25 January 2010

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 January 20, 2010
Thank goodness for the cool heads

Following the ‘Allah’ court ruling, many ordinary folks reached out to each other in peace despite differences in opinion.

ANDRE Malraux, the French writer and statesman, once said that “the first duty of a leader is to make himself be loved, without courting love. To be loved without ‘playing up’ to anyone, even to himself ”.

My interpretation is that a good leader is one who doesn’t sit around trying to find ways for people to love him or her but does the right thing for his country and people and hope they will see the justification for it, and eventually love him or her.

That may not take place in his or her lifetime. But, as they say, history will be the judge.

In the last two weeks or so, what we have seen is a leadership that has only been interested in courting love and playing up to people.

Nothing could have been so blatant in catering to an unruly crowd than the permission to hold demos against a court decision.

What sort of justice system do we have if anyone can disrespect court decisions by holding demos against them? There are legal avenues to pursue: why do we not educate people to do just that?

Some of the explanations are just disingenuous.

To say that a ban is necessary as a “pre-emptive move to prevent violence” shows that either politicians think their people are natural hooligans or they know already that violence may be planned.

Indeed, not much violence apart from shouting and screaming happened. But even so, we hear no comment from our leaders on this type of behaviour.

After 52 years, is this considered acceptable?

These demos also occurred after the first church was attacked. Not only did our leaders take more than 24 hours to visit the site of the attack but they also issued no call to cancel demos for propriety’s sake.

Indeed, one demonstrator even went so far as to call for churches to be burnt! Not a word was heard about that from our leaders.

It was the public itself who were more sensible. Not only did they refuse to participate in the demos, even if they may have been unhappy about the ruling, but at one mosque, they actively tried to dissuade anyone from joining any call to demonstrate.

Individuals went on their own to console church leaders and reassured them that they or their premises would not be harmed.

Islamic NGOs offered to guard the churches, although it’s hard to forget that they are also the ones, who had raised the temperature around the issue.

Thus far, no government leader has straightforwardly said that not only is the burning of any house of worship against the law, but it is also un-Islamic.

Some people have said that this would mean accusing Muslims of conducting the attacks when nobody is sure yet who they are.

In which case, there can be no greater priority for the police than to catch the perpetrators, if only to clear the names of the race and religion.

It has been the ordinary people again who have reached out in peace towards each other, determined that despite differences of opinion, they want to see our country remain peaceful and stable.

Thus young people connected via social media organised, within a very short space of time, a peace offering project to tell people that “everything’s gonna be alright”, discrediting a government minister’s warning that social media does very little good.

Others wrote peace messages on ribbons. One young singer was moved to write and record a beautiful song because she was so distressed by what was happening.

The peace-builders are ordinary citizens who are refusing to be taken in by political games.

Sadly, it is clear that there are too few of our leaders engaged in building peace among our people, but they are in fact more interested in keeping us divided.

Even such peace offerings seem more divisive, giving rights to some and not to others. There can never be peace without equality. Just ask the Palestinians.

Ultimately, it is a question of education. This whole sad episode only highlights the many gaps in our knowledge.

Not only do we know so little about the world, we don’t even know much about our fellow citizens across the sea in east Malaysia. Neither do we know much about each other’s religions.

The reason we have had relatively little violence is because the non-Muslim community has leadership that insisted that they turn the other cheek and pray instead.

Can we trust in the Muslim leadership to do the same if the shoe was on the other foot?

Or are we like Adolf Hitler who said, “What luck for rulers that men do not think?.”