Friday, January 20, 2012

So what exactly was Anwar trying to say?

In his posting at his blog, "Not Fall Into The Trap Waylaid By The Umno-Controlled Media" the exact reply, to a question that is subject of a suit against Utusan Malaysia, is quote,
“We will have to review archaic laws and we, Muslims and non Muslims generally believe and committed to support the sanctity of marriage between man and woman in Malaysia.

But we should not be seen as punitive and consider the archaic laws as relevant. We need to review them. We do not promote homosexuality in public sphere and domain.

We will not make apologies towards that. I think to use this sort of legislation to be punitive, punish innocent people cannot be condoned and be tolerated.”
1. "We will have to review archaic laws.."

2. "But we should not be seen as punitive.." (my emphasis)

3. "..and not consider the archaic laws as relevant." ("not" added for the context of the sentence)

4. "We do not promote homosexuality in public sphere and domain." (my emphasis)

5. "We will not make apologies towards that." (referring to 4 above)

6. "I think to use this sort of legislation to be punitive, punish innocent people cannot be condoned and be tolerated.” (my emphasis)



The question that elicited the reply is, according to the video,
"How far do you want that message of freedom to go because your case, that you have just been acquitted over; that generated a really newly invigorated gay-right movement in your country.......are you prepared to take that idea, anti-discrimination, as far as gay-rights"
It is therefore abundantly clear that Anwar was replying to a question regarding the gay-right movement, anti-discrimination of gays and gay-rights in that order.

Now, let's establish the meaning of gay-rights.

In the broadest sense the gay-right movement, even though gay would mean having sexual orientation towards a same gender, has evolved into a singular movement to include rights of lesbians (female homosexual), gays (male homosexual), bisexuals and transsexuals or the LGBT Movement.

Be that as it may, the question in conflict is whether or not Anwar supports gay-rights, either in the same sex context or gay-rights in the broadest sense.

This is where the Anwar reply does not categorically state as much.

What he categorically states is "we, Muslims and non Muslims generally believe and committed to support the sanctity of marriage between man and woman in Malaysia."

The "the sanctity of marriage between man and woman". That's all.

No where in his reply is there any reference to gay-rights.

Even then, he chooses the word "generally".

It is homosexuality and not gay-rights (in any sense) that Anwar refers to when he says "We do not promote homosexuality in public sphere and domain".

Anwar continues,"We will not make apologies towards that."

Apologies for what? Not promoting homosexuality. Again, that's all.

And for that matter homosexuality "in public sphere and domain".

By saying that "we" do not make apologies for not promoting homosexuality in the "public sphere and domain", is Anwar saying "we" do not discourage homosexuality when it is in the privacy of one's sphere and domain?

The only conclusion one can come up with is that Anwar has sidestepped the question of whether he supports gay-rights or not.

That is why Anwar could only reply by way of mentioning "archaic" laws that are "not relevant", in the context of the question, which outlaws homosexuality.

And that is why Anwar finds himself in the predicament he is in.

A predicament out of a predicament in answering a question that would have put him in a predicament of losing the Muslim and/or liberal description of Anwar Ibrahim.

Blogger note:

What is the purpose of numerically listing the Anwar reply with my emphasis?

That's for the readers' benefit to further decipher what exactly it was that Anwar was trying to say.

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