Praying for peace is not enough!

By Azly Rahman

There is a Buddhist lesson in how we ought to perceive Malaysia’s emerging style of terrorism.

When one is bleeding after being shot by an arrow, the first step is not to look for the culprit that shot the arrow and pondering why was it shot but to pull out the arrow from the victim’s body and to quickly put a stop to the bleeding. This is what Siddharta Gautama would teach as crisis intervention.

Malaysians might never know who carried out the series of church bombings, nor what organisations are behind them, and if there is a higher order involved in the long-term planning of terror.

Postmodern debates will be a tedious exercise on whether this or that name of a Universal God can be copyrighted or whether a pastor or an archbishop can be pushed to the ground or physically attacked for using the forbidden name of the Universal God during their sermons.

Malaysians can only speculate if the reign of terror they are entering will lead to more bombings, arson, and even attacks that will take innocent lives away or even, God forbids, people are actually willing to die in the name of religion.

Governments are voted into power to protect citizens so that life, liberty, and the pursuit of basic needs and next, justice and safety and security, and finally self-realisation and civility can be pursued.

What is left in the self-worth of a government when swift action to protect property and people cannot be carried out?

When churches are no longer safe and Christians will live in fear over their right to worship the Universal God they are accustomed to by name – when these are happening, why should peace-loving people of Malaysia of any faith continue to keep the current regime in power?

Buddhist solution

In these last few days of seemingly sectarian violence, Malaysians want to know how trustworthiness is the government in using it’s machinery in making sure that the first order of the day is to be responsible and systematic enough to “pull the arrow out of the bleeding man and to quickly heal him” and next, to prevent more arrows from being shot.

Seemingly this Buddhist solution to a Christian-Muslim dilemma will have to be the logical step the regime will need to take.

In America, the mere receipt of a phone call of a terrorist threat will send the police, the bomb disposal squad, the fire engine, and perhaps a SWAT team to the scene to cordon the place in a “lock-down situation”.

The local government is strong and the police is highly efficient and every step is taken to ensure damage control, to provide both the perception and reality of providing safety and enforcing the law.

The citizens of the municipality or township pays high taxes that pay the salary of the police, the firemen, and also the teachers. As such, they expect their neighborhood to be safe in return. That is one key performance of a civil society.

In America, if there are even talks of one attempting to bomb a mosque, a fleet of patrol cars would be at the scene with helicopters hovering above.

Of course American democracy and the practice of it still has its flaws but in the case of providing assurance that things will be fine, I have seen numerous instances of the efficiency of the law enforcement agency.

Deploy volunteers…

Malaysians must demand that the churches are constantly kept safe and the government must also ensured that the police force will not come up with lame excuses that they are short handed to do the job.

If needed, they should deploy the cadet police, youths trained in the National Service, Rela volunteers, and any citizen watch groups such as the Rukun Tetangga to ensure that terrorists, perhaps paid handsomely, don’t throw Molotov cocktails into houses of worship.

Arrest the terrorists as fast as we can if we claim that our police force is one of the best in the world, and investigate who or what is behind these demonic acts.

We are in a crisis that might be a prelude to something bigger and will have us see our cities burning while Neros amongst us play the fiddle. We cannot allow this magnitude of violence to continue to spread.

We might even one day have, the Universal God forbids, suicide bombers blowing themselves up in our marketplaces or the pasar malam (night markets), if we do not act upon this fast and furiously.

We must stop all rallies that incite hatred and takes action against newspapers that invoke the ghosts of May 13, 1969.

Let our police and other law enforcement agencies be seen in public, patrolling the streets, the kampongs, the churches and other houses of worship – so that the rakyat that voted for this government will at least feel safe.

That was the sense of security Americans felt as the country was healing from the Sept 11, 2001 attacks – when two ‘arrows’ were plunged into the Twin Towers.

The healing process was painful one for Americans but healed they were and a new agency, The Department of Homeland Security, there was.

In Malaysia, what is the worth of a government if I cannot provide all the means necessary to guarantee safety.

Malaysians might as well vote in a new regime – that will not only ensure that no arrows will be shot and healing is in the form of administering holistic and preventive medicine.

That ought to be the solution. We cannot allow demons to rule, nor demolitions to define the democracy we dearly yearn for.

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 - 11:15 am

    Not only praying for peace is not enough. Force is also useless. The debate is also largely useless except to educate the ignorant. The only thing left to do is lead and educate..There is no real choice anymore.

  2. #2 by taiking on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 - 12:06 pm

    Hoi Azly you are not buddhist. Its not for you to cite buddhist idealogy and thinking.

    … the great umnoputras-logic at work.

  3. #3 by Tonberry on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 - 12:08 pm

    In America, if there are even talks of one attempting to bomb a mosque, a fleet of patrol cars would be at the scene with helicopters hovering above.
    In Malaysia, the PM and his cousin passively encouraged the protestors to act violent. Refer to Utusan Malaysia for more reports. When the situation was out of control, they tell others do not blame Umno..

  4. #4 by frankyapp on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 - 1:15 pm

    They did it openly,have the cheeks to tell others not to blame them. This’s the most absurd comment I have ever heard.

  5. #5 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 - 4:59 pm

    Of cos lah, praying 4 peace is not enuf
    Pray 4 ppl 2 register as VOTERS n VOTE d racist Umno B/BN OUT, OUT loh

  6. #6 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 - 9:43 pm

    Restore on East Malaysia the status quo prior to banning the word by Syed Hamid is the only way to peace.

  7. #7 by cemerlang on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 - 10:37 pm

    Buddhism talks about reincarnation. Since there is the incident of carrying the cow’s head around, these people will be punished by being reincarnated into cows in their next life. Well different religions have different solutions. We look at the good side of religion. The good side that talks about respect for all mankind, about loving others, about loving God, about loving Allah. Instead of only looking at Allah as the Allah of wars, look at Allah as the Allah of love. Things like this. All these people who think they are fighting for Allah forget that there is this loving side of Allah. How can you say that you love Allah when you don’t practise the love of Allah ? You keep on fighting and fighting and fighting like as if your religion is nothing but fighting and fighting and fighting. Then where is hope ? Where is life ? God is the same wherever He is. Whether in West Malaysia, East Malaysia or Mars. We are here to live, right ? God creates us to live, right ?

  8. #8 by frankyapp on Thursday, 14 January 2010 - 1:42 am

    Hey cemerlang, the worst is how can these Umnoputras muslim saying they love Allxh whom they didn’t see but they do not love their fellow non muslim malaysians whom they are seeing everyday. Umno’s brand of Islam is indeed a mockery to the Islamic world.

  9. #9 by jules on Saturday, 16 January 2010 - 12:48 am

    Since those arrows stopped short of their intended targets, we don’t have to pick them up and stab them into our hearts.

    Be prudent and observe UMNO carefully.

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