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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

CAN'T THEY PROTEST INTELLIGENTLY! Beer the mother of all vices - Muslims groups want Oktoberfest clampdown

CAN'T THEY PROTEST INTELLIGENTLY! Beer the mother of all vices - Muslims groups want Oktoberfest clampdown
KUALA LUMPUR - Muslims are taking aim at the annual Oktoberfest beer festival that begins here tomorrow, starting an online campaign opposing the month-long celebration they claim will “bring ruin” to the country.
Although the event is promoted to non-Muslims, several Muslim groups have urged their supporters to rally against the event and venues that serve alcohol as part of the festival.
“Beer is the mother to all vices. When people are drunk, a lot of issues will happen afterwards. It does not only involve [drinkers] but others will also suffer,” said the Facebook page Rakyat Malaysia Tolak Konsert Liar, which means “Malaysians Against Wild Concerts” in Malay.
The page, which has over 3,000 likes, posts the details of entertainment events that it describes as “wild” and condemns them daily.
The page also published a list of ten venues that will hold drinking parties as part of Oktoberfest from September 24 to October 12, some of them private, and asked its supporters to protest the so-called “vice dens”.
Its cause has since been picked up by Arus Baru, an online movement aligned with controversial Islamist group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma).
“Which MP will voice out against this beer festival? What is our action as concerned Malaysians? Let’s protest!” said an update by Arus Baru, accompanied by photo of a big beer tent which is part of Guinness Anchor Bhd’s (GAB) event.
“Are we willing to let vices reign in our motherland?” asked another update, accompanied by a poster of Carlsberg Brewery Bhd’s celebrations
The poster, which features a Bavarian bar maid with her chest blurred out, has been shared by over 100 of Arus Baru’s supporters.
Isma also published an editorial by one of its activist yesterday, who complained that one of his family member had received an invitation to an Oktoberfest event.
Although conceding that the invitation came with a disclaimer saying Muslims should ignore it should they receive it, the activist said such automatic invitation has no place in Malaysia.
“The carnival was purely originating from the Bavarian culture, something that our country and people has zero historical connection to,” said the article.
“Drinking culture notwithstanding, blatant imitation of foreign heritage would still appear distinctly artificial and senseless, no matter how hard one tries.”
It also claimed that “events with religious origins” such as Halloween and St Patrick’s Day have become a facade to mask hedonism.
Oktoberfest is held annually in Malaysia with the two biggest breweries GAB and Carlsberg holding several drinking parties in major towns nationwide.
Oktoberfest was originally celebrated in Munich, Germany to accompany horse races, but has grown into “the world’s largest funfair”, attracting millions of visitors every year. -Malay Mail

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