Friday, August 12, 2011

For Once, Hassan Ali May Be Right

Immediate Reactions

The recent JAIS raid on Damansara Utama Methodist Church reveals one thing, that people who are KL Centric do not know what they are talking about and some politicians loves to comment without thinking, which is immediately lapped up by their equally stupid hardcore supporters and spread wide through the web and twitter.

No correction are made when they are proven wrong. That's the strategy all along, hit the headlines first with full impact so that their supporters and public takes notice but when clarifications (when they are proven wrong) comes later, they are likely to be in back pages in small columns.

One of first to react to the raid was Tian Chua, who says although Jais is under Selangor State Government, they take instructions from Putrajaya. He says this without any shred of evidence and presumeably without checking with his counterparts in Selangor.

Many other Pakatan Leaders including Khalid Samad reacted angrily, mainly to show that they respect other religions and more importantly, they want their hard won Christian (read non-malay) votes to stay with them. They did this without checking with their own Pakatan colleague in charge of Jais, Hassan Ali. I wonder how would they react when something like this happens when they are in power at federal level. You will have Pakatan Ministers giving their immediate reactions without checking with necessary ministry, confusing the rakyat.

MCA President also caught the (Tian) 'Chua' disease by demanding DAP to answer for the raid, mocking the silence of DAP leaders. Here, what really happened does not matter to Chua Soi Lek as to him, what is at stake are just Chinese votes. How stupid.

Attempts to Proselytise Muslims.

While it has been quite well known that any attempts to proselytise/convert muslims are illegal in Malaysia, I will not be surprised that such activities has been going on for a very long time.
If you look at Hassan Ali's comments on the so-called raid, it may be vaque and demands further clarifications. But if this report from Malaysian Insider is true, then Hassan Ali/Jais maybe right.

“It is not a Christian prayer ... it is more like thanking God almighty,” he told The Malaysian Insider today.
He confirmed that two Malay-language thanksgiving songs were also sung at the dinner — “Allahu Akbar” and “Alhamdullilah” — but similarly denied they were religious in nature.
Annou also brushed off claims by Malay dailies and blogs that the quiz on Islam conducted at the dinner was meant to disparage the religion as the questions were “very general” in nature and “not insulting”.
“It was not to convert anyone, it was not to influence anybody ... They thought this is Ramadan month, they thought let’s have a quiz on Islam,” he said.

If the NGO is all about Helping the poor and HIV patients, why would anyone need to include religious songs especially “Allahu Akbar” and “Alhamdullilah” when the crowd is racially mixed?

If they really want to thank god, they could have asked everyone present to thank their respective god, maybe in silence. Why cant they do this?

Introducing questionaire on Islam just because it is Ramadhan is laughable. Why not have a quiz on HIV so that everyone present can be more well versed on the disease?

The above events, if they really took place ( I have seen the copy agenda of the event in other sites), raises many questions on the intention of the NGO.

Admission of Guilt

Another report here from Malaysian Insider, again if they are realiable, confirms that there are some Christian groups who attempts to proselytise/convert the Muslims. Their modus operandi is to identify the poor, needy and those who have been shunned by the community (eg HIV), help them with their needs, introduce the religion by the way of having various mind enlightenment courses and to cut is short, brainwash them into eventual conversion.
Read here and some sort of denial here

If you think the whole issue is about Christians attempting to proselytise/convert Muslims, you are dead wrong. Even Catholics and other Christian groups are not spared apart from Buddhist, Sikhs and Hindus.

I do have close relatives and friends who are Christians and mostly do not agree with activities of certain Christian Evangalist groups, whose main agenda is seek new followers. I have a Catholic friend who complained that his mother was influenced by Pentecostal movement which practises (I stand corrected) extreme form of worshipping. He was helpless as his mother has become detached from the family, placing importance on activities by the movement above everything else.

If my recollections are accurate, similar groups have in the past managed to convert large number of Indians in the rubber/Palm Oil estates in the 70s and 80s by giving cash, bags of rice and other daily neccesities . Now they are targetting urban poor and this perhaps explains why Muslims are targetted as well. Even recently, I saw a van transporting people to and from a low cost flats bearing name ' XXXX (can't recall) Harapan.

If you ask around, you realise these groups do exist but in it unfair and ridiculous to blame Christians as a whole. This is where Malaysians are lacking after half a century of independence and almost a century co-exisitng in this land. We simply don't know each other well and are fond of generalising.

If you look at other religions, you will realise that there are equal number of deviant groups or cult movements in the name of said religion.

What Now?

Instead of carrying some toilet bowls and brooms to the MB's office, carrying banners, making hundreds of police reports, the so called concerned NGOs and political party should ask themselves, why would Muslims, in this case, or others seek assistance from such groups in the first place. Where were the assistance from NGOs and government (State and Federal) welfare bodies and like what was highlighted by Dr Asri, what happened to the Zakat collections, controlled by state governments, and are they being distributed appropriately to the target group?

And finally, all religious group should just focus on their existing believers/followers. There is no need to seek more believers. Just ensure that the current believers are following and demonstrating the true teaching of respective religions. Get this right first.

You may also wonder why I have not touched on Hindu's. Oh! Yes, I am a Hindu Fanatic. Please....To me, it a gone case. Hindus in Malaysia themselves are not sure of what they are doing in the first place, so do not expect Hindu groups to go around trying to convert others and this will never happen for thousand years unless someone gets enlightened for some reason, like the Mat Sallehs you see in the Thaipusam festival carrying Kavadis. I am not defending Hindus or the religion, its just that they are a confused lot and simply not capable of brain washing others to convert. Get to the below links for my take on Hindus and temples.

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