More on some Happenings

Following from my earlier post, consider the following:

From the pages of Malaysiakini.com:

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On Yoga

The National Fatwa Council will be issuing a ruling soon relating to yoga exercise, which is deemed to be deviationist in nature for the Muslims.

Yesterday, UKM lecturer Prof Zakaria Stapa advised Muslims who have taken up yoga – a widely popular exercise which has its roots to India and Hinduism – to stop practising it for fear that it could deviate them from their belief.

“If the Muslims want a healthy body, prayers are the right choice… why must we find alternate ways… a single mistake can deviate our teachings as yoga movements follow the style and tradition of Hinduism,” he was reported as saying.

On Tomboyism

Council chairperson Abdul Shukor had said that many young women admired the way men dress, behave and socialise, violating human nature and denying their feminity.

“It is unacceptable to see women who love the male lifestyle including dressing in the clothes men wear,” Abdul Shukor was quoted as saying.

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There will be a day when probably silat, Tai Chi and many other things may be banned too.

Sometimes I wonder how the brains of certain people are wired. It is really amazing how the whole thought process is done to reach such a conclusion. Isn’t this amazing?

Isolation, isolation, isolation.

Isolation, from many lessons in history, can only lead to the downfall and decline of civilisation.  Of course there are other reasons for the decline of civilisation but isolation is one of them.

The human race progress through exploration and embracing new thoughts and ideas and improving on such thoughts and ideas. Never has there been big progresses in human history that results from the isolation of a community/race. Take for example the Ming dynasty in China. China was once the greatest super power on earth but through a series of policies that is skewed towards isolation, the Chinese civiliation was surpassed and then later made slave. Isolation is a bad word.

Actually, there is no need to go and read history. Just contemplate and think from everyday living. From just thinking about it, we see a thousand reasons why isolation is bad. It creates just so much negative energy and perception.

It is human folly to isolate themselves thinking that by isolating, one preserves what is good and let the other people rot in hell. In fact, most of the religion has ideas along this line. But as human beings becomes more enlightened, we should have the wisdom to know that this human “instinct” that probably has roots in our caveman days is bad and should strive, as enlightened human beings with wisdom, to remove this “instinct” from our DNA and instead foster brotherhood, goodwill, open-mindedness, respect for each other’s way of life, all embracing, all good and well. Never should there be any ill feelings, prejudice. Never should one be racist.

It is a responsibility of us human beings as citizens of the world to strive hard for such a world so that our children, our children’s children etc. will live in an enlightened world.

Dogmatism, dogmatism, dogmatism.

A person should have a free mind and learn how to think for himself or herself. As adults or guardians, the responsibility is to teach people how to think correctly with guiding principles and not being dogmatic and force people to think in a certain way, to be thought police. In history, this is also apparent, where all efforts to be thought police failed miserably. Again, to use Chinese history, think of the Cultural Revolution during Mao’s era. It was a huge disaster! Never should people in positions of power force thoughts on other people. People should be free to choose for themselves and be responsible for their own actions. Guidance and teachings can be imprated and encouraged, but never forced.

No matter how good the intention to force a certain thought, eventually the whole exercise will turn bad and will eventually become an abuse of power. It is inevitable. We must teach our children how to think, not what to think. This is very important.

Come to think of it, it is not easy to live as an enlightened, responsible, sensible and reasonable person in this age of turbulence but it is our responsibility to ensure that the future of mankind is such, that we and our institutions are capable of producing human beings of quality, human beings that are not afraid to uphold justice, human beings that are not afraid to hold their heads high, believing in the best that is in us human beings and fighting for that freedom to be sensible and reasonable.

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8 Comments

Filed under Thoughts & Commentaries

8 responses to “More on some Happenings

  1. Malaysia is a laughing stock internationally — if not before, then now with these recent pronouncements. Okay, yes, they’re not made by the government. But, still… And it’s not like that there are other more important matters for people to be concerned about at the moment! :(

  2. LMK

    When I was young, I always thought the older generation were stuck with their dogmatic ideology and hopefully one day, in 20 years time when I grow up to be an adult, we will have more open minded people who are civilized enough to improve this world.

    Sad to say, as I’m growing older and older, I see certain community is growing backward, further and further away from the civilized and developed world. Certain segment of people wants to control others to live and suffer like themselves. And when they see others are enjoying life, jealousy grew in their eyes and destruction occurred in the name of religion.

    How I wish the world split into 2. Those who wants to live in suffering and supports dogmatic mentality, pls live over the other side. And those who wants improvement, open minded and be civilized, live far away from them so that we have nothing to do with them. Then the world will be in peace.

  3. Sigh, this is a by-product of our ex-Premier’s legacy. Unfortunately, like the old Malay proverb ‘Kerana nila setitik, rosak susu sebelanga’… it’s going to he way harder to reverse the prejudices inculcated now…

    Hopefully, things don’t go further downhill… Unfortunately, I think it will.

  4. I dont think you guys are being open minded yourselves. There are lots of religions and cultures, each with their own rules and restrictions. World and nation harmony is a goal, but asking people to compromise their faith cant be the means to achieve this.

    In Islam, faith comes first before economics, race relation etc. Islam is in favour of promoting economics and good race relation, but always duty to God being the first priority.

    By the way, there are strong elements of Hinduism in yoga, which contradict Islamic faith. Of course, these can be separated from physical yoga practice, which is why I personally dont see the need to ban yoga altogether. I hope the banning will not come, as it will affect Muslim yoga practitioners. Let these practitioners be aware of these elements which contradict Islam and decide for themselves how to carry on their yoga routine. But then, I am no scholar.

    There are many people in suffering, and for some, religion provides the comfort, knowing that world is temporary, and God is always with them.

    Good things like economics, peace, race relation will not come by people embracing common “open-minded” values, but by people cherishing differences between each of them.

  5. fallingstones

    i think the converging point here is mutual respects for each other’s way of life. there is really no need to use force per se or to be critical of other people’s way of life or beliefs.

    the thing i most fear and has always feared is how religious teachings are interpreted. be it in christianity, islam, buddhism, hinduism, etc. we have seen many times in history where people who has their own agenda abusing so called religious teachings for their own ends. i am not saying that this fatwa on yoga is one of that but pronouncements like this usually send some chills down my spine, although knowing full well that i may not know the full details or implications of it.

    cherishing difference between each other revolves around being open minded, without which there will be no cherishing. the world thrives on people being able to cherish the differences between each other and respect each other.

    believing in God and the afterworld, to me, is a personal thing and i don’t need people to force on me what to do or what not to do. i will listen, seek advice and clarification and will do as my wisdom and common sense see fit based on the explanation and reasons given, but surely i won’t appreciate it when people forces it on me as if i am too dumb to understand things and think for myself.

  6. i understand well about your fear of people manipulating religion. History has plenty accounts of that. Example is persuading people to topple government in the name of God, only to do worse when he is in power.

    yea, it’s irritating when people tell us what to do as if we are too dumb to think on our own.

    this similarly applies to this yoga thing, when people tell the Muslims,

    “stop forcing on your own people”
    “stop being so insecure”
    “be more open-minded”
    “come on, this is 21st century”
    “dont be so backward”

    as if Muslims are too dumb to think on their own.

  7. fallingstones

    for the purpose of this conversation on this topic, i for one don’t think that i am in a position to criticize what the muslim says regarding the yoga thing is right or wrong. every religion or communities have their own right to decide for themselves what is right and what is wrong and if people are willing to be part of this community, then all is well, so long that the practices and believes stay within that community and is not forced on others that do not belong to that community or society or association, etc.

    the danger, which is what i believe here and is the substance of this post, is the practice of Isolation and Dogmatism. i don’t think any one person or community should isolate themselves from other people or communities and i am directing this not to the muslims but to so many other communities and people. also, i think the days of dogmatism is over and every person must be encouraged to think for themselves and not follow dogmatic orders.

    isolation does not equal non-respect. to live in one community and live together peacefully is a rare privilege where many countries can be jealous of but isolation is definitely a bad word for me. for example, as a malaysian, i enjoy other cultures too, i love to eat malay food which i go at least once a week, i enjoy indian and mamak food, i visit my friends during raya and deepavali, i watch loads and loads of malay movies (anyways i watch loads of movies from everywhere in the world), etc. etc. i love this inter-racial, inter-community relationships and i treasure this a lot.

    on another note, anything that is solid and good must be able to withstand criticism and criticism will come from many quarters. but if something is of quality and is of sound reasons, no amount of criticism can bring it down, no amount of external influence will be able to dilute and deviate it because it is by nature, solid and can withstand whatever that is to come. avoiding criticism and adverse comments is definitely not the way forward.

  8. i truly agree with your first paragraph. which is why i am upset with the insults and name-calling on Malaysia Today with regard to this yoga issue. I could not be bothered to register to comment there, so i put my view here instead.

    isolation and dogmatism are bad words for me too. I have gained so much from mixing with people outside my culture, and cant imagine how much loss would it be if I had confined myself to my own culture. Chinese kungfu movies, indian food, korean baduk style, japanese anime, U.S. technology, U.K. education .. mixing all these makes my life really colourful.

    certainly criticism and adverse comments are welcome. however if they are made in disrespectful way, many people cant be bothered to respond civilly either. it later becomes irritation contest, which seems to be what happening in our parliament nowadays.

    i share your view on danger of isolation and dogmatism, cant express it better.

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