Home TA Online 2011 TA Online Of sin, Siti and small-minded men without sagacity

Of sin, Siti and small-minded men without sagacity

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The different faiths in this country are often faced with many similar challenges which could be more easily overcome if we were to synergise our earnest efforts rather than creating slurs and suspicions on the supposed salacious conspiracies of other religions to turn young Muslims into sex fiends, writes Martin Jalleh.

Siti Nor Bahyah Mahamood is a well-known Islamic motivator on local television and a popular TV personality, with Semanis Kurma on TV9 and Astro being her biggest hit.

As a famous personality, one would expect her to have all the facts on her fingertips in her efforts to educate, motivate and even propagate her faith! Surely her experience as a professional motivator would teach her that you can’t motivate people by humiliating others!

Recently, she decided to discourage Muslim youth from celebrating Valentine’s Day. It is actually quite a noble effort. I too do not believe in V-Day (Catholic though I be) and I think it is tragic to have to say “I love you” only once a year and with a blooming rose that costs a bomb!

But I have no problem with the rest of the world who are caught up by the commercialisation of love and romance (though now it’s extended to more than just a celebration of lovebirds) and are ready to pay a crazy and costly sum, probably to make up for their neglect of 364 days in the year!

V-Day has become a day when, love is blind, the florists flourish, and hotels and restaurants reap roaring profits by holding the ridiculous! It has no religious significance whatsoever! As for those who wish to unleash their lust on V-Day, VD (a different kind of rose) might await them!

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Sadly, Siti’s ignorance showed when she, in an RTM programme last week, linked V’s Day to Christianity and immoral activities. She said “immoral activities, partying and unmarried couples associating in private are traditions of the Christian community”!

Surprisingly, as a motivator, Siti is glaringly show of understanding. V-Day is not a Christian tradition and all Christian traditions and tenets do not condone, in fact abhor “immoral activities”, and “unmarried couples associating in private”.

If only Siti would sit quietly and ponder she will realise that vice and virtue lie in the adherents of every faith and there is really no need of making a scapegoat of other religions and insulting them for the sins of the people of her own faithful!

A Christian conspiracy to corrupt Muslims?

The Malaysian Insider reported on 11 February 2011 that both the KL Islamic Department (Jawi) and Selangor Islamic Department (Jais) have banned Muslims from celebrating V-Day, calling it “a Christian tradition” in a Friday sermon delivered in mosques on that day.

Alas, if Jawi, Jais or Jakim want to reduce themselves into one big Joke, it is really none of our business, but claiming that V-Day is a Christian tradition and inferring that it is part of a Christian conspiracy to “corrupt” Muslims, is to say but the least, a jaundiced view… very unislamic indeed!

The sermon continued with its slanderous spree: “Remember that the Jews and Christians would continue to deceive Muslims. They will do everything to undermine the Muslims’ belief and personality”!

Prepared by the Selangor’s Islamic authority, the sermon also said that V-Day “is celebrated in many ways, starting with greeting cards, flowers and dance parties. In fact some celebrate it with a date which would eventually lead to illicit sex”!

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What about the illicit sex that takes place on non-Valentine Days? Who is to be blamed? What about the sex scandals committed by Members of Parliament, Ministers and a host of people in high places….were they all committed on V-Day? Were they the result of a conspiracy by the Jews and Christians?

Jais caused quite a jolt when it pointed out that there were 257,411 births out of wedlock between 2000 and 2008 and blamed V-Day celebrations as one of the causes. You mean to say nine V-Days could produce 257,411 births? Is this what Najib’s model of moderate Islam is all about?

Not only are they insulting the Christians but they are so condescending in how they view the Muslims in Bolehland – who have in recent times been portrayed as people who are so very easily confused, convinced, converted and corrupted! But then again, we are told that is none of our business.

It appears that Siti, Jawi, Jais and Jakim need to do a lot of soul searching. Surely the strength of Islam does not lie in creating a “siege mentality” and in their ignorance, insulting other religions.

The different faiths in this country are often faced with many similar challenges which could be more easily overcome if we were to synergise our earnest efforts rather than creating slurs and suspicions on the supposed salacious conspiracies of other religions to turn young Muslims into sex fiends!

May I wish Jawi, Jais and Jakim Happy Anti-Valentine’s Day! And to those who celebrate it in a big way, Happy Valentine’s Day – whatever it means!

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To Pas Youth, instead of conducting “immorality checks” on V-Day in opposition-ruled states, why not take a break from politics and be romantic enough to spend precious time with your beloved under the moon, always conscious that God is watching you from a distance!

To the Muslims who really want to celebrate V-Day but cannot as a result of the recent ban, please do not be angry but in keeping with the spirit of the day, send a rose to Siti, Jawi, Jais and Jakim – unless the rose is deemed by them as a Christian flower used to seduce Muslims into immorality!

Martin Jalleh is well known political commentator and regular contributor to Aliran.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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16 Mar 2011 5.37pm

Well said and thought through, Daniel. How I wish muslims in malaysia start thinking and researching for themselves rather than relying on half truths.

15 Mar 2011 2.28pm

nice discussion by all except Muslimah, i’m a muslim but i do agree with martin that it is wrong for siti to say that “immoral activities, partying and unmarried couples associating in private are traditions of the Christian community”. The Christian teach also talk about sins and adultery, thus a true Christian will not commit adultery. I believe one bad apple does not spoil the whole basket or a Malay proverb of ‘kerana nila setitik rosak susu sebelanga, as there are ‘bad’ muslim out there. Even if we say we a good muslim, others might think otherwise.

9 Mar 2011 7.33pm

Well said Daniel !

11 Mar 2011 6.34pm
Reply to  Sen

I note with amusement that Muslimah has gone very quiet. Understandably so… The only way she can reply is after consulting with all her ‘cleverer’ friends, if there are any! My advice to Muslimah, take heed of my slightly paraphrased saying – its better for others to think you’re a fool, then opening your mouth a SECOND time and removing all doubts.

3 Mar 2011 4.02pm

Nice article by Martina and good comments by Daniel.Hope that Muslimah does some soul searching rather than writting blindly as the motivator who blurted out in excitment..may be she was in a V-tine spirit.
A convert friend of mine shared with me that,when he embraced islam his ustaz told him to follow the Quran and not the Malays in this country. Something for Muslimah to think about!

14 Feb 2011 3.10pm

And what makes you, who left Islam, dares to say Allah helps us when you are already don’t believe Allah and Prophet Muhammad’s teaching.

I see a lot of secularists like you and the writer who know nothing about Fiqh talking about Islam, acting as a know-it-all and being defiant to the rules of Islam.

The Prophet pbuh said that we should be different from the Jews and the Christians and the unbelievers, so if the non Muslims are busy celebrating Valentine’s let’s take the Prophet’s words of wisdom and be different.

That’s easy dude! Itu pun susah nak faham ka?

15 Feb 2011 5.06pm
Reply to  Muslimah

I think Martin meant it in the best most applicable light. He’s very worried that other things like Hudud will end up oppressing non-Muslims. But I think you are inaccurate when you said Allah will help all mankind – even if they are non-Muslims or non-Arabs, Malays are not Arabs btw. SWT and PBUH in fact both will keep an eye over ALL mankind including non-Muslims, as by the Quran Allah created all peoples including non-Muslims and has mercy enough even for the non-believers though those waging war on Islam will be warred on in return. Islam only reached SEA in 1500s, and Nusantaran Animism (nominally Bomoh/Kris magic skills, Ilmu Kedjawen etc.) was the TRUE Malay religion since the first proto-Malays (some say Polynesian or Cham-SouthYunnan peoples) settled the Malay-Java area around 20,000 bc.. This means that Nusantaran Animism which will always be Malay (though hardly invested in) existed for 22K years while Islam has a 500 year history. This is truly Malay. While Islam was from Arabia which was nominally under Persian influence for an equally long time before the Heretic Pharoah Akhenaten, also considered… Read more »

16 Feb 2011 11.04am
Reply to  Muslimah

Dear Muslimah Let me answer you, paragraph per paragraph. You said “And what makes you, who left Islam, dares to say Allah helps us when you are already don’t believe Allah and Prophet Muhammad’s teaching.”. I say, who are you to say I do not believe in Allah? I believe in Allah and ALL the teachings of the Prophets. We pray the Surah Al Fatiha, asking Allah to show us the Siratal Mustaqim. But we forget that there is one person in the Quran who knows the Siratal Mustaqim. … I quote Surah Al Ahqaf 46:9 from http://quran.com. Forgive me if you feel this website or translation is wrong. I have chosen, Pickthall and Yusuf Ali translation of the verse. It says: Pickthall Say: I am no new thing among the messengers (of Allah), nor know I what will be done with me or with you. I do but follow that which is inspired in me, and I am but a plain warner. Yusuf Ali Say: “I am no bringer of new-fangled doctrine among the messengers, nor do I know what will be done with me… Read more »

14 Feb 2011 11.12am

I zoom in on the last point by Daniel about not understanding how the Malaysian government works. While I believe there are many reasons for the illogical utterances of muslims from time to time, that result from wrong thinking but get public airings, in my simple mind I see the problems of muslims in this country as due to political expediency. Consider this: I note all the arguments by authorities and not-so-authorities to ensure malays remain muslims are due only to the belief within those in the UMNO/BN government to ensure these muslim malays stay ‘the way they are’ so that they will continue to support UMNO/BN. But why does being ‘the way they are’ mean only being Suni, and not Shia or Wahabi muslims? Well, likely because being Suni muslims means they are on the same wavelength as the Suni muslims in charge and remain under control.. Shia muslims and others are believed to have their loyalties elsewhere. Thus Shia and all those not Suni muslims are branded as deviants in this country but for reasons that in truth have nothing to do with religion… Read more »

16 Feb 2011 10.42am
Reply to  Isma

Thank you Isma for the views. It has indeed expanded my thinking horizon.

13 Feb 2011 9.39pm

I left Islam many years ago. Though I believe in Isa Al Masih as “The Way” or SiratalMustaqim to Heaven, I still call myself a Muslim, as one who submits to God. Since young, I always taught never to accept things from Christians. They will lure you with money, holy water to convert to their side. As I grew in faith, I realised that conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit 😛 I am still amazed, at the ignorance of some Malay Muslims with regards to Christianity. But then again, how often or not, we Christians really take them as friends? Non Malay Christians have a set of prejudices and discrimination against the Malay Muslims. This in turned has caused rift and divisions among the community. When asked about them reaching out to Malay Muslims, the church will say “No”. Why? “We are fearful of the government”. Fearful? Yes I have heard church pastors and leaders being fearful. Is this the way we are going to welcome the Lord back in His second coming? The Malay Muslims too have a set of perceived idealogies and… Read more »

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