Thursday, June 18, 2009

Religious Arrogance – Dangerous attitude for peaceful living. A SECURITY THREAT?

We are beginning to learn about the futility and danger of racial polarization. We are very slowly accepting the fact that the Creator does not put all the good guys in one ethnic grouping and all the bad guys in another. We are also learning that racism and tribalism is a result of ignorance and misconceived sense of comfort with “group identity”. We are also very slowly learning that decency, acceptance of each other as human beings, love, respect, mutual assistance, and such can be strong binding force between us which are more real than ethnicity and racial similarity. The Creator has in fact disclosed to us the reason why He has created us in diversity:

“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes so that you may know each other (not that you may despise (each other). Surely the most honoured of you in the sight of the Creator is (he who is) the most righteous among you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). (Quran: 49:13).

Honour does not come simply from being a Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan, etc. It comes from being righteous. We have seen since independence that thieves come from all ethnic groupings as do good persons too.

While we are opening our eyes to evils of racial polarization, we are still blind to the more dangerous and emotive phenomenon of religious polarization and extreme religiosity.

This phenomenon becomes doubly dangerous when irresponsible and power-hungry politicians politicize religion and ride on the religion platform for the sole purpose of gaining political power. This is dangerous because it has three possible negative effects:

1) It has a tendency to divide the adherents of the religion itself. For example, in this country, it could divide politically inclined Muslims into PAS Muslim and UMNO Muslims. Such a division, apart from causing obvious disunity in the country could also cause mass confusion among the uninformed party members who idolize their respective political leaders. Politicizing religion often tends to hijack the understanding of the religion along intellectual lines, as it should be.

2) It also tends to divide the Nation as a whole. For example, you immediately alienate the non-Christians if you have a party called Christian Party of Malaysia. Obviously, a Christian party may only allow participation of Christians in the party and this does not augur well for the long term nation building. Nation-building is the responsibility, duty and right of ALL willing and able citizens irrespective of religion, ethnicity or class.

3) Once we allow a political party registered as Islamic Party of Malaysia, you cannot disallow the registration of say a Hindu Party or a Buddhist Party and so on. The floodgates for “religious politicking” are opened. This clearly will worsen religious polarization and one can imagine the kind of political catastrophe that will ensue whenever a general election draws near! The political appeals to religion are highly charged with uncontrollable emotions. One has to look at countries where religion and politics are mixed to understand the explosive potential.

Politics is the art of positioning oneself with the target audience, supporters and potential voters. Invariably, politicians seldom rise to the level of statesmanship. Most of them remain at the popular level pandering to the popular sentiments, norms and thoughts of the Rakyat, even though the thoughts themselves may be immature or incorrect.

“Educative engagement” of the Rakyat is something unknown to most politicians. It is too much effort and the results of such an effort are usually long term. The impatient politician does not have the time to think or to wait. This is why the politicians often opt for the expedient than for the necessary.

When religion enters the equation, we create monsters of the worse sort. In Malaysia, the majority of the Rakyat are Malays and the predominant religion is “Islam”. Hence, any aspiring politician will have to pander to and take into account these two factors – “Malay issues” and “Islam issues”. This will give rise to the tendency for a politician to be “more Malay“ and “more Islam” than anyone else on the face of this earth – to seek attention.

Politics is also about power. The “successful” politician is one who is able to concentrate as much power in himself as possible. In other words, he must have a monopoly over power. Likewise, the politician who uses religion as his political tool will want to concentrate as much “religious authority” in his person as possible. Religious authority, let us not forget is power – power over the minds and conduct of the target concerned.

Hence, it is the prime objective of the “religious” political party to concentrate as much “religious credibility” in its institution as possible, even to the extent of trying to mould public opinion that other institutions should not talk about the religion. We saw this recently in PAS. The leaders of such parties have to try to monopolize the religion itself, if it is possible. They have to position themselves as the last decider of what is and what is not part of the religion which they are using as a political platform.

In our country, politicians have the absolute freedom to make the most illogical and absurd statements which normal people will be embarrassed to make. They do not think twice that what they say will be reflective of their mentality. This is because they are deluded by the mandate they got by being voted in as an MP or an Adun. They mistakenly think that this mandate is a license to dispense with decency and thinking. Hence, arrogance is born.

Religious arrogance among the people in power and in authority is the worst form of oppressive conduct. People who are arrogant tend to be oppressors. They are unable to accept dissenting views because they take it as a personal affront to their power. They want to be the sole interpreter of the religion and everyone else MUST accept it. Non-compliance may lead to dangerous irrational behaviour on their part. In the Quran, an example of a person with major religious arrogance (and with political power) is the Pharaoh.

“But the sorcerers fell down prostrate in adoration, saying: "We believe in the Lord of the Worlds,- The Lord of Moses and Aaron. (Quran : 7:121 -122)

“Said Pharaoh: "Believe you in Him before I give you permission? Surely this is a trick which you have planned in the city to drive out its people: but soon shall you know (the consequences)”. (Quran: 7:123)

The Egyptian people could not decide on their faith WITHOUT FIRST OBTAINING PHARAOH’ PERMISSION. In other words, the Pharoah has a monopoly over the religion of the Egyptians and he becomes a god. This is arrogance leading to oppression. DO you not notice how people with religious arrogance react violently when they feel that their views or positions are being challenged? This is precisely how the Pharaoh reacted:

"Be sure I will cut off your hands and your feet on apposite sides, and I will cause you all to die on the cross." (Quran: 7:124 )

Any dissenting views will be met with a final punishment – death, ban, ostracize.

I believe that every citizen of this country has the right to practice and profess the religion of his choice and no one else has the right to compel his views (especially if you are in political power) on others. Politics tend to take wither down this right of the ordinary Rakyat because it wants to concentrate power in the hands of the politician. ON the contrary, I believe that it is the power of the politicians to interfere with this Rakyat’s right that should be curtailed by laws.

To this end, I would support any legislation that outlaws the use of names of religion attached to political parties. This will free the religion from politics and allow the true teachings of the religion to be understood.

For example, years and years of brainless enmity between the Shias and Sunnis in the middle eastern countries and Pakistan testify to the dangers of religious arrogance - it gives rise to bloodshed, loss of property and all round misery for the people. Examples of Hinduism mixed with politics in India is also another case in point.

Religious arrogance and misuse of religion by politicians must be nipped in the bud before it becomes a major national security threat and hampers intellectual development in the country.



jon pour do care said...

Salam My Brother Jay,


To this end, I would support any legislation that outlaws the use of names of religion attached to political parties. :Unquote


Anonymous said...

Petang tadi Sara jumpa kawan,who happen to be my hairdresser too...soon after ,one malay lady walked into his salon and asked "ada staff melayu tak?" then he said no n suggest she might want to consider trying their service 1st. Then abg Jay tau tak...tat idiot just simply shouted " Cina tak boleh buat rambut I...babi!!!" and I was like...OMG!!! I'm soooo was so embarassing...I mean it!

Kalau anak/adik I, lama kena penampar dah!So rude, what's wrong with these ppl?Blunder racist is truly sickening!

bulans said...

reference to niasara is made: and u people call me racist, WTF man

Anonymous said...

Bulan, I assume you are not racist nor religious arrogance... perhaps u have been 'tough' in expressing your sincere thought before... I'm sure you are a very decent n good person...

Abg Jay, I'm doing a lots of reading lately...n the more I try to understand what's written in Quran...the more scared I am.

Religious arrogance bukan hanya pada politician, tapi kita semua. Kita semua mampu menjadi manusia yang menghalalkan apa yang haram...

I'm truly sad with myself too ~(!.I)~

Unknown said...

Ketua Pemuda Gerakan ketinggalan zaman, kata MB Kedah
ALOR SETAR, Jun 25 — Menteri Besar Kedah, Datuk Seri Azizan Razak menyifatkan Ketua Pemuda Gerakan Kedah, Tan Keng Liang ketinggalan zaman apabila terus mengajak orang menyertai BN.

"Semua sekarang nak tinggalkan Umno dan BN untuk menyertai PAS dan Pakatan Rakyat. Tiba-tiba dia pula ajak masuk BN, pelik sungguh," kata Azizan kepada media dalam satu majlis di Gurun hari ini.

Azizan mengulas gesaan Tan yang meminta DAP dan PKR menyertai BN bagi membentuk kerajaan baru di Kedah dengan meninggalkan PAS.

Ini kerana, kata Tan, kerajaan Kedah dibawah pimpinan PAS sekarang meminggirkan orang bukan Melayu di Kedah.

Menurut Azizan, Tan ketinggalan dalam banyak hal termasuk isu kouta 50 peratus untuk orang Melayu apabila tanah rezab Melayu diambil untuk projek perumahan di bandar Alor Setar.

Tan juga, kata Azizan, ketinggalan dalam isu pusat penyembelihan babi di Mergong.

Sebelum ini, Azizan berkata, yang tidak adil adalah kerajaan BN sebelum ini yang telah meluluskan tanah rezab Melayu untuk projek perumahan tetapi menetapkan hanya 20 peratus sahaja kouta untuk orang Melayu.

"Ini tanah rezab Melayu, bukan tanah pegangan bebas. Untuk tanah pegangan bebas, mana ada syarat itu," katanya.

Dalam isu pusat penyembelihan babi di Mergong pula, pusat yang terletak di Pasar Mergong ini, walaupun telah bergerak selama lebih 30 tahun, namun ia tidak pernah mempunyai lesen yang sah dari pihak berkuasa tempatan.

Aktivitinya pula mendapat bantahan orang Melayu yang turut ke pasar ini kerana bahan-bahan buangannya dibuang dalam tong sampah yang sama dengan penggunaan lain dan sebahagiannya dialirkan ke sungai berdekatan.

Ekoran bantahan itu, Majlis Bandaraya Alor Setar telah mengarahkan pusat penyembelihan ini dipindahkan ke tempat lain.

Ekoran itu, persatuan peniaga babi ini telah membuat rayuan kepada Menteri Besar Kedah untuk memberikan tempoh kepada mereka sebulan untuk mendapatkan tempat baru.

"Menteri Besar telah menulis surat kepada Datuk Bandar Alor Setar agar rayuan mereka ini diterima. Jika selepas sebulan mereka tidak dapat kawasan baru, itu masalah mereka kerana mereka yang meminta tempoh sebulan," kata Setiausaha Akhbar MB Kedah, Helmi Khalid yang dihubungi hari ini.

Menurut Helmi, satu kawasan baru telah dikenalpasti untuk dijadikan tempat penyembelihan babi ini iaitu di satu kawasan dalam Kampung Cina Pendang.

"Pejabat MB telah bersetuju dengan tapak baru ini jika mendapat kelulusan khasnya dari Jabatan Veterinar. Surat juga telah dihantar kepada Yang Dipertua Majlis Daerah Pendang agar permohonan ini diluluskan jika mendapat sokongan dari jabatan-jabatan berkaitan," beritahu Helmi.

Sementara itu, hubungan antara parti-parti dalam Pakatan Rakyat di Kedah sangat baik, kata anggota Parlimen Jerai, Mohd Firdaus Jaafar.

"Oleh itu, saya yakin pancingan Tan itu tidak akan dimakan oleh sahabat-sahabat saya dalam PKR atau DAP. Orang sekarang nak tinggal BN dan nak masuk Pakatan," kata beliau.

Tentang isu-isu yang dibangkitkan, Firdaus yakin ia akan adapat diselesaikan dengan baik Oleh MB Kedah.

"Sabarlah, isu babi ini sensitif dan tidak siapa mahu babi diternak atau disembelih di sebelah rumah mereka sekarang dengan wabak selsema babi ini. Jadi kena bersabarlah supaya kawasan yang dijadikan kawasan ternak dan sembelih itu nanti benar-benar sesuai," katanya.
Dipetik dari Malaysia Insider