Friday 20 February 2009

Ma'Ngah's Second Letter

To : Sham, Mahzan, Maria, Hidayah, Shah, Mariam, Hannah and Ida

Dear Kids,

Here's the next exciting episode. In recent years we have seen the alliance between Jewish Zionists and Christian Zionists. The latter now subscribe to the Bible's prophecy that the expansion of Israel and the removal of the Palestinians are a pre-cursor to redemption, the sign of Armageddon and the second coming of Christ. The American Christian Evangelists, led by powerful political shapers like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Tom Delay, ( leader of the Republicans in the House of Representatives) and their organisations like Christians for Israel and the International Christian Embassy, Jerusalem also adopted this agenda. Israel happily embraces this match especially the ruling right wing Likud Party. When Ehud Olmert (remember the Goliath of Gaza?) was Mayor of Jerusalem, - together with Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, they set out to unite the Israeli Radical Right with the American Christian Fundamentalists. It was a strategic partnership and organisations were set up to channel funds into the Likud Party from rich Christian Fundamentalist coffers.

The mainstream Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Lutheran Church disassociated themselves from this Dispensationist belief, but their impact on reducing the sufferings of the Palestinians were minimal. They could not overcome this powerful alliance of the Christian and Zionist extremists and the Christian Zionist elements in the Republican Party. There are also the peaceniks from the Jewish, Christian and secular sectors but this position is hard to sustain and justify because as James Brooks puts it :

You can hear ...from the White House, and booming from Capitol Hill. Language that would get people fired if applied to blacks or Jews or Hispanics now passes without comment when used against Arabs and Muslims. It can be found somewhere, every day, in almost every newspaper and TV news show in the land. We tend to view this disturbing trend as the result of two, or twenty or fifty years of politics and events. ..... The roots of our "new" bigotry stretch through our racist American past to a thousand year old blind spot.

This one here is a beauty. I kept it for a long, long time from the early 80s, taken from the lovably humourous MAD magazine - which inspired Malaysians to publish GILA GILA. It's a MAD fold-in. I leave you to make your own conclusion.

At the bottom it reads, "Oil rich sheiks now support hospitals, schools, libraries and other things that were once held in poverty's tortured grip, but one thing is still kept out of reach." Note the obese sheikh and his scantily clad harem.

The words below read "Liberty's Torch"

Admittedly, there's no 'democracy' of the western American type . But somehow Arabs (and inevitably Islam ) are the world's only bad boy.

Where extremism and fundamentalism are concerned only Muslims are a threat to peace. When the American Jewish Fundamentalist Baruch Goldstein murdered 29 Muslims at prayer in Hebron in 1994, you hardly hear a whisper of Jewish extremism. Timothy McVey and the Oklahoma bombing were disembodied from the Right wing Christian Fundamentalist Movement. Anders Strindberg puts it nicely.

U.S. media and politicians have become accustomed to thinking of and talking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as one in which an enlightened democracy is constantly forced to repel attacks from crazy-eyed Islamists bent on the destruction of the Jewish people and the imposition of an Islamic state. Palestinians are equated with Islamists, Islamists with terrorists.

We must remember Palestinians are Christians too. They suffered the same brutality. Their churches, convents, land and homes were also mowed down and 'confiscated'. They are Arabs, with Arab names. In 1948 they made up 20% of the population and now they are only 2% of the Arabs in Israel and occupied Palestine. The Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, the Reverend Riah Abu al-Assal explained "The Arab Palestinian Christians are part and parcel of the Arab Palestinian nation. We have the same history, the same culture, the same habits and the same hopes." But the fact that they are Christians will not save them from the plans of the Christian Zionists and the Judaizing of Palestine.

I am not advocating a collision course between Islam and the other two Abrahamic faiths.
Not only in Palestine but also in the war-torn parts of the world, religion cannot be excluded from the equation. What Israel and the Christian Zionists claim is the Holy Land for all 3 religions. Jerusalem does not belong to any one religion

Muslims cannot help but perceive that the Muslim heartland and Muslims are under attack and under siege, that Muslim property, resources and land are being laid to waste and/or confiscated, that Muslims are paying a heavy price with their lives , and naturally there arises a response of "an eye for an eye". But this will not work because the scale is tipped to the other side. Neither should Muslims "turn the other cheek" - not when justice and human lives are at stake.

Other than the physical assaults, Islam and Muslims are subjected to all manners of humiliation and insults, from videos, cartoons, movies and novels. There is a kind of feeding frenzy to demoralise Islam, ranging from a bottom feeder like Geert Wilder and his Jihad video to a top feeder like Pope Benedict XVI who, in 2006 gave a lecture on how Christianity is based on reason while Islam is spread by the sword. Anyone can select any bits of any text to suit a particular agenda So, what is a Muslim to do? The Pope quoted the words of an Emperor of the Eastern Church. The Muslim will have to read about that period of Christian history and the context of the accusation. So Islam is based on blood and violence - so read about the Christian Crusades, how the Ottomans treated their Christian and Jewish minorities, read about Catholic Spain and the treatment of Muslims and Jews after the Reconquest by Ferdinand and Isabella - read about the genocide of the indigenous people of North and South America, of Australia and Africa at the hands of the Church and the Colonial powers, - read about European slavery of the Africans and compare it to Muslim slavery. Read about the historical background of the Holocaust and its Christian antecedents. Read about the torture, rendition, imprisonment without trial, of Guantanamo prison and other crimes committed under the umbrella of the War on Terror.

So, read. And if you read enough, you will realise that whenever an atrocity is committed by the Judaeo-Christian world it will always be interpreted as an aberration, a one-off madness like the Holocaust. Steve Bell gives a cutting picture to the Abu Ghraib disgrace.
Or if there's any direct link to Christianity - it will be claimed that it's a cultist fringe group, it's not mainstream like the brutal Christian terrorist organisation, The Lord's Army in Uganda. The blood orgy in Rwanda is regarded as a tribal conflict, - no connection with the Protestant and Catholic divide; like the "sectarian "war in Northern Ireland.

But no such caveats are allowed where Muslim reactions and retaliations are concerned. "It's their religion, you see, it's all in the Koran!".. But read and study the Bible. (In fact Muslim countries should set up Departments of Judaeo-Christian studies in their Universities like they have on Islamic Studies in Western Universities.) It is also ridden with bloodiness. Take this from Deuteronomy 7 and 20 relating to the return to the Promise Land for the Chosen People.

When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods.........In the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them.

Can you see the frightening near realisation of that instruction in the Occupied Territories of Gaza and the West Bank?
Why do they hate us? It's not just because of land and oil. The politics of imperialism cannot be separated from religion. We are often accused that we are not democratically inclined because Islam does not allow for the separation of religion and politics. It will take another lecture to explore this fallacy. However on 6 Feb 2009, Mr Blair , an Anglican recently turned Catholic was invited to lead the 'prestigious US National Prayer Breakfast' where he proclaimed that religion should be given its 'rightful place as a guide to our world'. He said to President Obama "It is fitting at this extraordinary moment in your country's history that we hear that call to action; and we pray that in acting we do God's work and follow God's will."
HALLELUJAH say I. Onward Christian soldier!!!
But which God is Blair thinking of? Now that the Catholics are claiming the Aramaic word Allah for God does that mean that Islam can join the Club? Years ago, I read a book by an American Black Christian titled "Your God is too White", about how blacks were not welcomed in the White Man's Church. Under those circumstances we will certainly be shown the door as well. Technically they can claim the word Allah, though that will seem like the last nail in our coffin - the last imperialist act - to co-opt and colonise a potent signature
of Islam.

Now hold on. Don't start foaming at the mouth. You see, they have studied us SO WELL and they know how to put the knife in, like Salman Rushdie and his Satanic Verses, - without breaking the rules. If we respond with shouts and slogans and censorship we are only doing damage to ourselves. We have to resort to a long-term and dignified riposte. If our faith is strong - no amount of scorn and attacks should dent our belief. Our God and our Prophet and our Religion do not need explanation and cossetting. They stand on their own, inviolate and intact.

Not too long ago our grandparents did not want us to go to English schools because we might become Christians. They have a point because in those days most English schools were Mission schools and one of their objectives is to attract you to their 'cause'.
Today we have to draw out the maturity and temerity to study the history, the culture and the ways of the Judaeo-Christian ethos, not for the purpose of imitation and assimilation, but to learn how to manage and deal with their hidden and explicit agenda and manipulations ; a game of tit for tat. We want peace and we want justice. Peace will not come from inserting flowers in the barrels of the invaders' guns. Justice will be denied us if we do not learn how to look at them in the eyes and let them know we mean business and we know what their game is. It's a tall and long order I know. We cannot go on with our home-made bombs and human bombs. Too many mothers have cried too much tears.
We need to take a deep breath, to clean up our stables so to speak, roll up our sleeves, put on our thinking caps and keep our house in order. We are not to be westernized or arabized. Our Islam is not just for our personal salvation and redemption but for caring and educating our brethren. We declare our modesty not only in terms of our physical attire but also in our manners and our consumption. We have a real battle on our hands, to be fought with our heads and our spirits because -

The enemy increaseth every day; We, at the height, are readyto decline. There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, And we must take the current when it serves, Or lose our ventures.

William Shakespeare : Julius Caesar

You, the young ones are now holding the tiller and you are responsible for guiding your children, your people and their ship on that difficult voyage.

Phew!!! That's all. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the test will be postponed indefinitely.


Anonymous said...

dear nor

your lesson , is not only for your nephews and nieces' age-group-- but a lesson for our peer as well.

But seriously, how many of our youngster really know, or worse still, care about the hidden agendas. It IS frightening !

Can i quote you '
". There is a kind of feeding frenzy to demoralise Islam, ranging from a bottom feeder like Geert Wilder and his Jihad video to a top feeder like Pope Benedict XVI who, in 2006 gave a lecture on how Christianity is based on reason while Islam is spread by the sword'
The IS a lot of this crap happening, without us realising it - especially the youngsters.

Sometimes I dont know whether to fear 'them' or our own younsters !

To you youngsters out there -- prove me wrong. Show me !

anak si-hamid said...

I feel the same too about our generation's culpability and even more so of the next generation who have been granted an expensive education, paid for by the rakyat, but the returns are sad and abysmal. I guess Abah must feel the same about our generation.
Perhaps in another 100 years???

Nukilan ida said...

mmm..i hope i will not be that kind of generations..
Im also very sad looking at the teenagers nowadays..

Anonymous said...

Hi Mak Ngah,
I think I'll need a couple more days to digest everything. Eye opening...really.
Quite surprise none of the said parties want to dispel your statement.

Last but not least.......HAPPY 65th BIRTHDAY!!!