15 October 2009

The articles are captured from the original writer, MsMarina (with her permission). SambalBelacan is just compiling articles to make easier to find. Any comments received will remain un-respond because it's not mine.Reach her at her very own blog at
http://rantingsbymm.blogspot.com/ Please.
Wednesday October 14, 2009
Missteps to a civil society

Some university students seeking to be the moral guardians of society want to stop others from having fun at concerts, but fail to take up the bigger causes.

I WAS reading an interesting article the other day about the Roman Polanski case. If anyone still doesn’t know, the movie director was found guilty of statutory rape of a 13-year old girl in California in the 70s, sentenced to 48 days’ jail but fled to Europe to escape it.

But recently he was re-arrested in Switzerland and is facing – and fighting – extradition back to the US.

The article was interesting because it showed how values and mores have changed over the past 30 years.

In the 70s, sex with minors was viewed among certain “sophisticated” showbiz circles as a normal thing.

The media reports at the time were sympathetic to Polanski and mentioned that the girl “looked older than her age and was sexually experienced”. Even the police report was largely sympathetic.

Thanks to advocacy by rape survivors’ groups in the US, mores have changed.

Today, men who have sex with young girls or boys are considered paedophiles and rarely escape prosecution.

Those who are released after jail often find they have nowhere to live as communities refuse to have them in their midst.

It is when values and norms change from the depraved to those that protect the powerless that you can consider a society has become more civilized, compassionate and humane.

No matter what you say about Western society, they are certainly far advanced than us when it comes to protecting the disabled, the victimized and the marginalized.

We are still a long way from that. Our values have not, for want of a better word, clarified themselves.

These days people who insult others and display hooligan antics are supported and made out to be heroes.

People who are found guilty of corruption can stand for election and win.

When adults behave like that, we must not be surprised when young people take their cues from them. Our university students are an example.

In other countries, university students demonstrate for things like free and fair elections, the release of people imprisoned for dissent and other injustices they see in their society.

Sometimes they suffer great hardship because of those demonstrations, including imprisonment and torture.

The luckier ones escape into exile.

But our students have to be different.

They reserve the right to demonstrate like others of course. But their causes are rather different.

They will protest against other people, for example, for having fun at concerts. In turn they suggest no fun alternatives. It makes one wonder what they do for leisure, and if their grades reflect such asceticism.

Recently our students have formed a Friends of Kartika Club. Its aim is to “support” her and to demonstrate to others that “Islamic” caning is not at all inhuman or painful.

I am assuming that in our universities today, logic is one of the lessons taught.

But I’m having trouble working out the logic of this.

These students want to support a woman who has been sentenced by the court for a wrongdoing.

It’s not because they think she is innocent but because they agree she is guilty.

The most exemplary thing about her, according to them, is that she has accepted her punishment, which is well and good.

However there are lots of guilty persons in our courts who have also accepted their punishment.

For instance, fathers guilty of raping their own daughters are often sentenced to jail and several strokes of the rotan.

Death by hanging is often the punishment for drug traffickers and murderers. Other types of criminals get jailed, sometimes for life.

All of them also accept their punishment, to a greater or lesser degree. But nobody sets up fan clubs for them.

If “Islamic” caning is more humane, I wonder why these students don’t take up a larger cause, that of advocating that all caning in this country be made more humane?

Never mind if these are meted out to purse snatchers, Mat Rempits, rapists and other violent criminals, surely their caning cannot be Islamic? Or is the excuse that since we are not an Islamic state yet, this is why we cannot implement more humane caning?

In Saudi Arabia, the “mother of all Islamic states”, a man was recently sentenced to a jail term as well as one thousand lashes of the cane. Or was that a whip?

His crime was to have been foolish enough to boast about his sex life on a foreign TV station. But I suppose one thousand gentle “Islamic” lashes would do to teach him a lesson.

So, as we continue our determined march towards greater so-called piety, and sentences like the cutting off of hands for theft loom, will our students then tour campuses and give demonstrations of the humane way hands can be chopped off?