Mariam Mokhtar: Insult, intolerance, insensitivity & idiocy – A study of JAKIM, a billion ringgit taxpayer funded organisation which excels in wasting the rakyat’s money…


Rebuilding Malaysia

Rebuilding Malaysia

Mariam Mokhtar

Insult, intolerance, insensitivity & idiocy: A study of JAKIM, a billion ringgit taxpayer funded organisation which excels in wasting the rakyat’s money.

If one man’s rubbish is another’s treasure, then in racially charged Malaysia, one person’s comment is often an insult.

Recently, JAKIM said that it would monitor social media for insults to Islam and to prophet Mohamad.

Is it an insult to suggest that a billion ringgit taxpayer funded organisation, could make better use of the rakyat’s money, instead of paying men in robes to monitor cyberspace for real or perceived insults?

The money could have paid for increased public awareness, for needy people like the woman who was divorced, then sacked by her firm. If she had known zakat funds were available, she and her six children could have avoided living in a car for four months.

We criticise former PMs who swear on the Koran, in a mosque, to “prove their innocence”. Isn’t it an insult to make a circus of the holy book?

Isn’t it an insult when corrupt leaders hijack Islam to manipulate Muslims?

When Malaysians speak out against child brides, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or polygamy, they are not criticising Islam, but urge the reform of some practices, for living in 21st Century Malaysia.

Children have rights. Women are not breeding machines and FGM has no health benefits but are accompanied by long lasting physical, psychological scars and sometimes, death. After divorce, many Malay husbands fail to provide for their children. Is it an insult to criticise the manner in which Islam is interpreted and practised in Malaysia?

Few including non-Muslims, are against the sacrificial slaughter of animals (korban) to mark Hari Raya Haji. However, many people, including Muslims object to the slaughter in unhygienic conditions, especially in schools. Can’t we be sensitive to the children of other faiths. It is traumatic watching live animals being slaughtered. So, is it an insult to criticise Muslim insensitivity?

When Malaysians complain about the frequency and loudness of the daily prayer broadcasts, some Malays accuse the non-Malay of insulting Islam. This is not an insult. This is noise pollution.

Malaysians have no issue with the azan call to prayer, but they are against the use of powerful loudspeakers and the extended broadcasts which continue for several hours. Some start in the early hours of the morning, whilst others extend late into the night.

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