Not what Islam teaches


No barriers: People forming a ‘ring of peace’ around a mosque in Toronto, Canada, to show solidarity with victims of the Christchurch mosque attacks in New Zealand. The majority of whites and Christians in the West are against the white Christian supremacist ideology espoused by the terrorist who perpetrated the attack. — Reuters

THE Christchurch massacre (Al Fatihah) is a wake-up call – in all sorts of way. Innocents died for the misdeeds of others.

I have always said I am for humanity first. If the lessons you take from your religion, politics or ideology puts you square against empathy for humanity, then those lessons are wrong. Absolutely wrong and despicable. You need to then re-look your religion, politics and ideology and make a change to those so-called “lessons”. God would never ascribe inhumanity to His religion.

At Christchurch, the terrorist was a self proclaimed “white Christian supremacist”. That is the ideology that he subscribes to and the motivation for his act. Such people fear the intrusion of the Muslim community into their land that is predominantly white and Christian. The same white Christian supremacy ideology in the United States and Europe is against Muslim immigration.

However, the majority of whites and Christians are completely against this supremacist ideology. That is why we have seen an outpouring of sympathy towards the Muslim community in New Zealand from all around the world. The white supremacist ideology is an anathema and an abomination to their way of life. By and large, Western civilisation believes in a liberal, inclusive, multi-ethnic, multi-religious society. That is the hallmark of its progress and the reason for its development and humanity.

The superiority of your religion or your race is in your behaviour and characteristics. It’s in your humanity. It is not what you may proclaim. No one cares what you claim. They care about your actions.

Therein lies the irony of Malaysian society, especially our Malay-Muslim community. While we condemn the vile white Christian supremacist ideology – that is in the minority in Western society – that led to the Christchurch massacre, we applaud, nay we promote with pride and arrogance, a Malay-Islam supremacist ideology in the form of ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy) and/or ketuanan Melayu-Islam. And we do not even see how ironic nor how equally vile our ideology is.

This is not what Islam teaches.

Our Malay-based political parties, their leaders, members and supporters, from Umno to PAS to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, have no shame about shouting out ketuanan Melayu-Islam in Malaysia. And then they trot out the side corollary that “of course we accept other ethnicities too”, whatever that means. We have no shame not realising that ketuanan Melayu-Islam is the same strain of racist and religious bigotry as Nazism and the white Christian supremacy that we denounce in foreign lands where Muslims are minorities.

This selective amnesia and victimhood, this fear of the Other, has been perpetuated and promoted with glee by politicians and religious clerics, all for power and authority over the masses. The masses need to wake up to the fact that they are being used and abused. These people will vilify non-Muslims and non-Malays at every opportunity they get, condemning them as being too dangerous to even hold or share any power within this Malay-Islam land.

They even promote the idea that it is better to be led by a corrupt and criminal Muslim than a good, capable non-Muslim. How much more unIslamic can you get? “Malu apa Bos ku” (No shame, my Boss) indeed. What utter shameless people have we become?

This selectivism in victimhood and superiority complex – yes, absolute cognitive dissonance – is quite apparent in typical Malay-Muslim behaviour in groups. I know this because I and my Malay friends have been observing such aberrant behaviour in family or friends or alumni groups, especially in WhatsApp messaging groups.

Whenever there is an incident that victimises Muslims anywhere in the world, conversation becomes very active. Condemnation of Muslim victimisation and Islamophobia is high. Then cries of “why is this not called terrorism” will be heard. Some justified, some not. But most lack the awareness to realise that most media is calling it what it is, terrorism, when it warrants it.

Whenever non-Muslims come together to support Muslim victims, some will mention it and be thankful. But these mentions are usually very few. If these supporters are Jewish, most likely that piece of news will never be mentioned or shared in Malay WhatsApp groups.

But here is the piece de resistance: If there is any mention of terrorism or attacks by Muslims on others, bombings of churches or temples by Muslims, nary a word will be mentioned in such groups. Nothing. In fact, if one were to mention it, one would likely be accused of trying to make Muslims or Islam look bad. There will hardly be a mention of humanistic solidarity in sympathy with the victims of said attacks.

Don’t believe me? Ask any of our majority Malay-member groups to show where in their groups did anyone discuss the bombing of the church in Philippines earlier this year. Do any of them know how many were killed or injured? How about the bombings in South Thailand or the killings by Boko Haram or even the massacres by Islamic State and the taking of sex slaves by these self-professed Muslims?

How about closer to home: The tragic and vile murder and beheading by Abu Sayyaf militants of our own Malaysian saudara Bernard Then, God rest his soul? How many of our Malay-Muslim groups remember or even talked about it when it happened in 2015?

Why do Malays not discuss these and other abominations in the name of our religion and our God? To maybe see how such things could creep into our Malay-Muslim society in Malaysia and perhaps how to stop it in its tracks? Why the silence?

This is cognitive dissonance at its best. Then we claim victimhood even in a country where we are the majority. And in the next sentence we say we are the tuan in this land and no one else.

Let me remind everyone that there is no ketuanan Melayu or ketuanan Islam in the Constitution. There is an official religion, Islam. The way we have made the bunga raya the official flower of Malaysia. It’s no superior to any other religion in this country. It is superior to you, if you are Muslim, just as Christianity is superior to a person who is a Christian. That’s all.

What there is, is a special position for Malays and bumiputra, the way there is a special position for native Americans in the United States. It’s not out of superiority. It is out of empathy with natives and out of a legacy of weakness. So there, be humble.

If you still insist on shouting out that you want ketuanan Melayu or ketuanan Islam, do not blame others and the world for despising you, the same way you and they despise white Christian supremacy.

This is the biggest danger our nation faces today: the radicalisation, and normalisation of extremism, of Malay-Muslim society. We need to put a stop to this now. Instead, our Muslim leaders decry liberalism and inclusiveness, the very principles of our Rukunegara, saying they are a danger to our society. Maybe these “leaders” are the danger to Malaysia.

I have said it before. When you believe your religion is superior to those of others, and you judge those who are not the followers of yours as destined for abomination, then you will be easily radicalised. You will easily be inspired by those who sell dreams of glory in sacrifice to your religion. Forcing your religious beliefs upon others becomes a necessity. Even invoking terrorism to achieve your objectives is acceptable. After all, is not your life in the service of your God?

Just in case anyone has any doubts, Islam forbids terrorism. Ever. There is justified war to defend oneself and then there is terrorism. Terrorism is indiscriminate. It is not a defensive war. It is a vile, despicable, inhuman act carried out by vile inhuman animals.

The radicalisation of Malay-Muslims is the clear and present danger to the ummah (community), Malaysian society and the nation. Ketuanan Melayu-Islam has no place in Malaysia, just as white Christian supremacy has no place anywhere in the Western world.

It has come to a point where our society is actually on the brink of breaking apart.

Our economics are fractured not just because of thievery for the sake of greed but thievery to maintain power over radicalised masses. It cannot be sustainable.

Radicalised masses will not just be unproductive but also destructive. Society will implode when there is not enough largesse to spread around to those who do not contribute to the productive wealth of the nation.

In no uncertain terms, we are entering a new phase in this clash of civilisations. This is a war for the hearts and minds of the majority of our Malay-Muslim society and for the survival of this nation that we love. Who among the Malay leaders will step up to champion decency, unity, equality, progress and the Malaysian way of life?The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Sunday Star.


   

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