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Talibanism in Malaysia — David Martin

FEB 13 — Malaysia is certainly taking its indomitable can-do attitude to the next level.

In a year where London hosts the Olympic Games, it would be nice to have such an attitude ingrained in our athletes. Sadly, our Malaysia Boleh is fast putting us into a global wall of shame... And all this in the space of a week.

First up, we have the now annual “Valentine’s Day is sinful/haram/un-Islamic*” (* delete as necessary or use all terms listed) hullabaloo.

We have all the b******t on how February 14 is the most evil day in the whole calendar as it will lead to Muslims falling into social ills and indulging in free sex, thus incurring Allah’s wrath.

In order to spice things up further, the religious authorities issued Friday sermons reminding Muslims that February 14 was a day commemorating the fall of the Spanish Muslim empire in Cordoba. As far as I’m concerned, that piece of history is as true as Andersen’s fairy tales. Anyone worth their salt would know that the empire fell due to many factors including internal ones and there’s no historical evidence of its fall on Valentine’s Day.

Even before that furore died down came the rebuke of a mufti over the PM’s decision to attend the recent Thaipusam do in Batu Caves. Apparently it is wrong to attend religious ceremonies, even in solidarity with our brethren of other faiths, at least in the eyes of the learned mufti.

Our muftis must not have done their entrusted duties well if merely attending such ceremonies would undermine a Malaysian Muslim’s faith. Is faith so fragile that celebrating our diversity would erode one’s faith?

And to rub salt to the gaping and haemorrhaging wound, the ulama council decreed that it is not wrong for Muslims to attend an open house in conjunction with a religious celebration. That’s just plain insulting for those of other faiths.

What’s next? All houses of worship are to be deemed haram in the eyes of the law? That temples, gurdwaras, churches and the like are to be outlawed? That statues of Siva, Guan Yin, Jesus, etc are to be destroyed as the Talibans destroyed the statues in Afghanistan?

The icing on the cake has to be the statement made by the home minister regarding the repatriation of Hamza Kashgari for tweets deemed insulting to Islam.

“In the context of insulting Islam, I think we are all aware (of consequences),” the home minister was reported to have said.

We are all unequal after all in the eyes of Malaysian law. Insult Islam and justice (and public demonstrations after Friday prayers) will be swift. Insult any other religion and the authorities will deem that no charge is necessary.

Such inequality will come back to haunt us some time in the future. It may even haunt us for generations to come.

I am never so ashamed to be a Malaysian as I have felt in recent times...

Malaysia boleh!!! Towards a Taliban mentality of intolerance, hatred and narrow mindedness.

* David Martin reads The Malaysian Insider.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.

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