Nurul Izzah, vice-president and daughter of PKR party de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, has come under fire and defended for her statements at a forum reported by alternative news portal Malaysiakini headlined, "Nurul: There should be no compulsion in choosing faith"
Now, let this be absolutely clear, as crystal as the opening lines by that widely acknowledged opposition leaning Malaysiakini report - "People should not be compelled to adopt a particular religion and this should also apply to Malays, says Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar."
Nurul Izzah's blunder, reasons for which I will explain, opened the floodgates for the main stream print media to make reports, critical of the MP for Lembah Pantai's stand.
And for that, the first term MP will be taking legal action against Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian and a number of blogs for allegedly twisting her statement, reports another alternative news portal, The Malaysian Insider "Nurul Izzah submits transcript to JAIS, to proceed with suit"
On what grounds and basis the legal action is pursued will no doubt be anticipated for more than obvious reasons.
That said, Malaysiakini has seen fit to publish the "Transcript of Nurul Izzah's Q&A at forum" not once but three times. Here, here, and here.
A Cryptic message or glitch perhaps.
But seriously, I opine it as Malaysiakini saying they stand by their report.
Digressing, on the subject of standing by one's action, Malaysiakini is being probed for publishing a letter by Steve Oh entitled "Nurul's watershed idea for the nation" for alleged sedition. Malaysiakini also published a response by Mr Oh "I stand by my views, says letter writer". While it did not occur to me that the article could be considered seditious (obviously someone did), I did find the article racist and bigoted. I concluded thus and in hindsight should have published my views of that letter. I will, however say it here - it is racist and bigoted and therefore the author is a racist and a bigot. Despite anything Mr Oh wants to say of himself in his reply letter and also as Mr Oh says, I too am a nobody and freely under no protest whatsoever provide my email firstname.lastname@example.org (or thru my blog) to furnish my other contact details for him to sue me.
Coming back to Nurul Izzah, those loose lips at the forum was taken seriously enough to earn a a right royal rebuke from HRH the Sultan of Selangor.
The problem with liberal thinking civil society represented by various NGOs, in general, and individuals, in particular, is their difficulty or their refusal to accept realities.
The difficulty or the refusal to accept the realities is more pronounced among the anti-government and pro-opposition supporters.
The reality is, the Malays are the dominant race in Malaysia. The reality is, the Malays are adherents of Islam, the official religion of the country.
When this realities, which are also undisputed facts, are accepted (or even if at the very least, considered), complexities when addressing contentious religious issues and discourse become less complicated.
Freedom of religion
To the thousands of opposition and anti-government supporters including the opposition leaning NGOs, for the subject a hand, who consider the United States the greatest democracy in the world, I will pose this question, is there true religious freedom in the land of free and brave?
I always say I cannot speak for other Christians.
I speak as a Catholic and also ask of my Catholic community the same question.
An important info first. Barack Obama has won the US presidential elections a comfortable margin in electoral votes but by a very slim margin in the popular vote.
Back to the question, Forbes has this article "The Audacity of Power: President Obama Vs. The Catholic Church" and I append the closing passages,
Before our very eyes, President Obama is on the verge of establishing the principle that the right to religious freedom comes not from our Creator, but from those who rule us. A government endowed right granted to women now trumps our unalienable right to act in accordance with our religious beliefs and conscience. Not only does this overturn the First Amendment, it also tramples the nation’s founding principles as announced in the Declaration of Independence. Such an achievement would be the true audacity of power.
The fundamental question is whether the Catholic Church, and by extension, individual Americans have to engage in activities according to the rulings of this and future Presidents, or are we free to live our lives as we choose as long as we do not harm another. Are we free to engage in long standing religious practices that have never before been deemed unlawful, or has the federal government established a de facto state “religion” that it is prepared to enforce through the full coercive power of its financial resources and the imposition of financial penalties.
However, the Catholic Church can turn the tables on the President by taking Option A off the table with a humble statement of principal that in the matters of religious practices and conscience, there is a higher authority than government Who it chooses to obey. If President Obama prevails and unleashes the full force of the federal government against the Church, the cost will be the closing of Catholic schools, hospitals and the loss of social services that play a vital part in communities across the nation. Such a stand would make clear to the American people that the alternative to religious freedom would be a mortal wound to our civil liberties and a complete disruption of civil society.
I am not a Catholic, nor do I believe in the Church’s opposition to contraception. But I pray that the leadership of the Catholic Church will have the faith and courage to stand for its core beliefs and use all of its moral power and political influence to defeat the President’s edict. I pray they will reach out across the political spectrum to people of all faiths, agnostics and atheists in the name of religious freedom and individual liberty. By so doing, they, and the institution of the Catholic Church, will have my love and respect for the rest of my life.
To be continued