Part of the Do'a Iftitah

"Verily my solats, my ibadah, my life and my death I surrender to Almighty Allah, Creator and Lord of all the worlds. Never will I associate anything with Him. So am I commanded and I am of those who are Muslims."

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Friday, June 08, 2007

DAP Inter Faith Forum on Lina Joy Report

I went to the DAP organized Forum titled 'Malaysia after Lina Joy' at Hotel Armada, Petaling Jaya with MENJ.

MENJ had dinner with me and my missus at Taman Tenaga before adjoining to my place for maghrib prayers and then we left for the forum in MENJ's car.

On our way to the hotel, we took a wrong turn and had to waste a good hour or so and we sort of had an impromptu tour of the Jalan Gasing areas.

For all the hype about the so called religious intolerance in Malaysia and the usual bla bla bla as being plastered over the news in the 'concerned Christian West', we passed by a whole lot of imposing churches every few minutes on our short tour of the area.

Will go take some snaps of the various churches there in the daytime to show the world how very intolerant Malaysia is when it concerns all the other faiths here. As they say, sometimes just talking about things doesn't really get results as much as a visual proof does.

Well, eventually we reached the hotel but were unable to find a parking spot as the whole place including the road curbs were just jammed full of cars.

Go we again on our merry go round looking for space to park our chariot. At last we succeeded getting a space within walking distance to the hotel and we finally arrived at the place.

The forum was being held at Level 3 in one of the ballroom hall. The place was jampacked with people and the Non Muslims were in the majority. There were a scattered few Muslims lounging around outside of the hall for the hall inside was full up.

Seems that we had missed a few of the earlier speakers and when we arrived, the ABIM President Brother Yusri Muhammad was explaining about what Islam has to say about the matter of apostasy, etc.

I took a few shots of the forum and chose to sit near a loudspeaker and managed to record the speeches with my tape recorder.

Every now and then , the people outside would be speaking amongst themselves and there would come out this elderly Chinese guy wearing a red striped t shirt shoo shooing them to keep it down. He was becoming quite a bore and many of the folks outside tried their level best to keep being patient at his trying to be the 'class monitor'. Pathetic fellow, really. His kids must loathe him. Hehehehe.

Anyway, as usual, the speakers took their turns to voice out their thoughts and feelings over the verdict against the apostate by the Federal Court and as usual, the panelists present would raise some points and just make their stand about the matter.

Really hard for me to relay it back to you word for word now but once I have the time, I'd listen to the tape and try to salvage some main points for all to share.

Overall, the forum went well without a hitch. Come question time, some of the forum participants took turns to speak and ask questions or shared their viewpoints about the situation regarding the way they feel things are being handled in this nation especially sensitive matters such as religion and this case of apostasy being referred to the Syariah courts.

If we allowed every Ahmad, Ah Seng, Richard or Samy to just rant on and on, they'd take up the whole bloody night and still not finish yak yakkety yak away! Hence Tony Pua, Mister Moderator would signal the person to cut it short or go straight to the point.

As usual, some folks love the limelight and would rattle away as they please , prompting Tony to ask the person to conclude their speech.

One representative of 'the interfaith group' rattled on about why people cannot do mix marriages here whereas in neighboring countries such as Indonesia , it's no problem?

Sometimes, you just want to laugh out loud at the preposterous ideas such folks come up with and you wonder just what the heck kind of a family is that person vouching for?

A rojak family! Father Muslim, mother Christian, Son Hindu, Daughter Buddhist or freethinker!

Such is the kind of tolerance that fellows like that vouch for. Gobbledegook's if you ask me.

Just because it is an interfaith forum on Lina Joy's case, doesn't mean that folks like that elderly Indian should try to champion his screwed up family ideas.

A few passionate ones stole the show with their raised voices and quoting from the Qur'an or news cuttings and dear ol' Tony would interject and ask the person to please speed it up. :P

MENJ had his turn at the mike and lambasted Lina Joy for 'potong queue'! Hey MENJ! Curi line MG58 ye? Hehehehehe.

Can't remember what else he said but it's all in the tape and I'll update it later here.

Blogger shenyeeaun impressed the crowd with his quoting the Piagam Madinah and also even uttered the Shahadah as an example of how religiously tolerant we should all be and understand each other better and he said it all in fluent Malay!

I was the last person allowed to address the forum and I first and foremost congratulated the DAP for successfully organizing the first ever interfaith dialogue between us Malaysians.

I touched on the matter of Lina Joy not following the proper procedures in going about her case and expressed my stand that she is to be blamed for it. She should have gone to the Syariah courts in the first place instead of trying to do a fast one by going to the civil courts.

I then told the forum that Islam is not a club membership, to sign up and then leave as one pleases. You don't acknowledge God almighty and then turn your back on Him.

Those who want to talk about Islamic matters should first learn the truth about the faith and not just speak as they like without knowing what the heck it is that they are saying?

I then spoke about seeing so many churches over there in Petaling Jaya and asked Uncle Kit about how wrong it is for the people to say that there's no religious tolerance here in Malaysia.

I reminded him about the Jalan Kapitan Keling in Penang where there is a Chinese temple on it's one end, then the Masjid Kapitan Keling, Sri Maha Mariamman Hindu temple, Goddess of Mercy Kuan Yin Temple and a Roman Catholic Church right at it's other end. What religious intolerance are these people talking about?

I ended my speech by asking the DAP to select a larger venue to hold such forums again in the future.

Had many Muslims come shake my hand and get my name cards after that salvo! Just speaking my mind! Glad to have met such dedicated fellow Malaysians!

A few Christians came asking m for my card too and one particular Christian came and shared his dissatisfactions about how the local authorities aren't allowing his church to even do renovations in their own church, etcetera. I shared with him some ideas as to how to go get things done.

Media exposure always helps. A complaint to TV3 might help. We always see overnight results when anything as sensitive as that local authorities trying to show power gets flashed across national tv. Usually within 24 hours. That's the awesome power of the media.

After the forum concluded, we bloggers started to say hi and exchange namecards, take photos , etcetera.

Had an impromptu session with Uncle Kit and the others, where I asked Kit Siang to be cool and steady in Parliament and not lose control when debating with the likes of Samy Vellu, etcetera.

Met Teresa Kok, Politikus, Nathaniel Tan, _earthinc whom I didn't give a hug this time around for the fellow complained last time that Mahaguru58 was a tad too friendly, hehehehe. Also had Nik Elina come say hi to me.

I introduced MENJ to ABIM President Yusri Muhammad and took these pictures here for all to see.

Bloggers Shin, Carbon Copy and Shaarizal Shaarani was there too. Spoke with Ronnie Tan and also Lim Guan Eng.

Overall, it was a good start and everyone went home happy that they came. Thats' it!

Wait for the next one and maybe someone might post a video of this dialogue soon.

This is the DAP counter set up outside of the hall to sell their books, newspapers and stuff.

This is a view of the panelists.

Myself with Yusri. I asked him to organize the next dialogue at ABIM's Anjung Rahmat. Insya Allah.

This is MENJ asking his questions.

Hafiz, Nik Elina, MG58 and Politikus

Yusri Muhammad @ ABIM President with MENJ

MG58, Tony Pua, MENJ, Teresa Kok

The huge crowd

This is the Christian chap who was so happy to chit chat with me and share his church's woes with MG58.

We promised to keep in touch and exchange thoughts through email.

For one thing, this dialogue has given me some new friends and I look forward to the next one.

We Malaysians just need to respect each other and not intrude or interfere in each other's faith.

Then, we will have everlasting peace unless some other case crops up! :P

Anyway, I wish all mankind reading this to appreciate what we have while we have it than lament over this peaceful land if it ever has to witness another race or religious turmoil again.

May Allah Forbid. Ameen.


Trashed said...

Forums like these need participants to leave emotions behind and address issues. At the end of the day, at least agree to disagree and we can all remain friendly.

MG58, the area of Jln Gasing that you ventured into has a high density of churches but that is due to historical reasons. Basically, they have been there for decades and I think that a couple of them may even appear "new" as they have been recently re-modelled. But essentially, they have been there for a long time and there has not been a new church or temple in that area for years.

Perhaps church/temple organisations can learn from you how to go about getting approvals ? New line of business for you :)

mahaguru58 said...

Assalamualaikum brother,

Your earlier parts of commenting is quite reasonable and sound thus I accept it.

Let me ask you, what are we humans without emotions?

Being who we are, it is our emotions and passions that give credence and meaning to our existence failing which we might as well not be.

The dialogue was a start to improving relations between us Muslims and others.

The Chinese Christian was just sharing the same news with me about the problems that they are facing there.

He was saying that the local authority there wasn't approving any renovation applications for their church and that they are reduced to renting shoplots to accommodate their needs.

We all understand that land is not in abundance there and that's their current problems.

I object to your last sentence about me doing business with them and helping them out as you imply!

If you are a Muslim sir, you have just committed FITNAH against me!

Why the hell do you say that?

Wake up to the reality that we as Muslims aren't exactly FORBIDDEN to interact and liase with our fellow mankind!

Hell, our forefathers here in Malaysia were all HINDUS a few centuries ago until the coming of the traders from Yemen and India bringing to the Malaccan Hindu Sultanate, the trust and Light of Islam!

It is comments such as yours here that destroys the goodwill that Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala asks us to build and carry out as per the Surah An Nahl Verse 125!

" Invite ALL to the Way of thy Lord with Wisdom and Beautiful Preaching and reson with them in ways that are best and most gracious!"

We are all Malaysians sir and we must help each other with whatever we can.

When I say that I can help him in going about his affairs with the local authority there, I was going to share with him how to seek help according to what the laws of this country has in store.

That is what a true Malaysian should do.

All your nice comments about the state of affairs concerning the situation in PJ for those churches bombed with your last sentence!

This is what I say being an example of committing fitnah against me without you knowing exactly what kind of help I intend to give to that man.

Muslims here in Malaysia have a severe case of screwing up our faith and reputation by succumbing to base racist ideals and bloated egos thinking that we are to avoid helping one another here in Malaysia to live in relative peace and harmony.

Wise up brother and please do not judge me without due cause or know who I am.

May Allah SWT forgive you for this slander against me. I know I have.

I am a Muslim and I know my do's and don'ts. Seems like you don't.

For you have just libeled against me without knowing exactly what I intended to help him out with?

Why are folks like you so bloody judgmental and like to spew out words as you please?

Is it in the genes or some malady affecting rational thought and general common sense? Wallahu'alam.

May Allah SWT forgive you for I have.

If you have yet to know me sir, please don't go shooting off your mouth as you just did.


ahmad said...


Actually I'm quite disappointed with ABIM Pres during this event since he didn't came with clear view about 'murtad' in Islam which might be will give some explainations and clear idea.

Rest, just OK. Still we need more dialogue which is open to public to give their opinions.

Great job DAP!

DevilsMark said...

"What religious intolerance are these people talking about?"

The lack religious tolerance that people are up in arms about is more fundamental than constructing churches, temples and places of worship for non muslims.

It is fundamental right for an individual to choose their preferred belief (or non belief system). Period.

If you don't believe a muslim (either a convert or one who is misfortunate enough to be born into the religion and not fulfillment - it sure as hell ain't a club membership..but about 60% of this country were involuntarily given memberships way before they were capable of rational thought), you are simply not tolerant.

If you find that a family of mixed faiths (and I know several) abhorrent, that's not religious tolerance.

That is intolerance.

What's so wrong about saying that? It shows you're passionate about maintaining the purity of your ideals.

I come from a scientific background and I'm intolerant of fools like Harun Yahya who seek to distort science with mambo jambo.

Be Proud to be Intolerant.

mahaguru58 said...

Assamualaikum Ya Iblis!

Hehehehehe...the Devil is on the net!

Well Mr.Devil, it defeats your purpose to come protest the situation here for you know yourself that the reason why you are here on Earth is because you refused to bow to Man back then when commanded by Allah, whom you worshiped with all your heart and will bow to none other!

I for one respect that stand.

God's creation must not submit or bow to another save Allah the Most Pure Most High.

I believe that the Devil is just a part of God's Master Plan.

If the Devil had bowed down to Adam as ordered, hell, we wouldn't have you to screw up things here and represent the Dark and the Evil.

Allah would not have a reason to expel both you and the First Couple down here to Earth and we would not be here commenting on this subject.

Call me at 016-3969881.

I would like to have a cuppa with the Devil and have a lively debate or discussion with you about many things that you seem to have misunderstood about Islam.

How about that? A day with the Devil! Hahahahaha.

Wassamualaikum O Accursed One! :D

DevilsMark said...

Yes, it was rather irritating when dad asked me to bow to those plastercine apes he so proudly brought out of the lab...heh. Anyway, we've more than had words about that.

I'm not protesting at all. In fact, I encourage all manner of intolerance..divide and rule, I say. The intolerance muslims exhibit towards each other and other (even abrahamic) faiths is a glorious sight..and has provided me much entertainment.

"A rojak family! Father Muslim, mother Christian, Son Hindu, Daughter Buddhist or freethinker!"

There's not thing more pleasing to me than watching authorities tear families apart whatever apelike love they feel for each other - in the name of God.

So, please...send me more of this entertainment. And maybe I'll turn down the furnance a notch or two when you finally drop in.

mahaguru58 said...

Hahahahaha, for sure, for sure!

With the way these Islamophobes are riling me and my fellow Muslims up, it would really be quite challenging to stay cool and not get pissed off!

Have to really try my best not to join you, hehehehe.

The reality about hell is that even if a jot of it's fire were to erupt here on Earth, this planet is toast!