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Double standards in defending religion

Beh Sai Kong

Malaysia Kini (02/13/06)

To read the full story, click here: Double standards in defending religion

Salbiah Ahmad’s “Mob violence: Not in our name, please” is a most important contribution to the on-going reactions worldwide to the Danish cartoon issue. The fact that the publication date was Sept 30, 2005 is not common knowledge. To think that it could invoke such violent protests a full four months after the event is a very sobering thought indeed for people of goodwill everywhere.

As a Christian Malaysian, I do not condone ridiculing of sacred values regardless of which religion may have been targeted. From that perspective, the Danish cartoon issue is reprehensible and much more care could have been taken before the decision to publish given the present schism between the Western and the Muslim world.

At the same time, I do understand that behind the art of carricature there can be legitimate social comments and if taken in more sober spirit they may contain very important lessons for all. Of course we must all also bear in mind that not all people have the same threshold for critical comment or humour.

Be that as it may, certain developments in Malaysia of late are giving people of goodwill serious cause for concern. Over the M Moorthy conversion issue, among other things, we saw the coming together of otherwise arch enemies Umno and PAS. Both reacted sharply to the memorandum submitted by the nine cabinet ministers.

From a democratic standpoint, I do not have problems with that. Every Malaysian should have the right to express their true feelings although of course a more circumspect manner of doing so would have been better for social relations purposes. What I do take exception to is the fact that it is all too one-sided and double standards are so blatantly adopted in such matters in Malaysia .

To read the full story, click here: Double standards in defending religion