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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Islam-Christianity-Jews, problems-issues

I want to put down my thoughts on Islam. I'm here not to compare faiths, nor do I take sides, nor do I defend one over another. But here we go :)

Over and over again, I hear Muslims defending their religion saying that "Islam is a religion of peace", it desires peace and has characteristics of such and such.

And living in Malaysia, I learn about Islam in a few subjects (history is school, TITAS in university). No doubt, I learn that Islam is good, pure, desires peace, tolerent, 'open minded' ...and how pristine Islam is. Well, I'm not saying it's not. I myself have some Muslim friends who are quite open to ideas, thoughts, non radical and trustworthy, great friends. BUT like what Mahatma Ghandi said about Christianity [ Jesus' character is ideal, but not the Christians ] , I'm saying the same for most Muslims, NOT ALL.

Well, to begin with, the Roman Catholic Church has been extending their hands of friendship for many many years now. What the church has been promoting is DIALOGUE, asking for freedom of religion and reciprocal treatment of the faithful.

What I can't understand is why the Muslim community isn't doing anything to advance and why cannot give reciprocal treatments to Christians living in 'Islamic' countries. Well, Islam do recognise Christ as their prophet, therefore worshippers of the ONE & SAME GOD, ALLAH...YAHWEH,ADONAI and so on, so forth. So why not cooperate for the common good? Talk about tolerance and open-mindedness.

I see a troublesome, problematic times ahead [though it has been problematic since the crusades]. Here in my backyard, the Roman Catholics have to fight in court to uphold the usage of the word "Allah" which means Almighty God. This word is Arabic in origin, and has been used by the Arabs, Christians and Muslims alike, without any fuss. BUT in Malaysia, the MALAY-MUSLIMS want to make exclusive the word "Allah". I ask this question, why? Why do we need to make GOD exclusive to ones' religion when God is actually one and the same for the 3 Abrahamic faith [Christians, Jews, Muslims]?

On the issue of reciprocal, in the west, Muslims are protected by law, given equality, and full freedom of religion. They demand for it, yet in other parts of the world, Muslims are not moving towards that path of reciprocal even though many nations have been tirelessly petitioning for it. Talk about tolerance and open-mindedness.

Most recently, there was an issue by the Islamic council. Many of us realise that huge problems arise when conversion into Islam and out of Islam takes place. I believe that our Prime Minister had a great idea to ease the tension that is building up. He suggested that the candidate that wished to convert into Islam go through a formality step of informing their families first before the conversion takes place. This is done so that if the candidate dies a Muslim, problems with families fighting over their dead relatives' body would not occur. This formality step will NO DOUBT ease tension, and cut down problems within the non-muslim - muslim community. I seriously believe that this step is very good indeed. BUT some idiots have to say no to it-saying its not necessary. BUT COME ON!!! Its much better to prevent such issues from arising again!!!
Talk about tolenrance and open-mindedness.

On terrorism, I clearly know that Islam does not propage terrorism, like what Osama would like us to believe what Islam is. However, I believe that the Muslim community worldwide is not doing all they can to stop this negative notion of their religion. When the Pope Benedict XVI quoted a text from the middle ages, which clearly does not reflect his thoughts, the whole Muslim community rioted WITHOUT EVEN READING THE TEXT properly. When the caricature of prophet Muhammad was drawn, Muslims worldwide rioted. When the Dutch politician released the video, Fitna, that "portrayed Islam", the Muslim world boycott the Dutch.

But what Muslims missed is the lesson learnt. Instead of making a havoc out of things, what Muslims should work towards is to tackle the problem at the grassroot itself. To wash away terrorism, to wash out Osama, to wash out violence in our daily lives... It is only in changing our attitudes and values can we show to the world what our religion is all about.