I have found many times in this country it is "tough" to be a Muslim, especially if you want to practice your faith as you understand.
For example, the song "Let It Be" by Beatles used to be my comforting and inspiring song to uplift me during my teens when I find that the going gets tough. Till today, automatically the song rhymes in my head when something challenging or disastrous happens.
To my Muslim mind, it means "redha". 'I with me', there are no problems. But I remember when I spoke about this song in my teens, an ustad overheard this and rebuked me: " How can you listen to this song and say it is nice? Jaga, nanti termasuk kristian".
To day of course if any person tells me the same thing that the ustad said I will probably ask him if he really thinks I am stupid as I may look or as weak as him to falter in faith due to a song. I wished people can just see the main message without reading too much into something that is probably born from their prejudice or insecurity.
But I would have thought that such a phenomenon would have died many years ago but no...even up to date, if you are a Muslim, you may find another Muslim (a complete stranger whom you never even knew existed before that) coming up to you and telling you what you can and you cannot do as a Muslim. (but be sure, he will not be giving you any money or an opportunity to make money - that is something private!) They will be busy wanting to save your souls but your body - you can do it on your own!
Over the years, we Muslims seem to have cultivated a culture whereby when it comes to "religious matters" it is not necessarily private and anyone else who has the "religious credentials" or appears to have can talk down to you and tell you how to behave - otherwise, you can be sent to stand in the corner of society! In matters of religion, you may be treated like you are still a child!
After many, many years and with total faith in Allah, I now will like to share publicly a very inspiring song by the Beatles - "Let It Be"...let Allah's grace shower upon all of us to bring forth love and understanding irrespective of our diverse backgrounds.