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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Reader comment: Hypocrisy & Inconsistency

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From time to time myAsylum gets comments from its readers that Walski thinks deserve more attention. In relation to the post "Whinges of War", a reader, who goes by the nickname of Lars, left a comment Walski thought was important to highlight.

Some minor edits have been made for grammar and punctuation, but not the content. Any emphasis is by myAsylum.

In any case, the comment by Lars has to do how hypocritical Malaysians (and the Malaysian government) can be.

Walski, with regards to this topic, allow me to ask a simple question, both as a fellow Malay and a Malaysian. First, let me say, I am supporter of neither side here - Israel is very violent and aggressive, Palestinians are simply way too corrupt, disunited and violent as well to rule themselves as they demand. Ok, here goes:

Do you think the Israelis are being made scapegoats by both our government (and many Muslim governments) to blind our local people to the many problems around?

Think about it.

What do Malaysians care if Israel kills 1000 or even 10,000 Palestinians? Seriously. It sounds callous, but think about it.

They're on the other side of the world. Ok, people will trot out the same old tired rubbish about "ummah" and them being human beings.

You know what? I agree. And here we are, in our backyard, the Thai government has been fighting a virtual civil war not even 10km from Malaysian borders. Oh, it doesn't get much publicity, but you know what? Death toll is just as high as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the last 10 yrs. And you know what? Not only are they Muslim (making them part of the ummah) they are also 99% as Malay as you and me, probably more Malay than any of our PMs, past and present. Not only religion, but race is common factor as well.

(the rest of the comment, and more,  in the full post)

Why no protest? No angry mobs burning Thai flags? No UN resolutions by our foreign minister? Where the hell is the "Ketuanan Melayu" UMNO screams about when Malays is getting brutalized?

Why when Condoleeza Rice came to visit, our local "hero" KJ jumped the police barrier to deliver a protest letter, but when the Narrathiwat massacre happened, not even a peep from our dear sleepy PM and his hero SIL? Or no US$ 1 million for the victims?

I'll let you in on another secret. Just to the north of our beautiful Sabah, another "ethnic cleansing" has been going on as Filipino troops fight a 20-year civil war against Moro separatist. Guess what? Muslim? Check as well. Also, many genes in common with Malay.

Death toll? No one really knows, but far exceeds Israel-Palestine. In fact, our Sabah is choked full of refugees from this conflict. Just go to Semporna and see...

So how come so many ignorants in our Government and Press? TV3 blasts Israelis to the max but not one bad word against Thais or Philippines? In fact they say many good things about them?

Jagalah halaman rumah sendiri sebelum pergi jaga tepi kain orang dekat Asia barat tu....

For the benefit of non-Bahasa Malaysia speakers, the last sentence reads "Let's take care of our own backyard, before being overly concerned about the people in the Middle East..."

And Walski agrees. 

Why the selective (and therefore hypocritical) boycott and protests? The instances quoted by Lars doesn't even take into account the silence by our Government and "concerned" NGOs about atrocities that happen to communities that are non-Muslim - silence, most of the time.

Not to take away from the tragedy and human carnage that has left Gaza in tatters. And Walski thinks he doesn't need to re-emphasize his stand.

But to answer the implicit question that Lars has posed, as to why the overzealous exuberance when it comes to Palestine, and not Southern Thailand or Mindanao? There are two reasons Walski can think of immediately.

First, as Muslims, we've been conditioned from young to believe that all the troubles in the world faced by the so-called ummah are the fault of the ubiquitous other. And no bigger other exists, as far as Muslims are concerned, than the Jews. In Malaysia, we've added to that list the ethnic Chinese, the Christians, the non-Malays... anyone that fits into the category of the other. It's always their fault.

And every one of these others is out to destroy Islam and Muslims. This "blame others" mentality has been built into our psyche, almost. And to think otherwise is tantamount to treason.

And the sick mindset of thinking that when bad things happen to people we don't like, it's God's punishment, and in extreme cases, something we should even rejoice. Some of us sometimes even hope and pray to God that bad things happen to people on our hate list.

But what about when Muslims kill other Muslims? Does any concerned Muslim in this country even care that Hamas has no qualms about persecuting and killing their own?

Or is it because they are outwardly fighting Israel that their crimes internally are turned a blind eye to? As long as it's against the other, then however cruel they may be to other Palestinians doesn't matter. Why? In the name of "Muslim solidarity"? Walski happened upon this video on YouTube. Watch and reflect.

A wrong is a wrong no matter who commits it. The silence of Muslims at large, in the end, becomes an indictment against Islam itself.

Ever wondered why the Arab states (with the exception of Egypt) have been very silent on the latest Gaza assault? Could it possibly be that they, too, want Hamas out of the way, and that Israel is doing the dirty work for them?

Secondly, specific to Southern Thailand and Mindanao, Malaysia always chooses to be the "good neighbor" who doesn't want to offend or interfere. Kinda like the neighbor who remains silent while the next door neighbor's wife is continually being abused physically and mentally, and the kids beaten half to death. And always the excuse of what happens in Asean countries is none of our business.

What hypocrisy.

Speaking of being hypocritical, why is it okay to protest a war when the protest is organized by BN-friendly parties, but not okay when organized by those seen as not being BN-friendly? Read Marina M.'s posting on how the police arrested 21 anti-war protesters yesterday, including MP for Klang, Charles Santiago. If you are a Malaysiakini subscriber, you can read about it here.

And why the big fuss about "child exploitation" when Jerit did its cycling campaign (with the consent of the underaged cyclists parents), but when the Education Ministry plans a mass rally using schoolchildren, probably without the consent of their parents, it's not exploitation?

What hypocrisy. And inconsistency.

Anyways... Walski thanks reader Lars for his valuable comment, by the way. It's refreshing to know that Walski's not the only person in this country who is sickened by this hypocritical behavior...

It's nice to know that he's not alone.