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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Warning: Do not cross the line

Some Malaysians have gone overboard in Islam-bashing, thinking nothing of berating the religion, its Holy Book and its prophets.
COMMENT
islamquran2It must be real lousy being Muslim. You can’t wear bikinis. You can’t eat bacon or drink beer. You can’t have sex out of wedlock. You can’t not pray and you can’t not fast. And you have to live life abiding by a ridiculous set of Syaria laws.
What a pathetic lot!
Right?
Wrong.
Lately one of the most widely discussed issues around the world has been Islamophobia. It doesn’t help that newspaper headlines regularly print the word ‘Islam’ and ‘Muslim’ next to words like “jihad”, “fanatic”, “militant”, “terrorist” and “violence”.
While the acts of certain groups of Muslims who violate the core principles of Islam push the world into forming misconceptions about the religion as a whole, in Malaysia that is not the case.
Today, Islam-bashing appears to be almost fashionable among many non-Muslims. And the more public it becomes, the more acceptable this favourite pastime becomes – well, to non-Muslims at least.
I am not referring to non-Muslims criticising Muslim extremists who put human lives in danger. I am also not referring to my fellow Malaysian non-Muslim brothers and sisters who speak against Muslim fanatics who keep coming up with idiotic statements about how Muslims should behave.
Instead, I am talking about people who grew up in a society consisting of 70% Muslims and yet behave like extremists and fanatics themselves when they go on a rampage attacking Islam, Muslims, the Quran and the Prophet.
Yes, I am talking about everyday Malaysians who are developing a habit of bashing Islam. While these people shy away from bashing Islam in face to face conversations, they hold nothing back on social media.
“Allah is make belief.”
“Islam is fake.”
“Your Prophet was a paedophile.”
“Your holy book is a work of plagiarism.”
Poking fun at someone else’s faith and condemning how screwed up it is, even going the extra mile to pull out a thesis or two to tarnish the existence of Islam and the prophets, only shows what kind of sick society we live in today.
I can’t help but wonder why these people hate Islam so much. What have Malaysian Muslims done wrong to cause such loathing? Did they bash your religion or criticise your choice of faith?
If religious authorities are confiscating your bible, condemn them.
If religious scholars are enforcing Islamic law upon you, condemn them.
If religious bigots are ridiculing your God and your religion, condemn them.
If religious people are oppressing the lives of your Muslim friends, condemn them.
But why are you condemning the faith of your Muslim friends, neighbours, colleagues, society?
To each his own. If you do not believe in Islam, do not be a Muslim.
Why resort to bashing the religion? Why can’t we behave like civilised people and learn to respect each other’s choice of faith without stereotypes and prejudices?
To my fellow ordinary Malaysians:
Remember – a person’s choice of faith is a very personal issue. It is no one’s business. You may think whatever you want to think. You may form your own opinions.
But please have some decency to keep your thoughts to yourself. A little respect is all I ask.
“Lakum deenakum wa liya deen”
“For you is your religion, and for me is my religion”
~ Surah Al-Kafiruun, the Holy Quran.

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