Extremists aren’t just people you disagree


The problem with us is that not only are we afraid of being open with our views, once we air views we are not very good at handling dissenting views.

Erna Mahyuni, MMO

Malaysians need to read more, honestly. Just the other day, two very sweet (but conservative) non-Muslim friends of mine were lauding a piece so toxic I swear I went blind for a few seconds after reading it.

I was so angry that for a few seconds I just could not function. (The piece in question is here)

The writer, whose logical skills and rhetoric could easily be bested by a child playing shopkeeper, posits this: that some public figures called “moderates” are not deserving of the title.

“People like Marina, Zainah and Zaid Ibrahim may think that they are the moderate, but to the many they are the liberals and to some they are the deviants.”

There is a small grain of truth in this — I blame The Star for not being very careful about how it used the term “moderate.”

Moderate used to mean someone who chose not to lean towards extreme views, whether left or right. Some would prefer to call themselves “independent” thinkers who are not partisan or particularly attached to any one ideology.

The writer (I hate saying this) is right that some of the people The Star chose to put on pedestals are really more on the liberal side. Unfortunately, being liberal is seen as a terrible moral evil in this country as are other left-leaning philosophies such as communism.

Yet, PAS and PKR when talking about their economic visions lean more towards a more socialist, big-government-playing-benevolent-parent-to-the-rakyat ideal.

That is the problem with all these labels. Liberal. Moderate. Extremist.

What is really happening is that people, to feel better about themselves, just create boxes labelled ”The good guys: us” and “The bad guys: them.” That is why the writer of the piece I read felt so insulted. Since those filthy liberals put themselves in the good guy box, that meant he was stuck in the bad guy box. No wonder he was indignant.

Read more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/opinion/erna-mahyuni/article/extremists-arent-just-people-you-disagree