Random Links 122 (Special Focus on Malaysia)

While Malaysia fiddles, its opportunities are running dry
Sometimes when you are a way for so long (in my case 27days for others maybe 2.7 years or more … it depends), I found myself looking at my own country with fresh eyes. Apparently, Michael Backman is getting a lot of attention.

‘Amok’ Season Again: How We Perpetuate The Myths Of Empire
I overheard some of the concerns when I was in Germany, so now I’m catching up on the reading. There are also other articles I will be checking out in The Other Malaysia

A policy of basic respect
This lady makes so much sense with these words in the context of Malaysia, “Basic ground rules should be set and strictly adhered to. Statements that hint at compromising national unity in any way should be reprimanded. This should apply to all leaders in all public discussion, including parliamentary debates. Condemnatory insults of any race or religion should not be tolerated under any circumstance. In short, there should be conscious effort to move away from clamour and steadily towards rational dialogue.”

‘Choice a cornerstone of Islam’
I was surprised to read this considering our current climate where it could be deemed a little to religiously sensitive for such comments and yet, I appreciate us having the chance to openly and humbly discussing such matters with a healthy confidence in who we are and a generosity to listen to others who are different from us. …

“Azzam, the author of several books and a commentator on Al-Jazeera and the BBC, also said Muslims should not make such a big deal of those who chose to leave the religion.

“If submission to Allah involves free choice, then the same principle must apply if one wants to leave the faith,” he said.

He noted that the Quran did not stipulate any punishment for apostates at all, and the punishments spelt out by the hadiths had to be contextualised.

“In Islam’s formative years, going in and out of Islam was used to sabotage the community, and hence was viewed as treason.

“But if one leaves the religion out of free choice, let them become what they want.”

He said Muslims should be more confident. “Nothing will happen to Islam if people leave the religion.””

Life as a secret Christian convert
I found this piece giving me a glimpse from a secret Christian convert’s point of view. Especially the following … “”I feel that I am all alone in this struggle,” she says, “and I am frightened because I am alone against the odds.””

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