Saturday, November 10, 2012

Malays and Apostasy

Lets start the article with some excerpts taken from Lembah Pantai Member of Parliament Nurul Izzah binti Anwar Bin Ibrahim who spoke in a recent forum called "Islamic state? Which vision? Whose responsibility?"

"How can anyone say the freedom of religion only applies to non-Muslims? It has to be applied equally.

"In the Quran, there is no specific term to Malays as to how it should be done,"

To be honest, I do not know what world she's been living in. This is Malaysia. And she is a public figure. Of course people, particularly Malay Muslims would not take these statements well. She might have said this to please the moderators or the organisers of the forum but the public on the other hand, would take this hard to swallow.

Sometimes I wonder, are these people really Malaysians or they are actually born or bred somewhere else? Let me get you to the usual discussion of whether you should buy a property next to a surau or masjid.

"They sing five times a day and it's very loud"

"Don't buy house next to a surau, very low appreciation"

"They should stop azan especially the one in the morning."

Well, if you are truly Malaysian, this should have been tolerated years and years ago. Others would kindly take the Fajar azan as a wake up call to get the day going early. Heck, the traffic jam will tell you this and the azan is just doing you a favour!

Come on guys, this is Malaysia. When I was a kid in Taiping, the sounds of chimes and drums each time there was a death of our Buddhist friend did not bother me one bit. The long and continuous sound of siren from the fire department indicating the breaking of fast during Ramadhan was accepted by all. Funny thing is, the ones who complain about noise pollution are the same people who love to go clubbing!

Going back to Nurul Izzah Binti Anwar Bin Ibrahim's comments, God knows why she is feeding the ammo to her opponents. Taken out of context or not, we have to accept that we are living in Malaysia. From the constitution, Malays must be Muslims, regardless if they practice or not. Do not go through troubles of trying to change your MyKad and changing the word "ISLAM" into something else. Believe me, it is hard to change this even the Parliament will not dare to debate or make amendment to this part of the Constitution. This includes the special rights of the Bumiputeras, Islam as the official religion, the establishment of vernacular schools (to my disapproval), Malay language as the official language among others.

Of course I know there are Malays out there who are not Muslims. Constitutionally, they are no more Malays. I am not in any way condoning anyone leaving the good religion Islam. However, it was of a bad taste that Nurul Izzah Binti Anwar Bin Ibrahim would like to comment it in that way. Is she not sensitive to the feelings of the Muslim parents? Even if there are Malays who chose to be apostates, it's not our job to say out loud that it is okay. The thing is, the number of Malays who left Islam is smaller than those Malays who bear the name Muslim but make sins so openly. You tell me, who should be getting more attention?

I have come across a hajjah who started to attack me verbally when a good discussion about Islam was made, calling "you are biased because YOUR religion permits polygamy." And the argument was about if the Muta'ah Marriage or "Kahwin Kontrak" is better than polygamy. Of course I was supporting the latter as it is halal according to our religion. if it is done correctly and wives treated fairly. For me, the rise of these type of people are more alarming, as they are attacking Islam from within with their shallow, personally motivated thoughts.

It is true when the Muslim people say, it is better to embrace Islam later rather than being born one. This is psychologically true but of course now that most of us are born Muslim, it is the job of the parents and the Government to assimilate the doctrines of the wonderful of Islam as the kids start to grow up. What we are lacking now in our Islamic teachings at school is the reasoning behind every single commands made by Allah. Teachers are sometimes afraid to tell truth or rather not knowledgeable enough to answer the children's candid but honest questions.

Oh well. I guess I can understand why politicians make bloopers such as this one. I'm sure Nurul Izzah binti Anwar bin Ibrahim did not mean to hurt anyone's feelings but rather it was so naive of her to be making this kind of mistakes.

Reality check - Muslims in Malaysia will not take apostasy too easily. Same can be said to Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Judaism, even animism parents regarding the religion of their children.