26 March 2015

Regardless of whether we can actually implement amputations, floggings and stoning, the mentality is already implanted.

A STAPLE of the news these days is the many barbaric acts of the group known as the Islamic State or IS in Syria.

Every day we are treated to news of their threats as well as actual acts of murder and mayhem against every person or group they don’t like.

They particularly specialise in the most gruesome ways of killing people, such as by beheading or burning them to death alive. And those are the lucky ones. Those left alive, especially women, are forced to endure the lifelong stigma of rape and abuse.

Over here, we widen our eyes in horror at such atrocities. Our officials are at pains to point out that these acts of barbarism are unIslamic and they have had significant success in arresting various people on their way to Syria to join IS.

Sermons are written to impress on us that we should not participate in this violence because of the very real fear that some people may get such a taste for it over there that they may want to do the same back home.

But we seem to be missing something here. Nobody needs to actually go to the Middle East in order to become barbaric.

Here at home we have moved one step closer to becoming very IS-like already. Regardless of whether we can actually implement any of these measures – amputations, floggings, stoning – the mentality is already implanted. All in the most official and “democratic” way too.

If anyone has the temerity to protest any of it, why, out come the daggers!

Thousands of fingers eagerly tap their keyboards to issue death or rape threats to anyone who has the courage to point out that the “laws” we want so much to implement should be the least of our priorities.

How can we have laws that require amputations for thieves when so many are in poverty? Why do we want to punish people in unQuranic ways?

If IS does not exist in physical form in our country, it sure exists in the heads and fingers of so many of our people.

Despite being followers of a religion that does not allow killing or any kind of injustice towards our fellow humankind, they think they are doing their “religious” duty by doing exactly the opposite. Baying like a pack of hounds for blood, the mob descends on anyone who speaks out, especially if they are female and Muslim.

To them, to think differently and to actually voice concerns is to de­­viate from the programme. We have to be like them, programmed to be obedient. And bloodthirsty.

If our authorities cannot see the connection between these acts of aggression towards those with different opinions and their futile attempts to stop people from joining IS, then they are either unintelligent or purposely blind. If IS is the nadir of a civilised society, then we are heading there, make no mistake.

Where are the voices to condemn IS? Instead we have so much illogical and ignorant thinking that one wonders if we should preserve those brains to be studied somewhere in the future when we hopefully regain our sanity.

One person says we should look to Nigeria for the “successful” implementation of hudud. I suppose that’s why Nigeria is such a successful country that their citizens are all over the world trying to make money.

Another person suggests that we must be on the right track because we are neither IS nor “liberal” so we must be nicely middling and moderate.

Sermons blare this warped definition of moderate every Friday. If you’re not with us, you’re either a liberal or an IS bandit. I would rather be a liberal who cares when people receive death threats than a “moderate” who keeps silent when citizens are faced with such violence. A truly moderate government protects its citizens from violence, rather than encouraging it by saying nothing.

I would like to ask our Prime Minister one question: are some of us Malaysians worth less to him than others? If so, may we know which ones and why? Should the “worthless” ones wear stars on their foreheads so that everyone knows who they are and can do what they want to them? If this differentiation is legal in the law, will our law enforcement officers stand by mute when something bad happens?

I fear for my country. We have so many good people in this land; kind, courteous and compassionate people. Unfortunately we have poor leaders, self-serving ones who care for nothing except for power, and who care for no one except themselves. I wonder how long before the mob realises that their so-called “heroes” don’t care about them either.

Meanwhile, all they’ve succeeded in doing is to divide people with hate. Lovely.