Tit for tat. Since it wasn’t too long ago that we Chinese were livid over Perkasa’s white angpow insult, now the shoe is on the other foot and we have to switch roles to understand Muslim anger over the photo of Erykah Badu’s tattoo.
Let’s take The Star‘s reaction:
“Star2 senior editor Lim Cheng Hoe and deputy editor Daryl Goh, who had approved the use of the photo in Monday’s edition of Star2, have been suspended with immediate effect and indefinitely. At the same time, two associate editors, Rozaid Abdul Rahman and Shah A. Dadameah, have assumed extra duties of overseeing and guiding the newspaper on issues pertaining to Muslim sensitivities.”
Sudah terhantuk, baru tengadah.
A case study comparison
Since the DAP success of 2008, there’s been an attitude shift amongst the Chinese.
I had pointed out that the state-funded Selangor Times which comes under the advisement of the menteri besar’s office has an all-Chinese editorial staff.
The Selangor Times copyeditor made a reply to this blog which you can read in the Comment section (click link above).
I followed up that posting with another one that said the Yeopies (Hannah Yeoh groupies) make as if the paper belongs to their grandfather. I did not check last year’s editions but beginning with the first issue of 2012 until the most recent, the DAP Subang Jaya rep has been featured 9 consecutive weeks and twice on the front page.
Selangor Times has only 18 printed pages (c.f. latest Feb 24 copy). Selangor has 56 state assemblymen/women. With the frequency of Hannah Yeoh’s appearance, you can well imagine that the copious space devoted to the tudung-wearing, religion-spouting DAP mascot has jolly well edged out any meaningful coverage of the Selangor opposition (i.e. Umno).
My criticisms fell on deaf ears as Selangor Times continued with its disregard of the many BN and Malay-majority constituencies while making Subang Jaya and DAP favoured politicians the centre of the state paper’s universe.
Besar kepala dah.
[In a nutshell: ‘Islamic’ in certain media is now defined for public consumption by those who ‘appear’ to be Islamic and this is considered good enough like how some Chinese restaurants think that ‘No pork served’ is halal already — read also Evangelis angan-angan nak ‘reverse takeover’ hudud kot. This paragraph added 3.05pm]
So simple also dunno
Back to The Star and its explanation of the photo oversight.
“But mistakes can happen out of carelessness, thoughtlessness, plain silliness or, as in the case of the photo of American singer Erykah Badu’s body art with the word Allah in Arabic, ignorance.” …
“Unfortunately, the editors who used the Badu photograph are non-Muslims and they did not recognise the word ‘Allah’ in Arabic. Ignorance may not be a good excuse but this is the real story behind the mistake. We wish to reiterate that it was made with no ill intention or malice.”
Excuse: The editors are non-Muslims. Fine.
The problem with our Malaysian landscape today after the last election outcome is that non-Muslims sekarang dok memandai-mandai on Islam.
Who are DAP’s Chinese and Indian supporters to pronounce that Malays who are in Umno are “not Muslim” – maksud mereka Melayu Umno tak layak digelar Muslim – because they (Umno members) are adjudged to “behave in an unIslamic way”?
These opposition followers are not only arrogant enough to mengkafir 3.3 million Umno Malays but also to determine, for the faith, what are Islamic norms and mores and what are not.
Only just because their own (non-Muslim) leaders are quoting the Quran and Hadith, loudly praising the glory of Islamic civilization and wearing tudung — see photos HERE and HERE (‘Apa pendirian Elizabeth Wong ah Lim & rakannya Selendang Squad atas anak ‘tak sah taraf’?)
Then there are the opposition followers (Malaysian Firsters) who can blithely declare that “a real Muslim” is not one who will do this or do that but will, on the contrary, surely think like this or think like that.
Apart from arbitrating which Malay is Muslim and which isn’t — to them a PAS Malay is a good Muslim and an Umno Malay is a disgrace to Islam — these opposition nitwits have also usurped the prerogative of Muslim scholars and Islamic authorities to determine apakah itu lunas-lunas Islam.
But what is the real level of understanding of Islam among the opposition Chinese?
In The Star brouhaha, it’s been admitted that two senior editors with donkey years of high-level exposure were still unable to recognise the Arabic script for Allah.
Yet over the last several years there has been such overweaning smugness enveloping the Chinese invasion of Muslim ideological space and mosques, including the heatedly argumentative articles defending Christian use of the Allah term.
And aside from the superiority complex of the Firster crowd whose in-depth knowledge of Islam is questionable yet taken to interpreting and preaching Islam, and claiming “we’re all brothers and sisters” (as opposed to those who touch on Islamic matters because we’re concerned how Islamism turning into law will affect non-Muslim lives)
and the same people whose command even of the national language, and let’s not talk about knowledge of a religion not their own, is deplorable (an indication of their lack of social exposure to the Malay community that practices Islam), are rather too fond of sneering as well.
So it becomes a combination of bodoh sombong and patronizing to boot.
Reverting to the Perkasa mishap, the Malay right wing group may be sombong but at least it has never boasted that it’s well versed in other cultures and religions.
On the other hand, certain publicity-crazy Chinese political figures are presenting themselves in Islamic dressing, and they and their ardent fan club talking (or perceiving themselves) like they’re more Muslim than the born Muslims.
Ultimately it is the Buddhist and Taoist ordinary Chinese who will suffer from the brinkmanship of Firsters. Please drop in at my FMT article today — ‘Two-party system: Umno vs bipolar DAP‘ — where a related theme is explored.