MY VOICE MATTERS – I have been trying to refrain from saying anything about this guy simply because I felt that he and his bigoted religious propaganda is worthless and does not deserve me investing my emotions or even my social media space for that matter but off late I have been seeing way too many of memes, social media postings etc. featuring excerpts of his statements that are clearly seditious in nature but what bothers me the most that made me to write this is how he is being “managed” by the people of this country and by the government.
Before I start with what bothers me, let me introduce Dr. Zakir Naik through my eyes. I see him, his forums and his ever so famous speeches in the same light as I would see, say a supermarket- tabloid. It is sensational, dramatic and lurid and that is all there is to it. He and his “perspectives” are nothing more than junk, and I choose to react to him in the same way as I would react towards a tabloid.
I take a copy, I see the pictures glance through a couple of headlines, if I’m particularly touchy that day I may feel a slight irritation depending on what I read and then I shove it in (no, not there J) the nearest bin I could find. And I go on with my rather mundane life. Now, that said, not all is lunacy with him. I do personally find him to be an excellent orator. He is extremely eloquent and he speaks with such smoothness that he comes across as someone with extreme intelligence and rather convincing, so much so that you have one or maybe even two esteemed members of the audience, in almost all his forums, breaking into tears of enlightenment and decide in such excitement to embrace the only true religion that he so fondly propagates.
What marvel! I had my awe moments but only thing is I have watched his forums online and I have more questions than anything else, maybe I need to personally attend to get the vibe, to experience the big “C” you reckon?
Now, let us move on to the serious, more alarming part of this all. Most of us Malaysians would have by now known pretty much everything about Dr. Zakir Naik, his past and his “capabilities”. We also know that nothing about this guy screams good, positive or enriching. He is a wanted fugitive, he is a threat and he should not be allowed anywhere near our shores, technically. But here he is, with a Malaysian PR liberated enough to teach us, Malaysians including the government of the day on how to govern our country, what policies should be implemented and who should be political allies.
This itself I see as the ultimate rape of our sovereignty and he should be penalized in all law deemed fit for spewing statements that are in pure contradiction to the constitution that forms the back bone of our beloved nation. He is ripping the little that is left of the social and religious make up of this country into shreds in the name of religion and no one except for the handful of concern Malaysians on social media is doing or rather even saying anything against this atrocity. There has been so many uproars against him but yet it is going into deaf ears.
For some, he may not come across as dangerous maybe whatever that I have said above is nothing but a classic case of a mountain being made out of a molehill. After all I am not of the same faith as what he preaches and that reduces me to nothingness, maybe. Now, I have no complaints nor do I hold hatred towards those who maybe by now have already concluded a few “not so nice” things about me. Why? Because religion to me is a way of life. I choose my way of life for my betterment, for my emotional wellbeing and for a path for me to walk in. I do not profess a religion to be superior above anyone nor to be “god’s chosen people”.
I have not in my wildest imaginations, intended to own a ticket to heaven because I am more concerned about my days walking the earth beneath me in the best, most humane way possible than to worry about death and afterlife. My religion accepts each everyone as equal and that had made me to believe in every manifestation of god that there is today and when I say believe, I actually do.
My interpretation of the divine is not reduced to false messiahs like Dr. Z who blatantly promote hatred and bigotry. I can be of any religion but yet the fundamentals will remain the same across all, to love and care of fellow human beings. If your religion prohibits you from doing this, if your religion keeps emphasizing in creating sects of believers and non- believers with different set of outcomes than I’d say, it’s time for you to move on to another, after all we have way too many to choose from, don’t we?
Religious tolerance in general is facing severe beatings in recent times. We are being compelled into questioning our own stand when it comes to religious tolerance and acceptance by what we see and hear on a daily basis. We see a rise in tensions involving the different faiths and beliefs and often there is a lot of confusion between being religious and being an extremist. People like Dr. Z here is tirelessly upholding his faith not by being religious but by being an extremist , reducing all matter around him to a dust molecule.
The question, is he doing it because of his eternal love for his faith or is he doing it to help a “not so religious” someone get a couple of thousand popular votes come the elections? I say the plot thickens as we speak. I am pretty sure most of you have already analyzed the pattern and how it is being maneuvered but the disheartening part is that some among us are still gullible enough to fall prey for this age old tactic of using religion as a tool.
Let us all sit back and think if this is how we want Malaysia to be. Can we allow outsiders like Dr. Zakir Naik to tell us what to do with our country? Don’t we all share a distinct social and cultural make up that is uniquely ours? A historical make-up that transcends religion and race and only a Malaysian like you and me will understand. I say, having a PR status may make you a Malaysian on paper but it will never make you a Malaysian at heart.
Tania.R is a Malaysian Access reader. With a firm belief in freedom of writings, Malaysian Access tries its best to share suitable content from our readers. Articles written is strictly the writer’s personal opinion and it does not represent the views of Malaysian Access.