Proud of Malay

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Religious superstition and persecution never ceases to amaze me. Take the case of Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow of Mogadishu, Somalia. On 27th October 2008, 13-year old Aisha was killed. She was killed when 1,000 people stoned her to death. And she was stoned to death because three men had raped her. She was raped, so they accused of adultery.

Imagine a 13-year old girl killed in a most brutal manner because she was raped by three men. Should it not be the three men who should have instead been stoned to death? And do you not wonder why Islam suffers from a serious image problem? Muslims should take stock of what they are doing and understand the disservice they are doing to Islam.

Our religious rehabilitation by the Kamunting detention camp started on the Tuesday after Deepavali. The highlight of the sessions was the “nasi tomato” and the chicken wing in a plastic bag that they served for lunch, courtesy of JAKIM but paid for by the Malaysian taxpayers, 90% who are Chinese.

The JAKIM ustaz told us that Islam is the true religion and that all other religions are false. We were reminded not to believe in or follow other religions, which are not accepted and recognized by God. Only the Koran is the true Holy Book and was sent to us by God through the Prophet Muhammad. All other books are false and were created by man and did not come from God.

We must also not copy or ape the non-Muslims as that will lead us astray and we will become an apostate if we act like the kafir. He did not, however, give any examples on what would be considered acting like a kafir.

In the meantime, in another incident that happened outside the Kamunting detention camp, an UKM lecturer explained that Muslims should not do yoga or meditate, as the origin of this is Hinduism. Muslims who do yoga or meditate would be led astray, argued the wise man from UKM. He then asked the religious scholars to come out with a fatwa or decree banning Muslims from doing yoga or meditating.

It is ironical that the JAKIM ustaz who visited Kamunting chose that subject matter to kick off our religious rehabilitation program. The article that got me into trouble with the government and which resulted in my detention under the Internal Security Act said exactly the same thing. I pointed out that the Friday prayer sermons run down the other religions. I also argued that we are told not to ape the non-Muslims or take them as our friends as the non-Muslims are sworn enemies of Islam and can never be our friends. For that I was detained under the Internal Security Act and my first lecture happened to be the very thing I said and which got me detained.

There are in fact many things which Malays do and which originated from Hinduism. Take the stringing up of coloured lights as one example. Seven days before Hari Raya Malays would string up coloured lights around their home, sometimes even on trees like they do during Christmas. This is a throwback of the old days when they used to use kerosene or oil lamps. And this was a custom borrowed from Deepavali because the Arabs do not do this.

So, the next time you pass by a Malay house during Hari Raya and you see all those coloured lights you can smile, knowing that the occupant of that house is borrowing a Hindu ritual — only that he or she does not know it.

If we really want to go into the long list of Hindu customs and rituals that the Malays have borrowed the list would be endless. We should not ape the kafir, the religious scholars tell us. If not we would become a kafir. Well, what about wearing a tie, coat and pants? Is this not a kafir attire?

How many Malays go about wearing a robe and turban? Even that UKM lecturer who wants a fatwa issued banning Malays from doing yoga or meditation wears kafir clothes. Look at all the Malay government officers. They all wear kafir clothes and sometimes a tie as well. The security forces all wear kafir uniforms with a kafir hat on their heads.

We count our days using a Christian calendar. I am facing various charges for crimes I committed on certain days of the Christian calendar. What was the day of the Islamic calendar, the Hijrah calendar, that I committed my crimes? The charge sheet does not say.

I am facing various charges in a kafir court. The charges I am facing are crimes according to kafir laws. I was also under detention without trial according to a kafir law. In fact, according to Islam, I have not committed any crime. And Islam does not allow for detention without trial.

For that matter not only have I not committed a crime, according to Islam, but what I have done is what Islam has actually made mandatory. Islam makes it mandatory for all Muslims to perform “Amar Makruf, Nahi Munkar”. This means to uphold good and oppose evil. All Muslims must do this without exception. Not doing it, according to Islam, makes you an extremely weak Muslim.

I, however, am now facing trial and was under detention without trial for performing my Islamic duty. And kafir laws, not Islamic laws, are being used against me. Kafir laws are being used against Muslims for doing what Islam has made mandatory.

And what is the reaction of Muslims to all this? What is the UKM lecturer doing about it? Is he up in arms about the kafir system being implemented against Islam? Is the Member of Parliament for Kulim demonstrating on the streets and screaming, “I am a Muslim first I don’t care about other people’s opinions”?

Okay, the UKM lecturer wants yoga and meditation banned and the Kulim MP wants to shut the mouths of anyone who wants to talk about Islam. But that is about it. It never goes beyond that,

Sometimes the Malays can be amazing. Okay, not sometimes, most times. Now UMNO wants Zaid Ibrahim sacked as a Malay. Can any Malay actually be sacked as a Malay? I wonder, but UMNO thinks it can be done. UMNO says that Zaid would be nobody — he would not be a lawyer of the biggest law firm in Malaysia — if he was not a Malay and the country did not have Ketuanan Melayu and the New Economic Policy.

Zaid thinks that that is an insult. He would like to believe he is what he is because he is Zaid and because he is smart. If he would instead be a simple fisherman in Tumpat, Kelantan, without the benefit of Ketuanan Melayu and the NEP, then this means Zaid is actually quite stupid.

I share Zaid’s view. I also would like to believe that I am “somebody” and “special” because I am Raja Petra. If it is because of Ketuanan Melayu and the NEP, and if not because of that I would be washing cars in Bangsar, then this would certainly make me very unhappy.

Yes, Zaid and people like him do not need crutches. Only losers need crutches. And that is why UMNO wants these crutches to remain, because they are all a bunch of losers. I would like to believe that I am what I am because of who I am and not because of Ketuanan Melayu and the NEP. I take pride in that. I would hate people saying, “of course Raja Petra is successful. He is a Malay and Malays have Ketuanan Melayu and the NEP to help them. Malays need crutches to get ahead.”

It is time the crutches are removed and the Malays learned how to walk with their heads held up high. Malays have to be made to believe that the Ketuanan Melayu and the NEP is an insult and that it suggests Malays are weak creatures. Malays must be proud of their achievements and not credit their achievements to the protection and special privileges they enjoy because they are Malay.

The Malays used to be a proud race. Now they are no longer proud. They accept that they are weak. So they demand protection to compensate for this weakness.

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