Articles, Opinions & Views: Seafield temple fracas: How is your faith? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy

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No Atheists
In A Foxhole
“When you're left wounded on

Afganistan's plains and

the women come out to cut up what remains,

Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,

And go to your God like a soldier”

“We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace,

for he must suffer and be the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

“May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't .”
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

“Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.

“Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

The Soldier stood and faced God

Which must always come to pass

He hoped his shoes were shining

Just as bright as his brass

"Step forward you Soldier,

How shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?

To My Church have you been true?"

"No, Lord, I guess I ain't

Because those of us who carry guns

Can't always be a saint."

I've had to work on Sundays

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I've been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny

That wasn't mine to keep.

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills got just too steep,

The Soldier squared his shoulders and said

And I never passed a cry for help

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place

Among the people here.

They never wanted me around

Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here,

Lord, It needn't be so grand,

I never expected or had too much,

But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was silence all around the throne

Where the saints had often trod

As the Soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you Soldier,

You've borne your burden well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in Hell."

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Seafield temple fracas: How is your faith? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Seafield Temple - List of mosques built on the site of  destroyed Hindu Temples in India
Malaysiakini : “Every man who has in his soul a secret feeling of revolt against any act of the State, of life, or of destiny, is on the verge of riot; and so soon as it appears, he begins to quiver, and to feel himself borne away by the whirlwind.” Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
COMMENT | Saying the temple protests in the last two days were proof that “good gestures are not always appreciated”, Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin called on Malay groups planning to hold a rally next month to oppose Malaysia’s joining of the global anti-discrimination treaty, Icerd, to instead hold a rally for “Muslim survival”. People always ask me, what is the issue the Malay/Muslim far right have with temples? That is an easy question to answer. Hindu temples are all over the place. It is a fact that some of these structures are “illegal”. While some have a history like the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, others have less of a pedigree.
Hindu temples are in your face. While Christian places of worship are subject to strict rules when it comes to Islamic sensitivities – the cross for instance apparently has a debilitating effect on some people – Hindu temples are gaudy architectural provocations for people who believe in the supremacy of their faith
But forget about this for a moment. If this was a mosque of more than 100 years old, and a court ruled in favour of corporate interest, what do you think the consequences would have been for the corporate entity when it came to this piece of land? I love the way how some people talk about legal judgments as if they are made in a vacuum when it comes to vested political and corporate interest. As usual, when it comes to an Indian issue, people have faith in the system.
The Perlis mufti, for instance, thinks that the BN government was too soft with these illegal Hindu temples. He wants the Harapan government to uphold the rule of law when it comes to a historical site which is essentially what the Seafield temple is. He believes this so strongly that he uses this incident to call for the Dec 8 anti-Icerd “celebration” to be one for Muslim survival.
I have very little interest in temple committees. I think that they are a bunch of parasites who use their office to further their own economic agendas that have very little to do with religion. In the Seafield temple case, for instance, I have no doubt that temple committee intrigue is part of the problem. There are more informed people who should have the courage to speak up on this issue than me.
Having said that, when it comes to religion in Malaysia, everything is racial. Asri (photo), for instance, prefers to use the law against what he believes is an existential threat to the Muslim community. Meanwhile, the “gangsters” who trespassed into this Hindu place of worship were relying on the weakness of the institutions to facilitate whatever they were allegedly hired to do.
Eyewitness reports claim that the state security apparatus was lackadaisical in containing the situation, while the state security apparatus claims that it had to be restrained because this was a place of worship and to do otherwise would add fuel to the fire. Who do you believe? How does your experience inform you about your faith in the system? Not an easy question to answer.
Fracases like these test your faith in the system. Is this a system for the "core" or is this a system for all of us? Some people got upset with those ministers who disputed the original “Indian vs Indian” police claim. This claim plays to the Indian stereotype that would make it easy to forget this issue and carry on playing the game of not spooking the Malays.
Look, when Ahmad Zahid Hamidi calls for the resignation of a minister for communal provocation, for merely speaking the truth, what does this tell you about the system? Think of it this way, Zahid, the former deputy prime minister, claimed that the Malays would run amock if Icerd was ratified and he gets away with it. What would happen if a non-Malay minister said the same thing to his or her community when it came to something they consider sacred?
When it was later confirmed by deputy inspector-general of police Noor Rashid Ibrahim that it was possible that the party that wanted to take over the land “...hired a group of Malay men to facilitate the process of taking the land. There is a possibility those (hired) were gangsters and for sure, the group of Indians tried to defend (the temple against the incursion)”, there was a caveat added that this was not a racial issue.
Even the temple people claimed that this was not a racial issue. The prime minister claimed that this was not a racial issue. Various ministers come out to claim that this was not a racial issue but the reality is that this issue will always be racial or religious because the system is set up this way. Whoever hired those “Malay” gangsters to invade a sacred Hindu ground did so with the knowledge that this was racially and religiously provocative.
The Perlis mufti, for instance, uses this incident to further his Islamic agenda. Politicians, meanwhile, attempt to use it to deflect from the situation by propagandising an injured fireman. I can see why. Far right Malay bloggers and propagandists have already started forwarding me literature that claims that it is the Malays who have to put their lives on the line and that these “Indians” are only good for drinking and rioting. All this is part of the “ketuanan” narrative that makes it impossible to have a reasoned discussion when it comes to issues like this.
Look at the difference between the Low Yat rioters and this incident. The rioters in this incident do not have the protection of the state. They are lucky that there are some politicians who would push back on official narratives that would seek to demonise the community at the expense of the truth – but ultimately, they have to have faith in a system which very often lets them down.
Who knows how this will play out? Hopefully, those people who allegedly hired these thugs would be dragged out into the light. The question is, do people have enough faith in the system to believe that the real culprits would be brought to justice – or would this just be another opportunity where the system finds a scapegoat?
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:16 AM  
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