The ticking time bomb of Hatred

March 17,2019

The ticking time bomb of Hatred

Image result for terror in new zealand

In just twenty-four hours, the world is aghast, again.

Human brutality instigated by religious and ethnic hatred has resurfaced. A cynic would say this has been going on for centuries, so what else is new?

The difference is, that in the last 30 years, the internet has played a key role. The ease and speed in the dissemination of racist and bigoted ideology have allowed hateful ideology to spread anonymously.

Both the Christchurch mosque massacres are a human catastrophe, but it is not unexpected. It reveals that we humans continue in our ignorance, sinister manipulation and arrogance.

The despicable actions of modern terrorists are responses to the rhetoric and hate speeches of our leaders. They too use the internet to spread their hate speech, both covertly and openly.

Lately, Malaysia’s leadership has been slipping into the same cauldron. The race and religious rhetoric continues to divide Malaysian society.

We may read umpteen times, that “deep down in every Malaysian, we are really a peaceful, harmonious people”. This may be true.

However, in the months after May 9, 2018, perceptions have changed again. Malaysians are bombarded by racial and religious rhetoric from the leadership.

“Rhetoric and insincerity have no place in post-GE14 Malaysia. The main takeaway from the Christchurch terrorist act is that the ticking time bomb was wired by political rhetoric and self-serving leaders in the first place. The result is a growing global polarisation between nations, religions and ethnicities.”–Sharifah Munirah Alatas

Mantras like “upholding the special rights of the Malays”, “threats to Islam”, “DAP is in control”, etc. are platforms onto which both PH and the opposition have latched. The real issues of governance and reforms, have once again been sidelined.

Using the ethereal notion of “threat” as a smokescreen, Malaysian politics has been reduced to a dangerous and manipulative divide-and-rule game.

The Christchurch gunman acted on these very cliches. It is a global phenomenon. Malaysians should decide once and for all, if we want to continue down this path. Our leaders have to wake up and smell the teh tarik.

Both Muslims and non-Muslims in Malaysia are bracing themselves for a verbal retaliation to the Christchurch massacre.

Already, a few “educated” academics claim that Malaysian politicians and muftis will start the narrative that “Muslims must ready themselves for the glorious jihad”; that mosque sermons will be slanted for “the ongoing war with the kafirs”.

Recently, a piece of this nature was circulated on social media. The article appealed for Muslims to be introspective and to ask if the shooting is the result of the Muslims’ own arrogance and extremist tendencies.

The question was contextualised within the argument that Muslims globally are rather silent on the IS and other Muslim terrorist killings.

The logic is that, we (Muslims) have no moral right in our indignation of white supremacist terrorism because our “own backyard is strewn with garbage”. This is not only objectionable but grossly ineffective.

In 2010, leading Pakistani clerics published fatwas, endorsed by Al-Azhar University, that condemn terrorism, indiscriminate violence and the unlawfulness of imposing Islam on others.

In 2008, about 6,000 Indian Muslim clerics approved a fatwa against terrorism at a conference in Hyderabad. This fatwa was termed “The Hyderabad Declaration”.

In 2010 the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada issued a fatwa against terrorism, signed by 20 North American imams. That same year, a major international conference convened in Mardin, Turkey. It issued a declaration to dismiss a 14th century fatwa by Ibn Taymiyyah which was used to justify terrorism.

In 2005, Malaysia’s own Sheikh Muhammad Afifi Al-Akiti published a fatwa condemning the targeting of innocents by terrorists. This was in response to the London bombings.

In 2004, the “Amman Message” was declared. It affirmed the validity of all eight schools of thought, including Sunni, Shia, Ibadi, Ash’arism and Sufism. The Amman Message also declared the impermissibility of takfir (declaring another Muslim to be an apostate).

In 2003, the Saudi Arabian Council of Senior Scholars issued a fatwa concerning suicide bombings and terrorism. It reiterated that those who commit these acts are contravening Islamic law.

There is an irresponsible attitude by some, as if to suggest that the actions of the Christchurch terrorist can be justified.

Public intellectuals and academics should be responsible in their tasks. They should be above sensationalism for cheap publicity. Politicians must not get involved in rhetorical racial and religious discourse, aimed at voter manipulation.

All of us should wake up from our slumber and realise that we are all to blame for the current dire straits we find ourselves in. Stop the finger-pointing. Admit to mistakes, and work together in overcoming society’s challenges.

Ego has no place. Race and religion should never be used as a political tool. Mass political behaviour, being what it is, finds comfort in collective grievances. Use these grievances to unite, not to divide.

Politicians and religious leaders should stop their puppet performances. Academics and public intellectuals should get over their egos and write the truth.

Image result for the Christchurch terrorist act

Rhetoric and insincerity have no place in post-GE14 Malaysia. The main takeaway from the Christchurch terrorist act is that the ticking time bomb was wired by political rhetoric and self-serving leaders in the first place. The result is a growing global polarisation between nations, religions and ethnicities.

Let us start to work together, amidst our diversity. This is not a rhetorical appeal.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.

16 thoughts on “The ticking time bomb of Hatred

  1. It might help if commentators like the writer start by stating who the actual terrorists are…the deluded who strap bombs to themselves, fire with machine guns etc. and murder at random…or those that have destroyed their lives in the first place…

    If not, only the effect is debated not the cause…as with so many other unfortunate developments around the world…

  2. Just thought of sharing this almost unfathomable incident that took place in China related to Xenophobia. I have no way to verify the truthfulness of this incident in Wikipedia. But, if it is true, I just thought .. hey.. there is hope 🙂
    The Gelaohui hated foreigners and Christians. During the Xinhai Revolution in 1912, they attacked Catholic missions in Sandaohe, Ningxia, but the Chinese Muslim forces under Muslim General Ma Fuxiang protected the missions.

  3. (Quote) “Public intellectuals and academics should be responsible in their tasks. They should be above sensationalism for cheap publicity. Politicians must not get involved in rhetorical racial and religious discourse, aimed at voter manipulation.”

    Good observation by the writer but the question is, can anybody change someone else? Even the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) could NOT change his uncle Abu Talib. If it is nigh impossible to change someone else, unless GOD Himself intervenes, then what should be the focus of our attention? In other words, if we could not change another person’s behavior and choices (unless GOD intervenes), would it be productive for us to dwell, lament and complaint about his/her destructive behavior and choices? Well, if that course of action is unproductive, what then could be done? That is, if it is nigh impossible to change others – and unproductive to complain and lament about their behavior and choices, and to dwell on the destructive consequences that their behavior and choices has brought unto others – what actions then should be the focus of our attention? Since we can have better chances of success at changing ourselves than others, what can we do then in terms of changing ourselves so that the cumulative effect result in aggregate changes in society?

    Just a thought.

  4. Do we need another “Christchurch Massacres” to remind our People , particularly those rogue (present or past) Unmob and Pas leaders and cronies that:

    ” We are One Malaysia Race –The Bangsa Malaysia”
    “Our National Religion is none other than The Federal Constitution.”

  5. Just to share…

    *A German Muslim scholar when he was asked about TERRORISM and Islam.

    He said. “Who started the first world war? Not Muslims!!

    Who started the second world war? Not Muslims!!

    Who killed 6 million Jews in the Holocaust ? Not Muslims.

    Who killed about 20 millions of Aborigines in Australia ? Not Muslims!!

    Who sent the nuclear bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Not Muslims!!

    Who killed more than 100 millions of Indians in North America? Not Muslims!!

    Who killed more than 50 million of Indians in south America? Not Muslims!!

    Who took about 180 millions of African people as slaves and 88% of them died and were thrown overboard into Atlantic ocean? Not Muslims!! No, NOT Muslims!!

    First of all, You will have to define terrorism properly.

    If a non-Muslim does something bad. It is crime.

    But if a Muslim commits the same. He is a Terrorist.

    So first remove this double standards.

    Then come to the point.

    I am proud to be a MUSLIM !! ARE YOU??

    SPREAD THIS Message & don’t BREAK THE CHAIN!!*

  6. FLYER168 : I am with you as part of the chain…a chain which can only be kept alive and going by Muslims themselves…

    But there is a second chain…of hatred, ignorance and helplessness… which needs far more attention and which must be broken if the cycle is to be tackled… The New Zealand tragedy offers Muslims a timely opportunity…on one forthcoming Friday assemblies, let every Muslim country say a special prayer for the individual so led astray that he felt he had to unleash this carnage…a prayer asking God to forgive him…

  7. Hmm.., perhaps i shouldn’t have mentioned Anders Breivik, the ‘Odinist’ White Supremacist who carried out the 2011 Norwegian atrocity just a while ago while discussing Scandinavian Socialist or ‘Enlightened’ Capitalistic tendencies.

    The modus operandi, motivation, detailed planning, deep hatred and attack in areas deemed least risky seem to be identical. Breivik was found to have a serious Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

    Are the motives of ‘Terrorists’ all the same? I disagree with Octo that identifying the ’causes’ and trying to remove them will obviate such senseless rampages. But Proactive measures surely ‘trump’ blaming others. Mostly, there is no political will.

    Strict gun control, monitoring of social websites, anti-hate speech laws, some form of educational (including religious), social and economic intervention suited to local environments-microenviroment and mental health improvements may help. We can limit the damage and casualties, but not eradicate totally the insatiable evil of labeling the ‘Other’ and xenophobia. Amok – anyone?

  8. Now it is being reported that NZ is to change its gun laws…which means the government has learnt absolutely nothing from the tragedy…knee-jerk reaction…that is all it is…
    plenty of emotional outpouring…but nothing learnt…

  9. Quote:- “I am proud to be a MUSLIM !! ARE YOU??”

    The is a BIG difference between a proud Muslim and a proud Muslim mass murderer, just as between a proud Christian and a proud Christian mass murderer.

    It’s the inability, (as demonstrated by the writer), to differentiate between the two that gets some people confused.

    BTW was the “German Muslim scholar” mentioned in the article implying that peace-loving Muslims have a lot of catching up to do in the mass murdering game?

  10. There is a helluva lot more to learn…not only from the Christchurch incident but from all similar tragedies. But first we must understand that the CAUSE must be tackled…not its effect…like I keep saying…

    Example : There a hundreds of thousands of non-indigenous people that have been allowed into (mostly white) countries…How did this happen and why…and who is responsible? When such questions are raised in any Western debates, everyone pretends not to hear… and yet their leaders openly issue blanket invitations to even more arrivals… hence the surge and anger of extreme right wing parties.

    In this sense the lost soul who carried out the carnage in NZ is himself a victim…there was a newspaper headline describing him as an “Angelic child” who was led astray… I can believe this…

    The NZ law will, no doubt, take its course…but Muslims, not only in NZ but everywhere must pray for God to forgive him…this is the only way to break the deadly chain…reaching out and forgiving have been tried before…they do work…sometimes with amazing results…

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