Update: So, the conference got shot down by a group of mobs and supported by police.
I was disappointed with what happened today, even more with PKR and PAS.
Anyway, i got thinking and contrasted that out with the attack on Christianity by the Da Vinci code phenomena. And i remember reading an email written in BM with the intention of teaching its reader to use the book to challenge christians.( for those who think that Muslims are 100% above board, here is an example) Anyway, my reflection is to the Malaysian Christian leaders who ask us to be calm and came out with forums and Q&A sessions. In these, we learn about the book, the author, the truth, half truths and creative stretches, the backup from secular findings, church history and theological explaination. I think it was an immensely mature way of handling challenges by educating and role modeling. There is no protest, book burning and name callings. Soon, the phase passed over and everybody is wiser, even those friends who tried to make the mountain out of molehill.
If Muslims felt that they have been incorrectly attacked, so does other religions. In my religion, Christ ask us to be forgiving to the extend of giving the other cheek. Christians are not perfect as we are only human. I think that is the difference. Please be more confident in your religion and mature in your response.
(The Star) - The Bar Council Malaysia’s proposed forum pertaining to conversion to Islam is unsuitable for discussion in an open manner, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
He said an open forum could incite emotions among those with differing views. ( Is this a statement? of course emotions are part of human beings. But a mature human can handle their emotion and articulate that out, not resorting to pickets ala UMNO)
“Forums on sensitive topics are best discussed in closed sessions,” he told reporters after the launch of VistaJet’s charter services into Asia via Subang airport and the opening of SkyPark FBO in Malaysia here yesterday.
“We are not stopping public debates. It is something healthy, but (the proposed forum) should be a closed session.” Najib seemed to like to do things behind closed doors , with selected people. If Bar council is more inclusive and not exclusive, why put your own preference forward?
Asked whether the Government would stop the Bar Council from holding the forum, he said: “I don’t know. They have their own mind.”
Umno Youth exco member Datuk Pirdaus Ismail said the movement strongly opposed the Bar Council’s plan.
“Don’t play with fire! Don’t ever touch on religious and racial sentiments,” he said in a statement yesterday. “Whatever the excuses given, the forum still provokes Malay sentiments and creates uneasiness and public disorder, particularly among the Malays.” - Why can an UMNO leader make a 'lets go to war' statements like this and continously gets away it. I think his statement of 'excuses' is an excuse itself belittling the real mature people in Malaysia. When UMNO and PAS talks about Islam and Malay, it also created uneasiness among the very people that they are talking about to protect.
PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat questioned the Bar Council’s move to organise a forum that touched on Muslim sensitivities.
However, he would support a special forum between Islam and other religions, he told reporters in Kota Baru. - Untill now, there is no real initiative in this area. The fact that the government came out strongly and later back down on these engagements deprive avenues to engage constructively. And i doubt PAS can do better in this area.
Foreign minister Datuk Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim, asked for his opinion on the Home Minister telling the Bar Council to call off its public forum, said: “This is not the Government’s decision. That was the Home Minister's personal view. - Syeh Hamid, you got that!?
“There is no need for us to place restrictions right from the start. If Syariah intellectuals want to discuss, surely we won't say no.
“If an issue needs to be discussed by certain parties, it should have a strong basis for that.”
- Finally, a wise man who dares to say what should be said. And probably because of that, he is not the most powerful race based warlord in UMNO. But again, lets look at a Malaysian context and not on one race, and you will find this argument valid. If the Islamic intellectuals can do it, why can't others?
Bar Council vice-chairman Ragunath Kesavan said in a statement: “We are not challenging or questioning the provision of Article 121(1A) conferring jurisdiction on the Syariah courts.”
The council was of the opinion that conflicts were best addressed in an open, frank and mature manner by all the parties involved, he said, adding that it had put together a panel of speakers representing the views of various parties.
“We believe that the forum will promote an in-depth examination of the issues involved, and will help create a greater awareness of the complex issues that we need to resolve together as a nation.”
When UMNO and PAS talks in secret ( khalwat) over Islam and ketuanan Melayu, it is right thing to do and have no impact towards other people's interest and emotion. At least the Bar council is transparent. UMNO decides based on its on skewed needs and sold them as ' good thing'. The government has clearly failed by side stepping this judicial crisis and does not have competence nor the political will to solve. If people then cannot engage to get clarity without threats of national security, it would mean that we are forced to accept this meekly.
Damn if you do, more damn if you don't.