Is freedom a folly of faith? 

The fervour for one’s faith should lie in the heart of the follower. It should not be demanded upon by other mere mortals. Nor should it infringe upon the rights of non-believers. 

Shenaaz Khan

In a decadent country crammed with prejudiced politicians spewing their inherent ignorance, it is wholly refreshing to see a young gifted politician view religion through non-sectarian lens. Nurul Izzah Anwar’s observations on the merits of religious freedom are both courageous and inspiring.

This is after all a country where one is branded from birth by race and religion, then coerced and conditioned into being clothed with the fabric of societal acceptance. And should one deign to tread away from this muzzling moralistic mould, one is deemed an unsound, satan-worshipping, bubonic-plague-carrying concubine! It is therefore no revelation that religious freedom is deliberately viewed as an ambush on Islam, having diabolical and moral repercussions. Even a mere suggestion of examination of any doctrine is swiftly slayed as if it were brought forth by pagan beasts!

But spiritual scholars, religious rookies and political pinheads would do well to remember that though laws and restrictions may be legally exerted upon persons, these edicts can never truly hijack hearts or heads. The moral police cannot control mental vistas or vices. The complex contraption that is religion requires discourse and understanding, not cosmetic rituals, loud pontificating and doctrinal proclamations. The fervour for one’s faith should lie in the heart of the follower. It should not be demanded upon by other mere mortals. Nor should it infringe upon the rights of non-believers.

Nevertheless, this country’s overt obsession with righteous religious paths has all but shoved God to the unhallowed pavement! While God is said to be the all merciful, compassionate creator, the interpreted tenets of religion instead expose an iron-fisted intolerance of biblical proportions. The level of intolerance permeating through Malaysian society and the Islamic intellect is simply god awful! Though all prophetic preachings bear identical ideologies, to, say propose, that the principles of Ahimsa be practiced by a Muslim would be akin to religious renunciation!

We now live in times where crooning Christian carols in Malay is a malediction upon Muslim mankind. Where seeking Muslim women’s rights is religiously wrong. Where a unit of language is permitted to be used solely at the behest of one faith. And the scriptured strictures go on! Thus, what remains the fundamental failure of faith is a divine devotion devoid of depth. A patronage of a parish that glorifies a genuflecting body rather than a generous soul.

It is then hardly surprising that the hudud hobgoblin is repeatedly resurrected to scare one away from the pantheon of Pakatan or sway one towards the temple of BN. But while Pakatan parties have purged itself of puritan parasites the likes of Hassan Ali and Zulkifli Nordin, it is the government that routinely employs religious discrimination.

It was after all the harebrained Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein who fervently defended a brutish bunch of protestors who desecrated a cow head to protest the building of a hindu temple. It was this same malevolent minister who defiled justice by having Egyptian student Hamzah Kahgari deported for tweeting a liberalist message. And renowned writer, Irshad Manjis, was labelled an LGBT loving Lucifer and her book Allah, Liberty and Love banned by the Malaysian government. This again, was the handiwork of our hideous home minister. And lest we forget the sins of the past, former Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar had in 2008 ludicrously banned the book Muslim Women and the Challenges of Extremism, published by Sisters In Islam. It was also the ruling government that had gone on a guideline galore of intolerance, declaring V-neck t-shirts as the dress of the debauched. Alas, while this biased government exercises great restraint in intelligent pursuits, they disgorge mindless drivel with great speed.

Hence, opportunistic orthodox ogres have scrambled to scream sacrilege at Nurul Izzah. But let it be made clear that the heart of her message was that any affirmation and adherence of faith should be one of free will and not of force. Her statement was not in support of apostasy; it was an endorsement of equality. And in making that stunning statement, my dear MP typified her principles by displaying graceful gumption and astute knowledge.

The same however cannot be said of the vapid vulgar BN blockheads who are solely capable of despicable babble. That which they lack in refinement and sophistication, they very well make up for in stupidity and shallowness. The MP of Kota Belud is one such stellar sap. Ever equipped with witless quips and armed with the integrity of Iago, the sycophant from Sabah was quick to mouth off his inane insipid insights. Which is no surprise given that his entire parliamentary pilgrimage is piled with political posturing and apple-polishing.

As expected, many of his bigoted BN brethren were quick to follow suit. Such is the covenant of the cult called corruption! A sect whose five pillars of faith include trickery, treachery, tyranny, thuggery and thievery. Their trodden path to divinity has led them to the mosque of miscreants where the sins of spawn and spouse are miraculously cleansed by MACC messiahs. Where their Episcopal empire endows erstwhile ministers with beefy bankrolls. And their prophets of profane profit congregate and extol great virtues upon their very own trinitas; the father, the son and the holy hummer.

But while these caliphs of cruelty command the sacrificial burning of human liberties, Malaysians must rise and declare a jihad for justice! We have had it with BN’s man-made hadiths. Along with the hypocritical holiness of this greedy government, we have been made to endure the disciples of dumbness such as the neanderthal Nazri Aziz, the imbecilic Ibrahim Ali and the boorish Bung Mukhtar. That these unworthy specimens were voted in as parliamentarians is an abomination in itself! Hence, if we wish not to be doomed to eternal damnation, we need to elect legitimate leaders and not lavatory litter. So whether you’re guided by what thy Lord had decreed, or what humanity has heralded, please vote with your conscience. I know my vote will be for MP Nurul Izzah!

Shenaaz Khan has been a resident of Bangsar Baru for the last 37 years.