Of mad mullahs and mangled muftis

Azly Rahman

Azly Rahman

When will we ever see people respecting each other for what they believe in and to pray by whichever way they feel safe, at peace, and connected as what “religion” derived from the Latin “religio” means, i.e. “connectedness” (to a higher and greater consciousness)?

Why can’t the Shiites and Sunnis stop fighting? Why can’t we focus on larger issues such as the future of our children through the fixing of our education system, or to make sure that our streets are safe, to bring back local elections so that our democracy will be stronger, or to ensure that our leaders are doing what they are supposed to be doing since they are servants to the people they begged votes from?But what do we still have? Pathos, thanatos, and the loss of eros. Of hubris and hamartia. Of poetic injustices year after year. That’s what we have. Another year of diabolical doings left undone.

Malaysians are ushering into a new year not with renewed hope to make things better for intercultural, inter-religious relations, nor to make it a time of reflection and reconciliation but to read more of the ridiculousness of ethnocentrism and religious bigotry renewed with bigger dose of insanity, threatening to make 2014 another Malaysian year of living dangerously.

Why do we see Christians being persecuted more and more these days, in regard to the recent threats to arrest those who give their sermons using the word “Allah” to refer to the Almighty those of the monotheistic faith share in reverie?

Why must we read about the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) threatening to raid churches that still want to use the word “Allah” in the prayers they had been using even before the country gained independence?

And why must we read about the raid in the Bible Society of Malaysia and the confiscation of the holy books that will help Malaysians too become less and less violent, corrupt, and living a life of immorality, having “Allah” too as a guide to the “siratul mustaqim” or the path of righteousness of the followers of the teachings of Isa/Jesus?Utterly ridiculous raid is it not? Or because it is Malaysia, that anything ridiculous can happen in this half-baked modernised society?

Is there a secret plan to drive the Christians underground so that they may then pray to the same god only in secret? I hope there is none – because there will still be sane Muslims who will protect the rights of the Christians from being trampled by insane Muslims.

Why must we read about Umno Youth’s plan to protest in all churches that are suspected of using the holy word to designate God; words used by Christians in the Arab land, even before Muhammad declared Islam as a renew religion and use the word “Allah” too, to unify the Muslims and to craft a campaign of empire-building the world over?