Think With Mind, Feel With Heart (Are We Losing Our Heritage?)

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When Sabah became part of Malaysia it was constituted in the 20 Point Agreement that although Sabahans agreed to Islam being the national religion, it will not be the state religion. Nonetheless, East Malaysia adopted ‘Allah’ as the name of God and incorporated it into translated scriptures and teachings of various religions including Christianity. This tradition is not only respective to East Malaysia. The etymology of ‘Allah’ is Arabic, not necessarily Islamic. In countries all around the world and for hundreds of years, non-Muslims have also used ‘Allah’ as the name of God but now that it’s caught up with Peninsular Malaysia, an ugly incident has shocked a nation. Retaliating against a court ruling legitimising the use of the word ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims, a group of fanatical Malay-Muslim protesters in Kuala Lumpur threw incendiaries into two churches and a metro tabernacle within hours. It’s shocking to me, not just because of the racial intolerance but because of how hypocritical the overall nature of this incident is.


There is nothing Islamic about this attack and it is certainly not jihad. This act was committed by a group of zealots who do not represent the ideals of Malaysia nor the true teachings of Islam. No one can patent the name of God especially when the word ‘Allah’ predates Islam; especially when the Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad proclaim that God has at least ‘99 beautiful names’. It has not even been half a year since fanatical Malay-Muslim protesters brought a severed cow head to the doorstep of a Hindu temple, spitting and stomping on the sacred religious symbol in protest to the building of a new Hindu temple. Instead of getting arrested or reprimanded, they were defended by the Home Minister. Considering the extent of their violent protests, it shouldn’t be so. Islam teaches us to respect ourselves as well as non-Muslims. These people are defaming Malaysia as a Muslim nation with some government protection whereas other peaceful religious protests in the past have been tear gassed and beaten in the streets. Over the last few years, Malay supremacists seem to be getting increasingly rebellious even if the national constitution fundamentally defends them.
There are many laws in Malaysia that ensure the dominant positions of Malays who take up more than half of the nation’s population. Article 160 of the Constitution of Malaysia states:


“Malay” means a person who professes the religion of Islam, habitually speaks the Malay language, conforms to Malay custom and -


* (a) was before Merdeka Day born in the Federation or in Singapore or born of parents one of whom was born in the Federation or in Singapore, or was on that day domiciled in the Federation or in Singapore; or
* (b) is the issue of such a person


Regardless of your heritage, in Malaysia, to convert into Islam means to convert into the Malay race. Case example: Jeanne Abdullah, the wife of Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak, who is of Portugese-Eurasian decent, became ‘Malay’ when she converted into Islam to marry her husband. Even though Sabah is not an Islamic state and is famously less conservative than West Malaysia, the 1995 Sabah Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment states that any Muslim who renounces his faith is may be subjected attending an Islamic rehabilitation facility for up to 36 months. QED, it’s easy to become Malay-Muslim in Malaysia but nearly impossible to convert out.

Prior to Sabah and Sarawak joining Malaysia in 1963, both Borneon states were guided by native customs and British law. In 1967, Tun Mustapha Datuk Harun became the third Chief Minister of Sabah. He was responsible for sponsoring mass Muslim conversions of the indigenous people of Sabah, thus turning Sabah into a Muslim majority state.

What this sententious group of church-burning Malay protesters and their supporters everywhere should take from this incident is, far worse than using God’s name in vain, is the act of using His name to fuel hatred. What I took from this incident is the irony of zealots freaking out over the sanctity of a religion in which its followers can’t even interpret right. Furthermore, they take for granted that they are a religion of which has strong government support and abuse this power. Who am I to argue on how or why I came to be ‘Malay’ like them, I was not raised to be a terrorist. I just wish now that I knew more about my ancestral religion predating to a mere two generations back. Water through my fingers. How anyone can justify these attacks is imbecilic but then again, so is every vicious fight over religion. There is no justice on this Earth in human beings fighting each other over the judgment of God.

Once again  i said, Islam all about peace and tolerate. There's lots of history that prove that Islam never attacked on others. I saw Malaysian cases more into lacked of thinking. Never use both mind and heart. If they attacking on others even other religion besides Islam, i rather defending the non-Islam people, because they’ve oppressed. Many people don’t know this. I’m scared because there’s one kind of Islam fundamentalist Islam now here in Malaysia that so-called “Salafism"
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