Articles, Opinions & Views: Khat has everything to do with religion - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy


 
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“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

Photobucket
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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Khat has everything to do with religion - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | “We will discuss it further, but the thing is, it is an art form,” – Wan Azizah
This idea that khat has nothing to do with religion, that it is merely an art form meant to instill some sort of “appreciation” and handwriting skill in young children is bunkum. The government and various politicians' rejoinders that the politicization of this issue is merely a symptom of “old Malaysia” is in fact a tactic of Old Malaysia now redeployed to ensure compliance from a Harapan base, with the threat that the old Malaysia would return if certain sensitivities are not observed.
Claiming that khat has nothing to do with religion is mendacious. Khat and religion in this country are not mutually exclusive. Perhaps it is elsewhere, but not in this country.
Just last year, as reported in the mainstream Malay press, Jakim intended to form a Jawi community secretariat to strengthen the writing of Jawi in this country. One of its initiatives was to create programmes related to Jawi and, of course, the promotion of khat.
Also last year, Pemanis (Persatuan Melayu Perlis) advocated the teaching of Jawi in preschools. Two years ago, as reported in the mainstream Malay press, Exco Persatuan Seni Khat Kebangsaan (PSKK) urged KDN and Jakim to enact legislation to curb errors in khat sentences. Indeed, if one is to go online, you will discover that there have been various “fatwas” by state religious bodies on the proper use of khat writing in commercial products (for example) and other (what many would consider mundane) issues.
Indeed in May this year, Jakim started collaborating with Yayasan Restu to gain expertise in the writing of khat for one of their religious diploma programmes. What is Yayaysan Restu ? From their website:
“The Restu Foundation was established in 1998 as a non-profit organization. It aims to spread the message of Islam throughout the world, strengthen the faith of Muslims and revive the field of Islamic arts. "The Restu foundation dedicated itself to compile and record the traditional cultural motifs of the Malays for every state in Malaysia that are clearly influenced by the Islamic culture.”
So again, this idea that khat has nothing to do with religion, is horse manure. Anything the Federal religious bureaucracy gets involved with has to do with religion. This is a fact.  What is also a fact is that the religious bureaucracy will get involved with anything if it believes it could add a religious dimension to it. However, this should not detract from the reality that the talking point of khat proponents that this has nothing to do with religion, is just another attempt to bamboozle the non-Malays.
Non-Malays are being misled into allowing our public space – which includes the public space of Muslims who do not subscribe to state orthodoxy – to be Islamized because the government of the day needs to buttress its Islamic credentials.
When Lim Guan Eng (above) blames Sin Chew Jit Poh, for stirring up non-Malay fear of khat, what does this say about Lim Guan Eng and his eagerness to propagate an art form, which is linked with religion and which the state actively uses to strengthen its hold on the majority of this country ?
Harry Tan Huat Hock, secretary-general of the National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP), claimed that the introduction of khat was to “inculcate the value of the Malay heritage and national identity, and that issue should not be blown out of proportion to the extent of inviting controversy “
So from better handwriting, the goal post has been shifted to inculcating the value of Malay heritage and national identity. How does learning to write in a specific way inculcate the values Harry talks about? And why do young children have to learn the values of Malay heritage and national identity.
Keep in mind that Malay heritage and national identity are mutually exclusive. Furthermore, Malay heritage, despite historical and cultural revisionism, is not based on doctrinal imports from the House of Saud.
Mujahid Rawa (below), in a piece expressing his devotion to Jawi, made the same claims or rather he conflated certain concepts. He made the claim that learning Jawi is an honour for Malaysians, and the rather noxious meme that in order to be a united Bangsa Malaysia, we would cherish Jawi as one people.
Regular readers of my columns know I despise the Bangsa Malaysia that is passed around, mainly by the DAP. Do you see what is happening here? Lim Kit Siang claims that learning Jawi may have made him a better Malaysian, and now we have Harapan’s religious czar pushing the idea that Jawi is linked with with the concept of Bangsa Malaysia.
What happened to ideas of secularism, egalitarianism, shared history, shared culture and the various other non-religious building blocks that we were told was what we should aspire to before the historic May 9th win? Those ideas do not seem attractive to politicians who are bending over backwards to justify ideas that they once claimed could only come from Umno/BN.
In my last article I noted that learning about culture is a one-way street in Malaysia. Whether you think that learning khat somehow strengthens national unity, or makes you a better Malaysian, or is just a rather innocuous government policy is not the point.
The point is that the propaganda that khat has nothing to do with religion, that khat is somehow mutually exclusive from religion, that khat is merely about art, is misleading and mendacious.
If it was all those things, I believe that people would not object to it. If this country believed that learning about each other's culture is a positive, where one culture is not buttressed by supremacist policies, than all this would mean nothing, and khat would be taken at face value. This is not the case here.
You are free to believe that learning Jawi and khat makes you a better Malaysian, but you are not free to propagate the idea that khat has nothing to do with religion.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:41 AM  
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