Matters of opinion that enables me to understand or make some sense of my country- Malaysia

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Leave Her Ramadan Alone -She asks.!

Couldn’t resist  from  commenting  on a FMT  article – coz it had a familiar feel that sets off some “beep” in my personal psyche.

And after re-visiting the article few times and in my own idiosyncratic attempt to decipher the Gist of what the writer seem to be conveying. Noticed some peculiarities in the tone of the penmanship,particularly the words that were selected..

Words chosen by the writer to express her views were by no means accidental..

The emotional tinge of the  phrases when strung together was actually palpable.

The author is actually quite a prolific writer and regular contributor to FMT -Malaysian Insider and other online  news /opinion portals. And having read the author’s  articles before , the writer seems to be quite eloquent and able to articulate  thoughts and emotions very well in English.!

 One of the reasons that peaked my curiousity on what she was actually expressing  and whom she may have been alluding to.-in some of her scathing remarks  in the article ,that many may have missed if they just skimmed through !

Heres the article in entirety and my comment below:

And post mortem?  Hmmmm…( don’t take too seriously though,Its personal rambling at best)

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Leave Me and My Ramadan Alone

by Sairana Mohd Saad

Never a year goes by when Ramadan is left in peace, and my special thanks goes to colourful Malaysians who choose to paint Islam in a “Salvador Dali” manner.

Sometimes, I wish people would leave me and my Ramadan alone, although I am thoroughly convinced, that it’s never going to happen. History shows it all.

Let me get this straight. No one really cares if you can fast or you can’t fast. No one really cares if you are steadfast or not, whether you are a Muslim by faith or a Muslim by birth. Also, no one really cares if you want to don the Hijab or not. If you think you have enough excuses and can’t fast, then don’t.

If you think the Hijab is not obligatory, then don’t wear it. There is no need to justify to the whole world that it’s not written in the Quran or search verses from the Holy Book, to bind your corrupt statements.

It’s a total embarrassment that at times, it is our own Muslim brothers and sisters who participate in tarnishing the good name of Islam. Your relationship with Ramadan is unique and it is between you and Allah. Your bottom line is being recorded by the two angels on your left and right.

What other people think about you does not matter and it shouldn’t. But whatever your stand is in this Dunya, at least show respect for Ramadan Al Mubarak. It’s only 30 days. Is that too much to ask?

I have two grouses…

What’s this fuss about imposing values on others? This holier than thou attitude is getting some Malaysians excited and articles by the dozens are being churned out to mess with our heads. Not that it has affected mine, but those innocent, gullible readers out there might just take every word as the Gospel Truth. That’s the danger. The ability to reflect and evaluate is not a skill that all and sundry enjoy unfortunately.

What’s this issue about closing school canteens and making children eat in changing rooms and drinking piss? To be honest, the topic itself is so disgusting that I didn’t bother to read further than the headline. Although I was very tempted, I resisted as I did not want to succumb to another act of propaganda in the holy month of Ramadan. The headlines were obviously popping from feeds, shares and likes – and that’s really how it got smacked right into my face.

It’s been a while since I have refused to read anything that has a negative connotation on Islam, because I am privileged to know that content is king and sizzling headlines will always win empty hearts and minds.

This sort of ignorance is bliss, for me.

The nagging question is: Why is there never a dull moment in Ramadan?

Whether it’s Cadbury that was accused of including Porcine DNA or Peppero that is suddenly declared as “non-halal” or restaurants without Halal certifications – from pre-Ramadan right through to Syawal – we, practising Muslims, are subjected to all sorts of ludicrous dramas, only, Made in Malaysia.

I could look at it as part of my daily entertainment – but lately, there has been an overdose of crappy content being liked and shared. Seriously, I am getting intoxicated to the point of no return.

I wish, once again, that you, and all of you, who happen to have a very low opinion of Malay Muslims, or Muslims in general, abstain from annoying us with your less than respectable musings.

Just a gentle reminder, fasting is not just about abstaining from drinking and eating. The most difficult part is to abstain from anger, foul language and bitching.

And that’s where I need your help to stop throwing filth at us, as we struggle to hold our tongues to score brownie points with our Rabb.

For your cooperation, understanding and for making Malaysia a more peaceful and harmonious country to live in – I thank you in advance.

sourced: .freemalaysiatoday.leave-me-and-my-ramadan-alone

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From the comment thread:

Bryan Wong

For a one who can’t be bothered –maybe the writer should read what she herself penned down..smack full of hypocrisy and contradicting herself at every turn with her sanctimonious posturing .-maintaining she is not affected,so why write about it with bile and venom -if you are not affected .? Respect is a 2 way street, so with the utmost of respect, nons can and DO respect the Holy month and the need for self purification in fasting of fellow Malaysians of the Islamic faith . And so ,have some faith in our multi cultural /religious community of Malaysians as a considerate lot- who will probably out of respect on their own accord not intentionally cause ackwardness in consuming food in front of their fasting friends-but please ,no need to impose such or demand respect for the obligatory observance from non-muslims who subscribes to other faiths. Is that too much to ask also?

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Musa Ng · –

Bryan Wong,- I suspect you, and all those who “Liked” your comment, have missed the whole point of the article.

I find Sairana Saad’s article to be directed at small-minded Muslims and small-minded non-Muslims.

I mean, your comment does have it’s points too, but unfortunately, I don’t think those points are conveyed in the spirit of reconciliation you may have intended.

But don’t worry, I do understand the “shoot first, ask questions later” mentality of Malaysians like you.

It’s a case of “Feel the Hate, Luke!!!!”, isn’t it? 🙂

Oh well, the dumbos on “the other side” do it as well, you know 🙂

 Bryan Wong ·

Musa Ng -If airing concerns of a perceived imposition of values that a whole community doesn’t subscribe by is construed as “filth,” – then so many are guilty as charged..

Her choice of words are by no means an accident..

Yet by the naming of the many “incidents” in the article,indicates that the concerns are with merit.

How is it a negative connotation of Islam by merely requesting for mutual respect ?.

One gets the impression by her statement leading to the “ignorance is bliss part”- sounds more like denial or that all she mentioned doesn’t matter- but it does!

And its not only restricted to the shallow minded nons among us.

And finally,the concluding part of the article reads like another demand to respect her faith or..??come on , esp the last 2 paragraphs.?.

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Well , soon as i got that bit off my chest.-  decided to revisit the article and re-read it to

see if there may be inferences that may have been missed and of course to see if what Musa Ng said in his response to my comment had merit..

After a period of  ” Chin resting on Palm”  staring at the passages in a contemplative mood .

Pondering on writer’s choice of words (which had drawn my curiousity in the 1st place).

I began to wonder from what religious perspective the writer is writing from ..since the article  has a bearing on religion and the faithful –  in reference to the holy month of Ramadan and Muslims obligatory observance to fasting.

 Few readings of  the whole piece , emanated a  feeling that there is an emotive essence that can be extracted by the summation of the words/phrases in the  article .

Which hints of  a sense of the writers disgruntled vexation towards something abstract  or unclear.

Initially , conclusion drawn from the article seem to be of  annoyance , a disdainful  dis-approval of how some Malay/Muslims behaves during  Ramadan.,

Until curiously , there came a sense that  ,the words chosen in rebuke had more weight than initially thought.!

Reading the article  dismissively ,one may not sense it – as if there is a glaring undertone of the entire article as a sneer of disapproval , frowning on concepts of progressive thinking and adaptation of Islam interpretated with a modernity approach relevant to the 21st century.

Which may  then place the writer in the conservative mould, resistant to , reluctant to and as yet unprepared to accept  – what Islamic conservatives may feel as  radical idealogy –even Deviation by  the more extreme –  in interpretation of the Islamic Faith .

And difficult to reconcile with  conservative Islam – that is more rooted to the Almighty’s words as per the Holy Koran.

 Oops ,getting carried away with a line of thinking but back to simple concepts-, it is what was expressed in the words and phrases  that hinted at an overall emotional tone in the summation  of the article – that prompted an  impression

Quote — “ There is no need to justify to the whole world that it’s not written in the Quran or search verses from the Holy Book, to bind your corrupt statements.” Un-quote.

And the other phrase :  It’s a total embarrassment that at times, it is our own Muslim brothers and sisters who participate in tarnishing the good name of Islam.

By themselves ,  both phrases  are innocuous and may not be that significant ,yet as  we mull on

 the backdrop upon which they were  made.

Or to whom this may have been referring to–

Prior to this , merely few days past , social media had been abuzz with  few FB postings  and sharings in significant nos. – on an issue that seemed to have gotten traction on many mindsets  across the ethnic religious divide .  

Highlighting the need for mutual respect and acceptance of each ethnic community’s Faith and values.

But mainly ,the postings were  in favor of the Muslim marjority  not going overboard demanding  respect for the religious obligatory observance of fasting  during Ramadan !.

And Yes.., there were grains of truth which the 1st statement refers to.

Quote — “ There is no need to justify to the whole world that it’s not written in the Quran or search verses from the Holy Book, to bind your corrupt statements.” Un-quote.(operative words in bold)

And the other phrase :  It’s a total embarrassment that at times, it is our own Muslim brothers and sisters who participate in tarnishing the good name of Islam.

Hence , if sequenced –  both phrases seem to  infer to the fact that ,the behavior of those who uses such justifications to give validity to the claims are in effect tarnishing the good name  of Islam.

Unfounded perhaps since its my personal take on the statements.

For it got me to pondering that if the writer is indeed expressing from a Conservative point of view.

It is indeed hard to reconcile with so name Progressive Thinkers and their interpretation of modernity’s adaptation to doctrines from the same Faith.

 Interesting  , isn’t it? To me anyway ?.

And it gets much more interesting in the  latter portion as the writer list down grouses .!

 

Quote “ What’s this fuss about imposing values on others?

This holier than thou attitude is getting some Malaysians excited and articles by the dozens are being churned out to mess with our heads. Not that it has affected mine, but those innocent, gullible readers out there might just take every word as the Gospel Truth. That’s the danger. The ability to reflect and evaluate is not a skill that all and sundry enjoy unfortunately.” Unquote.

Perhaps its just me reading too much into something ..!

And this paragraph feels as condescending  as it can get ,as the writer snipes away , opting for these phrases “Holier than Thou “ and  “Gospel Truth” to make a point

And in the same breath,the writer proceeds to list down  issues that happened within the not too distant past that  has seriously struck a genuine discordant note of concern and alarm among the non-muslims.

Suggesting them to be Propaganda-designed to stir restlessness from all communities.

Which actually has merits, and factual but  with sinister implications .

When trivial incidents get blown out of proportion by opportunistic predatorial politicians  or NGOs or Govermental depts appointed as guardians of acceptable behavior within Faith Based confines.

Yet, at the same token , there is a  thought provoking  dimension .

For it will make sense that –for the unscrupulous sinister minded to exploit some issue .

First there will need to be a certainty that the issue can be drawn on from genuine fears that is in the sub-conscious  of the collective psyche of a whole community.!

From across the political divide , since both dimensions can actually extract political mileage –one side verbalizing the fears of a segment of society and the other capitalizing on  religious/racial trespassing onto an exclusive territory imprinting onto mindsets of the gullible.!

Hence all the issues played by the sinister and unscrupulous – may augur better if  (not the incidents themselves )  

but the well grounded sentiments or fears  on all sides of the ethnic /cultural mix regardless of political affiliation -which they are based on.

Are acknowledged and addressed by allaying such fears and  seeking an accommodative middle ground that can pacify all sides.

And this needs the political will of all sides on the political divide but onus is on the ones who currently have the administrative power!

Rather than to exploit these undertones of a multi-racial /religious community  for political mileage!

 

Quote:  What’s this issue about closing school canteens and making children eat in changing rooms and drinking piss?

To be honest, the topic itself is so disgusting that I —————

I did not want to succumb to another act of propaganda in the holy month of Ramadan.

Whether it’s Cadbury that was accused of including Porcine DNA or Peppero that is suddenly declared as “non-halal” or restaurants without Halal certifications – from pre-Ramadan right through to Syawal –

We, practising Muslims, are subjected to all sorts of ludicrous dramas, only, Made in Malaysia.

– but lately, there has been an overdose of crappy content being liked and shared.

I wish, once again,  all of you, who happen to have a very low opinion of Malay Muslims, or Muslims in general, abstain from annoying us with your less than respectable musings.

The most difficult part is to abstain from anger, foul language and bitching.

And that’s where I need your help to stop throwing filth at us, as we struggle to hold our tongues to score brownie points with our Rabb.

For your cooperation, understanding and for making Malaysia a more peaceful and harmonious country to live in – I thank you in advance.

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Finally ,with all due respect to the writer and the  opinions of which the author  is wholly entitled to-(may I add ,having read some  recent opinion pieces  from same person ,that makes a lot of sense in our multi-cultural Malaysian landscape. )

I sincerely hope that the concerns of the nons are not viewed as “Ludicrous Propaganda “ in one sweeping generalization that brusquely cast everything aside .

Although ,many will concur and be just as ” disgusted ”  as the Author , by the un-principled uses of the

never ending religious themes to stir resentment between the communities!

Although there are elements of truth in the  statement  that totally validates the claim as mere

Propaganda but not all, and  if there is a selective analysis on all the “incidents” – including ones not mentioned in the article

Some of them are serious perceived infringements upon a whole community and their own cultural values and faith based moral guidance.

And that the opinion of “less than respectable” musings  cuts both ways!

But yet ,when the writer penned this request,  ” abstain from annoying the practicing Muslims ” , indicating  dis-pleasure on current events ,then more than ever ,the writer ought to  be able to relate to the exact same sentiments on the other side.!

This article reads like  one of those that “shoots from the hip”  – with noble intentions yet un-avoidably expresses a sense of  

ethno-centric-ism based on devout piety .

And I am sure that the writer is one who just wish to be left alone to practice  devotion without all the screeching irritating noises in the background that has been manifesting ,not only during Ramadan-but has reared it’s ugliness quite often – of late.

 And that is precisely what the problem is !

And which is something that need to be acknowledged and repudiated via a concerted effort by all reason minded Malaysians who subscribes by ideals of a harmonious society transcending petty issues ,clearly used under the guise of Faith and Race by the sinister minded.!

For it seems that Silence is becoming less and less of an option for the marjority of Malaysians who merely wish to  live in a non-confrontational society!

 

An after –thought :

   Personally, all the “issues” highlighted could so easily have been handled much more delicately by the powers that be and overall contribute to a much more accepting harmonious society.

But the mere fact of the overly hyped publicity that’s more confrontational than accommodative is so so telling of the prevailing circumstances  egged on by those with vested interests, be it political or financial self-interests gain.

 

And not withstanding , is a perception that an inclusive and un-divided society along race/religious lines-may be detrimental to the Political Power structure and preservation.

And lamentable is a generation of psyches has been conditioned to instinctively go on the defensive and respond to all matters relating to race/religion as an affront or being challenged

Instead of patiently engaging each other ,emphasizing mutual acceptance and understanding.

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