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PM Najib and the extremists

At a time where it appears as though Najib is caught between a rock and a hard place to openly state his views on Perkasa, he has instead shown that there is more to the issue than just being forced by some parties to choose between 'endorsing' or 'opposing' the vocal Malay rights group.

In a somewhat carefully delivered response, Najib made clear that extremists would not be tolerated, but fell short of naming any particular NGO or individual. To quote off TheMalaysianInsider;
“No, we do not want to be in conflict with any NGO,” he firmly said.

Najib went further to play down Perkasa’s significance as a pressure group, pointing out that as far as Umno was concerned, Perkasa was just like any other NGO.

“It is just like any other NGO. We have so many NGOs. There are times we can agree, and there are times we cannot agree,” he said.

No doubt it's a political statement. But I think Najib has learnt something from Obama, or it could well just be a coincidence.

Remember Obama's well crafted statement on the controversial New York mosque issue? In sum, Obama was trying NOT to say it directly that he supports the New York mosque proposal, but reaffirms the principles of freedom of religion which allows the rights to build places of worship. Go figure. :-)

Perkasa, extremists and the media
My argument is simple. If you think that Perkasa is extreme, racist, irrelevant and whatnot, why not just leave them alone. Ignore them. The media is partly responsible for hyping them up so much. This reminds me of the case of the infamous Pastor Terry Jones who initiated a campaign to burn a Quran on 911, which left many asking how is it possible that a pastor of a small church in a small town of Florida was able to generate so much wave of publicity throughout the world? Why does the media gave so much attention over a moronic idea to burn a Quran?

Maybe the answer lies in the axiom, "bad news is good news". Hence, extremists rules over moderates in media coverage. Yes No?

In principle, there is nothing wrong about Perkasa's struggle. In fact, you can say it resembles closely as UMNO's. But the only problem with Perkasa, in my view, is Ibrahim Ali and his extreme views and rhetorics which has alienated many non-Malays. And being the President, his words is seen and accepted as the official words of Perkasa.

For instance, I disagree with his views that the economic equity of the Malays and Bumiputras should be increased to 67% as to be in proportion with the percentage of Malay and Bumiputra communities in Malaysia. I believe that to empower the Malays and to improve their socio-economic conditions, it must be done through empowerment and education, not by such quota proposals.

I'd like to point out another example. Ibrahim Ali's views on prohibiting non-Muslims from entering a mosque is just plain distasteful and stupid, if I may say so. It shows his ignorance about the issue. But if you think I am here to lend my support the Serdang DAP MP YB Teo Nie Ching. No. Read on.

I am saddened that many prefers to look at the issue based on their own political prejudice. For instance, PAS supporters would try as hard to do a damage control exercise to justify Teo's act of entering the surau in Serdang. As usual PKR people will only voice out if they have something to talk about. And on that same note, some pro-UMNO supporters who were bent on scoring political points tend to criticise Teo without looking at the issue objectively. Objective in the sense that one would say it is okay for Teo to enter the surau, but there are limitations as to which part of the mosque a non-Muslim should be allowed in. And secondly, it would be much better for Teo if she had at least wore a simple headscarf to cover her head. To me, the blame should go to the surau committee for not advising Teo properly about the adab of entering the surau.

Of course, my argument is subject to various religious or political interpretations, but at least my views are based on my simple understanding of how foreign non-Muslim tourists are treated when they visit the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur or the Putra Mosque in Putrajaya. In both mosques, non Muslims are allowed to enter but they may NOT walk in up to the main praying hall. Simple as that. And they are required to done a head-covered jubah for women and for men - if they are wearing shorts. Therefore, based on these counts alone, I believe the surau committee rather than Teo has made a mistake.

To sum up, the issue is not a simple Yes or No answer. It isn't about whether or not a non-Muslim can enter a mosque. But it is about the adab or etiquette of a non-Muslim when entering a mosque. There's more to the issue than what was being reported in the media and sadly I can't find anything similar to this simple explanation in the mainstream media to better inform the non-Muslims about the whole issue so that they won't be left confused by some politicians from both sides who were trying to score some political points.

I think I have diverted quite a bit from my original post. So I shall stop here, for now.

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