What is Isma-like hate mongering? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, May 27, 2019
Even the great Mamakthir referred to Non Muslims as Kaffirs and Jews as hook nosed, is that NOT hate speech, so what are you guys talking about? Double standards are the norm in Malaysia, some people are more equal than others. We must tolerate their intolerance without criticizing them, if you do that would become hate speech. Right? You think that will happen ?
Knowing Malaysia there will be abuse and one sided application, selective enforcement will happen. People with legitimate grievances will be the victims. Hate speech laws will come back to bite you, the current laws are enough to control speech. The laws available are enforced selectively. If someone says, "only Christians will go to heaven", will that be described as hate speech?
Denigrating Jews and Christians 17 times a day during the course of their worship, will it fall under hate speech. Pointing out that Zakar Naik spews hate against others, will that fall under hate speech? One can conjure up many more examples. What most of us are afraid of is we would turn out like Pakistan, lynchings will be the norm when you make hate speech laws. When you say that Malaysia practices Apartheid, its that hate speech?
Malaysiakini : “Beyond all the other reasons not to do it, free speech assaults always backfire: they transform bigots into martyrs.” - Glenn Greenwald
COMMENT | In 2013, the current Isma president, Aminuddin Yahaya (photo, above), who was then its deputy president, accused, among others, Malaysiakini chief operating office Premesh Chandran of being behind the nefarious Comango initiative to destabilise Islam in this country.
said: “The recommendations were an affront to religious sanctity and
the sovereignty of the Federal Constitution for insisting on religious
freedom, LGBT rights, the right of a Muslim to be an apostate and the
removal of Malay privileges.” The Isma president now has a column in the Bahasa Malaysia section of Malaysiakini. His
latest article argues why Pakatan Harapan will win in PRU 15. He posits
three reasons. The first is that the Umno leadership is in disarray and
the Malay polity does not have much trust in them.
second is the Mahathir factor, Aminuddin arguing that the old maverick
is a master strategist and capable of “the impossible.” Finally,
because of the DAP, which Aminuddin claims is cosying up to Malay
personalities. He argues that while Malay leaders are making foolish
statements, the DAP is busy worming its way into the hearts and minds of
the Malay polity. He also implies that there is gerrymandering going on in gazetting Chinese majority areas.
have always been a fan of Isma. At times they have even been supportive
of my radical secularism when I warned of the dangers of the DAP
trespassing into the Islamic domain. Funnily, while I may think this is a
foolish endeavour, the Isma president seems to think this is working in
the Malay community when it comes to supporting the DAP. He
writes of how the Malay community gets glassy-eyed when they see DAP
leaders breaking bread with Malay/Muslim community, and this, he claims,
is strange because even though the Malays are facing economic hard
times, they love it when they see spectacles like that.
have a far-right personality, who once accused a media organisation of
destabilising Islam and Malay rule in this country, now writing for the
same media organisation about the effectiveness of the DAP in winning
hearts and minds of the Malay community. Go figure!
Which brings me to an important question. What exactly is Isma-like hate mongering? Amanah’s Raja Kamarul Bahrin (photo, above) has mooted a law banning hate speech of the Isma variety.
is a continuing effort by the Harapan regime to come up with strange
laws to combat the propaganda of the far-right. On the one hand, you
have Mujahid Rawa creating a special division in Jakim to handle insults
against Islam, and on the other, you have someone like Raja Bahrin
arguing for laws which ban Isma-like "hate mongering". Aminuddin
made a fool of himself with "stamp gate" and continues trolling the
Harapan religious elite with his columns and comments, but beyond that
what exactly is the kind of Isma-like hate speech that some people are
worried about? Mujahid (photo, below), Harapan’s religious czar, has claimed that he finds liberals and extremists equally dangerous.
defence of the matriculation quotas, he claimed that non-bumiputras
dominated the private sector and were generally more well off. This
seems like Isma-like hate mongering, or is hate speech solely defined by
what Isma says, even though Isma and most Malay politicians share the
If Isma is to be on the receiving end of this hate
speech law, what about the liberals – especially liberal Muslims – when
it comes to them questioning the state-sanctioned religion of this
country? Aminuddin's columns are like the far-right talking points in bullet form. He has questioned Harapan's commitment to Islam, called for the attorney-general to resign, and propagandised the death of fireman Muhammad Adib.
Is this hate speech, and if it is, is Malaysiakini
complicit in propagating it? This is what I do not understand about
these folks who want to curb free speech. Mind you, I am also including
the Isma president in this group. They always want to curb speech that
they find offensive, but never want to moderate their own speech, which
some would deem offensive.
Isma is not the cause of problems. The
cause of the problem, especially when it comes to racial and religious
issues, is because we have politicians who do not want to make a stand
because they think they would lose votes. They would rather scapegoat
extremist speech, never acknowledging that such speech, more often than
not, is the basis of the ketuanan ideology which they subscribe
to or to enable them to maintain political power. I am including
non-Malay politicians and their supporters in this.
The problem is
not hate speech. The problem is that non-Malays do not read what people
like Yahaya write. If they did, they would understand that what he
writes is what most Malay politicians subscribe to. They may say the
opposite, but their policies are in line with what people like Aminuddin
advocate. People who are clamouring for hate speech laws and
demonising the likes of Isma are enabling Harapan and its Malay power
structures in carrying out fascist policies which would further alienate
the Malay polity.
Considering the kind of hate speech that
regularly happens on social media and considering the history of Malay
power structures, the only people who would become targets of laws like
these are the very people who were clamouring for them in the first
place. In a piece about the Isma president I wrote:
“Does anyone see a counter-narrative here? Isma, on the one hand, is
part of the Harapan government's religious initiatives, and on the
other, claims the Harapan government is not doing enough to Islamise
this country. "Meanwhile, the religious czar is talking about
creating a counter-narrative, but in terms of policy, he is doing
exactly what the Islamic right wing wants him to do.”
argue that the problem is not the “hate speech” of people like the Isma
president, but rather the toxic reasoning of his opponents, which is
slowly diminishing the returns of May 9.