I refer to Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud's letter, The conformists and safety at night .
The good doctor said 'free thinkers and non-Muslims should also learn to respect our religious views, at least in public.' Is Siti Mariah suggesting that non-Muslims should learn to suppress their real feelings if those feelings are frowned upon by Muslims?
If so, this is exactly the thing dividing Malaysians along the lines of race and religion. Generations of Malaysians have taught their offspring to say the correct thing in public and to discuss 'sensitive issues' in the privacy and safety of their own homes, where, one hopes, the long arm of the law would not reach.
As a result, Malaysians of different races and religions grew farther and farther apart due to ill-feelings that are almost never revealed, discussed and clarified. Sweeping one's real feelings and opinion under the carpet and pretending that everything is fine when one is with people of another race and religion is tantamount to hypocrisy of a high degree.
Siti Mariah also said this: 'We have seen many a time non-Muslims expressing their views of intolerance towards Islam and the Quran but I have yet to find an article from a Muslim criticising other religions.'
I wonder if the doctor is serious about this, because if she would care to browse through the Internet she can find plenty of such articles, letters and even books published by Muslims - including from Malaysia - for the sole purpose of criticising other religions.