All in the name of Religion Part 2


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The issue of religion in this country has been a very sticky issue especially when it comes to issues relating to Muslims and Non Muslims.

One such case is the issue of implementing hudud – it will be interesting to see how this works out the non Muslim component political parties of the Government with the upcoming RUU 355 which will be presented by the Government in Parliament. There is already voices of dissenting to the proposed changes from MCA, MIC and component political parties from East Malaysia but let’s see how these guys will actually react when the changes actually tabled in Parliament. If you ask me, the whole thing about RUU 355 looks more politicial than religion.

Another has been the unilateral conversion of children in a marriage where one parent converts to Islam – a case in point has been the case of Indira Gandhi, a case that gone all the way up to the Federal Court for decision. The husband convert already gone into hiding with one of the children and remains missing despite mounting court orders. I am not sure what that achieves other than causing high distress and bad experience for the children. In the end, the family remains disunited and parents at each other’s throats and time wasted at the courts.

Of course, there are others that is considered “out of this world” such as building tombstone in a school. It does not matter if 80% of the students in the school is not Muslim or if there is no consent from the parents & teachers. But it does a great concern when we try mixing religion & politics into our schools. It would have been a different story if the same parties had build a science lab or an astronomy observatory for the students. I don’t see how we can achieve high income nation status with building tombstones and not science labs. We sure need to make a reality check on what we need to present as educational item for the young minds.

Anyway as I said, the issue of religion in this country has been a very sticky issue and it will be so in the coming years. Now that leads me to a very interesting news recently relating to my fellow Hindus for Thaipusam.

A group of vigilantes behind the Facebook page called the “Thaipusam Spraying Group”, have threatened to use aerosol spray paint on women, including those who wear the saree (Indian traditional dress for women) with their backs exposed.

Accompanying the warning were pictures of saree blouse designs that the group deemed inappropriate. “Advance Warning to Hindu Female Patrons coming to Thaipusam festival, beware of being sprayed with Aerosol paint if found inappropriately dressed”, said the group in its “about the page” column.

Federal police Corporate Communications Head ACP Asmawati Ahmad told FMT the post could be considered a crime, punishable under Section 507 of the Penal Code for criminal intimidation, or Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act for improper use of network facilities or network services. “So don’t taint a religious event by doing things that can disrupt public harmony and peace,” she advised.

The post was published last week, and at the time of publication, the group had close to 150 members. A Facebook user by the name of Henry Barnabas, who allegedly created the page, wrote on his personal Facebook page that the post was meant to protect the “ritual and culture” of Hindus.

“Let’s spread the positive message through this group, so they will also get knowledge and respect the meaning of Thaipusam. “Most youngsters these days don’t know our history. Thaipusam for them is just to be glamorous, dancing, etc. Let’s bring some awareness among the youth and the upcoming generation,” he said.

Barnabas also called for his followers to make the post viral, saying that women today were behaving like “call girls”. “Who to blame? Boys trying to protect girls but girls behaving like call girls and at the end of the day, when they are in trouble they will blame the guys.”

(Source)

I can’t recall when was the last time I visited Batu Caves (even worse, Batu Caves during Thaipusam) but if I am not mistaken it was couple years ago when I attended someone’s wedding at the wedding hall in the temple grounds or when we had to shave my daughter’s head during prayers. I don’t know which is which. The massive crowd, lack of parking space, the heaps of rubbish, the issue of safety, my own reflection of religion – I don’t know which of these reasons that made me to shun Batu Caves during Thaipusam. I guess, I rather pray in a more conducive manner.

So when I heard of the “Thaipusam Spraying Group”, I admit I had mixed feelings. On one hand I was concerned that someone is trying to force their set of religious values onto others by means of violence (even though it may be limited to spraying), something seems to be rare when it comes to Indians – we even had people with short pants coming to temples for prayers in the past (how about naked Sandhus during Kumbh Mela, one of the most important Hindu event in India?), so what is so wrong with some sarees with modern designs?

On the other hand, it was comical since there are worse things happening during Thaipusam than some pretty ladies wearing a designer saree – how about starting with cleanliness of the temple area in the first place?

Yes I agree that there should be minimal standards when it comes to devotees coming to places of religion (no one will accept anyone walking in naked to pray unless of course it is a Sandhu, right?) but I don’t think sarees with some designs is so degrading and causes high tension at places of religion. Seriously guys, the notion of pushing down one’s religious throat with force and violence need to stop. Religion as I mentioned before, in my opinion is something personal and it is just between you and Him. This is also why I prefer morality compared to religion any time, any day.

The last thing we need in this country is moral policing vigilantes that makes threats and causes apprehension on others. So calm down everyone, designer sarees will not cause the end of the world and we do have other priorities in life. So please have great days ahead.

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Greatest Mystery of All


This one is for the guys…

(One of the best tries to date but the truth is men and women are from 2 different planets, on different time zones, different school of thoughts. Image source: http://andlooking.wordpress.com)

You probably have this joke (or a variation of it):-

A man walking along a California beach was deep in prayer when all of a sudden he said aloud, “Lord grant me one wish”. The sky clouded and a booming voice said, “Because you have tried to be faithful I will grant you one wish.” The man said, “Build a bridge to Hawaii so I can drive over any time I want to.”

The Lord answered, “Your request is very materialistic. Think of the logistics of that kind of undertaking. The supports required to reach the bottom of the Pacific! The concrete and steel it would take. I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for worldly things. Take a little more time to think of another wish, a wish you think would honour and glorify me”.

The man thought for a long time and finally said, “Lord, I wish that I could understand women. I want to know what they feel inside, what they are thinking when they give me the silent treatment, why they cry, what they mean when they say ‘nothing’, and how I can make a woman truly happy?”

After a few minutes God said, “How many lanes did you want on that bridge?”

(Source: here)

Yesterday as I drove back from work, I saw a durian stall at my housing area. I just ignored them and drove on. I took my dinner and about to take my shower when my sister arrived and told that she noticed a durian stall nearby and she wanted to buy some durians. I told her that I did not have enough cash but if she is buying, we don’t mind eating. I took shower and came down. My sister and my dad had gone and bought just a couple of durians but the quality was not that good.

The “meat” was a bit hard but nonetheless sweet.

My dad offered a plate (others have declined) to me – I took the whole plate, asked around and started to enjoy the durians. I saw my wife looking at me from the dining table, so I asked whether she wanted one but she just declined. She even remarked that the durians from her home town tasted better. She said no once again. She even added the comment – that she these days disliked the smell of durian. I then asked my son and he took a couple of bite but due to the quality of the fruit, he declined further bites.

I finished the rest of the fruit and with a full stomach, I headed to the bedroom. Just before going to sleep, my wife confronted me and asked me – “Why I did not offer a bite of the durian to her?”

I was loss for words – I thought I did asked her; at this point, I thought I heard God asking me – “how many lanes you wanted on that bridge?”