Articles, Opinions & Views: Here is why some people are Islamophobic - 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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Here is why some people are Islamophobic - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, August 10, 2019
Malaysiakini : “Religious moderation is the product of secular knowledge and scriptural ignorance.”  Sam Harris, 'The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason'
COMMENT | As expected, I received the usual attack text messages and emails for my article on the khat fiasco. I am often accused of being anti-Malay and suffering from Islamophobia. These attacks, mostly ad hominem in nature, are now coming from non-Malays, people who before the historic May 9 win supported the points I made about the racial and religious discourse when it was directed against the Najib regime but now they warn me against rocking the Pakatan Harapan boat.

Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin said that he believes that the opposition against khat was grounded in a phobia about Islam. My question is, can Muslims understand why some people are Islamophobic?
The recent close encounter in Selangor with unilateral conversion demonstrates that religion – Islam – continues to be weaponised in the Harapan regime - something we were told would cease under the new management.
I am not interested in the political manoeuvrings behind this latest provocation against non-Muslims but what I am interested in addressing in this piece is the reality that the phobia against Islam in this country is justified and like it or not, it falls on the DAP to maintain the secular line when it comes to religious provocations.
I often warn non-Malay political operatives in private and in my articles that they should remain strictly secular and not trespass into the domain of Islam because they need to be a line in the sand when it comes to mainstream Muslim politics in this country. My advice was not welcome and the Kool-aid was dispensed and we have a large segment of non-Muslims engaging in the “true Muslim” meme as I defined here.
“In other words, a ‘true’ Muslim as defined by those who have been on the receiving end of Umno-influenced Islam all these years, is a Muslim who conforms to the political and social conventions of the so-called moderate stance espoused by Pakatan Rakyat.”

Having said that, a big shout-out to the DAP’s Gobind Singh Deo for his rejoinder on the Selangor DAP’s no-nonsense stand over the issue of state legislative assembly speaker Ng Suee Lim for doing what he did when public reports and my snooping around confirm that he was under extreme pressure. Kudos to Lim Guan Eng for making the stand of the party clear and unambiguous on this issue and defending the Selangor DAP.
DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke meanwhile should consider growing some cajones because this issue is not a Selangor DAP issue but which has consequences for every non-Muslim in this country. Just say "no comment" instead of engaging in weaselly deflections if you don't want to make a stand on an issue.
The MCA deserves credit, too, with MCA spokesperson Chan Quin Er getting to the heart of the issue when she said this: "If the Harapan state and federal governments purport to herald in a 'New Malaysia', whereby as Malaysian citizens, we extol the values and goodwill of multiculturalism, then enacting laws to legally permit unilateral conversion of a minor is mala fide and breaches such values."
I have argued that unilateral conversion is religious kidnapping. However, it goes beyond that, if that was not bad enough. I made to points here, which I think relevant as to why claims about people having a phobia against Islam is not only justified but I would argue that those “phobias” are a self-defence mechanism –
1. “What unilateral conversion does, and we should be clear that this involves Islam as the Islamic (sic) minister is wont to remind everyone, is rob the child of the right of his or her religious freedom. This has far-reaching consequences in Malaysia because race and religion have legal obligations along with the so-called special privileges that place a Muslim in the harsh glare of federal and state Islamic authorities.
2. “If an adult wishes to place his or herself under such obligations, then it is their right to do so, but a parent unilaterally deciding to convert a child without the consent of their partner is not only morally reprehensible but should also come with legal consequences, preferably jail time with a couple of strokes of the rotan.”

Besides the “true Muslim” meme that is political in nature, the reality is that a majority of Muslims believe that unilateral conversion – when it comes to Islam – is justified. Exploring environs beyond partisan echo chambers reveal connective tissue between Islamic policymaking and a vox populi of Muslim social media.
When Harapan Malay/Muslim political operatives claim an issue like unilateral conversion plays well with their base, they are probably more right than wrong. It really does not matter if political pundits bray about bread-and-butter issues; the reality is that for a majority of Muslims, their religion trumps the bread-and-butter issues that connect us all as citizens of this country regardless of race or religion.
People don’t support PAS because of their brilliant economic or social programmes; they support PAS because they believe they are the keepers of the faith. Similarly, those who supported Umno on the basis of race and religion did so because they believed that religion was better when it came with entitlement programmes.
In a political terrain such as this, is it any wonder why some folks could be termed “Islamophobic”? Mind you, if there was a strict separation between policies which affect Muslims and non-Muslims, and there was empirical evidence to support such a position, then non-Malays would not have a fear of Islam. Instead, the rules that apply to Muslims "only" have always touched non-Muslims and defined our economic, social and political realities.
Zan Azlee in his column in Malaysiakini arguing that Malaysia may be racists forever correctly points out the privileged position he is in as a Malay/Muslim when it comes to criticising race and religion. This was demonstrated when DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang had to rely on social activist Anas Zubedy's position when asking controversial Muslim preacher Zakir Naik to voluntary leave this country.
This, too, adds to the phobia. This unfairness when it comes to fighting with one hand tied behind your back. This handicap when it comes to defending secular positions and the reality that if you do this, you would not only have to contend with mainstream Malay/Muslim retaliation but also partisans who have no interest in rocking the boat.
When it comes to the racial and religious discourse in this country, I will end with my favourite Philip K Dick quote:
“This is a mournful discovery.
1. Those who agree with you are insane.
2. Those who do not agree with you are in power.”
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 1:59 PM  
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