Thursday, September 24, 2009

I have commented quite harshly on a article written in Nut Graph. I have two rebuttals which I am happy of. They, as usual, I regard as Islamist Apologist. They can't bring themselves to critisize Muslims action base on their believe of what religion has told them to do. They think these actions by Muslims do not represent all but a minority. They are lying to themselves.

They gave example about how Muslims treat the other religious faith like Christians and Jews forgetting these religion are regarded as having the same roots and are like brothers in faith. All of them are regarded as "Ugama Samawi" or Semitic religion. They share the same father Abraham despite having different mother, Hagar and Sarah.

Other religions than above mention, suffer a great deal under Muslim rule. They were not given protection due to them as the "Samawi" group. Their temples were destroyed and plundered.

In linguistics and ethnology, Semitic (from the Biblical "Shem", Hebrew: שם, translated as "name", Arabic: ساميّ) was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages. This family includes the ancient and modern forms of Akkadian, Amharic, Arabic, Aramaic, Ge'ez, Hebrew, Maltese, Phoenician, Tigre and Tigrinya among others. The word "Semitic" is an adjective derived from Shem, one of the three sons of Noah in the Bible (Genesis 5.32, 6.10, 10.21), or more precisely from the Greek derivative of that name, namely Σημ (Sēm); the noun form referring to a person is Semite.


In a religious context, the term Semitic can refer to the religions associated with the speakers of these languages: thus Judaism, Christianity and Islam are often described as "Semitic religions", though the term Abrahamic religions is more commonly used today. A truly comprehensive account of "Semitic" religions would include the Ancient Semitic religions (such as the religions of Adad, Hadad) that flourished in the Middle East before the Abrahamic religions.

In the name of the religion Islam many were done that was cruel. We cannot deny the Taliban who destroy the Statue of Buddha at Bimiyan Afghanistan. It was historical sight formerly a religious one but Taliban decided to destroy it in the name of religion.

Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamyan Valley*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

Afghanistan Statua di Budda 1.jpg
Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamyan Valley*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

Afghanistan Statua di Budda 1.jpg
One of the two buddhas of Bamyan in 1976
State Party Afghanistan
Type Cultural
Criteria i, ii, iii, iv, v.
Reference 208
Region** Asia-Pacific
Inscription history
Inscription 2003 (Twenty seventh Session)
Endangered 2003-
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by U

During the conquest of Persia in the 7th Century, Zoaraster religion was regarded as dhimmis although much disputed, thus they pay jizyah and their temple we protected. This was in the beginning later they would be hounded. We can see now how Qadiani is hounded in Indonesia and Malaysia although muted. All this is done in the name of religion.

There were also practical considerations: "because of their sheer numbers, the conquered Zoroastrians had to be treated as dhimmis (despite doubts [of the validity of this identification] that persisted down the centuries),"[6] which made them eligible for protection. Thus, in the main, once the conquest was over (with its concordant slaughter, enslavement, looting and destruction) "local terms were agreed on", and the Arab governors protected the local populations in exchange for tribute.[6] The Arabs adopted the Sassanid tax-system, both the land-tax levied on land owners and the poll-tax levied on individuals.[6] The Arabs called this poll-tax jizya, which Muslims were immediately exempted from, and so eventually came to be understood as a tax levied only on non-Muslims (i.e. the dhimmis). In time this poll-tax came to be used as a means to humble the non-Muslims, and a number of laws and restrictions evolved to emphasize the inferior status of them.

And although the Abbasids were deadly foes of Zoroastrianism,two decrees in particular encouraged the transition to a preponderantly Islamic society. The first edict, adapted from a Arsacid and Sassanid one (but in those to the advantage of Zoroastrians), was that only a Muslim could own Muslim slaves or
indentured servants. Thus, a bonded individual owned by a Zoroastrian could automatically become a freeman by converting to Islam. The other edict was that if one male member of a Zoroastrian family were to convert to Islam, he would instantly inherit all its property.

Under Abbasid rule, Muslim Iranians (who by then were in the majority) increasingly found ways to taunt Zoroastrians, and distressing them became a popular sport. For example, in the 9th century, a deeply venerated cypress tree in Khorasan (which Parthian-era legend supposed had been planted by Zoroaster himself) was felled for the construction of a palace in Baghdad, 2000 miles away. In the 10th century, on the day that a tower of silence had been completed at much trouble and expense, a Muslim official contrived to get up onto it, and to call the adhan (the Muslim call to prayer) from its walls. This was made a pretext to annex the building.[13] Another popular means to distress Zoroastrians was to maltreat dogs, these animals being sacred in Zoroastrianism. Such baiting, which was to continue down the centuries, was indulged in by all; not only by high officials, but by the general uneducated population as well.

To me the Muslims must take stock of what they have done and not to repeat the same mistake which they wont to do. If the Muslims are not willing to face facts then they will always be buoyed by fantasies and alternate truth which do disservice to them. This is the rut that plague the Muslim ummah. We hate to look at ourselves to find the fault, we blame others but it is us that is doing the disservice to our religion. Please take note Kaabah was once destroyed and if I am not mistaken it was Abi Talib who found the ruins and rebuilt it. Thus we can say that the kaabah that was first built by Abraham and Ismail has no idols, although proving this historical data is naught to impossible but a matter of faith and belief, but when it was rebuilt the kaabah has idols that we can safely deduce. So to Iqra who has belittle me please check your facts whether i am wrong or right.

According to Karen Armstrong, in her book Islam: A Short History, the Kaaba was dedicated to Hubal, a Nabatean deity, and contained 360 idols which either represented the days of the year,[15] or were effigies of the Arabian pantheon. Once a year, tribes from all around the Arabian peninsula, be they Christian or pagan, would converge on Mecca to perform the Hajj.

The Kaaba has been repaired and reconstructed many times since Muhammad's day.

Abd-Allah ibn al-Zubayr, an early Muslim who ruled Mecca for many years between the death of ʿAli and the consolidation of Ummayad power, is said to have demolished the old Kaaba and rebuilt it to include the hatīm, a semi-circular wall now outside the Kaaba. He did so on the basis of a tradition (found in several hadith collections[35]) that the hatīm was a remnant of the foundations of the Abrahamic Kaaba, and that Muhammad himself had wished to rebuild so as to include it.

Now read the article in full

No Islamic prohibition against temple

11 Sep 09 : 8.00AM

By Ding Jo-Ann
joannding@thenutgraph.comjoannding at thenutgraph dot com

PARTICIPANTS of the 28 Aug 2009 cow-head protest claim that a Hindu temple cannot be built in a Muslim-majority area as this would affect the way they function as Muslims. Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim was even labelled a "traitor to the Malay race and Islam" because of the state government's proposal to relocate the temple to Section 23 in Shah Alam.

The question that is yet to be answered, however, is whether it is actually un-Islamic for a temple, and by extension any other house of worship, to be built among Muslims.

Anwar Fazal
The Nut Graph interviewed by e-mail Penang-based Datuk Dr Anwar Fazal, chairperson of the Malaysian Interfaith Network (MIN), on whether Islam prohibits its ummah from living in close proximity with the houses of worship of other faiths.

MIN was set up in 2002 to promote dialogue between the different faith organisations in Malaysia and to foster better understanding of common concerns and values.

TNG: Some residents say that because of the Muslim-majority nature of their neighbourhood, the temple should not be relocated to their area. To the best of your knowledge, does Islam discourage Muslims to live in areas where there are places of worship of other faiths?

Anwar Fazal: There is nothing in the religion of Islam towards that effect. The greatness of Islam has been a glorious history of interfaith accommodation and models of living together in peace, harmony, compassion and justice. My hope and prayer is for Malaysia to continue as a beacon of that spirit.

Do you agree that since there is a Muslim majority in that area (Section 23, Shah Alam), then the temple should not be relocated there?

Certainly not.

As with any development, be it a supermarket, petrol station or religious institution, a careful, sensitive and systemic assessment of the environmental and social impact should be taken. Clear guidelines and processes are needed as set out in Local Agenda 21 (which focuses on achieving balanced and sustainable development). We also need constructive methods for listening to and addressing contentious issues, with avenues for fair adjudication and resolution in the event of differing views and interests.

There should be zero tolerance for slurs, bigotry and racism. Also, civility should be the norm, and gangsterism and thuggish behaviour frowned upon!

Personally, as a Muslim, would you be offended if a temple or church was built in your area of residence?

Certainly not. Where I live, there is a church, Buddhist temple and Hindu temple within a 400m radius.

Throughout the year, Chinese festivals are held with the usual stage performances, music and songs. Everyone also hears the beautiful breeze-like azan, five times a day from one, and sometimes, two mosques. Sometimes, we can hear the morning siren call when parades are held at a government establishment nearby.

The beautiful intermingling of the diverse sounds of community life makes for such a beautiful reminder of what make this place on earth so special.

The Street of Harmony in Penang has a church, Buddhist temple, Indian Muslim mosque, Malay mosque and Hindu temple all in the same place. As a resident of Penang, have there been any problems with all these different places of worship being so close together?

I have never encountered any such problems. I grew up in that very area; we had a family business there. We used to play in the courtyard of the Teo Chew clan house, which has a whole row of Muslim Endowment Board Flats overlooking it.

The area has been given the rare distinction of being a Unesco world heritage site for its intercultural and multicultural character. It is a beacon of universal values that Islam and all the religions in this country can be proud of.

In fact, I had the pleasure of taking the former President of India, Dr APJ Kalam, a Muslim and world-renowned scientist, to visit the Street of Harmony. Dr Kalam told the people that this was a wonderful place where there is unity of hearts and minds, and a "school of learning" for the whole world. He visited every major religious institution there and made a speech on peace and compassion at each of them.

He also shared the St Francis of Assisi prayer for peace when he visited St George's Church.

Sri Mariammann Temple, Guan Imm Teng and Acheen Street mosque in Penang
(Pics courtesy of IGeorgetown Penang)

What role can the Malaysian Interfaith Network play in this situation? What needs to happen before a workable solution can be reached?

The Malaysian Interfaith Network is working to build understanding and trust in a small way, hoping to inspire more beacons of hope, compassion and universal values in a world that is so wrecked by violence, hate, bigotry and racism.

We hope more and more people will set up like-minded goodwill groups to promote universal values particularly, the Golden Rule — "Treat others as you would like to be treated". We need to be more proactive about this if we are to have a happy and just future.

Ultimately, however, there must be clear and strong leadership to set up constructive mechanisms for dialogue, reconciliation and resolution. The issues and tensions on inter-religious issues have dragged on for too long. This perhaps emboldens the ignorant, the vicious and the violent.

Our hope is that the new leadership and the "1Malaysia" spirit can take a strong quantum leap forward and that the institution of royalty, which serves as our symbol of national unity, can be assertive about this dire need.

What steps should be taken by Muslims who may not agree with the actions of the cow-head protesters to make their views known?

Speak out at every opportunity that slurring, condemning and insulting other religions and animals is not in accordance with the true teachings of Islam.

And don't forget to vote for those who truly support the tenets of peace, justice and compassion, which are the core of the Islamic faith.

Upholding what is sacred in Islam

11 Sep 09 : 8.00AM

By Hadil El-Khouly
editor@thenutgraph.comeditor at thenutgraph dot com

A real dialogue (All pics courtesy of Mas Hamzah)

AS a Muslim foreigner coming to Malaysia from the Arab world, I was filled with curiosity and excitement at the chance to witness Islam in a country like Malaysia which we look up to as a developed, thriving Muslim country rich in cultural and religious diversity.

Since arriving, I have also had the privilege of befriending Malay, Chinese and Indian Malaysians, which have made my experience here not only deeper and richer but also more realistic.

One day during this month of Ramadan, my Indian Malaysian housemate invited me to join a dinner gathering at her friend's house so I would not have to break fast alone. It was then that I first heard about the 28 Aug 2009 cow-head protest against the Hindu temple relocation in Shah Alam. The incident had happened a day earlier.

I was shocked and horrified, and felt a mixture of deep sadness and fear. Fear for where this incident could lead Malaysia, because of the actions of a few irresponsible people who have no religion and know no God. An Arab sage once said, "The greatest of fires are started by the smallest of sparks."

But a Chinese proverb also says the best way to fight darkness is to light one candle. And it was clear to me from that dinner gathering that Malaysians know how to extinguish a fire before it can even start. It was obvious to everyone who was sitting there that the protest was politically fuelled and spoke in no way of tensions between the Hindu and Muslim community in Malaysia.

Lighting candles

Immediately, I saw so many candles lighting up, stories of mosques, churches and temples standing together side-by-side in Penang, stories of compassion and tolerance in places like Terengganu. (An Indian Malaysian Christian friend told me the Muslims and non-Muslims there were so close she could even read the Qur'an.)

But the biggest candle that lit up during the dinner was the idea from our friend Ambiga about Muslims going to the Hindu temple in Section 19, Shah Alam that was to be relocated. The visit would be to show solidarity with the community, and disapproval of the cow-head protest. I looked at my housemate and said: "Let's do it!"

And indeed, with the help of my two Muslim friends, Mas and Nazreen, we gathered a group of 25 people and went down to the temple in Shah Alam on Friday, 4 Sept 2009, to meet the temple people. We greeted them with flowers and fruits, and they received us with appreciation and gratitude, and welcomed us in even while their prayers were being held.

Muslim offerings of peace

Sitting down with them at the more-than-a-century-old temple, they gave us background information about the temple's problems, and the issue of relocation which has been unresolved for two decades now. The current temple needed renovations, which they were not allowed to carry out without a police permit, they said. They also needed a police permit for their special prayers if that drew a larger than usual crowd, they told us.

The temple committee said they were open to the idea of relocation as long as it was in a suitable place for their prayers. But for too long, the plans for relocation kept getting postponed.

A large area beside the temple was also fenced off. When we asked the temple people about it, they said: "The area now fenced in used to be an open space where devotees could park their cars when they come for prayers. In December last year, Pewaris came and fenced off the open space, so that devotees now have no place to park."

Our group spent time asking questions and discussing the situation, hoping that the meeting with the state executive council the following day would reach a satisfying solution over the temple's relocation.

Upholding Islam

While we were at the temple, we realised that the harm had already been done on the national level, and our small action of solidarity was merely healing the wound on a personal level. But what united all of us in this gathering was our deep conviction that the cow-head protest does not represent Malaysia or Islam. Even though only a small number of us visited the temple, we know that the protest has caused outrage among many Muslims and non-Muslims all over the country.

It was clear to the temple people and to many of us that the reasons for protesting the temple relocation were "manufactured". In many places all over Malaysia, temples, churches and mosques exist together in the same area, and no one complains about "the noise".

That these protests were politically orchestrated also crossed my mind the next day when I watched the video of the unfortunate council meeting held on 5 Sept 2009. What looked like the same protesters hijacked the meeting. They looked like gangsters running around the hall hysterically, trying to disrupt the meeting in any way, while the residents sat through the melee calmly. It reminded me of how some governments in the Arab world used to pay gangsters to violently disrupt peaceful demonstrations, keeping away while others did their dirty work.

When we went to the temple our messages were very clear: we refuse political games in the name of Islam. And we refuse to be associated with the actions of a few who acted so disgracefully, and yet had no shame in chanting Allah's name during their protest.


For so many years, politically motivated groups have worked so hard to taint, put down, fight and step on whatever is sacred and holy to us, and then blame it on Islam and Muslims to divide communities and people. We can no longer afford to allow them to imprison us with feelings of shame for actions they are responsible for, leaving us frustrated trying to defend that which is not Islam. It is time for every Muslim to really act on what Islam is and what it means to him or her.

And that is exactly what this small action of solidarity symbolised to me — an acting out of compassion and respect for others. I'm not an expert in the Quran nor a religious scholar, but I have a personal understanding of the spirit of Islam, which is supposed to guide us all in our actions.

Interestingly, it wasn't until the night of the temple visit that I came across this verse in the Quran by chance. It is a verse that rejects the abuse or humiliation of others:

Allah says what can be translated as, "And do not abuse the ones whom they worship apart from Allah, (or) then they would abuse Allah aggressively without knowledge ...." (Surah 6 Al-An'am: 108)

I urge all Muslims and Malaysians to rely on this inner guidance and not allow the ignorance of a few and their own selfish goals to succeed in making us shut down our minds and hearts. Our only way out is to uphold and protect what is sacred to us. favicon

My Comment unedited and edited

I have to dispute what Dato Anwar says although churches and synagogues are spared when islam spread it can't be said for other religion. For eg Zoarester religion or the religion of the old persia, temples were destroyed. Although the Zoaraster religion was among the first monotheist religion in the world it was not regarded so by muslims. In fact their priest and many of the followers have to migrate to India and now their base is Bombay.The Muslim call them fire worshipper or 'Majusi'

They are two types of kafir during Islamic period one is dhimmi and harbi. One pay poll taxes and their churches and synagogues are protected the other are regarded as servants as slaves to the masters.

Even during Mohammad s.a.w conquest of mecca he destroy all the idols in the kaabah thus killing off the religion of idol worshipers. But as I said although I believe Islam would respect other believes but history shows otherwise. So base on history the action of the cow head demonstrators were correct although to me they did wrong but I can't find historical evidence to support my believe but I can find collaborating evidence during Islam rule to support those hooligans!

About temple and churches and mosques eg in Jalan Harmony Melaka, it was built during the time of the British, for me as the Malays are now "very clever with many having PHD's" the malays then must be daft and stupid not like now. But then who is daft and stupid.I wonder? My regards to Dato Anwar my senior in School

wan zaharizan Posted: 11 Sep 09 : 12.09PM

I have to dispute what Datuk Anwar says. Although churches and synagogues are spared when Islam spreads, it can't be said for other religions. For e.g. Zoroaster religion or the religion of old Persia, temples were destroyed. Although the Zoroaster religion was among the first monotheist religions in the world, it was not regarded so by Muslims. In fact, their priest and many of the followers had to migrate to India and now their base is Bombay.The Muslims call them fire worshippers or "Majusi".

They are two types of kafir during the Islamic period: one is dhimmi and the other is harbi. One pays poll taxes and their churches and synagogues are protected and the other is regarded as servants or slaves to their masters.

Even during Mohammad's conquest of Mecca, he destroyed all the idols in the kaabah thus killing off the religion of idol worshipers. But as I said, although I believe Islam would respect other beliefs but history shows otherwise.

So based on history, the action of the cow-head demonstrators was correct although to me, they did wrong. But I can't find historical evidence to support my belief but I can find corroborating evidence during Islamic rule to support those hooligans!

About temple and churches and mosques e.g. in Jalan Harmony Melaka, it was built during the time of the British. [....]

fiqa' Posted: 11 Sep 09 : 8.36PM

re: Wan Zaharizan comment.

Your examples are totally misleading in the Malaysian context. First of all you have to realize that the actions against followers of Zoroaster are not based on Islam, it was a political decision. Also, most buildings in Penang, not just the temples and mosques in Harmony Street were built during British time.

The idols in Kaabah were destroyed after Mecca was captured by the Muslims led by Prophet Mohamad PBUH, and the idols were not there in the first place, when it was built by Ibrahim and his son Ismail.

Saying that it's correct to drag a cow head when there was no precedent is nonsensical and I urge you not to make sweeping generalization about Islam when you're not knowledgeable.

temple worshipper Posted: 14 Sep 09 : 7.06AM

wan zaharizan,

Do you honestly believe that were Mecca taken by blunt force alone, the religion of Muhammad would still stand where it is now? Wouldn't it seem more likely that there was widespread support among the Meccans (especially among the underclasses, persuaded as they were by the ideals of the prophet) that an overhaul renovation was needed? Islam brings a sword, but weapons alone are not all that it brings.

You can see this recurrent pattern of "upgrading" throughout many, if not most, of the ancient masjid. Mecca is the most egregious; after Medina, the 3rd holiest site, namely Al-Aqsa, is also where the Judaic Temple Mount once stood. The history of Qutb Minar in Delhi is well-known, and so is the Qazvin mosque in Iran, the latter a rededication of a Zoroastrian fire temple. The fourth holiest site, the Damascene Masjid Umayyad, was once the church of St John (the decapitated baptist), and before that a temple of Jupiter, and before that a temple of Hadad.

Here in Malaysia, we know far too well what happens to non-Muslim temples, especially Hindu shrines. Many of them get demolished for highways, which in a sense, really forms our places of worship, cars being the new sacred cows.

If anything, history shows that the best-remembered rulers have magnanimously demonstrated concern for the spiritual welfare of their peoples. Have the cow-head demonstrators shown any such kindness to their fellow Hindus? How then can you say the cow-heads have been proven correct by history? With such vulgarity and lack of good sense, do you think that Islam would have taken root among your ancestors in this part of the world? What does this say about the future religious orientation of the children of the perpetrators and those who tacitly condone such kejahilan? And so (playing the game we're so fond of) who do you want to blame for that?

You decide who is right and who is wrong!

This is an Addendum which appears in (Sunday)Star Mag today 27 Sept 2009. A snippet of the interview between a reporter and Datuk Shafie Abdullah, a prominent lawyer of our country. Please take note of the case


Q: What was the first case that made people sit up and take notice of you?

A: There was the Kerling case where eight young Indian men were guarding their temple when five Muslim extremists came in to desecrate the temple. The police had alerted the Indian community to take care of their temples as there were extremists going from temple to temple to desecrate them. O

ne of the Muslim extremists included a boy by the name of Zuber who was from the Malay College and was a brilliant medical student in Australia and always scoring straight ‘As.’ The Indian boys when guarding the temple noticed the gate being opened and a car coming in.

If they had just proceeded to arrest them, accost them or beaten them to execute the arrest, that would have been fine but they went overboard. It was just chop, chop, chop.

The Malay boys were virtually mutilated - some on the ground, many trapped in the car. Some had their eyes gouged out and some were cut until their entire scalp jutted out. Four died and Zuber survived because he pretended to be dead and he became the sole witness.

The five boys had managed to smash the nine guarding gods in the temple ground and not in the temple when they were confronted in the ground.

I was a deputy public prosecutor then and the whole country took notice of this case and it was reported daily. The maximum sentence for desecration of temple was two years. I prosecuted Zuber first and upon my confrontation with him, he pleaded guilty and he was sentenced to one year.

For the eight Indians, the maximum possible sentence was 20 years and after discussing it with the AG and the head of crime, I offered them a one-year jail sentence as well if they pleaded guilty because it was a sensitive case.

They had wanted to accepted it but their counsel advised them against it and the case went on for one-and-a half years and they were all convicted - the older one for eight years and others for four years. The cases went all the way to the Federal Court for appeal but the convictions were upheld.



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