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Sakmongkol ak 47

ariff.sabri@gmail.com

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Tunisia and political opportunism in Malaysia


 
When revolution (it was that actually), took place in Tunisia recently, it sent shivers to all the despotic rulers around the Arab region. It also sent shivers to those western powers notably Europe and America on the real possibilities that those countries which they supported, could call also succumb to revolution.
Because in these countries, there are many things similar to Tunisia, oppressive government, despotic rulers, extensive poverty, schisms in society, rampant corruption, abuse of power and so forth. The USA chiefly, finds it a necessary evil to support and help maintain rulers of these countries, because they are friendly to USA and her interest. America it seems is obsessed at propping up benevolent dictatorships as bulwark states to Iran for instance.
The chief enemy to America, for which the price to contain the enemy is of no consequence, is the rise of political Islam. This is the chief enemy- because Islam does not only pose a formidable challenge to America's messianic mission to spread western democracies, but Islamism can also be a possible means to shift entire societies to retrogressive eras. America, guardian of universal values, democracy, reason and modernity will have none of the ear chopping, hands cutting, eyes skewering and honor killing stuff. These are stuffs of a barbaric era.
This is the fear which America is interested to cultivate. Stop political Islam because Political Islam will push back modernity and modernity is what the world needs. It serves American interests to see that the world is engulfed in a schizophrenic instant fear of anything Islam, Islamism or Islamic. (Religion, its political variants and its features).
The way America sets about doing this, i.e. spreading universal values, reason and rationality is not entirely virtuous. The truth perhaps is, the majority of people would prefer and are eager to live under liberal democracies where people live a normal life. The reason why America is allowed a wide berth to carry out its democratizing ideals, apart from it being a super military power and has the means to enforce submission, is because, the universal values it talked about are in resonance with what normal people ACTUALLY want. And normal people do indeed want normalcy.
How do you stop the rise of Political Islam?
America can't simply march into other countries and impose its sense of moral tyranny. Of course it has done just that in modern times; in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is trying to achieve this imposition of universal values through American democracy by way of bombing and napalming entire villages and cities. The cost of all these- civilian deaths, wanton destruction are just collateral damage to the higher agenda of setting up democracies upholding universal values, rationality and modernity. To continue doing this, America risks universal condemnation. There is nothing we can do, if entire people of any one nation, choose to lead a life and lifestyle that affronts American values.
So it does the indirect means. Prop up tyrannical and satellite governments in the form of dictatorships, one party state, military rule as long as American interests first and universal values second, are also carried out.
So what do you offer the world? A sort of political Phillips curve. Now, economists will remember, that the Phillips curve described a phenomenon whereby a trade-off occurs between unemployment and inflation. Lower unemployment is possible at the cost of higher inflation. It was a novel observation at one point in time.
The same principle applies when America and it satellite subscribers see Islam. There is a Phillips Curve version between the rate of modernity and the rate of Islamism. Islamism is the rise of Islamic political consciousness. Higher and more modernity is only possible when the rise of Islamism is cut down.
Closer to home- that sense of paranoiac fear that America wants to create, is easily lapped up by self-serving writers and dark propagandists. Any political party bearing the torch of political Islam is readily equated with the evil of Islamic politics which America wants to stop.
And in Malaysia, the only want party that seeks to establish political Islam is PAS. Hence PAS becomes the logical and clear target of venomous attacks, the political bombing and napalming. Writers of sorts, seizing on the fact, that indeed, many of the worst regimes and most backward states are ruled by Islamic tyrants and proponents of a return to the dark ages are Muslim, are pushing for a general acceptance that anything PAS brings, must be rejected off hand.
How do you do this? By insisting that any rule, other than Islamic rule is better and society is better off without political Islam. Never mind some of the abuses of power, the daily grind of corruption exposed, the rape on the judiciary and perversion of justice, the clear pillage of the treasury and the country's wealth. Just like the price America pays to ensure the spread of liberal democracy, reason and modernity, these are mere collateral damages to our country.
Do we accept this kind of perverted reasoning?

25 comments:

Anonymous,  22 January 2011 at 08:55  

Sorry Dato I disagree with your opinion. Right thinking Malaysians can accept any religion but its the rampant corruption by the ruling UMNO/BN government that we Malaysians can no longer tolerate. The corrupt government plays up religious and racial issues to stir and confuse the Malaysian public to take the public's mind off the government's corrupt businesses. No wonder Malaysia is No.5 in the world in terms of illicit money outflows.

Anonymous,  22 January 2011 at 09:03  

salam,
am disturbed too by the wholesale buy-in by certain bloggers of the 'Doom's Day Club' when, in reality, Arab youths are rebelling against oppressive US-supported regimes. there's really nothing Islamic about dynastic, feudalistic or autocratic leadership. and there's so much petro and other wealth that should be distributed more equitably. may Allah show us the way to live in harmony and prosperity, for the sake humanity and the environment too ...

Anonymous,  22 January 2011 at 10:11  

UMNO's political Islam is more to be feared than Pas' Islam.

Malaysia is similar in may ways to Tunisia. The time will come, has to come.

vinnan,  22 January 2011 at 10:49  

I do not see the Tunisians blaming the US. They are however blaming their own greedy, corrupt leaders for their woes. Spin all you want but finally a bunch of Arabs have come to the realisation that all their troubles have their roots at home in their leaders. In Malaysia the Mats are just too dumb to see that all their troubles start not with the 'pendatangs' or Singapore or the US. The trouble with the Mats lies in their own complicity to suppress their fellow Malaysians for short term material gain. Unfortunately, the Malays fail to realise that greed and evil has no limits. Today UMNO is beginning to eat them up like what Abu Sahid the Mata Juling is doing to the 100% Malay express bus operators at the new bus terminal. Subsidies are cut without any mechanism to ensure that the poor Malays still gets to enjoy them. Today it is all UMNO big boys first and the rest of the Mats can go to hell. PAS in lofty words promotes political Islam in the terms of the layman PAS promotes equality and justice for all. People like Pornstar Chua Soi Lek wants the Chinese to ask their friends about corruption in Kelantan. Well, I have met many Chinese businessen from Kelantan and they tell me compared to the bastion of UMNO in Johor, Kelantan is heaven while Johor is hell.

Anonymous,  22 January 2011 at 10:53  

MCA is turning PAS into a demon - predicting misery if it comes to power.

It is even criticising the PAS candidate for not shaking hands with men and Azizah for wearing gloves.

Even the Johor MB ( a Muslim) is frightening the Chinese about PAS Islamic crdentials.

How low can our politics go?

Danial Haziq 22 January 2011 at 11:22  

My question:

(1)Are you implying that the American is against PAS (Hudud Law) and indirectly using BN to cut down the rise of PAS in Malaysia?

(2)What is your stand on the collateral damage by the American on Iraq where millions of children and "normalcy" people were killed for as long as the American interests and universal values are carried out?

Anonymous,  22 January 2011 at 13:21  

Put that question to Chua SOi Lek and MCA. He and MCA is sing th American song. Lackeys!

donplaypuks® 22 January 2011 at 15:44  

"..never mind some of the abuses of power, the daily grind of corruption exposed, the rape on the judiciary and perversion of justice, the clear pillage of the treasury and the country's wealth."

Sounds startlingly very much like a country we all love and are familiar with, doesn't it?

Yes, all over the world people accept perversion because they (and we) don't have the will power, guts or wherewithal to challenge and put to flight those evil men entrenched in power.

But, we are not fooled by Maha Firaun (whose twin brother was until last week to be found in Tunisia), Redhuan Tee, Ibrahim Ali and Perkosong trying to deflect attention on our shortcomings by rubbishing Singapore and Singapore Malays anf trying to foment trouble there.

I mean, if S'pore Malays were all that ill-treated and unhappy and deprived as these unholy trio are trying to make it out to be, they would have have emigrated to "paradise" across the Johor Straits a long, long time ago!Mnay here have failed to understand that when you succeed in a meritocratic environment, self-esteem will provide all the motivation to stay put!

Besides, how come these M'sians can comment on the internal affairs of foreign nations, but LKY and USA can't on M'sia? Why the double standards?

We await our liberator!

dpp
we are all of 1 Race, the Human Race

sakmongkol AK47 22 January 2011 at 17:15  

anon 08:55

very sorry you have not understood the article. according you dont realize where the criticisms are directed at

Anonymous,  22 January 2011 at 17:27  

Khazanah is actually proud of what they have achieved?And no one is willing to call the bluff..and this state of affairs will continue until the leadership decides to denounce him...then the crowd will come in for the kill.Witness the glowing reports and accolades TSHalim,Tajuddin,
Zubir etc have received in their glory days.Now no one has any kind words for what ever they have achieved in the past.Thats Malaysia the UMNO way...switch off the brain and follow the leader.

Back to Khazanah..Axiata is one of their champions.But Maxis without any international operations has a higher valuation..which means that Celcom as a stand alone is only 35% of Maxis i.e Khazanah have destroyed "potential value" of RM 16 billion?And in the first place..did the demerger really create value?In 2009 it was completely destructive.
Tenaga>>brutal cost cutting is for the small guys..but the head honchos are paid 10 times more them pre Khazanah era.And operationally..zero advancement..tech skills are diluted cos less emphasis on training.And the only forte is "asking for price increase".Get a real hands on team and you can see the difference.MAS..DSIJ did his turnaround and lost billions and current MD have to protect his arse cos he was part of that team too.No..Dato..I am certain Khazanah failed and destroyed value.

If Zubir was charged in court for the losses..what about Pardas at UEM for his Qatar misadventures?Amir Sham for his careless over priced acquisitions?,Azman for his Pantai/Parkway blunder?,Jala for his failed hedging?Why can;t we see until the shit hits us squarely and surely.And why are we treating Tom and Peters differently?

I hope you can analyse the Khazanah performance and tell it as it is..warts and all.

Anonymous,  22 January 2011 at 18:43  

Its not going to be Tunisia here as yet.

The Government will continue to provide subsidies and shield the rakyat.The impact is very much worse due to the fact that even the subsidies are prone to "middlemen" and "profiteering".Thus food for the less fortunate school children will cost us RM 2 whereas if properly administered it can be 50% cheaper.

The first and most important step is for the govt to have a serious cost cutting exercise..in every aspect i.e. Opex & Capex.Instead of the wild dreams of MRTs,Finance Centres,Mega Towers..it should be a concerted effort to achieve cost effectivess.

But old habits die hard as evidenced by the direct nego of 1NIH,MRT,Matrade..and the continuance of APs,permits etc etc.

But subsidies will continue...and on bigger scale to appease the rakyat.So Tunisia won't happen now.

But coupled that with high opex and the wonderland projects by billion dollar loser DSIJ,few years down the line we may be the new Zimbabwe.Its not difficult to see that but UMNO leaders close both eyes and hope they will hv enuff stashed away when the s**t hits the fan.

Thats our future when leadership is outsourced.

Anonymous,  22 January 2011 at 19:28  

Extracts from the book "The Ideal Muslim Society as defined in the Quran and Sunnah" by Dr Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi (IIPH 2007)pg 532-533:

What we see nowadays, of the backwardness, division, humiliation and weakness of the Muslims, despite the fact they number more than one billion, stems from the abolition of this eternal shari'ah from those societies where it no longer leads the way. It is also due to the Muslims having drifted far away from strong bond of Allah and the denial of the bond of faith and Islamic brotherhood, their failure to unite as a single, powerful body, and the fact that some of them follow misguided and ignorant calls and embrace foreign principles.
This would not have happened if the Muslims had united behind the banner of La' ilaha illa-Allah Muhammad Rasolullah, and if they had taken the shari'ah of Islam as their constitution and striven to apply it in real life, in general terms and in specific terms, far removed from tribalism, favouritism, exploitation and opportunism, and if they had opened the door of equal opportunity to all those who were talented and qualified so that they could take the positions they deserved and devote their time to research, seeking to develop science, make new discoveries, and advances.
The time has come for the Muslims to realise the state they are in, divided, backward and weak. Every Muslim should realise his reponsibility towards the obligation to reconstruct the Muslim society as Allah wants it to be, strong, united, progressive, developing, able to stand out proud among modern societies, qualified to pass on the guidance of Islam with which it has been blessed to all people.
This is a great responsibility which Islam has enjoined upon all Muslims, and has not left anyone out. Every Muslim who has uttered the Shahadatayn is responsible for bringing the Muslims society back to the position where Allah wants it to be, but the degree of responsibility varies from one person to another. The more influence and ability a person has, the greater his responsibility.
When the people in authority in the Muslim ummah, the rulers, scholars, thinkers and other leaders, realise their responsibility before Allah, and think about the Day when they will be questioned about what they did, the Day when nothing will be of any avail except the righteous deeds that each person sent on before him, then the ummah will have taken the first step towards perfecting its faith, regaining its glory and reaching its goal, achieving the divine help which the Lord of the Worlds has promise to His believing slaves. :

..and (as for) the believers, it was incumbent upon Us to help (them)

Anonymous,  22 January 2011 at 21:55  

Dato, Somewhat ironic truth is Malaysia is gifted by Allah swt with bounty of natural resources. Until this dry up (may Allah forbid) some of us wont realise how evil our corrupt politicians are...so the kind of awakening happening in Tunisia may not happen unless, the Malaysians wake up from their slumber sooner. Many Malaysians I talk to, still have an apathy to politics and seem not interested. They dont realise it is their money or their future generations' money and wealth being stolen into. Sad!

dahseriksiut 23 January 2011 at 08:42  

morning dato,

yes islamic principals. All of those who claim that they are the one's who adhere to these principals better get their facts straight and bring things to the discussion table without having any ulterior motives in terms of political or financial gain, to remain in power no matter what or to topple political foes and implementing selective prosecution.

There should be no moral grey area in which our handsome politicians work in be them in light blue, bloody red or dark green.

If PAS becomes more UMNO where would UMNO go? If UMNO becomes more like PAS where would Islam go?

now why not PAS UMNO and PKR talk about riba and dont disguise it as the financial mumbo jumbo we usually here related to it in our financial institutions. PAS have spoken about this...where is PKR(eh why i include this jokers? well litsen to them when they speak about malays(melayu crowd la) LOL) and UMNO?

oh you should also here the views of the DAP on foreign labor, its completly laughable, more like corporate DAP talking.(i love mentioning them because they use to speak of ali baba's) (ali's still there LOL)

as the rise of political islam begins, dont worry these oppresive governments will be toppled, the agenda of the day would be america sounding of "be more democratic" (meaning share the pie la u greedy bastards) "Look at us we were on the verge of collapse and we threw an obama"(meaning cull the idiots by giving them a false sense of hope and political correctness).

i can just imagine mrs clinton laughing it up in air force 1, 2 party? coalition of parties? it doesnt matter, when there's one lobby! people are idiots, when they think they can change things!

yes we need a reality check, ask these questions, why does infaltion occur? ask yourselves do i need these things that i buy? (start with your loans) and ask yourselves this "is it really worth that much?!?!?!?"(car house land bread water electricity)

so whats wrong? humanity or the system? demand and supply, maybe we just need to take a step back and ask oursleves are we not greedy ourselves?

politicians? they are just part of the system, take them as the master predators in the jungle, the best salesman in the car dealership ur working at, the casanova who gets all the girls, the SOB who doesnt mind bending all the rules just as long as he/she gets what they want.....so what can we do? stop being greedy!

rotflmao!

go ahead an justify urself by saying this, i cari makan only maaa, aku nak hidup je berr, u only live once m'chaa.

then maybe u have talent as a politician. and not the politically correct one (face it, there are none)

follow the rule book, or make one rule book that changes all the time, try playing monopoly when any player can change the rules as they pass GO. it'll be funny as hell just like world politics.

will the tides change? only when subuh prayers at the mosuqe is similar to friday prayers.

god is great!

Anonymous,  23 January 2011 at 10:12  

OF COURSE MALAYSIA AND TUNISIA IS NOT THE SAME ......BUT THE CONCIOUSNESS BY THE YOUNG GENERATION IS THE SAME, THIS IS WHERE THE SIMILARITIES LIES.....NOT GOOD FOR BARISAN NASIONAL...

Anonymous,  23 January 2011 at 10:15  

the young will see and make their decision on the experiance of tunisia...its their future...parents must educate their children of the future commitment...so the coming general election is important...malaysia is at the cross road...wrong decision it will be bad for the future....

Anonymous,  23 January 2011 at 10:20  

General Zine el Abidine Ben Ali , the defunct and deposed president of
Tunisia is heralded by the Western media, in chorus, as a dictator.

The Tunisian protest movement is casually described as the consequence of an
undemocratic and authoritarian regime, which defies the norms of the
"international community".

But Ben Ali was not a "dictator". Dictators decide and dictate. Ben Ali was
a servant of Western economic interests, a faithful political puppet who
obeyed orders, with the active support of the international community.

Foreign interference in Tunisia's domestic affairs is not mentioned in the
media reports. The food price hikes were not "dictated" by the Ben Ali
government. They were imposed by Wall Street and the IMF.

The role of Ben Ali's government was to enforce the IMF's deadly economic
medicine, which over a period of more than twenty years has served to
destabilize the national economy and impoverish the Tunisian population.

Ben Ali as head of state did not decide on anything of substance. National
sovereignty was foregone. In 1987, at the height of the debt crisis, the
left nationalist government of Habib Bourguiba was replaced by a new regime,
firmly committed to "free market" reforms.

Macroeconomic management under the helm of the IMF was in the hands of
Tunisia's external creditors. Over the last 23 years, economic and social
policy in Tunisia has been dictated by the Washington Consensus.

Ben Ali stayed in power because his government obeyed and effectively
enforced the diktats of the IMF, while serving the interests of both the US
and the European Union.

This pattern has occurred in numerous countries.

Anonymous,  23 January 2011 at 10:22  

What is happening in Tunisia is part of a global economic process which
destroys people's lives through the deliberate manipulation of market
forces.

More generally, "the harsh economic and social realities underlying IMF
intervention are soaring food prices, local-level famines, massive lay-offs
of urban workers and civil servants and the destruction of social programs.
Internal purchasing power has collapsed, health clinics and schools have
been closed down, hundreds of millions of children have been denied the
right to primary education." (Michel Chossudovsky, Global Famine, op cit.)

The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order

Anonymous,  23 January 2011 at 12:53  

Dato,

With your thingking cap on, could the great robbery be more than RM888 bln? Say RM1.0 trln? What about all those still stuck here, though some actively and productively used?

Could it be another RM1.0 trln?

Is that all that UMNO/BN can do? The McKinsey stock value bias?

So say RM2.0 trln stolen, misallocated, wasted ! What might the Malaysia in your mind could have been, had all these been used and not abused?

What kind of picture can you conjure? Many thanks.

Anonymous,  23 January 2011 at 12:58  

Dato'

Apa yang terjadi di Tunisia membuatkan saya terpanggil utk mahu faham apa yg berlaku di Baling pada tahun 1974. Di Tunisia, pencetusnya adalah Mohamed Abouazid, seorang penganggur yg kecewa apabila kereta sorong dgn buah2 jualannya disita kerana berniaga tanpa permit. Suami ( yg sudah lulus universiti pd tahun 1974 ) beritahu saya, pencetus di Baling adalah kelaparan yg dialami oleh sekeluarga penoreh getah. Pada tahun 1974, saya masih di menengah rendah. Pengetahuan saya tentang Baling, demonstrasi pelajar di KL amatlah sedikit tetapi yg peliknya saya ingat tentang rusuhan setinggan di Tasik Utara, Johor Bahru.

Saya kongsikan 2 links yg informatif. Mungkin yg lain-lain yg dah 'mumayyiz' pada ketika itu boleh komen juga.

http://saifullah-zulkifli.blogspot.com/2008/01/respon-demonstrasi-pelajar-petani.html

Hishamuddin Rais: Demonstrasi Baling
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kESX_fz9PH0

-MAKORANG-

Anonymous,  23 January 2011 at 15:01  

Hey Dato,
Why not write something about the illicit 888 billion ringgit outflow and its ramifications to our economy.
Your party is stealing our money.

Anonymous,  23 January 2011 at 18:28  

We all should know that US only do things that advance their own interests, even if it means going to bed with despotic tyrants (be they Islamic or otherwise) or druglords. And even if it means starting wars where innocent people are killed, so long as they are not US citizens.

Can Malaysia get rid of its mentality that what the US says is gospel and therefore, anyone or any nation that propogates values contrary to the uS interests are evil, e.g. the likes of PAS or communists? I don't have any hope of Barisan Nasional doing anything to educate Malaysians about this because it serves their political interest to continue to portray PAS as evil, likewise, communists.

walla 23 January 2011 at 19:54  

A: 'Is it all Huntingdon's clash of civilizations, Sir?'

B: 'I would hardly think fighting one another tooth-n-nail eye4eye constitutes civilized behavior, Sofea.

Let me ask you, if Xerxes' forces had vanquished that motley group of spartans at Thermopylae, would the greco-persian wars have changed world history by nipping the genesis of democracy?'

A: 'Hmm, Sir. I wonder why you didn't ask as well why Admiral Zhenghe's naval fleet with their invention of gunpowder, navigation skills and all that didn't conquer the world all the way to Boston before Columbus? Then they will all be having a real boston tea party. Oolong and not ceylon. Hehehe.'

B: 'Perhaps because they had come from a civilization that had written books like All Men Are Brothers? Maybe spiderman's uncle had read it and understood why with great powers come great responsibilty, something the praetorian guards of US' geopolitical hawks seemed eager to ignore once their pendulum had swung from insularity to global domination at the end of WWII.

As for Admiral Zhenghe, just think, if it had been otherwise, maybe others apart from our chinese brothers would be having harrmyeepaikuat cheekiokchoh as well today.'

A: 'What's that, Sir?'

B: 'No idea, just heard it as one of them was talking into his mobile.'

A: 'In any case, i think the present geopolitics is tragic, Sir. Men with guns shooting boys with stones.'

B: 'Ah, you mean Palestine? The lightning rod of today's global fracture providing the old world of islamic fundamentalism the perfect clarion call against the march of western capitalistic democratic imperialism. Hahaha, i can't believe i could actually say that without tripping my words.

Actually, Sofea, I wonder what Balfoe would be thinking if he is alive today to see Great Britain's handiwork in the Palestinian state.'

A: 'I too wonder how the jews must really feel being learned people and all and yet having to use the same nazi-type tactics on the palestinians which they themselves had suffered from when they were being marginalized in the warsaw ghetto.'

B: 'I understand some of them have become conscientious objectors against their own regime. In any case, it's all tit-for-tat, eye for an eye over some soporific historical beliefs that belittle the marginalization of insitu inhabitants.'

A: 'But in the end Cray, Lockheed, Martin Marietta and General Dynamics won, didn't they?'

B: 'Not exactly, Sofea. You see, it's like what is happening in Tunisia. The regime tried to hide all the criminal things it was doing to their people. Would it have thought there would one day be wikileaks? You press down what is patently unjust in one place and it pops up and out somewhere else.

The world as many would not want to admit to is actually complex, chaotic, nonlinear and asymmetric. Imagine a butterfly fluttering its wings in the amazon forest one moment and Brisbane drowns the next.

While the telaviv regime seems to have neutered the hamas movement in that place and that because Murray Gell-Mann's computer intelligence had helped process the infiltration data the zionists are particularly good at accumulating, the battle seems to have spilled out of the border like mosquitoes coming out of pandora's box.

Unfortunately for all the players and the world, it just ignited resentment to no solution other than more killing, bombing and maiming.'

walla 23 January 2011 at 19:55  

2

A: 'And some took opportunity to tap the dilemma for their own gains.'

B: 'You mean the Iraq war? I can't understand how Bush and Blair could still not be conscience-stricken over the collateral murder of one hundred thousand human beings just for the oilfields of Iraq. Not to discount the thousands of US and nato military men killed in the process. And the continuing saga of cretinous fighting between the sunnis and shiites right to this day. Over what? one wonders. Tribalism is deadly when people cannot control it with rationale thought and humanistic designs; it only serves to confirm that what the west perceive of islamists has compelling grounds, furthermore magnified by their occidental fears of being swarmed. And that Merkel has said as much of the growth of the german muslim population.'

A: 'And that is exactly what western democracy wants to curtail - irrationality produced by lack of education leading to blustery emotional responses worsened by hopeless living conditions spawned by economic deprivation caused by backward governments.'

B: 'But by nuking them? Sofea, in a nonlinear world with asymmetric responses, one shouldn't be so procedural. Take Israel. It wants to be recognized as a state. Yet it sits on more fertile land than that shoved to the palestinians. Isn't this just inviting them to die? Why can't it override the niceties of diplomatic posturings and just help the palestinians with its scientific and engineering prowess? You may say they will rebuff the overtures. But i say try, and try hard. Because it's personal redemption.'

A: 'I see what you mean, Sir. At the end of the day, it's all personal. The remnant families of those civilians killed by the cruise missiles of allied forces while trying to collect gasoline in the night in Afghanistan are not going to debate political differences. They're just going to join the talibans for revenge.'

B: 'And the saddest thing in the world today is that those with more military might think they can thumb their noses over what's right and wrong because they think they themselves are beaten to a corner and their only recourse is through the endlosung's of firepower. Win at all costs. Remember?'

A: 'Hehe, Sir. I was wondering when you would use that phrase.

So, closer to home, what do you think of Islam in our country?'

B: 'Let me instead reply you with some general remarks on all faiths, Sofea.

Let's do a thought experiment.'

A: 'Oooh, does that include you sweeping me off my feet for a mediterranean cruise?'

B: '(shakes his head). Please-lah woman. We are here trying to delve into serious matters.

Ok, the thought experiment goes like this. Here's a pair of scissors. There on the clothes hanger are some rather nice boutique-made outfits. I invite you to snip off their labels. Zara, MNG, Burberry, ZangToi, Lanvin, what have you. Now, after you've done that, i invite you again to wear them one after the other.'

walla 23 January 2011 at 19:55  

3/3

A: 'Ok! can i ask you a question first?'

B: 'What?'

A: 'After i wear them, can i keep them?'

B: '(eyes pop out). Yes, my dear, you may keep all of them. I will have to make you a virtual wardrobe but that is just the smallest problem i seem to be having right now.'

A: 'Ok i am wearing them as you have instructed. What next?'

B: 'As an individual, you will find some fitting, some not. Some you wear will make you itch, others will ooh-so-nice and silky.'

A: 'How you know so much, Sir?'

B: 'Alamak, woman. This is a thought experiment-lah. Ok, now where was i? What i was hoping against hope to say is that we wear our faith like we wear our custom-made clothes. Does a dress feel any different on you with and without the label?'

A: 'But i like ZangToi the most, Sir! Its colors are so vibrant.'

B '(hits forehead with palm). Alamak! geram saja! The scientific conclusions of my now aborted experiment are these:

one, different strokes for different folks;

two, different paths to same well;

three, insert a modernization element to keep up with times in order to stay relevant using an appropriate lingo;

four, rationalize by integrating all good elements of all pathways when hitting a crossjunction where the roadsigns may be confusing, and

five, keep an open mind all the time because, sayang, "it's all in the mind."'

A: 'Sir, what do you mean it's all in the mind? You mean all this while i never existed as a human being in front of you?'

B: '(grits teeth). No-lah, cupcake. You more than exist in front of me. In fact, your presence overwhelms me irreparably.'

A: 'Ok, back to what you have said. What about those brutal things mentioned as punishment?'

B: 'You mean cutting off the hand? Maybe those days they didn't have our PDRM ronda equivalent and robbers were stealing too many camels. You know, cctv wasn't invented then. So in exasperation that draconian edict. But today? we even have electronic laser-guided motion sensors. And if a hand is cut off, how can the person be productive to pay tax, and without tax how do you build prayer halls and without prayer halls how do you hear sermons and without sermons how do you know what to do?'

A: 'After listening to that, i am relieved you're not a fundamentalist, Sir.'

B: 'I am not? Sigh, all along i thought i was being fundamental about matters. Hmmm back to the drawing board.'

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