The Ugly Muslim

By Mariam Mokhtar
May 9, 11 | Malaysiakini

The Muslim NGO Pembela is wrong to blame Christianity for the alleged decline of Islam in Malaysia because the worst enemies of Islam, in Malaysia, are from within the ranks of the Muslims.

Islam may be a beautiful religion, but some of the Muslims in Umno, Utusan Malaysia, and the extremist groups like Perkasa and Pembela are ugly. Islam may preach love and tolerance, but Muslims in Umno, Utusan, Perkasa and Pembela are bigots who are consumed with hate.

Perhaps the so-called Muslims in these organisations, who profess to be true Muslims, are Muslim in name only. They lust after power and are aware that without the Malay vote, the activities of their party, their newspaper, their institution or their way of life (the Ketuanan Melayu lording it over other communities) will be curtailed or cease to exist altogether.

Umno has been stung by the successes of the Opposition in Sarawak. They then suffered further humiliation with PAS rejecting their overtures. So, their only recourse to remain in power, come the general election, has been to provoke and manipulate Malay/Muslim minds, especially the rural Malays.

Umno has capitalised on the power of distraction. The trick is to divert Malaysians from BN’s failure to stabilise the economy, to reinvigorate the private sector and investment, and to manage the public finances.

Instill fear in Malays, blame the others

They do this by instilling fear in the Malays and by shifting the blame onto others. This time, the hapless recipient of Umno’s degeneracy, are the Christians of Malaysia. On previous occasions, it has been the ‘ungrateful’ Chinese.

Last Saturday, Utusan Malaysia defiantly provoked Malaysians with a front-page headline claiming the DAP was in league with a group of Christian pastors to instal Christianity as the country’s official religion. The insinuation was that the act would pave the way for a Christian prime minister.

Had this been a non-BN sanctioned newspaper, the editors would have been sacked and jailed, their licence to print revoked and the paper shut down. As Utusan is owned by Umno, it was business as usual at this Malay daily.

Time and time again, Utusan has got away with seditious publications when others, like Raja Petra Kamaruddin, face arrest for publishing revealing documents. It is the same treatment meted to Clare Rewcastle-Brown, the non-Muslim founder of the online website, Sarawak Report (SR).

SR prints original documents alleging Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s corruption and illegally obtained wealth. Clare is trying to make Malaysians aware of Taib’s corruption, but very few of the Muslims in Umno have taken heed.

It is without doubt that weak leadership of the country has given rise to this dangerous state of affairs.

Najib’s pledge may prove to be just hot air

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak finally broke his silence on the Utusan article; however, his announcement that the government would ‘investigate the matter before it was blown out of proportion’ and lead to ‘serious polarisation in society’, may prove to be just more hot air.

Perhaps he should ask himself how many times Utusan has been guilty of sedition and escaped censure? Most will say far too often.

How soon, and how severely, will he clamp down on the extremist Muslim elements in Malaysia, who have fanned anger and suspicion in the community?

Perkasa has already lodged a series of police reports in every state, saying that the ‘Christian state issue’ was a threat to national security.

Pembela finds fault with the Christians, by claiming that the Christians were on a mission to convert Muslims in the country, starting with “confusing” Muslims by the use of Islamic terms, presumably like the word ‘Allah’.

Those who have lived in the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s will recall that Christmas was a time when all the races and religions would mix and mingle in open houses. There was no issue with the food or drink, no issue with the religious symbols like crosses or that there was a Christmas tree and hymns and carols were sung. Those times are but a distant memory.

If it is any consolation, all these machinations by the media are an indication that the general election is near. There is nothing like a dose of fear to manipulate people to do the wrong thing.

Perhaps the best way to reason the perceived threat to Islam, in Malaysia, is in the Muslim populace. If Islam here is under siege, it is because the enemy is the ‘Ugly Muslim’.

They are the ones who crave power. They are the ones who maintain that the term ‘Allah’ cannot be used by non-Muslims in Peninsular Malaysia, but is permissible in Borneo. They are the ones who confiscated the Bible in the Malay language and held the Christians to ransom.

So, why do they keep silent on the serious issues?

If we dig deeper, who are the ones who force children to convert to Islam, if one of the parents becomes a Muslim? How about body snatching or grave robbing? What about the child in Sarawak who was whipped for eating food that had been prepared for his school break?

What about the women who are treated like cattle? Or those who are abandoned by their husbands who yearn for a younger model? What about the Muslims who are flogged for drinking beer when this should be a personal choice?

What about the moral policing which has caused several deaths? What about the endemic corruption or the public screening of sex videos? What about child marriages?

Why do the Muslims keep silent on these serious issues but harp on about a fictitious demand by the Christians for Christianity to be the official state religion?

The biggest threats to Malaysia and Islam in Malaysia are the thieving, power-grabbing Muslims in political parties, the media and the NGOs, who know the truth but prefer to manipulate it for their own selfish means. They have failed their fellow Malaysian and others of their religion. That is the profile of the Ugly Muslim.

MARIAM MOKHTAR is a non-conformist traditionalist from Perak, a bucket chemist and an armchair eco-warrior. In ‘real-speak’, this translates into that she comes from Ipoh, values change but respects culture, is a petroleum chemist and also an environmental pollution-control scientist.

  1. #1 by mauriyaII on Sunday, 15 May 2011 - 12:21 pm

    A very brave and insightful article portraying a small section of the Malay populace, especially the ugly UMNOputras.

    The Ugly Malay Muslim UMNOputras would conjure non-existant bogeymen to rouse the ire and the siege mentality of the Malays if it suits their political agenda.

    These UMNOputras have been so accustomed to fear mongering to achieve their political ends that they fail to realize that times have CHANGED. The ordinary Malays who have not been the recepients of the UMNO largesse are not easily fooled. The momok and pontianak stories do not frighten them anymore! The rural Malays and their educated children know what they see, hear and experience in this rich land. They have become IMMUNE to political propaganda of the sinister kind.

    The Malays want a better life, not the NEP life that has branded them as parasites who cannot live without the crutch that the evil Mamakthir thrust upon them. They have full confidence in their ability and would like to compete with the other non-Malay citizens on an even field.

    The UGLY Malays aka UMNOputras are the ones less confident and would like the status quo. They are the frightened ones who create all non-issues to stay on in power. They are the supporters and sponsors of PERKASA, PEMBELA and some of the Malay NGOs who make a living out of strife and inter-racial conflicts.

    What is strange is that these champions of race and religion do not use the God given grey matter and intelligence. They are nothing but sheep herded by evil minds and hands.

  2. #2 by limkamput on Sunday, 15 May 2011 - 12:55 pm

    Our values, our beliefs, the god we pray to, and our culture are ours to sustain and to propagate. How successful and how enduring we are would depend on the continued relevance and vibrancy of the things we hold dear. It is pointless to keep harping on been threatened by others. Usually when things become irrelevant and archaic, they just die, some suddenly and some with a lingering death.

  3. #3 by negarawan on Sunday, 15 May 2011 - 1:30 pm

    Basically, UMNO/BN has caused Malaysia to be what it is today – a failed state. Just compare Malaysia and Singapore. In Singapore, race and religion have not been an election issue for decades. In Malaysia under UMNO/BN, race and religion issues are becoming worse by the day! The lack of unity among Malaysia’s multiracial and multireligious society has affected and retarded socio-economic progress in the last 50 years relative to what Singapore has been able to achieve with a united society. What is shocking and deplorable is that the ruling government UMNO/BN is the main cause of the rapid deterioration in inter-racial and inter-religious harmony. UMNO/BN continually play up race and religion issues to try to divide and rule the country for political expediency. UMNO/BN selectively persecutes and prosecutes its opponents, whether members of the opposition party or ordinary citizens highlighting UMNO/BN’s corruption and crimes, and applies unlawful and cruel enforcement through its cronies in the major enforcement agencies e.g. PDRM, the judiciary, and MACC. UMNO/BN uses media under its control e.g. Utusan Malaysia and RTM, and UMNO/BN-linked NGOs e.g. Perkasa and Pembela, to spread false, malicious and racist reports calculated to discredit and politically assasinate its opponents. UMNO/BN has a myopic view and basically has no idea and plans to unite the country, although it tries to portray a different but false image of Malaysia in international forums. World leaders and the international community are becoming aware of UMNO’s lies and distorted portrayal of Malaysia’s religious freedom and minority race rights, and hopefully they will take serious action and sanctions against UMNO. UMNO is a corrupted and incompetent party and UMNO has never been sincere about building true and lasting inter-racial and inter-religious unity in Malaysia. All UMNO wants is to maintain its grip on power and continue plundering the country’s wealth for the selfish gain of its corrupt and criminal politicians. Over the last 50 years, Malaysia could have developed into an advanced country like Singapore, perhaps even better as our resources are abundant compared to Singapore, but UMNO/BN has failed miserably. Singapore has overtaken Malaysia by leaps and bounds within less than 50 years. Is this the type of government we want to continue in our beloved country? Vote wisely in the coming GE. Vote UMNO/BN out forever and give Pakatan Rakyat a chance to bring back the shine and glory of our beloved country!

  4. #4 by Ray on Sunday, 15 May 2011 - 2:07 pm

    Of course, it was all a complete and total lie.
    Mamakthir is the master spin doctor and BS”er of Umno Utusan Perkasa Bangkot..
    Lets stop listen to their same NONSENSES everyday…..focus on the coming GE and engaging minorities ,natives livlihood problem, unfair policies/Judicial abuses (totally No Judgement of righteouness,law ), discriminaation grass-root issues thro’more facebook connecting with PR netizens…esp the poor rakyats desperately needing help..look into their welfares comunites and make an effort to meet the rakyat session weekly basis in return for their support oof new Putrajaya Political government>>get rid of Hopeless Umno BN entire team .
    Vote PR into Putrajaya

  5. #5 by sotong on Sunday, 15 May 2011 - 2:20 pm

    If we are afraid to be criticized, we are not ready to make real change.

    Well done, Mariam!

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