Micah Saturday: Before the Chinese New Year

Below are the latest articles posted on the Micah Mandate.  Comments are welcome.  The Founders had a good meeting this morning with our webmaster.  Looks like we are moving forward with greater clarity and focus.  Many thanks to all who have been supporting us.

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Just as we are getting ready to usher in the Year of The Ox, China’s netizens seem to be inflicted with the mad cow disease. The apperance of revealing pictures of China’s movie star, Zhang Ziyi, and her billionaire fiance, Vivi Nevo, frolicking on a private beach in the Carribean provoked strong online reactions.

This coincided with the announcement by the China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center of a list of websites which contain “large amounts of low and vulgar content that violates social morality and damages the physical and mental health of youths.”

While the 29-year old actress of international fame has her loyal fans defending her, many more grilled her mercilessly for her “shameless act” and even calling her a prostitute and for bringing dishonour to the Chinese face.

Four things come to my mind as I watch the charade unfold itself – hyprocrisy, gender-bias, self-righteousness and racism.

There’s been some allusions and not so subtle hints from some of my Christian friends that by virtue of our vocal support for the end of the current violence in the Gaza strip as well as advocacy for peace in the Middle East, we have somehow:

  1. Been subsumed by the mainstream anti-semitism of Malaysian society, or
  2. We stand in danger of opposing God’s will, or
  3. All of the above (plus a few more)

My question would be .. at least to allegation #1 ..

How then do we start engaging and challenging some of the anti-semitic stereotypes if we choose to continue hiding in our ghettoes and pretending that people are not dying needlessly in the region?

The Palestinian tragedy encompasses tragedies of various categories and combinations.

First and foremost, the current situation in Palestine is a humanitarian tragedy with many lives lost and families separated and properties damaged and serious threats of fearful diseases. The Gaza strip is experiencing a colossal complex humanitarian emergency which requires immediate and continuing large-scale humanitarian response. Such a humanitarian response should and must be supported by all regardless of ethnic, religious or political persuasions. Humanitarian response supersedes any and every loyalty we human beings may have. There are many Christians in Palestine. But I would have responded (in speech and deed) even if there were only Muslims in Palestine. Regardless of ethnic origin, religious creed or nationality, as human beings we must respond to the sufferings of other human beings.

An interesting email came today which mentioned the few Christian voices in Malaysia who comes across as “against Israel”. So, I thought for the record I should state that in times of crisis showing preference in solidarity for one group of people who is under going unimaginable humanitarian crisis is not prejudice against another group who have their own share of pain and suffering in history. In this case it would be the Palestinians and Israelis. As far as I am concerned I grieve with every parent who has lost their child, every child who has lost their parents, all who have suffer loss in anyway.

Permission was granted to share the conversations in the email on this blog. I have decided to allow the conversations to take centre stage. I guess what’s important is what are the issues raised in these email conversations and also how the three Christians are working through this controversy. So with some minor editing, let’s start.

In its running battle with the authorities over the usage of the word Allah in its Herald, The Catholic Weekly, the Catholic Church has decided to go ahead to continue to use the word despite a prohibition imposed by the authorities.

Let us pray earnestly for the new president of the United States and for the leaders of all the nations, that they may display God’s righteousness, justice, love and faithfulness.

With the economic downturn, it must be expected that there will be a dramatic increase in petty crimes. Our family have READ about such petty crimes and HEARD about them. But at 4pm on Monday, 12th January 2009, we EXPERIENCED one of them in our compound. A friend was visiting us and, at the same time, a man alighted from his motorbike. Our friend opened the gate and walked up our short driveway. The man followed her, but she was not alarmed, thinking that he was our gardener. Suddenly, he produced a chopper and demanded her handbag. She screamed and, fearing for her safety, she handed over her handbag. My wife and I were upstairs and before we could offer any help, the thief, whom we believe to be a Malaysian, escaped on his Honda Cub.

Last weekend, three incidents involving the Malay, Chinese and Indian communities caught my attention.

To both Israelis and Palestinians, the current conflict in Gaza has brought nothing but pain and suffering. It has also caused friction among some believers as they choose to pledge sole allegiance to their own people group. Some are even expressing an unabashed hatred for the other side through articles, e-mails and graphic content on Facebook.

The violent carnage cannot go on! The killing and injuring of innocent civilians in Gaza as well as and in Israel must stop.

Israeli airstrikes must end along with further threats of increased military action. Palestinian militant groups must also cease all current and future attacks on Israel. Violence only breeds more violence and impedes the path that leads to lasting peace.

The “right to self defense” can never be an excuse to inflict violence and wanton destruction to civilian communities. It is morally unjustifiable and it is against international law.

About Sivin Kit

man of one wife, father of four kids
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