Blog Archives

Prejudice against any group depends on generalization for it to take root successfully in one’s mind. Although I have to admit that sometimes there are voices in my head whispering ethnic prejudice and stereotype, I typically find it hard to harbor such sentiment for long. I have friends of ethnicities different from mine. If I […]

[2308] Of pourquoi?

Abdul Hadi Awang saw it and he capitalized on it. Given how the Islamic party he is in positions itself in the Allah controversy, he took the next step and suggested that the first principle of the Rukunegara[0] be changed from belief in god to belief in Allah.[1] If Allah is a generic term for […]

Jakim, a Malaysian federal institution responsible for Islamic affairs, together with RTM, state-owned public television and radio broadcaster, are getting creative by producing a reality TV program aimed at “unearthing talent among children in various aspects of Islam“: The progamme, which be will both entertaining and educational, was aimed at unearthing talent among children in […]

I have clarified my position regarding the usage of the term Allah by Catholic group and by extension, any term by anybody. This reasoning forms the basis of my position not to oppose Catholic group’s use of the term. Indeed, I consider this line of reasoning as not only the most convincing for me, consistent […]

And so it has come to this. Amid the tension between those who support — or at least do not oppose — and those who oppose the use of the term Allah by the Catholic Church in Malaysia, a church was torched by arsonists, as the initial reports go.[1] I fear that this might not […]

I have nothing clever to say with respect to the controversy involving the usage of the term Allah by Christians in Malaysia (specifically, Catholic Christians I suppose) and objection raised by considerable number of Muslims there.[1] What I have to say is just some plain old consequences arising from my libertarian position. I think I have somewhat […]

There are several countries that, in my mind, symbolize tolerance and openness to different cultures. The Netherlands was one of them, until the rise of right-wing politics best represented by Geert Wilders as its public persona. Switzerland was probably one of few that belonged to this class. The reputation of Swiss humanitarianism further enhanced that image. Such generalization […]

A contest between PAS and UMNO within conservative Malay settings is more likely than not a race to the bottom. It inevitably degenerates into a deplorable inquiry regarding which between the two political parties is more Islamic than the other. While doing so, PAS effectively resorts to exclusive politics that is clearly inconsistent to its assertion […]

A person asked me what do I think of Sarkozy’s hostility to burqa and why I have not written against it. I have not written against it because I generally dislike repeating myself. It is an old issue and I have made myself clear with respect to Turkey (back in 2008) and the Netherlands (2006). But for […]

« Prev - Next »