I received this comment from Robinson, a visitor to my blog recently responding to my article about why Caliph Umar al Khattab (RA) spared the church in Jerusalem from being subjected to any inconveniences in the future by Muslims who might want to do the same if he prayed inside the church as invited by the church authorities when he visited it after Jerusalem returned to the control of the Muslims?
Although I do not cherish engaging in dialogue with anonymous commenter’s, what he has raised is important enough to be given a proper reply to and thus, here I am doing just that.
I have corrected his spelling errors and grammar here to facilitate easier reading but you can always refer to his original comment if you click here.
- I just don’t see what is the point why Muslims always harp on the good deeds they did in the past to show how tolerant they are.
The fact is the non Muslim population is suspicious of the Muslims because of the actions of Muslims of today.
- If Caliph Umar r.a can do all that, then why are Muslims in Malaysia not so tolerant whenever non Muslims try to build their temples,tokong & churches.
Just look at how the Sabah government banned the erection of the statue of the Chinese Goddess Ma Tzu, even though it was in the compound of the temple ,the reason they gave, there was mosque nearby, but at the same time allow the mosques to broadcast the azan full blast, causing disturbance and noise pollution.
Now they don’t just do it to azan, tazkirahs, recitation of the Al-Quran etc are broadcast.
A majority of the non Muslim’s don’t have problems with the broadcast of the azan,what they do resent is the unfair manner they are treated, you can broadcast azan, but you wouldn’t allow non Muslims to erect their own statues within their own compound simply because there is a mosque nearby.
- Another incident is the Kampung Rawa incident where the local Hindus were harrassed by Muslims because the temple bells rang out loudly that it interfered with their prayers,they were so agitated that they resorted to rioting, 2000 people gathered in the mosque to go on a jihad against the local Hindus.
- How many times have non Muslims resorted to violence whenever the azan interrupts their religious activities?
In Malaysia, there are a lot of rules pertaining to the construction of temples and Churches. Sometimes it is impossible to get the permit at all. This is the reason why there are so many illegal temples in Malaysia.
- The design of the Church or temples are also restricted, for Sikh Gurdwaras they are not allowed to build it with domes.
- As for Churches, there are restrictions on steeple height,placement of the cross etc.
These restrictions have nothing to do with practical town planning methodology.
- Non Muslims could clearly see that these unusual restrictions are designed to step on their rights or a way by the government to say that their religion is second class.
You can’t repress the love a person has towards his or her religion. If Muslims have the motivation to pray to their God, we non Muslims too have the same amount of affection and attachment to our religion and God. These type of actions and regulations are the sort of things that eclipse the gestures shown by Muslim rulers in the past.
- In fact they render them totally unreliable,because it leads people to think “are sure they did all these good things maybe it is just publicity stunt, for we could see things that are of the opposite being done in front of our eyes”.
Muslims can’t always depend on the actions of their past leaders for every good leader there is a rotten guy down the street. Every empire kingdom and government in History has had this,Muslim kingdoms too have had these buffoons too. The same goes to the statement of the author “…how Islam is so condescending towards other faiths but other faiths aren’t so reciprocal when dealing with us?” In Malaysia thanks to globalization, we know what is taking place in other countries.
- The author should really research about how Muslims are being treated in non Muslim countries.
In Thailand , a country that has only 4.6% of its population as Muslims has had a Muslim speaker of Parliament, Muslim Minister of Interior and even the Chief of the Army currently is a Muslim.
- In Malaysia, there hasn’t been even a non Muslim district officer, even in largely non Muslim states such as Sabah and Sarawak there are no non Muslim Chief Minister.
- The highest ranking Non Muslim is the Chief Minister of Penang, a Chinese has had to face many discreet movements by the Muslim Malay Party of UMNO to wrest his seat.
Further more, there are many non Muslim states that accept Muslim heads of government and high ranking officials. In Africa, largely Christian Tanzania has a Muslim President, Muslims only form 35% of the population, Malaysia Boleh ke?
- Non Muslim can’t even become the Mentri Besar.
Muslims too have held high ranking positions like Vice president in other Non Muslim countries. Uganda which has only 12.1% Muslims had Idi Amin, a Muslim as a president.
- This is one of the reasons why Non Muslims sometimes insinuate that the Muslims are only good if they want something from us, but once they are in power, they don’t like to share it with us on an equal footing.
In Buddhist Thailand too, The National Council for Muslims, consisting of at least five persons (all Muslims) and appointed by royal proclamation, advise the Ministries of Education and Interior on Islamic matters.
Its presiding officer, the State Counselor for Muslim Affairs, was appointed by the king and held the office of division chief in the Department of Religious Affairs in the Ministry of Education. Provincial councils for Muslim affairs existed in the provinces that had substantial Muslim minorities, and there were other links between the government and the Muslim community, including government financial assistance to Islamic education institutions, assistance with construction of some of the larger mosques, and the funding of pilgrimages by Thai Muslims to Mecca, both Bangkok and Hat Yai being primary gateway cities.
Thailand also maintained several hundred Islamic schools at the primary and secondary levels, as well as Islamic banks, (Pattanakarn, Bangkok), shops and other institutions. Much of the packaged food marketed is tested and labeled halal (unless it has pork), regardless of who eats it. All this in a country where Muslims form only 5%.
- In Pakistan, where a similar percentage of Non Muslims exist, their temples and churches are subject to bombings and attacks.
- In Malaysia, beef is served everywhere, and it is not being labeled to avoid confusion among Hindus.
- If we ask, ” Is this beef? ” There is always a kind of cynical expression in the faces of the Muslims who serve it.
In retrospect it is not the actions of past Muslims that form the opinion of Non Muslims about Muslims but present actions both here and overseas that do. You ask about reciprocity, the same question is also lingering in the mind of Non Muslims as well.
Saturday, 15 September, 2007
Well, that’s his thoughts expressed out loud for all to read and I can understand what he’s trying to say but as usual, there are certain things he has raised here that is true but also some issues that aren’t due to the fact that it is just what he imagines things to be or figured as the actual truth of what really transpired such as his referring to the Kampong Rawa Incident in Patani Road, Penang.
Anyway, I will address what he has raised subjectively according to the order of them appearing in his comment.
- “I just don’t see what is the point why Muslims always harp on the good deeds they did in the past to show how tolerant they are.”
Robinson seems to forget that we are here today as heirs to what our forefathers did in the past. Without the past, there is no present.
If we do not live by learning from the past, then what guarantee is there that we will not commit or repeat the same mistakes that have been done by our predecessors?
So, instead of dismissing off what the Muslim leaders have achieved in the past, it is better to learn from their achievements and see to it that we go about achieving similar objectives by not forgetting such successes!
Are we that arrogant in denying the great deeds of our past leaders?
Such insolence never brought anyone any good. Not anyone who lived in the past, living now in the present or will be living in the future!
So, please do not be denying the past if you want to be able to appreciate what you can achieve in your future?
- If Caliph Umar r.a can do all that, then why are Muslims in Malaysia not so tolerant whenever non Muslims try to build their temples,tokong & churches?
This statement is so preposterous, that if I haven’t come to a stage now where I can calmly be here trying to answer such idiotic statements from a clearly frustrated individual who has spoken in such a way because of certain situations in our country, I’d just simply delete his comments into oblivion and not entertain such idiocy.
Are you blind to the tallest Hindu statue here in this uncompromising Malay heartland?
If it is as you say that the Muslims in Malaysia are intolerant of temples and churches , then what the hell is that ?
Sometimes people do not realize what they have until it is all taken away from them!
This land has its own laws and regulations. In case you have forgotten, this land was called Tanah Melayu or Malaya for a reason.
Yes it is true that the Malays were once Hindus and Buddhists but don’t you ever forget that the Father of all Mankind was a Muslim and that as Muslims we worship only Almighty Allah!
This is the truth. That is if you have it in you to study about the Origin of Mankind and are capable of digesting fact and not fiction.
Imagining this and that to be your Creator is just a figment of your imagination.
That statue is just that. It is a statue. A created thing. Made up of cement and iron frameworks. Painted by man. Set up there at its location. In case a bloody earthquake takes place right there at its location, that statue is not gonna spring up and run away from the spot.
I can go on and on but I believe that you get my drift.
Never forget that other nations aren’t as tolerant as Malaysia in allowing freedom of religion to be practiced by its multi-ethnic, multi-faithed population.
Maybe you have yet to see the sprawling Kek Lok Si Temple Complex in Ayer Itam, Penang, eh?
The intolerant Malay dominated UMNO Government has been so cruel eh?
How can they be so cruel so as to let the Non Muslim Chinese go build such a huge sprawling temple complex like that, huh?
Tch..tch..tch..this cannot be! Right?
Maybe you should check out what a foreigner @ David Reid has to say about the ‘intolerance’ we practice here in Malaysia?
Here is an excerpt from his blog describing the Kek Lok Si complex :
A quick bus ride away on the edge of the city is Kek Lok Si, a Buddhist temple complex which sprawls over a hillside. It claims to be the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia. Exploring its halls and pagodas reveals many beautiful Buddha statues and artworks. The temple’s hillside location also offers many great views of the city. The temple’s crowning glory is a 108 feet tall statue of Kwan Yin reached by a ride in an inclined lift.
This is too much, huh? What a bloody, intolerant country Malaysia is in allowing all these in an Islamic country! Tch..tch..tch..tch…
Err…did you know that they are gonna build the largest church right smack in the middle of this intolerant Malay Muslim heartland?
If you didn’t know that, I suggest you visit them here. How can this be, I ask you? What are the UMNO Malays thinking of allowing this in intolerant Muslim favoring Malaysia?
This is where they are going to build the largest Church here in this lousy, intolerant, Muslim nation! What do you have to say about that, eh?
Tell you what Mr.(anonymous) Robinson, I will follow up on this tomorrow. You know lah.
Its Ramadan now and we intolerant uncompromising Muslims have lots of prayers to perform in this month.
God willing, I will continue with my explanations tomorrow. Catch up with you later. Cheers!