Hornbill Unleashed

November 1, 2013

Is not Islam being shamed?

Filed under: Politics,religion — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
Tags: , , , ,

Blackout 505 #KL622-22KJ John

As Christians, we often say, “do not follow other Christians”, just learn to follow Jesus Christ; which is the reason we are called Christian. In the book, ‘The Knights Templar & the Protestant Reformation’, it states that when Stanley Jones, a missionary, met Mahatma Gandhi he asked him:

Mr Gandhi, though you quote the words of Christ often, why is that you appear to so adamantly reject becoming his follower?

Gandhi replied: Oh, I don’t reject Christ. I love Christ. It’s just that so many of you Christians are so unlike Christ.

Are we un-Islamic?

I am purposely and consciously reflecting on this issue through this question. It can be quite misunderstood as “me questioning the very essence of Islamic thought and life”. I do not mean to do that, but to really ask my good friends and neighbours to answer some questions I really cannot understand about Muslims in general and the practice of their faith; from my “outsider’s” point of view.

When a school principal decides to “slaughter a cow within the school compound” is that really promoting the cause of Islam or that of Malays?  How can then so many other extremists argue for it, when even the minister has gently said this is very insensitive?  I think it not just insensitive, but downright wrong! Why? I write as a Bangsa Malaysian!

What is purpose of a school?

What is the underlying and foundational purpose of any school? It would be to educate, inform, and help students mature to become good citizens, over a period of 12 years of foundational education. Now, what I do not understand is how “the slaughter of a cow has anything to do with any of this education and learning one is talking about?” Does the new Education Blueprint promote that?

Surely cow-slaughtering cannot be a subject or the content or curriculum for any national-type school; either primary or secondary. It cannot even be content for Moral or Religious Studies (for Islam), so why is the school practising such “unconventional ways of teaching and learning?” Or, is the principal being a zealot, like so many others who appear so irrational in their actions.

My only conclusion is that the school principal is not fit to be one. It is the similar to the other school principal who decided that a child eating in the school bathroom or toilet is not wrong. I would say reconsider for we have teaching in a Malay proverb, “that we cannot eat and pass motion in the same place?”

The corrupt cow business

The formal and proper slaughter of cows for meat is a thriving industry in many countries.  No Hindu objects to this process; even if within their faith the cow is considered a sacred animal. In fact, I understand that for any formal certification and accreditation process in this cow business, we send approved and authorised religious inspectors for verification, certification and accreditation of the process before we deem it ‘halal,’ or kosher.

But, from the time of the cow-head demonstration at the Shah Alam state secretariat, we moved into the corrupt and abusive cow investments by the federal government (also called ‘cowgate’).

Now, I think the “animal abuse of cows has become endemic”. At the very least, this has happened in terms of ‘the reputation of cows’ in Malaysia. I do not pretend to be an animal lover either, but I think we need to get some cow sense into our thoughts, behaviour and speech.

Islam a revealed religion

Islam is a revealed religion. Muslims believe that Islam is last of the three revealed religions from the same roots of Father Abraham; with Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Muslims scholars and leaders worldwide, after the 9/11 fiasco, issued a statement called the ‘Common Word.’ It was an invite by 138 leading Islamic scholars, thinkers, and teachers to the world’s Christian leadership of all persuasions arguing for the common grounds of faith, thought, and deed. That word was: To love God, and neighbour”.

Arising from this proposition and then acceptance, many of these leaders of various schools of thought on both sides of the 9/11 divide signed what is now popularly called The Common Word.

Building Bridges

In 2007 Abdullah Ahmad Badawi withdrew at the last minute from the Building Bridges initiative of the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury designed to be hosted in Kuala Lumpur.

Idris Jala, the Minister in charge of Performance Management of Government-related agencies, once when invited to our National Congress on Integrity in 2009, gave his simple strategy for bridge-building and nation-growing. “It takes more than toleration,” he said. “One must move from toleration, towards acceptance of the other, and then towards the appreciation and celebration of the other.”

His three-step strategy for bridge-building is worth copying and modulating. We cannot teach toleration in schools to only mean that Islam is the only important religion; all other religions are therefore not considered important in schools. Instead, why not explain to all concerned the same reason why one need not slaughter either pigs or cows in schools; it is not a curricular priority.

Only when such rational acceptance is communicated and moderated, can we expect there to be mutual respect which will finally lead to begin our ability to celebrate with others of a different faith system.

Otherwise, whether we call it Raya Korban or Festival of Lights, light cannot be shed on ignorance and people will continue to live under the weight of their own ignorance; but not education. This is especially so when the ignorant ones in society speak up more than others do. We then run into the problem of the squeaky wheel; it is only that wheel which is oiled and fuelled to accelerate faster!

Way forward

Schools must become the domain and space for multiethnic collaboration and celebration; or, at least the space to understand how to tolerate, respect and honour others, and then to celebrate with others.

All religious systems preach consistency between thoughts, words, and deeds. This is also called integrity of life and living. Whither Malaysia without such integrity?


  1. Sex crime on the rise in Pakistan despite strong Islam governance:

    Comment by Amando — November 3, 2013 @ 12:30 PM | Reply

  2. Do not do unto others what you don’t want others do unto you. Similarly, do unto others what you would have them do unto you. Prove that Islam is good by being a good Muslim. Similarly, it applies to Christianity and being a good Christian. How will people be convinced and believe if your life is filled with evil, greed, corruption, jealousy, adultery and hatred?

    Comment by Sharpshooter — November 1, 2013 @ 7:07 PM | Reply

  3. This is not only the case……. in the rural school, its not allow to serve pork/pig/wild boar in the school canteen….even their no Muslim student is studying in the that particular school!

    If you go to some of the interior school….good example…in Ulu Baram…Long Sait Primary School; this made up of 100% Penan/Kenyah…… pork and wild boar is a big part of their live and culture! All national school are not allow to buy pig/wild boar meat….. at least an income for the Penan…villager from surrounding area to supply ration to the school…. cheaper mean cost saving.

    Comment by Rod — November 1, 2013 @ 1:54 AM | Reply

    • ISLAMISATION of the entire country while other religions are being supressed. They are doing it through the education system where for instance in the Rural schools in Sarawak, only one muslim kid in a school can make the entire school his own. Meaning one kid can oppress hundreds of other non muslim kids. So when they talk about being threatened by other religion, they better be aware of their own actions and look at what they are doing to others first before they make such claims!

      Comment by brian — November 4, 2013 @ 9:05 AM | Reply

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