Loyal Followers

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Of Islam, Churches and Temples

Shouldn't we, Muslims, ask ourselves whether we are - to a certain, if not large, extent - not to blame for the ridicule that has befallen our great way of life known as Islam? Are we blind or too much blinkered by what we believe to be the ways of Islam so much so that we are unable to see the signs before us? Or is it a fact that we just could not care less?

Many of us, Muslims, nowadays have become uptight about Islam. And to make matters worse, in our country, Islam is tied up to our race, - by a Constitutional provision, no less! - our Malayness, so to speak. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Islam and Malayness are almost interchangeable. Say something which could be remotely perceived as against Islam, and you would be challenging not only Islam, but the whole Malay race. And vice versa.

And these people declare that they are the defenders of Islam. The Caliphs. Defenders of the faith. As if Islam is not so great without them. As if God would retreat into oblivion without their help and undying assistance.

In the name of Islam they would do things. And some times in doing so, they smear the good name of Islam. They reduce God into a creature of hate, prejudice and intolerance. Why? Just look at the picture.

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(I am sorry for the language. But I have to publish it verbatim to make my point).

These people were apparently angry with DAP for insulting Islam (or what they perceived as DAP insulting Islam). And so these very good Muslims spent some money on banners and gathered to show their displeasure. All in the name of Allah and Islam of course. Very Islamic indeed.

On Friday, 28th August 2009, right after Friday prayers, it is now well known to the whole civilised world, that a group of people gathered in front of the mosque. They then carried a severed head of a cow - complete with blood and all - and walked all the way to the State Secretariat building. Apparently, they were protesting against the Government's plan to relocate a Hindu temple to their area, which according to them, is a Muslim dominated area.That was the apparent reason. The real reason or motivation we will never know, of course.

The who's who of that group promised bloodshed if that plan is not changed. He said that the temple would disturb them and the noises from the temple would disturb their prayers etcetera. They then stomped and spat on the cow head.

All in the name of Islam. In the name of Allah the Almighty, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Allah the Provider and the Giver. Isn't Islam great? Isn't Islam so wonderful that it has defenders ever ready to defend itself?

I have just one question to them. If all of you are so pious and God fearing, how is it that some noises from a temple could disturb you and your prayers?

And what's with the cow head? You spat on it. You stomped on it. What was the whole purpose? To revile and mock another faith? Well, don't I have news for all of you.

God - and this our God, not any other God - says:

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ {21:107}

"And We have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds." (Translation by Shakir)

Our Prophet Muhammad - peace be upon him - was sent as a mercy to the whole world. Not just to Muslims, to me or to you but to the whole world.

And Prophet Muhammad - peace be upon him -, in his last sermon, said:

“People, hear that your Lord is One, and that your father is one. You must know that no Arab has superiority over a non-Arab, no non-Arab has superiority over an Arab, or a red man over a black man, or a black man over a red, except in terms of what each person has of piety. Have I delivered the message?”

Yes, all human beings are the same, regardless of whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims, Arab or non-Arab, Malay or Indian, section 23 residents or Kampung Buah Pala dwellers. The Prophet said so. And as if to ensure that his followers had understood what he had just said, he ended that message by asking, "have I delivered the message?"

Quite obviously, to some so called defenders of the faith - whose faith may be easily disturbed by some noises from some temples - the message has not been so clearly delivered.

And what about this:

وَلاَ تَسُبُّواْ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ فَيَسُبُّواْ اللّهَ عَدْوًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ كَذَلِكَ زَيَّنَّا لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ عَمَلَهُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَى رَبِّهِم مَّرْجِعُهُمْ فَيُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ {6:108

"Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they out of spite revile Allah in their ignorance. Thus have We made alluring to each people its own doings. In the end will they return to their Lord, and We shall then tell them the truth of all that they did." (Translation by Yusuf Ali).

(Isn't it an irony of sort that the above verse is from Surah Al-An'aam, which means "the Cattle"?).

Did you all read the Quran? God prohibits us, Muslims, from reviling others who do not believe in Allah. Lest they would, out of spite, revile Allah. And what were you doing with the cow head? If that was not reviling the Hindus, I do not know what is.

In fact, in all His wisdom, God had seen it fit even to defend some churches, monasteries and synagogues:

لَّذِينَ أُخْرِجُوا مِن دِيَارِهِمْ بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ إِلَّا أَن يَقُولُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ وَلَوْلَا دَفْعُ اللَّهِ النَّاسَ بَعْضَهُم بِبَعْضٍ لَّهُدِّمَتْ صَوَامِعُ وَبِيَعٌ وَصَلَوَاتٌ وَمَسَاجِدُ يُذْكَرُ فِيهَا اسْمُ اللَّهِ كَثِيراً وَلَيَنصُرَنَّ اللَّهُ مَن يَنصُرُهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَقَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ {22:40

"They are those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right,- (for no cause) except that they say, "our Lord is Allah". Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who aid his (cause);- for verily Allah is full of Strength, Exalted in Might, (able to enforce His Will)." (translation by Yususf Ali).

God creates all of us human beings. Of different colours and races. And also religions. Had He wanted all of us to be His followers, He could have.

وَلَوْ شَاء رَبُّكَ لآمَنَ مَن فِي الأَرْضِ كُلُّهُمْ جَمِيعًا أَفَأَنتَ تُكْرِهُ النَّاسَ حَتَّى يَكُونُواْ مُؤْمِنِينَ {10:99

"If it had been thy Lord's will, they would all have believed,- all who are on earth! wilt thou then compel mankind, against their will, to believe!" (translation by Yusuf Ali).

That is His way. Because as oft said, there is no compulsion in Islam.

And what will be the punishment for all of you who marched last Friday, spat and stomped on the cow head, all in the name of our faith, Islam and our God, Allah? God bless you all. Because this is what the Prophet - whom I believe is also your Prophet - said:

“Beware! Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, curtails their rights, burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will; I (Prophet Muhammad) will complain against the person on the Day of Judgment.” (by Abu Dawud)

Yes, you will get some personal attention from the Prophet himself on the day of judgment. Congratulations guys.

It is interesting to note, what Sheikh Yusuf al Qaradawi said about these kind of people. Strange. Because while he was saying the followings, he could have been talking about those people who were involved in that despicable act last Friday. This is what he said:

"A clear separating line should be drawn here between the teachings of Islam, which prohibit attacking non-Muslim places of worship, and the acts of some Muslims who possess a narrow-minded view of Islam.

Those people harm Islam and Muslims with their wrong behavior; as the threat they pose to Islam is much more than that of the enemies of Islam.

Along the same line, a traditional Arabic proverb reads, "A wise enemy is better than a foolish friend."

The fanaticism we see in some certain people is often due to reasons that have nothing to do with religion, even if it takes the form of religion. In fact, its reasons may turn out to be social, economic, or political after thorough study. That is why we see it appearing in certain areas and not others; as some social circumstances and inherited traditions sow the seed of fanaticism and help it grow. Therefore, it is unfair to accuse religion of being responsible for such fanatic acts."

To top it all up, that this wholly seditious and unIslamic act was done just after they performed the Friday prayer and in the holy month of Ramadhan is an irony not missed by all Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Well done.

78 comments:

Kris said...

It was truly a sad and disgraceful day in the history of Malaysia. What has not added to this despicable event, in fact actually gilded it is the reaction of you and others like you. That it turned the stomachs, no hearts and souls of Malaysians. That it caused them to revile this act and the vile, prejudiced, close minded bigots that perpetrated it. That it caused Malaysians to sit up and think is this where we are? Just days before our 52nd year of independence...

Lahiri said...

Thanks Art for showing the tolerance, mercy and compassion embodied and advocated by Islam. Now if only these so called 'defenders of the faith' will also learn to practice their faith in its truest form.

CW Ye said...

Growing up in a small town called Paloh in Johor, I can still remember opposite my house on a hill side there is a taoist temple at the left, a church at the center, and a buddhist temple on the right, all next to each other. And over the hill behind the church is our town mosque. All coexisting within a small area, without any problem at all.

I wonder if everything is still the way it is now.

Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy said...

Not sure what Kris meant but I do know that God has a plan for everything. WE might not be able to see it at present but we need to trust in Him and VOTE our conscience. I realise furthermore, there are wingnut factions in ALL our political parties and it is sad that Islam, a religion AND spirituality based on peace is USED in this way to further narrow political agendas.

Toyol Buster said...

I bet this disgraceful act was done to destabilize the PR Selangor government rather than defending Islam and a certain "Killed Toyol" bugger got his filthy hands behind it.

Lingswaran Singh said...

Art Harun writes, but less he knows that through his writing he is touching many non-Muslim hearts by depicting the highness, the compassion, the love, the beauty of Islam. For if Muslims were as he is, preaching would be a simple act of kindness. So much more then dakwah he has done in this writing.

Nudibranch said...

Using foul language to undermine others.......it says so much for these people. No Class, Uneducated, Ignorant and No Standards. They shame the religion they profess.

Anonymous said...

If we have more like you, we would have a peaceful and prosperous country ! Merdeka!

DHR said...

Thanks Art for this. Articles of this nature are like a breath of fresh air in a world of smelly foul mouthed wisdom from our dear leaders.

Lets face it: Most human beings are weak: and we compartmentalise people according to religion and do silly things in the name of religion. To compound our misery, our education system has not enabled us to understand and appreciate what we have. Man's greed and quest power means that religion will be prostituted to achieve some gains. Its the same everywhere whether in America or India or the Middle East.

As a nation, we have nothing to be proud of. What precisely can we say that Malaysia is good for? That is one truth nobody wants to address.

Religion,unfortunately, and as kind and benevolent as it is, always offers a way out. Sin as much as you want today and you can repent later. No questions asked as the slate is wiped clean.

I wonder what God thinks looking down? If indeed there is a God.

It will only get worse, I am afraid.

Anonymous said...

I am Chinese. I worry for my children. When I was young, I had many Malay and Muslim friends. Sadly I have lost touch with many of them. Today, I am 'afraid' of the Malays. The Islam that they profess scares the shit out of me. The country seems like its heading to its doom if these fanatics are not stopped. I am greatly surprised and as much comforted by your article. It shows what your Quran actually says and that those fanatics claim to do, are not according to the Quran. If so, why is there not a body of Islamic influentials within the government put a stop to this? Stop this now! Or our children will have no future. Whenever I see the 1Malaysia logo or hear the song, I laugh inside. What a bloody joke. As much as I want it to be, the government as we see it is B.S'ing its way thru it.

may said...

Please go to Sarawak and see how our Malay, Chinese, India and other races eat and chat in a non-halal coffee shop. All the UMNO leaders must go to Sarawak and see for themselves. Some Mosques, churches and temples are built side by side. All the Sarawakian there have no problem.

That is why we reject UMNO to enter Sarawak

Anonymous said...

Those protesters are remnants of an uncivilised animals/barbarians whose brain are retarded. Hopefully their children will become more civilised.

Anonymous said...

I say Art, the protest leaders have been identified as PKR members. The guy reading the doa was a PAS guy too. It looks like when it comes to religion, the cuckoo visits all homes. Do be honest ok.

You call this a read the Quran campaign. But who is abu dawood or yusuf qardawi? Which part of the quran do they appear in?

Can you also quote ustaz ashaari or ayah pin? They are also not part of the quran.

Anonymous said...

in all situation involving the malay rally against non malay, we really can see that the police and the goverment are involved in every way...they support and give the ralliest safety and even shelding those bullies. but if non malay went out on the street just to walk they will arrest them investigate them, this is a true story which happened in penang.

Anonymous said...

Like Kris says, it was a sad, disgraceful day, a despicable event, stomache turning, vile. I'm sure we Malaysians (and probably quite a reasonable portion of the rest of the world!) are shocked something like that can be organised and allowed to happen.
But even more disappointing than this display of extremist bigots is the response of the government leaders and the authorities. Why no serious actions, except the usual warnings. Why the soft damage control? Wasn't the event a national threat, capable of igniting rioting and violence?
I wonder what the IGP had in mind when he advised the parties concerned to amicably resolve the matter themselves (words to that effect)?
Whither 1Malaysia? Its message is being rammed down our throats daily on mass media, on billboards, in private advertisements -- you name it. But pray tell, what exactly does it mean in our everyday lives?

Golden Man said...

I would personally blame the people for what they did and NOT on what religion they are.

It seems lately, we take great pleasure to identify the flaws of the people and thus connecting them to the religion they are at.

Osama is just 1 man that did many things.... he did it on his own and NOT Islam.

Anonymous said...

Kau cakap apa ni? tak faham lah. jangan guna bahasa orang putih. orang melayu tak cakap bahasa melayu... tak faham lah apa kau cakap.

--sarcasm only-- :)

Nanda said...

Anon at 16:23,

Firstly, where in the article was anything said or an accusation made in regards to the political affiliation of those who protested? Nowhere. As such, your implied accusation that the author was being dishonest is baseless.

Secondly, Art clearly identified which were the verses from the Quran (by providing the chapter and the verse and the translation which he is using) and which were hadiths of the prophet and which were the opinions/statement of the scholar, Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Where was it mentioned that all of these were part of the Quran? Nowhere. So, what exactly is the problem?

Best regards.

Anonymous said...

To you really believe all those people were misguided? Sure there were some weak minded amongst them but I am sure these were being manipulated by the devious politicians who see an opportunity for mischiefs and confusions to destablise the state.
These politicians have state their intentions and these intentions are neither pious or holy!

Sad

Anonymous said...

Good article, but i don't we humans can resolve religious related problems unless we get to the root causes.

The root causes of all religious problems lies within human nature. As such we need to understand human nature thoroughly to identify the root causes.

One of the critical root cause is the nature of beliefs. Why humans need to rely on beliefs and how does that came about?
To rely on religious books to understand why humans believe religious books would be a non-starter and running around in circles.

To enable one to dig deep into human nature, one must rely on biology, neuroscience, psychology, cognitive science, philosophy, cosmology, anthropology and the likes.

Art, i would recommend that you take a serious look into the above to get better insignts into human nature and beliefs.

Without the above, we can wait till the cow (with a body of course) come home to Shah Alam.

Anonymous said...

It's all Tun Sodomy's fault.

Throw that old perv in jail.

:)

Good article Art.

abusyukri said...

an icing on the cake,

if you ask them, who created heavens and earth ? ya qulunallah .

now eat that..

Anonymous said...

Art

I commented before on another article as your best.

Looks like you hit another peak.

And thanks for the information on Islamic values.

The more we learn from each other the greater will be the understanding.

He draws a circle to keep me out, I will draw a bigger circle to keep him in

peace
bob

Anonymous said...

this is gutter politics, pure and simple.

no need for wordy

gotta fight them all the way. not thru violence. but rather thru non-violence ala gandhi.

police tak boleh harap.
kdn tak boleh harap.
macc tak boleh harap.
hakim tak boleh harap.

but the saddest, even the royalties, tak boleh harap. they are royalty for umno. not for the rakyat.

we are not their subjects. we are the means to an end. and that end is position and money.

those filem melayu lama ala p ramlee about royalty are long gone myths.

now royalties have/need a lot of money to burn burn burn; and only umno can give.

u wanna correct the situation?

KUBURKAN UMNO.

itu aje... habis cerita.

4RAKYAT

Anonymous said...

'Kau cakap apa ni? tak faham lah. jangan guna bahasa orang putih. orang melayu tak cakap bahasa melayu... tak faham lah apa kau cakap'

The above justify why Sains and Maths need to be taught in English...

Cruzeiro said...

Art,
It is a sad thing to have these people defile Islam, and make it despicable in the eyes of those who don't know better.
Even sadder still is the muted response from those ulamas who are supposed to be at the forefront of Islamic thought. This translates to "tacit" approval in the eyes of the non-Muslim. It is what we get when the vast majority of the clerics are made up of third rate minds, nurtured in academic ghettos which are perceived as "islamic" by virtue of their fashion.

To make matters worse, many Muslims are terrified at the idea of being labeled as "unIslamic" - a slur they wouldn't want even at the cost of truth.
I wonder how long it will take before a "Martin Luther" is born to the Islamic world, and the intellectuals take Islam back from these godmen in robes an skullcaps.

Syuhada said...

I agree with what you're saying. I can never comprehend the contradiction that some people of religion demonstrate in their effort to be the champions of their respective religions. (Your picture is an example)

But to me, I understand that these people and acts are not representative of the religion itself, for I have met those who are sensible and truly embody what they preach (usually good people dont preach, they take care of themselves more:))

I dont think we should be afraid of the fanatics. In fact, there are not that many of them in comparison to the number of citizens of this country who believe and practice tolerance. Sarawak and Sabah for example, are 2 states in which the concept of 1Malaysia is basi already - they've mastered it so well their family is littered with 1Malaysia traits since 2 generations before!

I just think that this "fear game" is detrimental for our unity. We should put a stop to it ourselves not so much by changing the minds of "the fanatics" but more of clearing our own mind from prejudices and preventing our family and friends from joining the fanatics band.

mei1 said...

Bolehland will be very peaceful if there are more right-thinking people like you...

But sadly, the narrow-minded ones always come out to create chaos & spoil the harmonious atmosphere, see what happened today? Perkasa says those who question Islam, Malays and BM should be held under ISA...

http://themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/malaysia/36545-perkasa-says-those-who-question-islam-malays-and-bm-should-be-held-under-isa

what is Merdeka? what 1 Malaysia? I'm speechless...

A true Malaysian said...

Ajaran ugama saya mengajar umatnya supaya sentiasa menggunakan “kepandaian” (wisdom) masing-masing dalam apa keadaan pun supaya dapat menjalankan tugas harian dengan harmoni dengan manusia, binatang-binatang, kehidupan-kehidupan lain yang juga berhak berada di alam dunia ini. Ianya juga menasihatkan kami supaya menganlisa ajaran-ajarannya sebelum menjadikannya sebagai panduan hidup kami. Pendekata, ia tidak mahu kami menerima ajaran-ajarannya secara buta (blind faith) tanpa memahaminya.

Kalau saya membandingkannya dengan ajaran-ajaran Islam, saya diberitahu oleh kawan saya yang bernama Atika dimana dia beritahu saya semua insan di dunia ini adalah ciptaan Allahswt. Yang bezanya, kita manusia telah dikurniakan “akal”. Perkataan “akal” ini, kalau saya bandingkanya dengan “kepandaian” atau “wisdom”, adalah membawa makna yang sama.

Jadi, sebenarnya ajaran-ajaran ugama saya sebenarnya berlandasan kepada prinsip-prinsip yang sama. Yang penting ialah kita umat ugama masing-masing sentiasa menggunakan “akal” yang dikurniakan pada kehidupan harian masing-masing.

Alangkah baik kita semua melihat dari sudut ini kerana saya berpendapat ugama-ugama di dunia ini adalah mempunyai tujuan yang sama.

Kita sememangnya bertimbang rasa semasa menjalankan ibadat ugama kita masing-masing dan sentiasa peka dengan keadaan yang kita alami. Kalau tidak, apa gunanya “akal” kita?

Jadi, bagi kes pindahan kuil, seharusnya kita mesti menggunakan “kepandaian” kita supaya memahami latar-belakang kewujudan kuil Hindu dan mengapa ianya dicadangkan berpindah ke Section 23 Shah Alam. Saya berpendapat penerangan yang diberi oleh YB Khalid Samad itu adalah jelas dan berasas.

Adakah penduduk-penduduk Section 23 Shah Alam sudah membaca penjelasan YB Khalid Samad? Kalau belum, saya mencadangan kamu membacanya, dan kalau tidak setuju dengan penjelasan selepas membacanya, bentangkan sebab-sebab mengapa tidak setuju. Demonstrasi dengan kepala lembu dengan kemarahan dan tomahan benci sepatutnya tidak patut dilakukan dari sudut ajaran ugama.

Kita semua sayang ugama kita masing-masing dan tindak-tanduk kita akan memberi persepsi-persepsi yang salah terhadap ajaran ugama kita. Berinsaflah kalau kita membuat dosa. Insan mana yang tidak membuat dosa? Yang penting, insaf dan mengaku salah.

Pendekata, gunalah “kepandaian” atau “akal” yang dikurniakan Tuhan.

Anonymous said...

It is a shame to have such uneducated, shallow minded religious freak here in Malaysia. With these bunch of numb-nuts around, how are we to progress? Mind you, there are not only 50 around but millions. What hope do we have in Malaysia? We must act now! spread love instead of hate.

Alvin 5 said...

It certainly calms us all, those who are non muslims with your clarity of mind in highlighting those salient points.
keep up the spirit of all mankind

Anonymous said...

Art Harun,

You are a true Muslim. If other "muslims" have your traits in knowledge and act in like manners, I, a non-Muslim now, would have no hesitation to embrace Islam. But, alas....

You deserve God's blessings.

ong said...

That 50 or so crazy people paraded and stepped on a freshly severed cow's head and issued threats of bloodshed in public, all in the name of Islam, is not the major problem. Anywhere in the world there are always some crazy people doing crazy things. To me the major problem is when the number of other Muslims who come out openly to condemn these 50 crazy people are too few and too far in between.

It is just like the Malay BN MP who asked us 'pendatangs' to go back to India and China. To me that was the minor problem. The major problem was the fact that the rest of his Malay BN colleagues did not shout him down. Their silence indicated that they approved of his action.

LAT said...

Art,

GOD is very please with your discerning mind, love,care and compassion for all mankind, you are color blinded. Our Almighty GOD, the CREATOR of the universe has come to UNITE all human kind but all these "man-made religious and creeds" has separated all human kind from each other and from the GOD.

Continue your good work to bring GLORY to GOD for you are blessed with Insightful Understanding & Wisdom.

Art, you are not a mistake but you are born and live in this world with Purpose. So,lead a purpose driven life to glorify HIM !

Teck Yunn said...

Art,

Thankyou for showing us the hope.

My immediate reflection after reading your message is, "Wisdom is what we gain, not what we read."

You article is really refreshing. :)

Regards,
teckyunn

Steven ong said...

They who suppose to defend Islam may have been confused and misled by someone who is confused also or may have been confused by the teaching of Islam itself?

What I am saying is that, the world sees two sides of Islam - the good and the bad. Is there a good side and a bad side in the Quran? How come I see the translations of the bad also in the net? Can or was the Quran filled with evil sayings, as what Salman Rusdie wrote in the Satanic Verses? If not how come I read there are two side of the Quran?

CS Beh said...

Bravo ART...

With your article, I have newfound respect for Islam and hope for some Muslims in Malaysia who are sensible and honest.

May you be blessed and the underlying message of Islam [peace] be spread to all Malaysians.

Anonymous said...

In Sabah it is very common to see Muslims and non-Muslims eating and drinking together in Chinese coffee shops. However there is an growing number of radicalized youths among Muslims. Most of them are those who entered school after 1978 (in 1978 education matters in Sabah came directly under Federal jurisdiction).

samaritan said...

Dear Harun and all your faithful blogger followers. Feel free to drop by on my blog as I begin to write a series of articles entitle Mankind’s Search for God. Hoping one can finally find the missing link and allow you to have intimate relationship with the true God Jehovah.

Joon said...

I am not a Muslim. However, I believe Islam is a loving religion. I must thank Art for giving me a better understanding from his article. It's a shame what's happenning to Islam, not only in Malaysia but also globally. The 'defenders' of Islam is giving it a bad name. Many people worldwide who does not know much about Islam will think that Islam is a religion of terror and hate. How sad! Art, please continue sharing Islam with us non Muslim. It helps.

Tpg2Sg said...

Temple, Mosque & Church next to each other in Telok Ayer St Sg:
http://www.etour-singapore.com/singapore-chinatown-walking-tour-telok-ayer.html

Hidemichi said...

More and more people should read this brilliant article and spread the love!

K.Siiva said...

Dear Art ,
I am , as they always make me to state ' bangsa India beragama Hindu '.I have been teaching Islamic Civilisation for the past 21years and what amaze me the most about Islam is the impressive Surah al-Alaq which advocates the importance of acquiring knowledge .Only when we are equipped with sufficient knowledge we would be able to progress 'dari segi lahiriah dan rohaniah' otherwise we would not be going anywhere.All those incidents could have been avoided if all of us can uphold the spirit of Surah al -Alaq.......

Anonymous said...

It is all about Santanic Verses.

2Lt Peh Hoo Guan said...

good post on it...i'm sick with all this issue...i understand that the cow head issue is not the fault of the malay muslims...because of some bad apples, now we have a tense religion issue...those extremist never think that by doing that, they are actually tarnish the real teaching of islam...

i'm a buddhist and i have a lot of muslims friends, i know that muslim is a very tolerence religion.

anyway all religions teach us to be kind to each other, the moral values taught by all religions are almost the same..although the rite and ritual are very much difference...

just stop all this provocations..we have no choice but to live among each other, we cannot convert every malaysians to a single religions..everyone have their own right to practice what they believe are true...just accept each other..respect, n understand....

pragalath said...

this is what I actually wrote on my blog - the actions create negative impact on the Islamic faith. And the protesters too have failed to follow the tenets of Islam.

Rob said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

And you will know them by their fruits!

Dr. StrangeOpinion. said...

I'm going to take a wild pot-shot at Rob's comment. I urge you not to correct me if I'm wrong, while I may be a Muslim, I'm also an agnostical theist so you can't say that I am the most pious of people as well; so here is are my points against yours that are not related to religion, but first, I would urge you to stop making generlizations until proven so.

So, lets see, generally; I would like to point out that racial tolerance has been an issue in our nation for decades now, so if you look at it from that position; religion would make a pretty fitting excuse to cower behind. So now, lets break away from religion and see a more logical and cynical perspective.

Would you rather think that we are all zealous in our religion, where we would die in the name of our religion or whether we are all closet racists who only come out when all the other closet racists appears? Except more timid per se compared to Americans, that's right, we're just as racists as the 'whites' are to the 'blacks' but we're not as brave enough to openly express it because there will be dire consequences. That being said: do you think the stomping on the head of a cow was truly religiously motivated or do you think this was finally an opportunity to express the racial intolerance pent up inside an individual?

I say its best not to use the other races as an example, as they too share a mutual intolerance to us all, a feeling of unity that only expands to the point of our skin colour- where ironic as it is that we all bleed the same red blood. Its uncommon to see a Chinese business company hiring Malays or Indians as the high ranking jobs such as an accountant or a manager; but this is more evident in our youth, or my generation as you can see that the teenagers don't seem to get along with one another now do they? Have you ever seen a Chinese/Malay/Indian kid who has not been thought anything about Western civilization hang around with others other than his own kind? Like a Chinese rempit, does such a thing exist?

Now where does this lead us to the topic at hand? Noises at the temple, is that really their motive? Because it disturbs their prayer? You're thinking inside the box, have you ever thought about it could be because the Indians, with no offence meant, be breaching a barrier of security for the Malay residents there? They can't just say: "Oh, wait, they're Indians, they don't belong here because of who they are," The world just isn't that honest unfortunately, so what's a better excuse to make a race deplorable than to include religion into the mix to make the cess pit of intolerance even deeper?

The answer towards violence and frivilous acts never lies in religion, but people and their upbringing, you should know that. The only religion thus far to actually hint violence would be the selfish doctrines of Zionist, but let's not go there.

Mosque Islamic Officials are douchebags? The whole Malaysia knows? Have you, a Malaysian, ever been to every single mosque in this sad nation as a means to confute your statement? This is what happens when you mix politics with religion, you start to misunderstand things, if you know the 5 pillars of Islam; it never says anything about condemning other people's religion. But, let's not go there once more because I said I would not make my points based of religion. But is it right, to say that every single Malaysian Muslim who becomes an official is a selfish, intolerant man who has only vices but no virtues when you have not met them all; sure, you can draw a general line, but what if there was a saint of an Islamic official? And, out of the millions of people here, don't tell me one of them cannot just appear from the masses? Well, they can't, because of your generalization which almost every common man would make, thus condemning anything that even has anything to do with Islam and Official.

End of Part One, to be continued.

Dr. StrangeOpinion. said...

Part Two:

I dare to counter that by saying you're narrow, and I just did, I didn't hide behind the fact that I believe in Allah as being the one sole proprietor of the universe. I used logic by saying that this morass was simply the spawn of what happened if racists got the chance to express themselves.

Has Islam ever been perverted in the course of history until it has been Westernizied, tainted by democracy and is practiced by modern radicals? Then again, Christianity and Zionism was no better; does The Great Crusade ring a bell?

Lastly, your statement to say that other religions have modernized is probably the most obvious lie I can see here. Christianity has broken into so many divisions that Christians cannot even agree themselves upon which one is the right one: in example, Catholics, Protestants, Methodist, Creationist, Evangelists, etc. etc. Zionism's doctrine creates a burning passion of greed that Israel is unified upon and somewhat holds the world in it's palm- but lets not talk about that because we're not staying on course. Buddhism and Hinduism has not changed, but then again, isn't that the same as saying they have not modernized? The world now is stumbling upon Atheism because they think its smart to give up hope in a higher being, false or not, which might lead to the extinction, or possible extinction of mankind eventually.

So tell me Rob, after making my points based of pure logic and speculations, can you still tell me this is Islam's fault or its the fault of Malaysians as a race? And then, can you tell me, whether you can solve this matter with unbiased eyes; because from what I can see, you very well can't; seeing how you can jump to conclusions. How are you going to get the Indians, Malays and Chinese to be living together in harmony when religion isn't involved?

See what is the problem faced with this whole 1Malaysia concept?

Non-muslim said...

Totally agree but to make matter worse this so called president of perkasa said in the Star, Cow head demo: Malay NGO to defend Section 23 ‘jihad’.

Does your Quran really mention about Jihad to be undertaken in the name of Islam against unbelievers or backsliders?

I don't believe it because if yes, then they are against all non-Muslim in this world. In my opinion this is another propaganda by those selfishnes for own gains!

Anonymous said...

i guess all these are not about religion but racism. they are just masking the things that they did with religion which really disgust me.

i think some has never even read a quran too. the police do have their own SOP, if rally is directed to government, they make arrest based on parties. if the rally is directed to religion, they make arrest based on race. so racist is getting rampant now because the son and the in-laws of our former pm. they left a legacy and they left one too.

Anonymous said...

Intolerance breeds intolerance.
I hope this vicious cycle will be broken and Malaysia once again becomes the tolerance country it used to be.
There is enough examples around the world to show what will happen when hatred reign supreme.We have to make our concern known lest silence embolden these hooligen.

Anonymous said...

Our God is the same, it is the different ways of communicating. Let the God punish those who insult or destroy like Osama who blasted the Buddha before his downfall. So my brothers and sisters don't show your anger as God will know what to do. Our God does not need our protection. All we need to do is be charitable and kind to everyone we encounter and also to sincerely pray to our God in the best way most comfortable to us.

Anonymous said...

most muslims I know have these understanding of 'cannot live without' principles among us Sarawakians. all Sarawakians have these principles. These principles has been shown in this muslims because they are non-Malay muslims. And because they are non-Malay, they have their way to present or show, what is like to be a muslim. That is what SARAWAK is all about. its not about harmony or tolerance, its about the understanding of 'cannot live without' principle.

I, as a Sarawakian, do not wish to see my homeland to be a killing field of racism or religious sentiments. No racial or religious parties should ever enter here. i cannot live without my family, friends and relatives, regardless of race or religion.

Anonymous said...

i thought it was the Taliban that blew up the Buddha statues. I don't think Al-Qaeda is or ever was part of the Taliban, even though their ideologies are similar.

Redhunt said...
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Anonymous said...

What do you expect when Islamic schools and organizations are left to their wimps in whatever manner they want to indoctrinate their members in? If the government is not going to do it, and the Islamic community is extremely reluctant in doing it, then who is going to do it? Your local councilor after lobbying them to? Hell, i can't even find the email address of mine when i try to google for it.

Anonymous said...

Yes! yes! yes! This is a very, very "unIslamic act" but where are you all dear Muslims of Malaysia? Your very own (Muslim) brethrens are tarnishing Islam here!!! The Muslim Lawyers who are supposed to defend the Cow Head paraders, they are ACTUALLY defending the actions as "ISlamic"!

So where are you all, Mr. Silent Majority???

We non-muslims are now the audience, YOU ALL are on stage!!!

Come on now I want to see a banner condemning the 50 marchers done by 50,000 muslims in KL, JB, KB, KK, Kuching....

Only this way will you attract Reuters, CNN, etc.. I am a non muslim, heheheh.... I cannot do it!!! I have no purpose doing it. It is all your show!!!

Please remember this: This sad incidents was on a lot of world newspwpers including the unlikely Forbes.com

Remember this: Damage was done by a parade caught on cameras and videos. The only remedy is not through blogs and opinions but by marching in front of cameras and video recorders!

I am waiting !!! Show to all of us YOU WALK THE TALK!!!

Virus said...

Firstly, very nice article Art. Islam is very misunderstood and although that is due to many reasons, all of those reasons are human reasons... sad.

I believe the residences were used as political tools and/or misled - most of them at least. I sincerely believe that many didnt know about the cow head until the very last minute. They simply played along.

A case of peer pressure. Put 1 troublemaker in the midst of 20 graceful and polite individual, you will soon find that those 20 individual will follow suit the actions of that 1 troublemaker. Why? To gain social acceptance, they are afraid to say or do the right thing because they maybe rejected by their peers.

Religion/Faith is often abused by certain individuals and that is an universal truth. You will find such individuals in all religion/faith, in all races and in both genders.

All Malaysian should learn something from this incident. We are the only species on Earth that has complex intelligence, put that God given blessing to good use!

When I saw the video... all I can think of is... Freaking humans dragging innocent animals into our fights again! If you think some human sub-species are "offended", what about the cow?!? It is not even human and it got its severed head abused over what human dispute!?

Killing for food is one thing but this is...

veronica said...

I think before that , some isalms also after Friday prayer did some illegal demo isn't it? Then now after Friday prayer and during fast, they do something even a normal human won't do I mean, even if our heart no good also, we won't stepand spit the cow like thatlah). I think govt better do something because non Islam people are beginning to think Islam turns people into this kind of behaviour. I mean, where got people after pray to god can do this kind of thing right? This, after pray, more "membara". Okay, just my observation...I apologise if I say wrong and take back the words...I scared the ISA you know.

Peace Lover said...

All praises to God.
God bless us all.
We born, live and die.
That's the truth.

All of us are human being. Let it be you or me, muslim or non-muslim, men or women, child or adult, all of us can feel and think.

From my point of view, if we can understand that all humans are equal in the eyes of God, no one is superior than another, and we can change this world with Love, than human beings will know that the life we are having now is so short to fight or argue in the name of race, religion or God.

If you Believe in your God, than you will Believe in Love, Respect, Mercy, Grace and YOU.

No race or religion teach us to be hatred, so let us Unite. God is Love and Love is God. God bless our Malaysia.

Well Said said...

These are the act of those so-called Muslimin. A true Muslimin will never do that, and I believe all other religions will also teach us to respect one another. These people are already too blind and are being used to politicize the matter. Shame on you...

Anonymous said...

These fellas are what we call, using God's name in vain. Severe judgment awaits them. Not virgins.

PH Bamaiyi said...

waoh! That was a very beautiful article. True, those renegades should be punished for their disgraceful acts.

makelight said...

Why is it that the expert defenders of the faith can't see it the way you and so many ordinary Muslims saw it? Why? Why? Why?

art harun said...

Dear Rob,

I have deleted your comment for being inflammatory and containing unacceptable generalisation. Please don't pour more fuel to the already large fire by making that kind of statement.

Anonymous said...

i enjoy the comments in this.
Tolerance is the key and the MAGIC of Malaysia from DAY 1... Merdeka...
we never spill the blood for this...
but we have FORCES to make people to spill for some xxx reason
oh please there is no need such a drama to scare the public...
our forefathers teached the GOOD value
our ABANGS with FORCES are destroying it for POLITICAL MILLAGE

Not many REALLY know the suffering on and at WW2/1969/Kg/
MALAYSIA is HAVEN in the WORLD if u see it form peace(so far), harmony, nature and so on.
But all ARE manipulated. See the river, see the ppl, see the air, see the RADIO/TV/
and the RESULT is RESTLESS, POLLUTION(nature and ppl's way of thinking)
HOW? FORCES in ACTION
WHO? GREEDY Politician, ....
WHY? POWER CRAZY
WHAT? $, Race communal

WHAT is the END?
END OF WORLD when we kill each other for the dreams on the "WHO".

PEACE PLEASE
IF YOU WANT IT, IT IS THERE TO NATURE. PLS DO NOT DESTROY IT

PEACE FOR ALL

Anonymous said...

Ask any malaysian, how much he would miss Malaysia if he emigrated and they all would have SO much to loose.. I grew up having friends of all races... but starting from standard six... we were separated by multiple layers of classification, religion, and race... That is when we(non-malay) realised, that we were not as Malaysian as our malay counter parts... from then until we try to get a place in universities, our color and race were the determining factor... race and religion now seems to dominate our futures... it doesnt matter if we were straight A students or first class honours graduates, we have to struggle for even the most measly jobs (even 7-11 doesnt hire us)... as one chinese friend mentioned... "I do not feel home in Malaysia or even feel Malaysian, as im treated no better than an Immigrant"... If we are to live together.. we need to stop looking at the religious differences between us... From history we know that our Muslim prophet never discriminated the non-believers and had fair and equal laws to protect their rights... Islam is a beautiful religion made to seem terrifying by irresponsible people... At the end of the day, giving Islam a bad name will not go unnoticed in the eyes of God. I love Malaysia and i wish, we could look at another Malaysian and just call him as a Malaysian. I am wiling to work for my country for the rest of my life if I would be considered a citizen no lesser than anyone else.

Anonymous said...

I wrote yesterday asking for the whereabouts of the other 99.99999% Muslims of Malaysia. Look at it this way: Your silence means your consent.

And where is the Institute of Islamic Understanding's press statement? Where are the Ullamas of the Ulama Council???? Where is their fatwa? Where is their press statement?

How about Muslim Lawyers Association? Persatuan Badminton Bumiputra? Bumiputra Chamber of Commerce??? etc, etc

Voicing individual opinions on UNSEEN blogs and column don't get across well.

To make matter worst "they" are now calling it JIHAD and they promised 'bloodshed'.

As I said earlier, the stage is set

Wicked Swicket said...

Excellent one Art, that was one helluva piece !

Anyway, just to clarify 'jihad' that may have concerned our non - Muslim fellow Malaysians (e.g. Non Muslim 09 September 2009 20:47), it doesn't mean holy war as how the West has portrayed it. That's right, they did not translate it, but portrayed it - obviously to suit their own agenda.

Jihad, simply put, is 'to strive' or 'to struggle'. Obviously it is a struggle or striving towards something good & beneficial, and not detrimental to the person & others around him. And it is applicable in everyday life - to both Muslims & non Muslims alike.

When one wakes up early on a cold Monday morning to go to work when the nicest thing to do is to actually just fall back into bed - that is jihad for you are working to provide for yourself, your family etc.
When you help pick your neigbour's kid up from a place of worship other than of your own faith's, even tho it's 20km out of your way cos his car broke down - that is jihad for you are strengthening ties in your community.
When you agree to stand as best mate at your colleague church wedding cos he has no other person to do so, even though you are a Muslim - that is jihad for you are helping a fellow man make an honest woman out of a girl.
When you offer to pay for the funeral ceremony of a friend's deceased parent as he cant afford to, even that it will be held in a ritual other than your own belief - that is jihad for you are helping him in his duty as a son.

To Non Muslim's question if the Holy Quran calls for jihad against non believers, then the short answer is yes, but in the context above. One that exerts peace & respect towards one another above all else. Not jihad as how it has been portrayed. Not a 'Crusade' (which was politics & economics masked with the guise of religious fervor), and most definitely not 'Holy War' as how the west would like you to believe !

As for those PERKASA lawyers - it is jihad if they want to defend those demonstrators because they think a few might be GENUINELY INNOCENT (e.g. wrong place wrong time) & cant afford legal assistance. But it is far from jihad if they want to defend the demonstrators because they (the lawyers) think that their (the demonstrators) action is right in Islam. Cos it is not !!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Of cow heads and arrogant Muslims
i am shearing an email sent to me .... some someone who RESPECTABLE..
his is pouring what is in his mind as MUSLIM and i as a NON do agree...

I wish to comment on the 'cow head' incident in Shah Alam. As a Muslim and as a Malaysian citizen I do not support such a wanton display of disrespect for Islam and for Malaysia .

As a Muslim, my readings of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad's traditions or hadiths have taught me to respect animals and other religions.

With respect to animals, the Prophet warned Muslims against overburdening animals in carrying objects. The Prophet explained a story of how a prostitute was forgiven her sins by the simple act of giving a thirsty dog a drink.

The cow is one of the animals which Muslims slaughter not just for food but also as a sacrificial offering of our thankfulness to Allah as well as remembering Abraham's 'sacrifice' of his son Ismail.

The cow is thus 'holy' to Muslims as well as to Hindus. Muslims sacrifice a cow for the aqiqah ceremony or during the Qurban celebrations.

Thus as a Muslim, we must respect animals that become our food as well as our symbolic act of sacrifice.Standing or putting one's foot on a dead cow is a 'biadab' act that speaks of a person steeped in racial bigotry and of a person low in education of Islam.

With respect to other religions, there were occasions where the Prophet taught me about my attitude towards them. Once, the Prophet stood up as a sign of respect when the body of a Jew was carried to the grave.

When dispatching the army to a campaign, the Prophet warned the soldiers from desecrating houses of worships, those who reside in them, the young and the old and even trees should not be cut down if necessary.

Never had the Prophet taught me to desecrate another person's religion.. The great Indonesian scholar Hamka wrote in his magnum opus, Tafsir Al-Azhar that there are hundreds of thousands of 'Nabi' and they might even be the founders of other religions.

It is common to find other religious faiths making fun of Islam and Muslims but as a Muslim I will never be allowed by my religion to make fun of other religions much less to desecrate them.

As a Malaysian citizen, I wish to ask why these people who showed such contempt for the religion of the Hindus not be arrested under the Sedition Act?

Were these people given permits by the police? If so why were they granted permits to desecrate another religion? Why were they not stopped and told to disperse? If Hindus can tolerate the Muslim call for prayers five times a day for the rest of their lives, what disruption can a Hindu temple be?

I live next to a HinduTemple about 150 meters away and I observe a procession thrice or twice a year. It is quiet 362 days of the year.

Lastly, if these residents were proven to be members of any political party or parties, their membership should be revoked in order to ensure that we should not tolerate any political entity that uses racial hatred as their means of achieving political ends.

If not, then the said party or parties should be outlawed and their registration terminated immediately.

After more than 50 years of merdeka, I still cannot raise five children without the threat of racial disharmony and hatred. What does that say about our present leadership and future of our country?

art harun said...

Dear Anonymous at 21:31 and 23:49 (are you both the same person?),

I have deleted your comments.

Both of you are not welcome here and please go elsewhere to spread your hatred and bigotry. Your posts prove that bigotry exists on both side of the fence.

Please go away and stay away from my blog.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

My summary on all these ...
Something to think about

"It is not the religion that is important, but rather how you conduct yourself before
*GOD is IMPORTANT*"

"I think if we ask this to ourself,
we may not be as bad as we are now"

<< I picked up in the NST today 14/9/09 reader's column >>

PEACE FOR ALL

Stapleton said...

I am a muslim and I love islam, that's all I wanna say!