June 26, 2016
COMMENT: Something really stinks big in Malaysia. The stench even hits me in New York. It is disgusting to read an article about this Astro manufactured young imam. Zurairi AR talks about ignorance and stupidity and the failure of our education system. I share his disgust.
Not only are Malaysians (and Malaysian Muslims in particular) being inundated with poorly educated idiots out of our religious schools and public schools, we are also being subjected to massive official propaganda about radical Islam and Malayness from men of religion like Perak’s Ayahtollah Harussani Zakaria and PAS Spiritual Leader Haron Din, phonys like Ridzuan Tee Abdullah and other snake oil religious preachers, religious bureaucrats in JAWI, JAKIM and JAIS, racists in Biro Tata Negara, and hypocritical and corrupt UMNO and PAS politicians.
Even our media have become victims to official indoctrination. Ordinary Muslims too have their fair share of sermons during Friday prayers, and on radio, tv and social media. Don’t we have anything better to do with our lives and for our country in a globalised world where knowledge is the competitive edge?
Radical Islam and Politics have become an explosive blend to the point that even ISIS/ISL elements are threatening the security of our country. In stead fixing the problem of rising religious extremism and Malay ultraism, Prime Minister Najib Razak is playing with the fire of radical Islam and racist politics while at the same time claiming to be a democrat with a tinge of liberalism. How long does he think he can play this political game and expect the country to hang together.
If we are not vigilant and do not remain calm and rational, we are going to hang separately. The Malays must wake to the reality that we need responsible leadership if we are to be a Malaysia for all, where there is peace, harmony and prosperity with equality of opportunity for its citizens .We do not a leader who is afraid of his own shadow.–Din Merican
Do not trust an ‘imam muda’ with your lives
by Zurairi AR
We usually assume that reality TV show contestants are not necessarily the sharpest tools in the shed, and Ammar Wan Harun just seems to prove that point.
The Kedah-native — whose only identifier was second-season contestant of Astro’s Imam Muda variety show — had mocked the recent death of a child from diphtheria, calling the reaction to it exaggerated.
The girl from Malacca was one of two who had died from the highly contagious and potentially fatal disease, preventable by vaccines. Both were not completely immunised by their parents.
Calling himself “Imam Muda Ammar”, or Young Imam Ammar, the man said it was merely one kid dying, and not even 1 per cent of the population, much less 90 per cent.
“I didn’t know that the Angel of Death does not take the lives of vaccinated children. And I didn’t know that vaccinated children get extra lives. How lucky for them.“Are there vaccines that can save us from road accidents?” he asked on his Facebook page.
No Ammar, that is not how vaccines work. Like I said, not the sharpest tool in the shed.When called out by the public, Ammar said he was only “teasing”, and bragged that he had received rewards from God after he was criticised, while his detractors had only collected sins.
“I just want those who denied vaccines be respected for their choice. Don’t make it as if vaccines are more powerful than fate,” he said.
In a separate post, Ammar offered a way to make amends: shamelessly offering his critics an opportunity to make money through a “dropship” programme with his business. Which would in turn, make him more money.
Continued pressure by the public, the media, and public shaming by Health Director-General Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, Perlis mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, and even Prime Minister Najib Razak himself caused Ammar to delete his Facebook page.
Ammar has since forsaken his “Imam Muda” title, calling himself “Hamba Yang Berdosa” (Sinful Slave) instead.
In several posts with this new moniker, Ammar still claimed he was not anti-vaccination, but at the same time wanted pro-disease folks to be given a chance to deny vaccines. I do not think we can stress this enough, Ammar, but vaccines are non-negotiable.
Ammar also kept on saying that his intention was to point out that the “powers of vaccines” are not above God’s.This tactless pontificating completely missed the point. But then again, vaccines still work no matter whether you believe in God or not.
In the end, Ammar even had the gall to request for the Health Ministry to offer him a job to convince the public of immunisation’s importance.Again, how shameless. Ammar no longer has any shred of credibility to promote immunisation, not after he mocked its importance in the first place and suggested that anti-vaxxer parents be given a choice.
Refusing vaccination is no joke.
The most recent case of diphtheria death was of a boy in Kedah, the same state Ammar is from. The boy was just two years old. His other siblings were similarly not vaccinated.
Kedah Health Director Dr Norhizan Ismail revealed on Friday that the northern state is a hotbed for anti-vaxxers in the country with 318 cases of vaccine rejection in 2015, a jump from 239 in 2014.
Urban Squalor amid Modernity in Kuala Lumpur
Losing their kids is not punishment enough for the parents in Malacca and Kedah who had denied their children immunisation. They should be made responsible for effectively leaving their kids to die, and selfishly risking others too. Such parents should be shunned, shamed, and penalised.
It is a sad state in Malaysia where religionists are mostly to be blamed for anti-vaxxers, yet we require religionists like muftis to also convince the public the importance of immunisation.
It is frustrating that the public could put more trust in someone with no medical background than doctors or health officials, just because the former plays the religious card.
Satellite TV provider Astro and its religious channel Oasis are partly to blame for lending these hacks made up titles such as “Imam Muda”, which they in turn use to promote and ingratiate themselves on the public.
The title means nothing. One just needs to be a contestant of the show, which ran for two seasons in 2010 and 2011, where they competed to be an imam of a mosque and a scholarship to study in Medina. They did not even need to win, to affix the title to their public persona.
Yet, people put much stock by such titles, as if being a reality TV show star lends somebody more credibility in whichever topic they talk about.
Oasis continues to produce such reality TV shows, and each year, we have more and more faux titles for religious folks to pull wool over the public’s eyes. Besides Imam Muda, we now have a slew of Pencetus Ummah, Tahfiz Muda and Ustazah Pilihan flooding our society.
Just like Ammar, Astro Oasis is just a business after all, looking to make money off the market’s preference. And the need to have religious idols is a reflection of the Malaysian Muslim society’s lack of self-confidence and self-assurance with their faith.
For the rest of us, there is a need to continue to mercilessly mock and castigate religionists who use faith as a fount of ignorance and delusion, especially when it comes to science and medicine.
We need to demolish the credibility of religionists when they spout nonsense that could be easily lapped up by the ignorant and thoughtless public, just like how we tore Ammar down.
There is a good reason why religionists should not be trusted with saving lives. After all, what they care for the most is the afterlife.