Side Views

Let’s ban ‘em all! — Art Harun

June 12, 2012

JUNE 12 — I quite like the way people in authority attempt to solve various problems in Malaysia.

A long time ago, safety helmets were made compulsory for every motorcyclist and pillion rider. Thereafter, some smarty-pants wore helmets with visors to rob banks. Although I was still in school at that time, I remember the so-called solution which our authority came up with to solve that problem. They simply banned helmets with visors. Problem solved, right?

Many years ago there were concerns over deaths caused by accidents involving water-scooters on Penang beaches. Of course, before everybody could finish saying “water-scooters”, I remember some hot-shots proposed that water-scooters be banned. Fortunately that did not happen.

Baby dumping? Oh well, that’s easy. Ban, among others, Valentine’s Day celebration.

The best of the lot are the efforts taken by some of our so-called ulamaks to solve the problem of Muslims having very weak “aqidah” or faith.

Muslims in Malaysia must be among the weakest when it comes to “aqidah”. After all, a parliamentarian readily told the Parliament last year, if I am not mistaken, that Malaysian men cannot “tahan” to see their wife (or wives) cooking in the kitchen when they come back from work. The wife (or wives) must thus be ready to have sex with the men there and then. This was, and is still, of course readily agreed to by the Obedient Wives Club which also advocates, among others, spiritual sex. (I think the OWC took the idea of spiritual sex from the cyber sex or phone sex phenomenon.)

Sorry, I digress.

Yes, Muslims in Malaysia are very weak in their “aqidah”. Solutions, anybody? Yes, ban the poco-poco dance. Ditto Valentine’s Day celebration. In Bangi, someone actually said cinemas should not be built. What else ya? Oh, yes. Electronic Bible. Ban it please. While we are it, why don’t we ban the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia as well, right? That would be a holistic approach. Yes. Superb.

If those were not enough, we should then have a seminar titled “Strengthening the Faith, the Dangers of Liberalism and Pluralism and the Threat of Christianity towards Muslims. What is the Role of Teachers?”

Of course, recently, we have the Erykah Badu banning. All because of some art work on her body. The most recent is Irshad Manji’s book. Over in Indonesia recently, they went gaga over a Lady Gaga concert. You all know the result, right? Yes. What else but a ban.

Looking at the trend, the enemies of Islam are not just the Israelis, the Jews, the United States and their allies. The most potent poison one could unleash against us, Muslims, is nothing but women, apparently. Send Irshad Manji and that’s it, 15 million Muslims would lose their faith soon. Send in Lady Gaga and hundreds of millions of Muslims would be out of their Islamic mind sooner than one could spell “Gaga”.

Malaysia is, however, not alone when it comes to banning things. China, which coincidentally invented paper, started banning books on philosophy which came from anywhere other than the state of Qin in the 3rd century BC. In fact, China is still leading the way in this area of socio-illogical move. Most recent is its banning of Kate Winslet’s breast in the “Titanic 3D” movie for fear of the men reaching out to touch them in the cinema. Classic.

Books seem to be the favourite for this activity. In this regards, Islam is not the only religion in whose name books were banned. The Catholic Church had forced Peter Abelard to burn his own book, which consisted, among others, his interpretation of the Trinitarian. There was also a time when the Bible was prohibited from being translated into the vernacular. And guess what? The Catholic Church also used to have issues with Greek plays as well as Arabic and Jewish texts. Hmm… déjà vu?

In England, Henry VIII led the way. He actually did not like William Tynedale’s version of the Bible and had it, of course, banned. Not enough with that, he burned him at the stake.

Meanwhile, the “greatest nation on Earth”, aka the US of A, is not spared with this disease as well. In Massachusetts, the Quaker texts were banned. And, of course, they also hanged witches at Salem. Boston saw the imprisonment of Ann Austin and Mary Fischer for texts which offended the then acting governor.

One of the most astounding book burnings happened in the land of freedom and liberty itself — France. In 1842, surprise, surprise, officials at the school for the blind actually collected books written in Braille and burned them. Of course we all know that Louis Braille’s method later became a universal writing method for the blinds.

Anything which can be banned would be banned. Australia, the land of wonderful beaches, man-eating sharks and kangaroos, a year or two ago sought to prevent exploitation of children in pornography. And how did they propose to do that? Hilarious. That’s how. They proposed a ban of small-breasted women in pornography.

Malaysia’s regulations on prohibited names are perhaps necessary due to the fact that some parents do give their children names such as Siti Mazda or Abdul iPhone. We can however take refuge in the fact that we are not alone. In Denmark, there is the Law on Personal Names to be content with. Under that law, people expecting children can choose a pre-approved name from a government list of 7,000 mostly West European and English names — 3,000 for boys, 4,000 for girls. Those wishing to have non-approved names must seek permission at their local parish or church. Among those who wish to deviate is Lan Tan, a 27-year-old Danish woman of Singaporean and Malaysian descent who is trying to win approval for her daughter’s name, Frida Mei Tan-Farndsen. Yes. Go Malaysia!

So, worry not for this madness. We are not alone. — art-harun.blogspot.com

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.