Opinion: Malaysia Must Not Create ‘Christianophobia’

December 27, 2015

Opinion: Malaysia Must Not Create ‘Christianophobia’

Many Malaysians are angry and deeply bothered by Universiti  Teknologi Mara (UiTM) in the Kuala Lumpur suburb of Shah Alam organizing what was reported as an “anti-Christianization” conference, held on December. 12. It was the second such seminar held on the campus in 2015.

There is nothing new about the practice of such institutions in training students to fear themselves and non-Muslims and non-Malays especially. It is a natural program  to instill fear as part of a culture to defend the existence of race-based ideology. It is part of an apartheid strategy of Malaysian education that I have written about in many articles.

What is new is the question: how do we dismantle this system  and work  towards peaceful co-existence? I do not think the Christians and particularly Catholics in Malaysia appreciate being bullied endlessly. I do not think they want to be branded as “evil people trying to spread false and dangerous message threatening Islam.”  Muslims in the west are being bullied as well. But neither is right.

I do not think they need to be associated with the Christian Crusades that took starting more than 1,000 years ago, or being linked to the undeniable brutality of the Christian-imperialist armies that annexed cultures and massacred natives in Latin America, Africa, Asian, and even Northern America.

And I don’t think the Christians and Catholics in Malaysia want to be known as inheritors and carriers of the sins of their fathers . I think they just want to live, work, and worship in peace and be ensured that their safety be guaranteed in a majority Malay Muslim country.

Why do institutions such as UiTM need to instill such a fear and to unnecessarily turn young and hopefully not-yet-Daesh/IS radicalized students into hating Christians? Why not encourage education  for peace and conflict resolution? Why not teach empathy through ongoing good dialogue among Malaysians of different faiths? Why warn  them of the “dangers of Christianization” and not expect some lunatic fundamentalist groups to take the warning  one step further and translate it into violent action, sanctioned and legitimized by the authorities?

What education should look like

Haven’t we heard the word ‘Islamophobia’? Why create ‘Chistianophobia’ at a time when the world is bipolar, violent, and plagued with all kinds of phobias? Let us come back to our senses.

Here is my thought on what education  should look like if we are to prevent racial and religious riots in future:

The education of today’s bumiputeras via the special  privileges given to them in all aspects, from preschool to postgraduate – especially the education of Malay Muslims through the racially-based institutions linked to the ruling party – has one objective. It is to produce more and more members of the Malay-Muslim-bumiputera privileged class  who will ensure that the non-bumi, non-Muslims be kept outside the gate of equality, equal opportunity and meritocracy, even though they are the rightful citizens of this country whose parents and grandparents have labored for this country so that the most privileged class  of Malays and non-Malays can continue  to be created to enslave the laboring classes of all races.

No need to have a complex understanding of Malaysia’s philosophy of education, national development, frameworks of class evolution, politics of curricular studies, interplay between race, religion, and ideology, or any other complex theories of neo-feudalism to understand this simple fact of education and social reproduction in Malaysia.


The Failure of Malaysian Education

We need to turn the system upside down and renew prosperity  in this country, based not on the advancement of this or that race, but the simple human logic that each and every one of us is a human being with dignity and an important part of Humanity.

UiTM was different back in the days, especially in the 70s and early 80s. There is a vast difference in the way Malays were educated in the institution. It was a place to harness the creative energy and problem-solving gung-ho cognitive capabilities of students who had so much energy than just reading books  only, so that they might further their studies and contribute to the development of the nation’s post-independence.

This is because the leadership knew what education  and human liberation meant. Because the first prime minster was a firm, fair, and wise man, the best we have had.However, beginning  in the mid-80s till today has come to look like a place to engineer the development of totalitarianism and fascistic mono-ethnic thinking of a diploma  mill used for political means by political masters only concerned with their own survival and vainglory, in all the excesses of political authority and one-dimensionality instilling fear of others instead of promoting diversity and the love for ethnic differences and cultural beauty.

The difference between our premiers

All these – and not much about the plain honesty of creating a generation  of Malays able to see the true nature of their own potentials and be ready for an ever-changing world of globalizing predatation.

Today’s Prime minster is a very weak and unwise man. Not a good man at all. The worst we have ever had, many are saying.That’s the difference, if we agree . How then must the rakyat reclaim those once admirable institutions?

Wake up, speak up, alumni and all. Education is the art and science of creating the free  man and woman.

“A multicultural, multi-vocalic, multidimensional understanding of Malaysia’s complex society.” This is what we need. This is a major theme on global education and international and intercultural understanding that Malaysian institutions such as UiTM need. This is it, rather than ones that continue  to stupefy students with themes that divide and insult the human intelligence as they relate to race and religion.

These institutions are not fit to be called universities and  educational institutions if they continue  to nurture cognitive-pathological thinking in an institution that is already mono-cultural. This is not necessary for an institution that denies the opportunities for the students to work  together with students of other races, befitting of what Malaysia is and ought to be about.

I hope this misguided paradigm of educational progress and intellectual attainment can be changed with a gradual change in leadership; one that understands what education  in the broadest sense of the word means.

While universities the world over are taking pride in being globalized and often scrambling and racing to make their campuses truly diverse and multicultural, UiTM and the MARA elite secondary schools  that is Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM) are taking pride in defending the rights to be exclusively one-race, one religion, one-myopic vision at the expense of the development of the students’ minds yearning to be multi-intelligent and able to develop multiple talents.

This has to change. Malaysians need to push for this change – because education  is matter of national interest and survival. Enough of Islamophobia. Enough of Christian and Muslims massacring each other the world over. Let us not create another version of Chistianophobia or Islamophobia right here  in Malaysia.

7 thoughts on “Opinion: Malaysia Must Not Create ‘Christianophobia’

  1. It is recorded that when Islam’s very first mosque was nearing completion a group of Christians came to see the Prophet (upon whom be Peace) about a local dispute. The meeting ended in disagreement but when the group was about to leave the Prophet realised that it was time for the Christian prayer.

    So he asked them to say their prayers in the mosque….

    Fourteen centuries later some of us Muslims have forgotten that incident…

  2. Dr Azly sounded like he should be the spokeperson for some anti-Muslim anti-Malay organisation.Instead of calming down the hate rhetorics among Muslims and Malays he seemed to inflame the Christians and Non Malays to hate Malays and Muslims by his fiery sermons.Maybe he should surf the internet and check out the voluminous hate speeches by Christians against Muslim.I just saw one where a tv station in US was showing how a former Muslim turned a Christian lambasting Prophet Muhammad and Islam by calling him a rapist and that the Quran encouraged Muslims to kill.Its utter nonsense but I am sure there will be some Christians who will take this propaganda as the truth just like some Malay/Muslim participants in the UITM seminar in Malacca might have believed whatever hate speeches given .

  3. Not MALAYSIA or Muslim create all this mess. One political party playing dirt cheap politic create all this. The syndrome of losing out to the non was created by TM, and still being play until now.
    What they instill among themselve is fearing their own shadow. Using the ketuana and special right. Playing race and religion card. Giving easy loan and handout expecting miracle that they be better than the others but no, instead they will tell u don’t bite the hand that feed u.
    When did they really push the malay hard for them to be better. Of all the PM, I can only think of Tun Razak who can take the malay to a greater height.
    He is tough, no nonsence, mean buisness.
    Whatever wrong or mistake he made in past it don’ matter. What matter most is during his rein. Most of his policy is not for himself or crony but nation and it peoples. He is not going to give u any backdoor deal.

  4. >Of all the PM, I can only think of Tun Razak who can take the malay to a greater height.”

    Yep. He worked hard to develop the rural areas and eventually millions of poor people benefited, and not merely in a material sense. Through education and training he prepared a generation of Malays for the industrial world. Many people like to say Tun Mahathir transformed the nation: they often forget the groundwork laid by Tun Razak. As a Chinese saying goes, when one gets water from a well, he should remember who dug that well.

  5. @ Abdul Jalil

    The path to moderation is for self to be wanting to be moderate and practicing it starting from inner family and extending it outwards peripheral wise in baby steps within one’s reach, ability and wisdom. Getting fired up with religious hate speech that we watch and read only inflame us and not help in dousing the fire.

    You say that the claim that the Quran encouraged Muslims to kill is utter nonsense. I have read innumerable times others mentioning that there is a verse in Quran that reads “kill the infidels”. Is there or is there not such a line or verse in the Quran irrespective of the context under which it might have been written, if at all?

  6. Hawking Eye::

    The verse that is often quoted by some people to accuse that Islam allowed the killng of the infidels is taken out of context .The verse was referring to the wars between the Muslims from Medina and the polytheists from Mecca(Prophet Muhammad hometown).Surely you had to kill you enemies during the wars.The next verse after the above said in the event the infidels asked for safe passages,the Muslims should provide them to them .Surely if Allah instructed the Muslims to kill the infidels ,He wouldnt ask them to provide safe passage to those infidels that requested for it.
    The Quran also said do not aggress and you can befriend Non Muslims that do not attempt to stop you from practicing your religion(surely you will not advice people to befriend those they are supposed to kill).War is only allowed as self defence and to protect people who are oppressed.But as with all religions there are Muslims like ISIS who will not obey God’Law and follow their own fabricated laws to do all kind of evils on this earth.Similar type of people exist in all religions like the Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka and Myanmar that led other Buddhists to attack and killed people of different faiths or the Catholic based parties and the Jews that worked for Hitler,etc.I dont think we should call people who committed these type of evils to be men of any faith at all.They are just the evil people.

  7. @ Abdul Jalil

    Thank you for shedding some light explaining the context behind the controversial verse in the Holy Quran.

    I subscribe to the school of thought that religious scriptures should generally be pacifist in nature as they can make good reading for the soul. I have small booklets on Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity by my bedside, which I often read in the night before going to sleep. I would very much like to add the Quran to my list – a direct mini translated version of it. If you know of any, you can recommend it and I will be grateful.

    I am no Buddhist and to my knowledge the Buddhists, arguably, are the most peaceful people compared to followers of other big faiths. It is their clergy that springs forth to register any protest against a specific policy of their own government or unacceptable foreign intervention or aggression on their country. Their manner of reflecting this was through self-immolation. This was evidenced in Vietnam and Cambodia (during the Vietnam war period) and even in Sri Lanka when the Buddhists had serious issues with the Tamils.

    Historically there has been no animosity or religious war between the Buddhists and the Muslims. The recent flare up between the two groups had its roots at the Rakhine state in western Myanmar largely inhabited by the Rohingya Muslims, it seems. It was alleged that a Rohingya Muslim had raped a teen-aged Buddhist girl and this resulted in fights between the two families involved with violence spreading to other parts of the country. Even then, the fighting and killings were isolated and not on a scale involving the entire country.

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