Marina Mahathir refuses to back down
From a Bloomberg report in the Spore TODAY newspaper May 6-7:
KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian women's rights activist Marina Mahathir, daughter of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, said the government isn't doing enough to stop conservative Muslims from eroding the rights of citizens.
A slew of incidents, including the trial of a couple for kissing in public and new rules that force non-Muslim policewomen to wear headscarves in parades, signal an incursion of conservative Muslim values into public life, she said.
"All these developments are worrying," said Ms Marina in an interview.
"We want to promote ourselves as a moderate Muslim country, so we have to walk the talk".
Malaysia since independence has tried to balance the religious priorities of the 60 per cent of its population who are Muslims with the rights of minority communities.
Still, the main opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia has called for an Islamic state and observers say Islamic law is having an increasing impact on daily life.
"There certainly does appear to be a rising tide of conservatism in Malay society," said Mr Bruce Gale, an independent political consultant who has covered South East Asia since 1998.
Kuala Lumpur is prosecuting an ethnic Chinese couple for indecent behaviour for hugging and kissing in a park beside the Petronas Twin Towers.
"People know the difference between affection and lewdness," said Ms Marina.
"Kissing, hugging being classified as disorderly conduct, I think that's really extreme."
Err so...this time Sirgalahad...what's your take in it...???
Paper, paper, old news paper...paper lama... kau tin siong, kau po chi, 30 puloh sen....
...... lovely lady this Marina ........ thats y I quote her in my postings ......
But it still raises the question ............ what did her Da da do do .. other than preach now when he is comfortably on the other side of the Rubicon ......
But let it not be said that I advocate that the sins of the parent be visited upon the child .......... not for you my dear Marina.
I am reminded of a joke that your Daddyo cracked on BBC once ( in response to a question on the phone from an idiotic Malaysian Indian lady from Port Dickson who asked how come he is so handsome ) ....
He said he got his good looks by choosing his parents carefully .....
Pray tell me where you inherited your humane, just, courageous, non-parochial, intellectually incorruptible nature from ......
Okay lah probably from Mumsy ........
I am curious as to what Tun Motor Mouth did ( when he could and should have ) to curtail these anachronistic religious zealots ???
He brought the Royalty to their knees ...... why did his own knees buckle in the face of these self appointed guardians of social morals ???
Religious one-upmanship bro .... pure and simple .....
I am more Muslim than you .....
And while at it I will get all the kafirs to become Muslims faster than you can ...... bro ....
I think we're getting off-tracked by the fact that she's her father's daughter.
What is in discussion is actually the subject of conservative Muslims encroching into the lives of others,. Marina has openly stated her stance against such encroachment and imposing their values unto other Malaysians by a few extremists.
I support her view. I applaud her openness. I respect her boldness to state this openly.
The least we can do is show our support to Marina and her views... forget about the old man. He's persona non grata in this debate.
I wouldn't use the word 'conservative Muslims' in this context. I wouldn't even call them 'orthodox Muslims'. Nor would I call them 'zealous Muslims'.
Originally Posted by Sentinel
In my view, being conservative, orthodox and zealous means that you are closer to the fundamentals, i.e. the more you understand Islam's aversion against compulsion, and its intrinsic belief in tolerance!
In my view, those people are as far from conservative, orthodox and zealous as can be.
I would instead call them something like bigot misogynic Muslims.
As far as I'm concerned, using Islam to promote their mirky, pervert, 'big brother sees you' agenda is an order of magnitude larger insult than any cartoon...
Last edited by isarahim; 08-05-2006 at 12:18 AM.
Marina showed some slides once for a society I was a member of. They showed a few maps with demographic densities.
Originally Posted by Joe Gomez
One showed the demography of Islamic fundamentalism across the country.
Another slide showed the demography of AIDS cases across the country.
A third slide showed the demography of prostitution across the country.
A fourth slide showed the demography of dadah addicts across the country.
I donno where she got the information from...but apart from WP...all four slides were IDENTICAL.
Firefly never met her or personally know her but firefly do have great respect for this young lady. In her fight for her cause (Againest AIDS) she have stepped in churches, temples and other religious establishments in promoting her cause. How many would do what she is doing? How many would dare to speak out when it matters most? Way to go MARINA M!!!!!
I don't think Sirgalahad has any 'take' in this. He has the right to post something he has read or his views on the subject. I have more often than not, disagreed with his views (at one stage we were even at loggerheads) but I would never prevent him or anyone from posting. After all, this is what the spirit of an online forum is about, isn't it?
Read her article last Wednesday in the Star?
By MARINA MAHATHIR
A FRIEND was relating how after her daughter had read the Da Vinci Code, she had wanted to read the Bible. Which is not in itself a bad thing except that she was concerned that an impressionable young mind would not be able to differentiate fact from fiction. Also it seemed that perhaps what was needed is a Da Vinci Code-type book for Muslims to spark off the same level of interest in young people in their own religion.
Except that if anyone tried to write a similar thriller based around Islam, they'd be hounded and pilloried and threatened with death, thousands would riot in protest and people who would never have been able to read the book either because they are illiterate or can't afford it would have died.
Such is the difference between our religions. While there are many Christians who are upset about the book and movie, they are countering it with seminars and other educational events to balance what is being said in the book, even if the book is only fiction. There have not been Da Vinci Code-related riots or deaths thus far. Which speaks volumes for the adherents of the faith.
It would be nice if everyone could brush off similar challenges and say "we are strong enough to withstand any attack". Even if a book or a movie becomes a runaway hit, compared to the total number of any faith's followers, the numbers sold can never match it. Books are by nature, in a world where illiteracy is still common, a luxury item. As are American movies, no matter what arguments people make about cultural imperialism.
I remember when there were riots over Salman Rushdie's book The Satanic Verses, President Benazir Bhutto commented wryly that the people who were dying over the book were those who would never have read it, or possibly even heard of it if someone hadn't whipped them into a frenzy. A similar situation arose with the cartoons. As insensitive as they were, they were still not worth dying over.
The point is that people's impressions of a religion are often related to the behaviour of its adherents. Some religions are thought of as simply kooky because its followers behave strangely. Some are viewed as benign and peaceful because its followers resolutely will not harm a fly.
But when people, supposedly in the name of religion, riot, burn and kill, it can't help but give the impression of a religion that advocates this, no matter how much we point out that nowhere in religious texts itself does it say you should do this. And unfortunately we get the whole spectrum, from men who publicly insult women on a daily basis without censure to the real crazies.
Recently in New York I had to suffer the embarrassment of having to listen to a Muslim man say to a non-Muslim woman at a forum, "Don't mess with Muslims, we have nuclear weapons!" There I was trying to dispel stereotypes about violence-prone Muslims and in one fell swoop, this nutcase confirmed every stereotype there was.
I think the only people who can dispel stereotypes about Muslims are women. While there are certainly some conservative women, even when these speak out they will naturally change perceptions because in a world where Muslim women are perceived to be perpetually hidden behind curtains, their sheer presence and articulateness will be noticed. What more if they are able to argue rationally in a calm manner.
Thus far there have been very few Muslim men in the international media who give a good impression. We might argue that the Western media selects who they interview in order to perpetuate stereotypes, which is true and that is a problem for all of us. A man or woman who looks like the archetypal wild-eyed conservative is far more telegenic than someone who looks like everyone else. Channel surfers are far more likely to stop at the sight of someone they think of as alien to their culture than if they see someone too similar to them. To stop this means having to make a concerted effort to come together as one community and decide on a sophisticated media strategy. But sadly coming together as one united community is a challenge in itself.
If we do manage as a global community to change other people's perceptions of us, the benefits would be many. Our own people might think more kindly of each other so peace would reign within. And because within ourselves, we respect diversity, we can do the same with others. Then peace would truly have a chance.
It takes a very brave person to write what she wrote.....
She deserves to be respected.
Originally Posted by Orchipalar
Err...Orchi is asking Sirgalahad a question when Orchi is curious about what his thoughts could possibly be on the matter...when he chose to post that news article from Bloomberg...or has he intended to seek further feedbacks from the rest of the forumers here on the same matter?...err...which is as simple as that...
Originally Posted by Jose Mourinho
Ahem now...how did ya come to incinuate or assume...that as though somebody may be preventing him from postings...or else you could be seen as going totally off topic again in here...???
Last edited by orchipalar; 08-05-2006 at 02:57 PM.
Never mind la. I have got my message across. The rest is for you to either pick it up or reject it. And for the neutrals to decide for themselves. Good day to you.
Originally Posted by Jose Mourinho
orchi & Jose .... what's brewing guys ?????
Originally Posted by Jose Mourinho
This is getting curiouser and curiouser .... lor
Can the Honourable Knight please say his piece ??? I mean sirgalahad of course ........
Nothing brewing, Joe. I have never agreed with Sirgalahad's posts but I still believe he has the right to say what he wants to say. Peace, man.
Amin to that and Assalamualaikum
Originally Posted by Jose Mourinho