Hancur 1Malaysia

Oh my goodness. I had so many good things happen to me today but I’ve decided to blog about them another time because this just pissed me off! JAIS JAKIM has come up with guidelines on for Muslims celebration non-Muslim festivals.

WTF??

I have learned today that it is now ill-advised for non-Muslims to invite Muslims to attend and participate in any sort of religious festivities. Come on, if it is a religious festivity, there’s definitely going to be some amount of religious activity going on.

Instead of understanding and building bridges, our religious authorities are building walls.

Let’s be frank, the rest of us get Islamic rites shoved down our throats throughout our lives. Islamic prayers are recited at almost every function including at school assemblies. The rest of us maintain a respectful silence when this goes on but if the reverse were to happen, the Muslims would risk being fined or charged in court.

Now, I wonder what would happen if the non-Muslims followed the JAIS guidelines, but in reverse instead? It would be thorough chaos. No matter what the politicians say, Malaysia is not an Islamic state.

I shall produce the guidelines here ad-verbatim:

The 68th muzakarah of the National Fatwa Committee for Islamic Religious Affairs on April 12, 2005 discussed the Guidelines For Muslims Celebrating Religious Festivals Of Non-Muslims. The muzakarah has decided that:

In determining the non-Muslim celebrations that can be attended by Muslims, several main criteria should serve as guidelines so as not to contradict the teachings of Islam. The criteria are as follows:

  1. The event is not accompanied by ceremonies that are against the Islamic faith (aqidah).

    The meaning of “against the Islamic faith (aqidah)” is a thing, act, word or situation which if conducted will lead to tarnishing the faith (aqidah) of Muslims.

    For example:

    • to include religious symbols such as the cross, installing lights, candles, Christmas tree and so forth;
    • to sing religious songs;
    • to put any religious markings on the forehead, or other markings onto parts of the body;
    • to deliver speech or gestures in the form of a praise to the non-Muslim religion;
    • to bow or conduct acts of honour to the religious ceremony of non-Muslims.
  2. The event is not accompanied by acts against the Islamic law.

    The meaning of “against the Islamic law” is a thing, act, word or situation which if conducted will contradict the Islamic teachings practised by the Muslim community.

    For example:

    • Wearing red costumes like Santa Claus or other garments that reflect religion;
    • Serving intoxicating food or beverages and the likes;
    • Having sounds or ornaments like church bells, Christmas tree, temple or breaking of coconuts;
    • Having ceremonies with elements of gaming, worship, cult, superstitions and the likes.
  3. The event is not accompanied by “acts that contradict with moral and cultural development of Muslim society” in this country.

    The meaning of “acts that contradict with moral and cultural development of Muslim society” is a thing, act, word or situation which if conducted will contradict the values and norms of the Muslim society of this country which adheres to the Islamic teachings based on Ahlus Sunnah Wal-Jamaah.

    For example:

    • Mixing freely without any limit or manners;
    • Wearing conspicuous clothing;
    • Singing songs that contain lyrics of obscenity and worship;
    • Organising programmes such as beauty pageants, cock fighting and such.
  4. The event is not accompanied by acts that can “stir the sensitivity of Muslim community”.

    The meaning of “stir the sensitivity of Muslim community” is a thing, act, word or situation which if conducted will offend the feelings of Muslims about their beliefs and practices.

    For Example:

    • Speeches or songs in the form of non-Muslim religious propaganda;
    • Speeches that insult the Muslims;
    • Speeches that insult Islam;
    • Presentations with the aim to ridicule the religious belief of Muslims.
  5. The organisers and the public are asked to get the views of religious authorities before organising or attending celebrations of non-Muslims.

Update@2011-08-22: As rightly pointed out below, the guidelines are from JAKIM.

Salam Aidil-Fitri?

Wow, I knew that I no longer watched local television for a reason. However, even I got a bit stunned when I read this piece of news, first things this morning, on the BBC – “Malaysian Eid advert axed for resembling Christmas”. According to the article:

Malaysia’s TV3 has apologised for airing the festive clip, which wished Muslims a happy Eid al-Fitr, the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

The advert showed an elderly man taking children aboard his flying carriage and travelling across a star-filled sky.

Critics said it was too akin to the tale of Santa Claus and his sleigh.

The clip provoked considerable criticism, much of it from internet and blogging sites, which deemed it insensitive and in poor taste.

It also depicted lotuses, which some complained have links to Buddhism and Hinduism.

This is just sad. I want to think that the majority of Malaysia is far more tolerant than this. However, the bigots are usually the vocal ones. I think that, in the spirit of celebrations, the silent majority should voice out our displeasure at such stupidity.

The ad was probably just an attempt, and even possibly an experiment, to integrate different aspects of Malaysian life and culture into a single ad. Someone probably thought that it was cute and creative because nobody has ever done something like this before.

We are probably one of the few countries in the world where it actually makes sense to integrated every religious symbol into everything that we do because we have so many kinds of people around. That is our strength and that is our uniqueness.

Unfortunately, we are now being show-cased as an intolerant bunch of ignorant people.

I miss Yasmin Ahmad.

Merdeka? Rant

We suck as a nation.Yesterday was the official Merdeka (Independence) Day celebrations for Malaysia. It marks 50-over years of independence from our colonials – the Brits. Unfortunately, I did not feel very merdeka at all – not just in terms of the celebrations but also in personal terms. I just did not feel very happy at all.

It could just be that I have been rather unhappy with a whole lot of things and my unhappiness is stacking up gradually. I seem to be running short on my happiness quotient recently. There are just too many things to be depressed about in my life, and my nation by extension.

I find myself surrounded by idiots and as you all know, I do not suffer fools gladly. That’s the crux of the problem.

Maybe I should learn to see things differently, or to surround myself with less foolishness. I think that the latter would be an easier solution to the problem. However, I will have to find some way to alleviate the stress that I am currently under. Hopefully, things will turn out better after my holiday to Japan. Goodness knows I need a break from all this idiocy.

Life sucks. People are dumb. Learn to eat grass.