Loyal Followers

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Let’s ban ‘em all!

I quite like the way people in authority attempt to solve various problems in Malaysia.

A long time ago, safety helmets were made compulsory for every motorcyclist and pillion rider. Thereafter, some smarty-pants wore helmets with visors to rob banks. Although I was still in school at that time, I remember the so-called solution which our authority came up with to solve that problem. They simply banned helmets with visors. Problem solved, right?

Many years ago there were concerns over deaths caused by accidents involving water-scooters in Penang beaches. Of course, before everybody could finish saying “water-scooters”, I remember some hot-shots proposed that water-scooters be banned. Fortunately that did not happen..

Baby dumping? Oh well, that’s easy. Ban, among others, Valentine’s Day celebration.

The best of the lot is the efforts taken by some of our so-called ulamaks to sove the problem of Muslims having very weak “aqidah” or faith.

Muslims in Malaysia must be among the weakest when it comes to “aqidah.” After all, a Parliementarian readily told the Parliament last year, if I am not mistaken, that Malaysian men cannot “tahan” to see their wife (or wives) cooking in the kitchen when they come back from work. The wife (or wives) must thus be ready to have sex with the men there and then. This was, and is still, of course readily agreed to by the Obedient Wives Club which also advocates, among others, spiritual sex. (I think the OWC took the idea of spiritual sex from the cyber sex or phone sex phenomenon).

Sorry, I digress.

Yes, Muslims in Malaysia are very weak in their “aqidah”. Solutions, anybody? Yes, ban the poco-poco dance. Ditto Valentine’s Day celebration. In Bangi, someone actually said cinemas should not be built. What else ya? Oh, yes. Electronic Bible. Ban it please. While we are it, why don’t we ban the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia as well, right? That would be a hollistic approach. Yes. Superb.

If those were not enough, we should then have a seminar titled “Strengthening the Faith, the Dangers of Liberalism and Pluralism and the Threat of Christianity towards Muslims. What is the Role of Teachers?”.

Of course, recently, we have the Erykah Badu banning. All because of some art work on her body. The most recent is Irshad Manji’s book. Over in Indonesia recently, they went gaga over a Lady Gaga concert. You all know the result, right? Yes. What else but a ban.

Looking at the trend, the enemies of Islam are not just the Israelies, the Jews, the United States and their allies. The most potent poison one could unleash against us, Mulims, is nothing but women, apparently. Send Irshad Manji and that’s it, 15 million Muslims would lose their faith soon. Send in Lady Gaga and hundreds of millions of Muslims would be out of their Islamic mind sooner than one could spell “Gaga.”

Malaysia is, however, not alone when it comes to banning things. China, which coincidentally invented paper, started banning books on philosophy which came from anywhere other than the state of Qin in the 3rd century BC. In fact, China is still leading the way in this area of socio-illogical move. Most recent is its banning of Kate Winslet’s breast in Titanic 3D movie for fear of the men reaching out to touch them in the cinema. Classic.

Books seems to be the favourite for this activity. In this regards, Islam is not the only religion in whose name books were banned. The Catholic Church had forced Peter Abelard to burn his own book, which consisted, among others, his interpretation of the Trinitarian. There was also a time when the Bible was prohibited from being translated into the vernacular. And guess what? The Catholic Church also used to have issues with Greek plays as well as Arabic and Jewish texts. Hmm…déjà vu?

In England, Henry VIII led the way. He actually did not like William Tynedale’s version of the Bible and had it, of course, banned. Not enough with that, he burned him at the stake.

Meanwhile, the “greatest nation on Earth”, aka the US of A, is not spared with this desease as well. In Masachussettes, the Quaker texts were banned. And of course, they also hanged witches at Salem. Boston saw the imprisonment of Ann Austin and Mary Fischer for texts which offended the then acting-Governor.

One of the most astounding book burning happened in the land of freedom and liberty itself, France. In 1842, surprise surprise, officials at the school for the blinds actually collected books written in Braille and burned them. Of course we all know that Louis Braille’s method later became a universal writing method for the blinds.[1]

Anything which can be banned would be banned. Austalia, the land of wonderful beaches, man-eating sharks and kangaroos, a year or two ago sought to prevent exploitation of children in pornography. And how did they propose to do that? Hilarrious. That’s how. They proposed a ban of small breasted women in pornography.

Malaysia’s regulations on prohibited names is perhaps necessary due to the fact that some parents do give their children names such as Siti Mazda or Abdul iPhone. We can however take refuge in the fact that we are not alone. In Denmark, there is the Law on Personal Names to be content with. Under that law, people expecting children can choose a pre-approved name from a government list of 7,000 mostly West European and English names - 3,000 for boys, 4,000 for girls. Those wishing to have non-approved names must seek permission at their local parish or church. Among those who wish to deviate is Lan Tan, a 27-year-old Danish woman of Singaporean and Malaysian descent who is trying to win approval for her daughter's name, Frida Mei Tan-Farndsen.[2] Yes. Go Malaysia!

So, worry not for this madness. We are not alone.

[1] Refer to http://open.salon.com/blog/amelia_flood/2009/09/23/a_brief_and_rambling_history_of_banning_books_-part_1 for more.

[2] http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/08/world/europe/08iht-danes.html?_r=2

Friday, June 01, 2012

The Great Debate

The hall was packed with thousands of people from all walks of life. Some were wearing yellow t-shirts. Some wore red t-shirts. Some wore white t-shirts. But the odd thing was, everybody was wearing a t-shirt with logos on it. Nobody was wearing any shirt at all. Or baju kurung. Or baju batik. Zilch. Nada. Null. சுழி. Zéro. 零. Well, you get the idea.

I was trying to move, inching my way toward the stage. And it was damn difficult to do so because of the crowd. Somewhere in the middle of the crowd, I could see Rais Yatim with a tasbih. Strangely enough, when I was near him, he turned to me, smiled and as if knowing my puzzlement as to what he was doing with the tasbih, he explained, “I am doing head count Bro…”

“Oh…..no wonder…” I thought. As if he knew what I was gonna ask next, he said, “I think there are 22000 people in this hall,” smiling. “Oh…okay…” again, I thought.

As I arrived in front of the stage, Irshad Manji was adjusting her short skirt and tight t-shirt. “Hmmm…even the debater is wearing a t-shirt,” I told myself. Irshad was sitted to my left. Her white t-shirt says “Lock up your dotters, I am lezbie.'’

Sitting to my right was a goateed guy in a kain pelikat and green t-shirt. His t-shirt says “MasyaAllah, Na’uzubillah, neraka jahannam.” He looked like he was an officer from JAIS. Or something like that.

Adorning the wall behind both of them was a huge banner. It reads, “Welcome to the great debate.”

The crowd was getting restless. The debate was scheduled to start at 1pm. And it was already 1.30pm. Yet there was no sign the debate was going to start any soon. Outside the hall, there were about 6000 policemen, 5 tanks, and about 20 armoured vehicles. The Deputy IGP was seen ordering some thosai telor at a stall set up by some Indian NGOs nearby. Anwar Ibrahim was rolling his hands, as if to signal something to Azwan Ali, eh…I mean Azmin Ali.

Not far from that, Umi Hafilda was screaming through a loud hailer, “Al-Juburi, Al-Sodomite, Al-Adulterer, Al-Kohol…” over and over again, like she was on a repeat mode. In front of her, about 5 people would repeat what she said.

Over at the other end of the spectre, there were burger stalls. Nobody bought their burgers. And so they were giving them away for free. Even then, nobody took their burgers. Earlier in the day they were telling me, “bisnes teruk la Bang….rugi besar ni….” I saw “NFC” written on their beef burger wrapping. “Hmmm…that prolli explains it all,” I thought. Again.

Suddenly there was loud music. “I want your ugly, I want your disease, I want your everything as long as its free…” the speakers were blaring them out. Hamaigawd…Lady Gaga.

And there she was. In all her sinful glory. She was wearing…err…not so much really. There was this black PVC bra with a hole in the middle of each of the cup showing her nipple. And a skimpy pair of red PVC panties with a heart in the place where her “anu” is. And knee-high black leather boots with what looks like a 1-foot heel each.

Jesus Christ, Lady Gaga was the moderator.

She went to the mike. “Afternoon guys and gals, lezboz and homosexuals, welcome to THE debate,” she proclaimed to loud cheers from a section of the hall. The goateed guy was almost in a state of delirium. I didn’t know whether it was out of sheer fright, joy, sickness or all three.

After some pleasantries, and a short explanation of the rules of the debate, Irshad Manji took the mic.

“I don’t understand why my book is banned by JAIS. Isn’t Islam about tolerance? Isn’t Islam about the eternal search for the truth? Who owns the truth? Not me. And surely not YOU!” she said while pointing to the goateed guy.

“After all, Caliph Al-Mahdi used to debate with Timothy 1, the Nestorian patriarch. They would do it at the Caliph’s palace, in front of everybody.

“The Caliph would say, O Catholicus, it does not benefit someone like you, someone of learning and experience, to say about God Almighty that He took Himself a wife and bore a son.”

To which Timothy 1 would retort that God did not have a wife and someone who said so was a blasphemer.

Timothy 1 would then say that “it is not my business to decide whether [the Quran] was from God or not…but all words of God found in the Thorah and the Prophets, and those of them found in the Gospel and the writings of the Apostles have been confirmed by signs and miracles; as to the words of your book they have not been corroborated by signs and miracles. Since signs and miracles are proof of the will of God, the conclusions drawn from their absence in your Book is well known to your majesty.”

“Well, did the Caliph ban Timothy 1 after that? Did the Caliph order Timothy’s death after that? No. He did not. In fact he invited him to a sumptuous banquet and later he invited him again and again for such debates in his palace. If your faith is strong and you believe in God, why must you fear opposite  or differing views?”

“If a Caliph could behave in that way, why can’t we? Why can’t you?” she asked to the thunderous applause of some very liberal looking guys and gals wearing Pink Floyd t-shirt and baseball cap in the hall.

Lady Gaga then stood up and took a whip and whipped the floor of the stage. “That was freakin’ good arguments youall!” “Cheers to Irshad. Cheers to Irshad,” she exhorted. Quite obviously, she was not impartial. “Well, I am not impartial, okay…, just like some of your Judges in your country,” she screamed.

I could then see VK Linggam giving a thumbs down sign. “Boo…,” he was saying.

The goateed guy stood up. Went to the mike. “Assalamualaikum…,”he said. “Irshad Manji is a threat to Islam. A threat to our akidah. A potential resident of hell. She is a lesbian too. I demand that the government revokes her citizenship.”

He then went back stage. Everybody was astounded. Several minutes later he came back with a big box. He opened it on stage. And out came what looked like Hassan Ali doll. And the damn doll could move and talk.

“Damn, an electronic Hassan Ali,” I whispered to myself.

The doll took the mike. “I have proof of proselytisation efforts by Christian mercenaries. I will show you in a minute….”

Suddenly a section of the crowd in red t-shirt moved forward. Then they turned around, their back now facing the stage. Lady Gaga then said, “oh oh…it is senaman bontot time…”

The crowd in red t-shirt, their back facing the stage, started to wiggle their derriere, in various shapes and forms.

Then the President of the Petty Trader Malaysia came out from his Lamborghini Gallardo from no where. He went on stage. He said, “come to my shop and eat some ikan, and you could win this car…”

He then got into the car again.

And HomaiGawdilinggam…he drove the car straight toward me. He was going to run me over.

Bang, boom, crash….suddenly I was awake. I had fallen off the bed. My wife was laughing at me.

“Bad dream eh?”, she asked….