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YOURSAY | Tackle root cause of religious extremism

YOURSAY | ’Evil deeds cannot be camouflaged by pious words and hypocritical gestures’.

COMMENT | Religious extremism in Malaysia

MS: I believe the dilemma faced by Pakatan Harapan is not unlike the one faced by Malaysiakini daily - do what is right and civilised and be damned by the bigoted majority and banished, or appease the lot, frequently hold your tongue and be allowed to exist as a lesser being.

Aside from that, the root cause of this inexorable slide into an intolerant theocracy is the stultifying version of the religion which has now become mainstream. What was in the 1950s and 1960s right till about the late 1970s a benign, tolerant belief system characterised by universal principles of brotherhood and decency has become a militant ideology, stridently fascist in its core beliefs and fuelled by supremacist notions.

Those who could have thwarted the spread of this malevolent version chose to remain silent, watching from the sidelines even though they had all the means to act decisively as constitutional heads. Whether it is too late to reverse the tide is a moot question. The more important question is whether they possess the motivation to do so.

Harapan, led by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, has made his inclinations clear. He is finally in the saddle and will do everything in his power to remain there. This includes not further spooking the already-spooked, making deals with the old devils by the side while mesmerising the eminently gullible with his sound bites.

Apanama is back: I, for one, strongly believe secularism in Malaysia is still intact and strong. This so-called religious extremism is not religious extremism. It is more towards indoctrination and remember it is temporary, not permanent.

This is one of the answers to Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli's question about why the people of Kelantan voted for PAS. I still remember the 1990 general election when the people of Kelantan cheered and shouted when PAS won.

One should understand that PAS fellows (some members and leaders) only studied Islamic studies. They do not know anything about science, the economy, administration and so on. They only know about Islam. Everything will be confined within the scope of Islam. For the kampung folk, this will be the right thing for them.

Thus, the indoctrination over the years. That indoctrination is being spread by village schools and religious schools in a gradual manner. How to break that indoctrination? This is where Anwar should step in. His knowledge of Islam and experiences in Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (Abim) will play that role. He is the right person at the moment.

Rafizi should work with Anwar if he wants an answer for "What we must address now is why the people of Kelantan still vote for PAS despite (other) options." This indoctrination is the root cause of that so-called religious extremism. You go for the root cause and tackle it!

David Dass: I remember PAS being quite different when former PAS spiritual adviser Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat was the supreme leader. I remember seeing him in my church when he came to protect it from arsonists. How great was his gesture! What a tide of good feelings that he brought with him. He was indeed a lion.

I am not prepared to say that all PAS supporters are sheep. I accept that Muslims like Christians believe that their beliefs take you along the correct path to heaven. But faith is often faith without reason. Reason tells you a number of things. That belief cannot be forced on others. That God can make himself known to everybody.

Good men and good women, whatever their faith will be, judge by their thoughts, words and actions. Evil deeds cannot be camouflaged by pious words and hypocritical gestures. That all of us are children of the one God and our charity must extend to all. I also believe that many Malays voted for Perikatan Nasional for want of a better option. Rafizi is not wrong. The unity government has to prove itself. Stop stealing and help the poor.

DonGetMeWrong: Harapan is losing the fight against religious extremism again. They are quick to respond to any extremist comments on any issue touching on our multi-racial society.

Harapan was supposed to represent a reformed, more liberal Malaysia but alas it failed again. Instead of speaking out against religious extremism, Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil is quick to reprimand the trailer for the film ‘Pulau’ as not suitable for Malaysian viewing.

A new Malaysia? At this rate, it is not surprising Harapan will fail again.

MatTelur: The longer the silent majority stays silent, the more vocal these village backwater idiots and fake holy men will get and the bolder they will be (as evidenced by the recent Sunway Carnival Mall incident).

The majority must speak out and make themselves heard. Not just on online news portals but in public and other platforms. Use your voice to champion peace, harmony and living in moderation with respect for all Malaysians.

Fair Play: On a personal level, I hold on to the firm belief that sooner, rather than later, all forms of extremism in Malaysia will cease because there is no other choice - failing which the nation would be completely isolated by most other progressive nations of the world.

No man is an island. Much less a small nation amongst most other nations.


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