Thursday, February 11, 2016

Why some Muslims are easy prey to terrorists and extremists.

 I totally welcome our country’s fight against terrorism through the use of law, the police and the military. Safety of the citizens is always a high priority for any responsible government.
However, I am of the view that anti-terrorism measures cannot merely be confined to law, police and military, though necessary, if a long-term solution is the objective.
The re-evaluation and reformation of values, culture, thought and how Islam is taught is the root that ought to be addressed. For this to happen, we need to create a culture of knowledge, thinking, civilised debates and discourse and a high tolerance for dissenting views. In short, coercion and compulsion in matters of faith must give way to personal choice and spiritual growth. 
Islam related terrorism (IR terrorism) is not confined to acts of violence alone because it is based and propagated on ideology.  IR terrorism obviously infests on its own ideology of what Islam is.
The question that every Muslim should ask is this: how in the world did the religion of peace get associated with terrorist violence so easily and globally? How is the professed Muslim persuaded to blow himself up in the name of “jihad”?
I believe that policy makers who want to combat IR terrorism has to embark on an honest study and evaluation of history first to understand what could have been used as the basis of ideology to recruit potential terrorists. The policy maker has to study all versions of history and not just the version he is most comfortable with. A proper approach to fighting IR terrorism has to take into account various other equally significant factors.
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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Fight bigotry with all our might

NOV 30 -- Now, really, where is that courageous Malaysian leader who has the vision and fortitude to move this nation forward as one nation — not a nation fragmented into ethnic, religious or economic classes? Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak presented his 1Malaysia policy with a huge potential to truly unite this nation towards greatness but where is the impact and the “umpphh”?
It is dangerously comical that after 50-over years of independence achieved by the multi-racial front and celebrated by all the citizens of this blessed nation, we still hear the most bigoted and racist statements being made by supposedly educated people. I recently read that an NGO, which unfortunately is identified with Islam, allegedly made a statement: “The Chinese entered this country together with the British invaders as intruders. Who gave them citizenship and wealth until their intrusion is protected until today?”   
If this was indeed uttered, why would anyone who is a Muslim and a citizen of this country want to make a statement like this? 
I cannot see such statements helping to foster national unity nor present the compassionate and intelligent face of Islam. On the contrary, I find such a statement completely inconsistent with the principles taught by Allah in the Quran. Any Muslim who knows his Quran knows we are all descendants of Prophet Adam, the fact of diversity of ethnicity, culture and languages are signs of Allah and it is so willed by Allah as a blessing for us to learn from each other, not to hate and discriminate against each other. It is for this reason I have often said sometimes an ignorant and mala fide professed Muslim is more dangerous to the image of Islam then a professed non-Muslim. 
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Thursday, November 26, 2015

How do Muslims react to Islam related terrorism ?

It is sad for a Muslim who knows his Quran when he hears terrorism has been committed in the name of Islam.
We have just witnessed the brutal and meaningless shooting in Paris and the beheading of Bernard Then by groups that claim to profess the religion of Islam.
The very term “Islamic State” (IS) which for years has been on the lips of many Muslim scholars and even ordinary Muslims who have no idea what it means has today come to stand for barbaric violence against humanity.
It is ironic, certainly, that when the concept of an Islamic State has been touted as a “solution for humankind” by many Muslim quarters before, today it expresses itself in the form of masked men wielding guns and killing people mercilessly.
Even PAS had in the past championed the goal of achieving an Islamic State of sorts with their primary and most important goal being the implementation of its version of hudud passing off as Allah-sanctioned laws. But that is another story.
There are many conspiracy theories abound including the one that IS is actually a Jewish ploy to create havoc in the Muslim world.
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Link here 

Peace !

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Barack Obama: Lessons for "Islamic" Malaysia

Reminds me of many verses in the Quran where Allah "speaks" of diversity of ethnicities, culture and languages as a blessing.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Do politicians really care?

NOVEMBER 12 — That may be a tough question to answer since politics is seen by some as a means of service to the people. As a teenager, I, too, had the highest of admiration for politicians and an awe for Parliament, respecting them for their sacrifices for the people.
Whenever someone asked me what I want to be when I grow up, I would say “politician” but deep down I wondered if I have the moral strength to sacrifice for the people.
However, as you read more, mix with politicians, and observe, your bubble of the ideal politician begins to pop. I recall one of the earliest groups of politicians to burst my bubble were from PAS. I was about 20 years old then and while in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), I witnessed the power of religion in politics and how politicised religion can lead to cracks between family members and relationships.
It was also in UKM that I witnessed the potential for political extremism and I personally experienced being almost a victim of “religious-based” violence after I had chaired our Economics Faculty’s annual general meeting.
Some of the PAS-aligned students were upset with me for disallowing questions that relate to the so-called lack of “Islamness” of the outgoing Economics Faculty student body. It was such a big matter in UKM then how “Islamic” you are if you wanted to succeed in politics, thanks to the PAS brand of politics.
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Peace !