A fortnight ago, the whole world woke up to carnage in Christchurch. Here is Yin’s analysis.
Yin: Christchurch is a wakeup call to what can happen if extremism (from any side) takes hold.
Malaysians hold their breath; wondering what the reaction will be from our local Jihadists.
Malaysians wait to see how the Malay Islamist Archetypes – MIA (a term borrowed from academic/columnist Wan Nor) will react.
This when the killing of a cartoonist for being ‘disrespectul’ to Mohammed (pbuh); and the atrocities of ISIL and Boko Haram did not raise any protest from our Muslim leaders .
Is it because in those cases it’s the infidels and the ‘liberals’ who are the casualties? There have been burning of churches and killing of Christians in the past. The Muslim establishment did not even raise an eyebrow.
And now this has happened to innocent Muslims . . .
Columnist Tajuddin Rasdi asked if the Muslims did not expect retaliation of some sort at some time for all the atrocities committed by Islamic radicals? Christchurch is the breaking point and it will be naïve to think it will be the last of such vile acts against innocent people.
I wished Muslims were as vociferous in their condemnation of atrocities committed in the name of Islam.
Pandering to Muslim extremists
Killing for religion – any religion – is indefensible.
While there is no recorded atrocities against other religions in Malaysia; there is an obvious and official discrimination against other religions. There are different sets of planning rules for mosques and for churches and temples; allocation of burial land; government funding. Discrimination encourages a bully culture; and racial and religious bullying leads to bigger social problems which often ends in another Christchurch.
We had the ‘Cow Head Protest” in Selangor (Aug. 2009) because intolerant Muslims did not want a Hindu Temple in their area.
Instead of applying the law which the authorities have readily done for anti government protests; the Home Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, defended the protestors.
It is such pandering to Muslim extremists that encourages radical elements to take matters into their own hands.
Will the Christchurch Shooting be the excuse for the MIA here to retaliate in the name of Islam?
Already the secular underpinning of our constitution and the separation of state and religion is being subverted by the Islamic Establishment.
To save their own political prepuce the Malay leaders feel they must be sunnated again by PAS to make them halal to the Malay masses. Malays are being Islamised in a way that has nothing to do with the true spirit of Islam. There are more religious schools today than ever and even our standard type government schools receive a heavy dose of Islamic indoctrination in their daily learning. Together with the racial exclusivity of many of our public colleges and sixth forms it does not bode well for racial and religious understanding and tolerance. Some might even say that these are nurseries of potential MIAs.
A broad; racially mixed education system is our best insurance against religious extremism.
Government must come down hard on religious extremists
I worry for our country when the government is not prepared to come down hard on religious extremists. On the contrary; it courts the muftis and ulamas in its bid to win the Malay votes. When Zakir Naik a known Muslim extremist wanted in India is given VIP treatment what kind of message are we sending out? When both sides of the Malay political divide court PAS (with UMNO beating PPBM) what hope have we of containing religious extremism.
But most of all it is when the majority of Malays who subscribe to a more tolerant and peaceful Islam remain silent that the ultras will have the field all to themselves. Except for the few articulate Muslims; (Siti Kassim; Tajuddin Rasdi; Haris Ibrahim; Wan Nor; Maryam Mokhtar) who will speak for the Islam of Peace and Tolerance? Where are the others? How we miss Kassim Ahmad in times like this.
Can you blame the non-Muslims from thinking that Islam is a terrible religion if you allow the MIAs to run wild?
Muhibbah in Tanjong Rambutan
Times like this I saunter down to the pasar in Tanjong Rambutan. Ramli and I will converse in a jumble of Malay and Cantonese. I will banter with Muniandy the apom man in broken English. I watch Malays buy from Chinese; Indians from Malays and Chinese from anyone who is cheap.
I pass the Sikh Temple which is next to the Hindu Temple; the mosque is a hundred yards along the road and the Taoist Temple another hundred yards the other way. There are no ‘cow heads’ in TR.
I then return to Ward 5 reassured that my country is still the same under the skin – a rojak of the most delicious fruits in the garden.
How long it will remain like this is up to us.
(The views expressed are those of the contributor)
Letters from Ward 5, Tanjong Rambutan