Hornbill Unleashed

August 14, 2017

Why hunt down the atheists?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Atheist Club? Atheist Republic? Is that a band from California, after Linkin Park and Nirvana? Or a new name for a brand of Chinese-made jeans? I know One Republic is a brand of clothing and True Religion is a pair of cool jeans. Only true believers wear them.

And for the atheist, there is always the question when they die:

All dressed up and nowhere to go?

And what does it mean to believe in Nothing? When we live in a world in which we cannot escape from Somethingness?

Seriously folks, this is a serious matter in Malaysia, today and yesterday, at least. Another distraction from the issue of 1MDB and who allegedly stole the money, and who killed Altantuya and who masterminded the tragedy.

Even if one is an atheist, you’d say: Oh my God. Why was so much money allegedly stolen? Why use C4 explosives on the pregnant woman?

That is what we will say and what we have been saying about what the hell is happening in this heaven called Malaysia.

Malay-Muslims denouncing their religion. Why? Loss of meaning. No spiritual compass. Perhaps? The elders have betrayed them and robbed them of their future.

What is the meaning of Islam in Malaysia today? What has the Islamicisation agenda brought us?

Not what Prophet Muhammad taught: Opposing gluttony, combating greed. Look at the kind of lives the leaders and the sultans of the world are living. Look at the poor. Remember what the Arab Spring was about?

Herein lies the rise of those who are disillusioned by Islam.

What we are reading about in the Islamic world is about Muslims killing each other, and the richer amongst the Islamic countries are building and buying weapons from the enemies of Islam, to annihilate each other.

At home in Malaysia, we have these streams of reports about massive and even billion-ringgit corruption cases allegedly involving those who profess the religion of Islam. As the popular saying goes, a Muslim will freak out at the sight of pork or bacon or ham but find it quite moral to squander or songlap millions.

Words they merely are. A prison-house of language we live in. Atheism. Agnosticism. Platonism. Theism. Pantheism. Secularism. Islamism. Anachronism. These are mere words.

The last one is not a belief system though. It sounded like an anaconda with a chronic illness. And if it is “anachronistic”, it should be an anaconda with a lipstick.

Who to hunt

Hunt down not the atheist to destroy them. Hunt those who are killing the nation and the coming generations. Those in power who cause untold damage, pretending to believe in God yet godless in the way they treat the world and its inhabitants.

I hope those planning to do the goodwill hunting of the atheists will be ready with the best weapons: philosophy of religion and rationalistic thought.

The self-proclaimed atheists are very smart people and have all the good arguments (though many might be faulty) to argue why they have left religion, in general.

Dialogue is good, hunting is not, let alone calling for the death of atheists. I doubt the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) would agree to that. I doubt Islam is about that brand of paranoia.

 When I read about the issue, I recall what I wrote about believing. Here it goes.

“Prayer of a Believer”
by Azly Rahman

Believe in anything you wish to
in anything
in something
in nothing
anything that teaches you the beauty within
and shows you the kingdom you are to govern wisely 
shown by you … yourself 
as Time evolves itself within you
begin believing in anything
moving into intimacy with yourself
so that when you worship
you become the worshipper – and the worshipped
like the dancer and the danced
the waves in the water
the self in your self
and when you have become good in believing what is 
good in you
the human in your humanity
the love in your beloved — you become lovers
you evolved 
you and yourself
none should tell you how
none should know
no signs 
no symbols
no house of worship should shroud your soul 
from infinitesimal glows
you evolve 
and evolve 
and walk proudly
even like the sage Siddhartha
with a begging bowl
with Rumi and reason whirling as rhymes in you
like a sadhu
a wanderer in the wilderness
a prophet on Wall Street
a soul meditating on a mountain of light
away from the madness of civilization’s plight
believe in anything you wish to 
you are truth
creating meaning
in a world
where nothing can become everything
and believing makes you a being
every minute 
every breath 
a cycle
never ending
a circle 

No. Let us not hunt atheists but focus our energy and resources hunting down hypocrites and those who betrayed this nation and our children: leaders that are godless but wearing the mask of religiosity.

That should be our goal. As for Muslims, we do it with Bismillah hirRahman nirRahim. In the name of the Universal God, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate.

Source : Malaysiakini by Azly Rahman
DR AZLY RAHMAN is an educator, academic, international columnist, and author of seven books. He grew up in Johor Baru and holds a Columbia University doctorate in International Education Development and Masters degrees in five areas: Education, International Affairs, Peace Studies Communication, and Creative Writing.



1 Comment »

  1. Dear Inspector-General of Police,

    Firstly, let me declare that I am a non-practising Hindu. I am not one of those who make holy pilgrimages or pray regularly at temples. I offer my prayers and thank the Almighty in a way which I think is correct. No one and nothing can change that – however hard anyone tries. I have visited temples, churches all over the world and even attended Friday prayers in an East London mosque.

    There’s nothing to be proud or ashamed of. It was and continues to remain my choice. I have attended religious meetings and talks from supposedly leaders of various faiths. I attended them to widen my knowledge on the teachings of the various books of God but never at any time did I lose my resolve in my beliefs.

    No one knows the number of atheists in the world, let alone Malaysia. Among us, there could be many who do not believe in the existence of God. There are many, too, who don’t believe that God and religion have exclusive rights to enable one to practise good values and morals. Some are of the belief that they don’t have to go to houses of worship to show their “religiosity” and believe God is in their hearts.

    I don’t propagate any religion nor do I run down any faith. For me, to each his or her own. My father was born a Hindu in Jaffna, Sri Lanka and died a Hindu in Malaysia. One of his brothers was a Catholic priest (there’s a hall in a church in Vattukottai named after him) while another was an Anglican school teacher. There was no animosity among the siblings and I still keep in touch with cousins who are now domiciled all over the globe.

    Mr IGP, I don’t mean to lecture you on this matter but your warning not to cause “unease” among Malaysians, particularly Muslims is a non-starter. And your claim that “atheism is not mentioned in the Federal Constitution” borders on absurdity.

    It has become a trend now to blame anything and everything said to “confuse” Muslims. Anything that resembles a cross, even dolls and statutes, is deemed to “cause confusion.” Even a well-designed air-well of a building is seen through the blinkered eyes of bird-brained people, which prompted me to suggest that the “plus” and “multiplication” signs be changed! It was stupidity of the highest order and such foolhardiness continues, no thanks to instruments of the state.

    I don’t know about you, Mr IGP, but I have many friends with their own cultural and religious upbringings. Some are overtly religious but they have never objected to my views when we have healthy discussions over the narrow-minded minority who thump their chests and claim “my religion is better than yours”. Religion, as I have said several times before, is a personal matter and should be left to the individual to make his or her choice.

    Comment by From Nades — August 17, 2017 @ 10:36 AM | Reply

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