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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Islam vs. History

The Islamist destruction underway in Timbuktu (including the tomb of Sidi Mahmoudou, d. 955, and the doors of the Sidi Yahya Mosque, ca. 1400) raises a question: What is it about Islam that so often turns its adherents against their own patrimony? Consider some examples:


  • The doors of the Sidi Yahya Mosque, built ca. 1400, which were only to open at the end of time, smashed apart today by Islamists.
    The destruction of Hindu temples in medieval India.
  • The Mamluks using the Great Sphinx of Egypt as target practice and the Great Pyramid as a quarry.
  • The Turkish destruction of churches in northern Cyprus since 1974.
  • The Saudi destruction of antiquities in Mecca since the 1990s,
  • The Palestinian sacking of the Tomb of Joseph in 2000.
  • The Taliban destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha in 2001.
  • Al-Qaeda's bombing of Ghriba synagogue in Tunisia in 2002,
  • The pillaging of Iraqi museums, libraries, and archives in 2003.
  • The destruction of an historic Malaysian Hindu temple in 2006.
  • The destruction of L'Institut d'Égypte in 2011.
In addition, some intentions to destroy antiquities (Khomeini contemplated razing Persepolis, a grand mufti of Egypt banned exhibiting statues) might yet be realized. (On the other hand, the story about Muslims burning the ancient Library of Alexandria appears apocryphal.)
Although these examples include both non-Muslim and Muslim artifacts, motives differ in the two cases: eliminating infidel remnants establishes the superiority of Islam, while eliminating Muslim ones establishes the superiority of Islamism. In both cases, the motive is foul and the results are, historically speaking, tragic. (July 2, 2012)

Islamists in the process of destroying a centuries-old Timbuktu shrine.

Malaysia’s “Obedient Wives Club” launches new sex guide


Members of Malaysia’s Obedient Wives Club.

KUALA LUMPUR: Despite having the last sex guide banned by the Malaysia government, the “Obedient Wives Club” has launched a new guide detailing how to “please your husband.”

Titled “The Holy Spirit and Holy Islamic Sex Booklet” the aim for the OWC is promote wives’ indulging in better sex in order to keep their husbands from “straying” in their marriage.

The previous booklet launched by the women’s group, “Holy Islamic Sex” was banned by the government.

The Obedient Wives Club advocate subservience to their husbands and have published a book calling for women to have sex with their husbands whenever they demand.

The previos book, was in Malay, but not available at local stores in the country due to the ban.

Many say it is read by hundreds of members of the club, a small Malaysian sect that also practices and advocates polygamy.

“I am very disturbed by this kind of book, but I don’t think the government should be banning it because that only makes it more popular,” said Tina Rinbala, a Kuala Lumpur-based researcher of women’s issues. She told Bikyamasr.com that the publication is “horrific and tells women they are lesser beings, which we should fight through education, not banning.”

Although the first volume contained no explicit images, it did have descriptions of the 56-year-old author’s opinions and experiences of marriage.

It tells readers how couples should approach sex, claiming that women in marriages only “satisfy” their husbands’ needs 10 percent of the time.

Members of the controversial club argued the book was intended to be a spiritual guide read exclusively by club members to help them comprehend sex better.

Still, Rinbala disagrees and argued it perpetuates stereotypes that are not “part of Islam” and that “people should be advocating equality and certainly this will deliver better sex for couples.”

Oxford sex trafficking case: Two more men in court

Thames Valley Police officers(BBC) Two more men have appeared in court charged in connection with an alleged child
prostitution ring in Oxford.

Mohammed Hussain, 24, was charged with four offences, and Assad Hussain, 31, was charged with five.

Both men, who are from the Cowley Road area of Oxford, appeared at High Wycombe Magistrates' Court earlier.

A total of eight men have now been charged as part of Operation Bullfinch, targeting alleged child sex trafficking involving 50 girls.

Thames Valley Police said it expected to make further arrests in the coming months.

Mohammed Hussain has been charged with one count of conspiracy to rape a girl under 14, two counts of rape, and one count of sexual activity with a child.

Assad Hussain has been charged with two counts of conspiracy to rape a girl under 16, two counts of rape, and one count of sexual activity with a child.

They will return to court on 16 July.

All eight men remain in custody.

Kavyan sedia bantu ‘minoriti tertindas’

Akan hantar surat dan bertemu PM berhubung isu novel Faisal Tehrani mahu diharamkan.
COMMENT

Kumpulan Sasterawan Kavyan (Kavyan) mengalu-alukan kemasukan Faisal Tehrani sebagai Ahli Kehormat Kavyan seperti diumumkannya secara rasmi pada sidang media di Shah Alam pada 6 Julai 2012, selepas acara “Baca Cerpen Pelbagai Bahasa”. Beliau sekali gus ahli “Bukan Kaum India” pertama sejak keahlian dibuka kepada umum pada November 2011.

Seperti diketahui umum, sejak diasaskan pada 22 Ogos 1999, Kavyan diterajui penulis dan peminat sastera kaum India tetapi ia tidak bersifat perkauman. Semua aktiviti Kavyan terbuka kepada umum (pelbagai kaum). Malah Sasterawan Negara Datuk A. Samad Said (Pak Samad) ialah Penasihat Agung Kavyan. Allahyarham Dr Othman Puteh dan Sasterawan Negara Datuk Dr Anwar Ridhwan juga pernah menjadi Penasihat Kehormat Kavyan.

Kavyan turut terlibat secara langsung dan terbuka sejak Ogos 2011 dalam memperjuangkan hak sekumpulan penulis (kebetulan “kaum Melayu”) yang dinafikan hak mereka terhadap royalti teks Komponen Sastera Dalam Mata Pelajaran Bahasa Malaysia (Komsas). Walaupun dihalang pelbagai pihak dengan pelbagai cara, Kavyan tetap lantang bersuara mewakili kelompok minoriti terbabit yang memerlukan ruang untuk bersuara.

Terdahulu, apabila Kavyan terlibat dalam usaha “memurnikan” novel Interlok Edisi Murid serta saya dilantik oleh Menteri Pelajaran pada Februari 2011 ke dalam Panel Bebas Meminda Interlok, ramai yang melabel saya dan Kavyan sebagai “anti-Melayu” dan “anti-Islam”. Malah, terdapat puak tertentu yang cuba menghasut Pak Samad supaya tidak menjadi Penasihat Agung Kavyan.

Ada juga puak yang “menghasut” penerbit-penerbit supaya tidak menyiarkan karya para ahli Kavyan. Kerja-kerja hasutan itu masih berlaku hingga hari ini. Mujurlah penerbit berwibawa seperti Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) dan Kumpulan Media Karangkraf tidak mungkin tunduk kepada puak penghasut yang tidak beretika itu.

Antara lain fitnah yang disebarkan puak tertentu adalah bahawa tindak-tanduk Kavyan “didalangi pembangkang”. (Siapakah “pembangkang” di Selangor?) Sebenarnya, segala usaha dan perjuangan Kavyan demi penulis dan penulisan (tanpa mengira kaum dan agama) tidak ada apa-apa kaitan dengan mana-mana parti politik atau politikus. Demikian pendirian tegas Kavyan sejak 1999. Kami tidak mahu “bernaung” di bawah sesiapa kerana kami mahu bebas “bersuara” – termasuk mewakili golongan minoriti dan kumpulan yang tertindas.

Dalam isu terkini mengenai kemungkinan novel Faisal, Perempuan Nan Bercinta (2012) diharamkan, Kavyan tidak mahu masuk campur dalam urusan mana-mana jabatan agama. Bagaimanapun, Kavyan berpegang pada “janji” Perdana Menteri pada 3 Julai 2012 – semasa turut melancarkan Perempuan Nan Bercinta – bahawa hak kreatif penulis tidak akan disekat.

Bernama melaporkan Datuk Seri Najib Razak sebagai berkata: “Kita akan sentiasa memberikan ruang yang secukupnya kepada para penulis untuk berkarya. Kita akan membantu golongan penulis terutama generasi muda untuk mengembangkan bakat mereka.”

Kavyan turut berpegang pada kenyataan media bersama yang dilakukan empat Sasterawan Negara pada 8 Mac 2011; di mana petikannya adalah seperti berikut:

“Sastera bukan dokumen rasmi pemerintah, atau maklumat yang dirapikan serta dicantikkan untuk disebarkan. … Kita harus membaca sastera sebagai sastera, dan bukan buku sejarah atau politik. Membaca sastera ialah suatu proses berfikir, merasa dan menghayati bahasa, peristiwa dan gagasan. … Benarkanlah penulis kita melukis kenyataan Malaysia, walau betapa pun tidak manis kenyataan itu. Kerana mereka juga berfikir bagi pihak kita, dengan sudut pandangan mereka sendiri, yang walau pun berlainan, masih diperlukan di negara yang demokratis, yang memberi kebebasan kepada sasterawannya untuk menulis, berfikir dan berpendirian.”

Surat kepada PM



Walaupun kenyataan bersama itu dikeluarkan semasa kontroversi novel Interlok Edisi Murid, tentulah pendirian para Sasterawan Negara terbabit masih sesuai dan boleh diguna pakai. Pandangan dan perkara yang ditegaskan oleh mereka perlu dihormati dalam isu Perempuan Nan Bercinta juga.

Semasa kontroversi Interlok Edisi Murid, beberapa badan penulis pula tampil bersuara lantang dan membuat resolusi mempertahankan hak pengarang. Malah, beberapa badan penulis berjuang atas dasar “demi maruah penulis Melayu”.

Saya percaya bahawa badan-badan penulis terbabit tetap dengan pendirian “demi maruah penulis Melayu” dalam isu novel-novel Faisal mahu diharamkan. Sedangkan pihak tertentu “tidak rela walau sepatah perkataan dipinda”, inikan pula mahu mengharamkan keseluruhan buku! Tentulah mereka akan berhimpun beramai-ramai mempertahankan karya Faisal.

Namun, masing-masing mempunyai hak dan pilihan untuk sama ada tampil menyokong Faisal dalam isu terbaru ini atau – meminjam perkataan diperkenalkan Pak Samad pada Jun 2011 – memikirkan soal “carma” iaitu “cari makan”. Yakni, memilih untuk berdiam diri asalkan “sumber pendapatan” mereka tidak terjejas.

Saya mengenali Pak Samad sejak 1991 dan Faisal sejak 1993. Mereka berdua pula mengenali hati-budi Kavyan sejak 1999.

Sebagai “badan kecil yang bersuara mewakili golongan penulis yang sukar untuk bersuara” maka Kavyan sedia bersuara mewakili Faisal dalam isu novel Perempuan Nan Bercinta. Kavyan bercadang menghantar surat kepada Perdana Menteri untuk mendapatkan pengesahan memandangkan pegawai Jakim pada 6 Julai 2012 mengesahkan bahawa pihaknya sekarang dalam proses tindakan pengharaman novel itu.

Tentulah aneh bahawa tiga hari sahaja selepas sebuah novel dilancarkan oleh Perdana Menteri, ada pula langkah diambil untuk mengharamkan novel berkenaan. Pasti ada sesuatu yang tidak kena dan perlu dibincangkan secara “hati-ke-hati” bersama-sama Perdana Menteri.

Sebagai pemilik tunggal ‘Perunding Media, Motivasi dan Penerbitan’ serta presiden Kavyan, saya sudah membincangkan perkara ini bersama-sama Faisal. Kami berpendapat bahawa langkah terbaik dalam menyelesaikan kemelut ini adalah dengan mengirim surat serta bertemu Perdana Menteri.

Uthaya Sankar SB adalah penulis bebas dan kolumnis FMT sejak Januari 2011.

'Monopoli' Petron pada MAS dipersoal

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim mempersoalkan perjanjian pembekalan minyak untuk pesawat Airbus A380 antara Malaysia Airlines System Bhd (MAS) dan Petron Malaysia (Petron), yang dikaitkannya dengan anggota keluarga Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Katanya, ekoran perjanjian itu syarikat penerbangan negara MAS tidak dibenarkan membeli minyak selain daripada Petron (dahulunya dikenali sebagai Esso Malaysia Bhd) selama enam bulan.

"Saudara, apa punya dasar ekonomi ini. Najib, ini apa? Kamu perdana menteri atau ketua kampung.

"(Najib) ini perdana menteri, dengan Mahathir (dia) takut, dengan PERKASA dia takut, dengan (Barrack) Obama dia takut, balik rumah takut," katanya sambil diiringi ketawa dan sorakan hadirin dalam ceramah di Selayang dekat ibu negara malam tadi.

"Sebab itu, ketelanjuran sudah teruk. Wang kita, kena ingat. MAS ini syarikat penerbangan negara, mana boleh bagi kepada satu syarikat (sahaja)," katanya.

Petron dan MAS menandatangani perjanjian khas pada 29 Jun bagi membekalkan dan membeli bahan api Airbus A380 syarikat penerbangan negara selama enam bulan, bermula 1 Julai lalu.

Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif MAS Group Ahmad Jauhari Yahya dilapor berkata syarikat penerbangan itu gembira mendapat rakan yang sama komited kepada keperluan mesra alam Airbus A380.

Bagi meraikan hubungan baru itu, Petron menyediakan bahan api percuma bagi penerbangan sulung pesawat A380 MAS, penerbangan MH2 dari Kuala Lumpur ke London pada malam Ahad sebelum ini.

MAS menerima pesawat A380 pertama di Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa KL pada Jumaat.

Pada 5 Jun, MAS juga menikmati bekalan bahan api daripada Petron apabila ia membawa kakitangan dan tetamu untuk mencuba penerbangan A380, termasuk Dr Mahathir.

Sementara itu, Anwar juga mengumumkan akan melaksanakan pendidikan percuma dan penghapusan pinjaman Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional (PTPTN), sebaik sahaja gabungan diumumkan membentuk kerajan jika menang dalam pilihan raya umum akan datang.

I do not hate Mahathir at all but like three former Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Hussein, Tun Abdullah and majority of Malaysians in 2012, I am opposed to Mahathirism and its return to Malaysian politics in 13GE

Lim Kit Siang profile pictureI have just returned from a four-day visit to Myanmar and I am most intrigued by the statement by former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad saying he did not know why I hated him so much.

Let me assure Mahathir that I do not hate him at all but like three former Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Hussein and Tun Abdullah and the majority of Malaysians in 2012, I am opposed to Mahathirism and its return to Malaysian politics in 13th general election.

Mahathir cannot be more wrong when he claimed that Abdullah was rejected by voters for “mistreating” him, asserting:

“Last time when Abdullah wasn’t good to me, the people did not support BN. So some people still have some sympathy for me.”

The reason why Abdullah suffered the worst UMNO/BN electoral defeat in the 2008 general election is because he failed to live up to his promise in the landslide 2004 general election victory to begin the serious task to dismantle the Mahathirish legacy of corruption, cronyism and abuses of power.

Recently, Mahathir has resurrected the worst strains of Mahathirism viz rabid racism, to the curses of corruption, cronyism and abuses of power, when he stoked racial fears among the Malays with his warnings that Malays will lose power if Umno loses the next general election, that Najib is a weak Prime Minister and that reforms could spark unrest, that the 13GE will be about race and that the Chinese voters are the kingmakers for the 13GE and will decide who forms the government – exhortations which are not only untrue, most incendiary and highly provocative, but totally against five decades of Malaysian nation-building, his own Vision 2020 of Bangsa Malaysia and Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia concept.

While denying that there is such thing as “Mahathirism”, Mahathir is working very hard to restore and entrench Mahathirism as the official creed of the UMNO/BN after the 13GE, whether led by Najib or somebody else.

Malaysian voters, especially the three million new voters in the 13GE, must unite to prove Mahathir wrong, that the return of Mahathirism is rejected conclusively and decisively to send out the clear message that the 13GE is not about race but about the future of a united, harmonious, just and progressive Malaysia where corruption, cronyism and abuses of power are relegated to the dustbins of history.

Country's Leadership To Do The Best For Young Generation - Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Saturday assured the young generation that the country's leadership would do their best to safeguard their future.

He said that as heirs and a generation who would inherit the country's leadership, they would certainly expect their future to be better than today.

"We can see in the Middle East, Africa, and, in fact, in Europe, the unemployment rate is almost 40 per cent.

"But, in our country, through policies and proper planning, as well as effective implementation, the youths believe in a better future for the country.

"This is our journey and the country's transformation agenda," he said at the 'Ekspresi Remaja Bersama Perdana Menteri' programme at the National Stadium here.



Najib's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who is also the President of the Girl Guides Association of Malaysia, was also present at the function.

Najib said that the government regarded the young generation as a valuable asset and treasure.

He said the government would further enhance its engagement with the young generation, regarding it as an investment for the country's future.

Najib also referred to the "2012 Gathering Of A Million Youths" in Putrajaya recently, which he said was a great success.

"There will be another programme next week, an activity on volunteerism which will be enhanced with the participation of the young people and youths," he added.

Ragu: Pendatang di bumi sendiri

If Najib doesn't welcome LGBT, let's vote him out

Najib’s hurtful statements against the lesbians, gays, bisexual and transsexual ('LGBT') community by stating there is no place in Malaysia for LGBTs is like a knife stabbing right through our hearts.

Najib flimsily backs up his argument by mentioning religion. There has also been references to a narrow interpretation of the meaning of gender in the federal constitution and so he concludes that LGBTs do not deserve any protection, thus have no human rights. So much for the 1Malaysia which remains just a slogan.

I am also so sick and tired of hearing people dressed in religious attire proclaiming to be most religious to the extent to be implying of being messengers of god, and in the name of god condemn LGBT community as sinners worthy of fire and brimstone.

It makes me think that these messengers of god playing politics in the pretence of being such holy beings are really just lunatics who hear imaginary voices in their head.

It is time the LGBT community strikes back hard to teach those homophobic people where it hurts them most.

One way is to organise a demonstration and march down the streets demanding equal rights for LGBTs, in which the end result would be facing police brutality.

Or I could take the initiative and proclaim myself to be the second Jesus Christ to make silly statements that I hear messages from the god or gods stating this and that, including that god is in the image of LGBT.

Since I can write, maybe I could author a completely new religious book. This would no doubt get me a permanent residency in a mental institution with the keys thrown away for good.

But maybe there is another workable way. I would call this the 1LGBT way.

You see, the popular statistics state that approximately 10 percent of every society consists of LGBTs. Now assuming that another 10 percent non-LGBT people are sympathisers of the LGBT community, imagine if, working together, members of both 10 percent groups reach out and educate just one other person each to fight for our cause.

This gives just 40 percent of voting power to vote for LGBTs or their sympathisers as members of parliament.

And what better time to do it as the 13th general election is round the corner.

Pushing it a little further, it is not a far-fetched idea if we LGBTs overthrow the current government and any government that has little regard to the LGBT community. The new government then forms parliament consisting of the members of parliament who are LGBTs and LGBT sympathisers. Certainly this would be most colourful.

Although 40 percent voting power when translated to 40 percent of the total members of parliament will be a weak government, it would be a strong message to deliver to those thick skulls who still think that condemning the LGBT community is the holy war that must be waged.

Not forgetting that the 40 percent if achievable will be a credible third force to check rampant discrimination against LGBT society.

Once upon a time, this was just a dream. Now it can be a reality. So in the coming 13th general election, let us, LGBT and LGBT sympathisers, work together to educate and campaign for just one more person to be on our side to form a big third force to force out the current government or any government who does not recognise the LGBT society.

It would also be nice to elect a capable non-corrupt individual as prime minister who is either lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual regardless of race. Now that is what I would call 1Malaysia.

He/she would repeal some discriminatory and outdated laws, like doing away with Section 377A on oral sex and 377B of the Penal Code on male anal sex, without any replacement of similar oppressive laws. Then introduce additional laws that make it a crime to discriminate, ridicule and condemn any LGBT.

My oh my, the list of reforms can go on and on with a LGBT prime minister with a LGBT cabinet, but I think the message is clear.