Tay Tian Yan
While Ibrahim Ali is most definitely a sly fox, he is edging towards political bankruptcy. To someone like this, perhaps we should just watch how he is going to play up his show.
Quoting William Shakespeare in Hamlet: “To be, or not to be: that is the question.” Hamlet is torn between hatred and vulnerability deep inside his heart as if he is possessed by the demon, fighting a war with himself. His choice will very much determine his eventual survival or annihilation.
It’s exactly the same for the next course of action Ibrahim Ali will take.
If he calls off his plan to burn the Alkitab (Malay Bible), he could always claim that his message has been relayed and his objectives fulfilled. Period.
Of course, some might see him as a self-bloating joker who has created yet another low-quality mean joke.
In the highly unlikely event that he really burns the Bible, his end is just about to begin.
Malaysia is a multicultural country that indeed has a fair deal of racial and religious problems, but very often we have our own mild and rational ways to diffuse them.
The violent clashes taking place in many other countries are rare in Malaysia, because the fundamental mutual trust and understanding do prevail among our people. We respect one another’s differences and are sensitive towards other people’s feelings, especially when it comes to religion.
In a country like ours, anyone openly vowing to torch the Bible (be it in any language) will find himself a common foe among the entire nation.
And of course, he will not be spared by our laws, I swear.
Ibrahim is well aware of such consequences. He has put up many shows before, and I just can’t wait to see how he is going to fix things up later.
There are apparent reasons why this guy has put up the first half of the show. An opportunistic politico, he has the sentiments of the Malay society, in particular the more conservative Muslims, well at his fingertips.
To be honest, overwhelming majority of Muslims do not endorse what he did. However, there are always a handful of people who feel their dissatisfaction and voices should be heard.
The mention of “Allah” issue by CM Lim in his Christmas message was most positively not music to the ears of Muslims. A controversial issue that had this far cooled down and rested was brought back to life once again.
That violated a highly sensitive religious taboo: You smell the sweet aroma of roses but I smell a noxious stink; the honey in my mouth could be your poison!
To Christians, the use of the word “Allah” embodies religious freedom that has been historically proven, while Muslims feel that the same is a form of infringement and show of gross disrespect for the Islamic faith.
Both sides think their own ways out of their passion for their respective religions, not confrontational in essence. But it will be a different story the moment politicians start to stick their hands into it.
Before the “Allah” controversy is put to rest, it happens that some unidentified individuals distributed the Bible outside a national secondary school in Penang, once again triggering the highly sensitive religious nerves.
The incident not only has impacted the country’s long-standing tradition of religious tolerance, but also contravened the country’s laws.
Muslims can never tolerate offensive trespassing of their religion, and it is natural that some might act aggressively after watching the videotaped scene on TV or Internet.
Christians have their religious sensitivities; so do the Muslims. The question is, we must know where the boundary is and must learn to respect other people’s sensitivities.
This is a lesson we all must learn seriously.