Friday, April 04, 2008


Freedom of expression. Pure and simple. Is that too hard?

What are we talking about here? The freedom for some sharia lawyers and judges to express their thoughts and ideas for their faith and their reason of existence, such as punishment for non-Muslims caught for close proximity or khalwat with Muslims.

Of course, it is a foolish idea what more when proposed on April 1. First, the very idea is against any societal norms and what more, against the some 690-times-amended Federal Constitution.

But what do they and we Malaysians get? We get this riposte from an apparently learned man. He ripped apart the idea and connected it to other concepts such as Islam Hadhari and the now much-beleaguered UMNO.

See, the sharia lawyers and judges live in their own perfect world and think it is unfair that only Muslims get punished but the others don't. Of course, they don't think it is unfair that only Bumiputeras get seven percent discount on house prices, easier access for education, etc!

And they don't get it that being Muslims in Malaysia is an oppression with such repressive laws that prevent close proximity, drinking alcohol, gambling etc. They don't see the need for such freedoms because they don't think Muslims in Malaysia can take freedom responsibly.

We don't blame them.

Let them access to the Internet and they dip their keys and mice into vitriol and venom and let fly with allegations, innuendos, lies and whatever filth they can get their mind to spin.

Let them access to cars and motorcycles and they race to oblivion.

Freedom. Not an easy thing to have or use.

Even Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders is at a loss with freedom, using it to foment discord towards Islam.

Of course, thousands of Muslims worldwide have used their freedom to castigate Wilders and boycott Dutch-made goods, just as Dr Farish Noor uses the same freedom to criticise sharia judges/UMNO.

Freedom. We all can have and use it. Responsibly.

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