Please leave us Muslims alone

APRIL 28 — I am tired of reading about how we need to be protected from the evils of the world.

According to a Malay Mail Online report titled “Cops: Public objection reason why support withdrawn for Thirst 2015”, the MPSJ (Subang Jaya Municipal Council) had rejected the application on April 6, although it was then approved with certain conditions on April 22 after the organisers appealed.

I might be wrong, but it appeared that they had initially wanted to ban those below 18 and Muslims from going, before deciding to ban the concert altogether.

Just so we are clear, this piece is not about the concert. I have no idea what the concert is about and wasn’t planning on going anyway.

That, is immaterial.

What matters to me, though, is the ongoing saga by authorities to paint Muslims as a group of people unable to make safe, good, intelligent decisions compared to others.

One that requires special attention, protection, rules and regulations to safeguard them and by that implied extension their fragile faith and morality from harm.

Why is that so?

Muslims and non-Muslims attended the same school. If not the same school then studied the same syllabus and sat for the same exams at least. The only big difference separating us are the “Kelas Agama” and for many others “Sekolah Agama” after formal schooling hours.

Muslims were also taught to pray five times a day, and attend weekly Friday prayers at the mosque. And many finish “reading” the Quran at a young age.

So if anything, Muslims should be more morally grounded. And by that logic, the government should leave Muslims alone, and focus more on the non-Muslims, no?

Well, why not?

If, and this is a big if, Muslims are deemed incapable of making sound decisions as adults, I propose we study the effectiveness of our “Kelas Agama” in schools as a tool to prepare them for future life challenges, and whether we actually need them if, at the end of the day the authorities determine what is right and wrong, sinful or not for them.

If you say there is nothing wrong with the “Kelas Agama”, “Sekolah Agama” and the Friday sermons, can you have more faith in the Muslims please?

We are actually smarter than you give us credit for.

And to illustrate how smart we can be, and how silly you can potentially appear, let me paint you a picture of what you can expect if you plan to segregate Malaysians according to religion when it comes to concerts and other entertainments.

First, how are you going to determine who is a Muslim, and who is not? And before you say ethnicity, let me tell you that Islam transcends race.

So you will have Chinese Muslims, Indian Muslims, Iban Muslims attending the event. How are you going to tell who is a Muslim and who is not? Their ICs? What about the converts, and those who renounced Islam but chose to keep their names? How are you planning to pry that information out from them?

According to the writer, it would be silly to go ahead with plans to segregate Malaysians according to religion when it comes to concerts and other entertainments. — file pic
According to the writer, it would be silly to go ahead with plans to segregate Malaysians according to religion when it comes to concerts and other entertainments. — file pic

Then we have the foreigners. The Iranians, Pakistanis, let’s not forget the many Nigerian princes and princesses studying in our world-class universities. Some are Muslims, some are not.

What about the Arab tourists? While all Malays are supposedly Muslims, not all Arabs are. They might wear the same clothes, speak Arabic but are not necessarily Muslims.

So how do you plan to tell who’s a Muslim and who’s not?

And assuming you’ve passed that hurdle, what are you going to do about Malaysian Muslims who travel to Singapore, Thailand, Philippines for entertainment?

How can you impose restrictions on them here, but allow them to participate elsewhere? Aren’t you worried they might come back with “bad” influence? Unless you somehow think the temptation to abandon Islam is greater in this country than abroad, since I don’t see Malaysian Muslims getting confused for praying next to a Shite in Mecca, or after reading the forbidden book by the late Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore.

And lastly, and most importantly, who appointed you to be our guardian?

Don’t say Islam. Don’t say the Quran. There are many verses to uphold the freedom to choose between good and bad which also stresses the importance of privacy in Islam.

In 6:104, “There has come to you enlightenment from your Lord. So whoever will see, does so (for the benefit of) his soul, and whoever is blind (does harm) against it. And (say), “I am not a guardian over you.”

So who are you to be our guardian?

In 10:99, “And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed-all of them entirely. Then, (O Muhammad), would you compel the people in order that they become believers?”

In 18:29, “And say, “The truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills — let him believe; and whoever wills — let him disbelieve...”

And in 88:21-22, “So remind, (O Muhammad); you are only a reminder. You are not over them a controller.”

I would advise the self-appointed “protectors” to take a step back, and reflect on their actions.

Because if Islam doesn’t advocate moral policing, who are the moral police policing and why?

* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.

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