — Mariam Mokhtar

commentary: I also went to a parish primary school in Butterworth and Kuantan... St. Mark and St. Thomas primary school, where both my principal is either a Nun or a Father...respectively... we are all aware of the diversity of the country.... but how Ms Mokhtar is saying is as if the rest of the Malay is shallow... i beg to differ madam... we are not shallow, the very fact that you saying not to wear head-cover show that you are the shallow muslim... we are actually more aware then you... that is why we are the way we are... we actually know more about whats in in the head of the missionary then you.... so please, don't think that you are progressive just because you deny the ruling of waring hijab by your children, a moderate muslim.. pleezzz..... aizley   

 

by Mariam Mokhtar, Malaysian Insider


JAN 11 — The views of some contributors to The Malaysian Insider at the weekend, over the “Allah” issue may be repugnant, but in a mature democracy its members are entitled to voice them.
Thus, I hope to be an antidote to any loathsome, angry and hate-filled opinions of certain small-minded individuals.
And I am confident there will be more moderate Muslims who will add to the voices of a slowly growing group of like-minded people like Marina Mahathir and the others whose names I fail to mention.
When I was in primary school in the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus, the Muslims had agama lessons, whilst the Christians had catechism.
We were taught that oft repeated phrase — “death to the infidels (kafir)”. My best friend and I exchanged looks with each other; that meant our gang — friends like Jennifer, Susie, Maria, and others — Indian, Chinese and Eurasians. What about our favourite teachers — Mrs. Kong and Miss Hew?
We were afraid for them — will they come to harm, but who will harm them? These thoughts are not impossible in an eight-year-old.
I was more afraid for myself, when I finally plucked up the courage to put my hand up and ask the agama teacher the question, “Death to our friends, too?”
With a wave of her hand, I was immediately brushed into silence and told to read the rest of the page in silence, by the teacher. No explanation. Nothing.  I do not blame her. It was a weighty question. But that phrase has lived with me and resurfaced with our recent troubles.
But, I do blame our heads of education and religion, who I feel have a duty of care towards their students.
I also blame our leaders for cowardly refusing to address issues that are contentious. There are areas of conflict and sensitivity but our leaders seem to treat these as hallucinatory, in the hope they will disappear. They are wrong.
Evil thoughts or conflicting ideas should not be allowed to foment in weak-minded and impressionable individuals, for it can only breed monsters in the future.
I strongly believe that the teaching of religion should be overhauled. Even in the early stages of school.
Later, when I went to Britain for further education, my family warned against being influenced by the dakwah movement. There was little chance of that in a public school but at university, I observed that these seats of learning were equally capable of breeding loathing in vulnerable groups of people, many of whom were Malaysian Malays.
These Muslims cluster together, had few friends outside their immediate circle, were confused and had little in common with the British student social scene. They excluded themselves from other students and wrongly assumed that British university life revolved round “sex, drinks and rock and roll”.
The raging conflict within them, between Islam and secular views, made them easy prey for Islamic radicals who gave them companionship, a narrow view of the world and a false sense of identity based on fundamentalist and extremist ideas.
Universities — the world over — need to encourage more social cohesion among different social groups. They also need to increase personal development by promoting interaction with other student community groups, all of which may prove difficult because of cuts in funding.
Muslims, and anyone else, who preach violence and who express intolerant views should be made to realise that public order laws which demarcate between free speech and an intentional call for violence will be used against them. Thus, these laws must be executed without fear or favour. Sadly, this has already been abused in Malaysia.
Why do our leaders not wish to upset certain Muslim constituents? Why do they play politics with extremists? Their ideologies are extremely complex, as we have found to our cost.
I find that my nieces and nephews, who are in their early teens, have limited or no knowledge about other world religions. To them, Christians were only Catholics. They’d never heard of Protestants, Methodists or Seventh-Day Adventists. All Chinese were Buddhists and all Indians were Hindus. Judaism might as well have been a Martian religion.
We won’t have a truly cohesive society if we fail to know how our neighbours live. What right have we to demand respect when we refuse to give it, too?
When these Muslim miscreants objected to non-Muslims using the word “Allah”, they in one fell swoop caused “Allah” to become a dirty word, associated with dissent and violence, instead of all the good things associated with it.
Our government offers too little, too late. Rather than being open-minded and initiating intelligent public discussion, the government denies there is a problem and instead panders to these troublemakers.
The only way to move forward as a nation is to engage with all the religious leaders, including the offensive repugnant ones, through argument and debate. We need the courage to force them to defend their loathsome views in public.
But why are these people so worried? They are the ones wanting to impose totalitarianism on the whole country. The Catholics are not trying to force their faith onto them or their children.  The Catholics, like moderate Muslims such as myself, are only trying to make sense of our current societal madness. It is a world gone crazy.
Areas of conflict are dotted around the world, caused by the combination of economic, racial, ethnic, religious and other factors. It would be a tragedy if we allowed our country to join this list of hot spots, where religion forms the basis of civil unrest.
I want a Malaysia free from threats of Islamist extremist views, to see my children and their cousins grow up in a country where they are not judged by others by how they dress — hijab for the girls or white robes for the men, and without threatening other Malaysians of different faith.
I want them to live in a Malaysia that is proud of its unique Malaysian identity.

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5 comments:

  1. written by aisha, March 01, 2010
    dalam zaman 60 an,saya bersekolah di sekoah convent holy infant jesus di telok intan,perak.kelas ugama kami di sudut sekolah satu kelas yang kecil,sempit dan panas terletak dekat basikal shade(tempat letak basikal murid-murid sekolah.)kelas ugama murid-murid tahun satu pulak masanya hampir pulang waktu sekolah.bayangkan dengan herok pikuknya .bising sampai ustazah kerap juga tidak dapat mengajar betul kerana kerapkali perlu menjerit-jerit untuk memastikan kami mendengar apa yang diajar.betul komen di atas masa tu kami terasa dipinggir betul walaupun masa tu umur masih mentah , oleh sikap missionaries yang angkuh dan tidak mengambil peduli kebajikan anak-anak Muslim. tapi kenangan masih segar diingatan.lainya dengan murid cina dan india yang keristian mereka boleh sembahyang dan belajar dalam chapel dan dewan yang sejuk dan dingin.

    ReplyDelete
  2. written by aisha, March 01, 2010


    dalam zaman 60 an,saya bersekolah di sekoah convent holy infant jesus di telok intan,perak.kelas ugama kami di sudut sekolah satu kelas yang kecil,sempit dan panas terletak dekat basikal shade(tempat letak basikal murid-murid sekolah.)kelas ugama murid-murid tahun satu pulak masanya hampir pulang waktu sekolah.bayangkan dengan herok pikuknya .bising sampai ustazah kerap juga tidak dapat mengajar betul kerana kerapkali perlu menjerit-jerit untuk memastikan kami mendengar apa yang diajar.betul komen di atas masa tu kami terasa dipinggir betul walaupun masa tu umur masih mentah , oleh sikap missionaries yang angkuh dan tidak mengambil peduli kebajikan anak-anak Muslim. tapi kenangan masih segar diingatan.lainya dengan murid cina dan india yang keristian mereka boleh sembahyang dan belajar dalam chapel dan dewan yang sejuk dan dingin.

    ReplyDelete
  3. ritten by AHEm, March 01, 2010


    Mariam,
    For your information I'm a practising MUSLIM according to the Rukun Islam and a staunch believer of the Rukun Iman. My question is am I an extremist fundamantelist?
    In my golden years of being a MUSLIM who subscribed to the religion of ISLAM never have I heard of a religion called MODERATE ISLAM!
    Correct me if I'm wrong because I've never been to England or elsewhere other than TANAH MELAYU. Maybe some other religions exist elsewhere that I know not or heard not.
    By the way I never was ever taught to say the phrase "kill the infidel!"
    It is not wrong to correct a wrong but it is wrong to wrong a correct!!
    Some people have all the knowledge but not the needed wisdom.

    ReplyDelete
  4. ...
    written by ahyad, March 01, 2010

    By starting off with her religious teacher screaming death to the infidels Mariam had manouvered the readers on the obscurity of Muslims when it comes to thier views on Islam and by potraying her utter disgust and disagreements, she potrays her role as a savior to the dignity of Islam against who she brands as extremist , as if such terminology do exist, in the very first place along with liberal minded Muslims.

    I too , went to a very strong missionary school and likewise, we too had catechism classes as well as kelas agama islam.

    Now, I'm not calling Mariam a liar but my kelas agama is very much into teaching us the basic tenets of Islam. Islamic history, fardhu kifayah, fardhu ain etc. By the way, with me saying all these ,am I now an "extremist". The thing is, we were taught to be respectful of people of other race as we had been glazed with verses from Al Quran on how god created humans not as one but in many , so that we learn diversity and we were also taught on respecting other religion by virtue of verses from Al Quran too. So , my prediction was that, Mariam's teacher is not one that you can rubber stamped Muslims to her likings across the board nor can Mariam conclude that religios education needs a total revamped by the action of one twisted teacher. Does her bad experience gives her the license to do all of that.

    I too , had a fair share of discrimination when I was in that school. especially amongst radical missionaries who came from developed countries treating me like orang jakun or even infidels, in the eyes of christianity. But my ustazahs and ustads, had always explained that we shoud not reprimand them even in the smallest way as the koran had specified on how we should administer ourselves when confronted with such circumstances and the cry "death to the infidels" is definitely not in the dictionary. Too bad for Mariam for getting a lousy teacher just as it was too bad for me to get a lousy christian missionary who screamed"death to the infidels" for my math teacher. Difference is, I know when to rubber stamp and when not to rubber stamp. Mariam needs a few lessons on this.

    I had raised eye brows when Mariam ranted about how Muslim NGOs and MAIS cried foul over Gunasegaran's article on seveity of punishments. Mariam resent the Muslim's reaction by a non Muslim and gave all the bla bla bla about this and that. Well, on the same note , dear Mariam, and with your endorsement, can I now, as a non Indian, non Hindu and a Muslim, tell the Indians, how erratic, irrational and down right stupid for them to carry the kavadi or even confine thier thaipusam procession within temple grounds?Can ?I now ridicule them for the fact that their religion does not even have familily laws let alone comment on how one punishment is more severe than the other in the Hindu religion. Perhaps Gunasegaran should comment on this since he has given us , the non Hindus, the green light to present our views in public.

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  5. ...
    written by ashhassimoto, January 11, 2010

    I wonder whether there is such thing as a "moderate Muslim".....maybe Mariam can give a better definition of one. Are you considered a moderate Muslim when you dismissed the basic teaching of Islam such as discard the use of "tudung kepala" or expose your "aurat".
    I wonder who is sowing the seed of hatred, if none other than your reader itself Tetraigrat and Steven, by picking Tun Mahathir to fully vent loathsome, angry and hatefilled opinions....this type of opinions is typical of Limkitsiangism, Karpalsinghism, DAPsim, Anwaribrahimsim.
    Anyway I see only such names as Jimini, Patrick, MissHuang, Thomas, Francis Preira, Anthony David, Brian Wong, Raymond, Steven, Emmanuel, Ragunathan etc. supporting this article..... Guys, why don't you open up and emulate Datuk Clarence Bongkos Malakun, President of Sabah JP Council.

    ReplyDelete

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