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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Cow Head Petition

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If you’ve been observant, you’d have noticed that there’s a new box in the sidebar, right below the blog introduction blurb.

Walski feels that it’s an important petition, aiming to delegitimize violence and hatred. It was prompted by (surprise, surprise) the cow head protest that happened last Friday.

Not surprisingly, the petition is entitled Cow Head Lessons: Delegitimize Violence and Hatred.

Walski was one of the first hundred who signed it. And if you are someone that values civil behavior (even during protests), then you should take a look at it, at least.

Better yet, if you sign it.
(petition preamble, and more, in the full post)

The following is the petition preamble. You can read the rest here.

The Cow-Head Lesson for Merdeka: Delegitimize Violence and Hatred

We, the undersigned civil society organizations are shocked, angered and saddened by the “Cow-Head protest” in Shah Alam last Friday, 28 August 09, against a proposed Hindu temple in Section 23 of the city. The carrying of the head of a freshly slaughtered cow, a sacred animal to the Hindus, and the unveiled threat of bloodshed on the eve of Merdeka celebration suggests that all Malaysians need to reflect deeply about our 52 years of nationhood, and the clarion call of 1Malaysia.

From the outset, these heinous acts of crime perpetrated by the irresponsible few must NEVER be seen as a conflict between the two faiths or the two faith communities. All major spiritual traditions, Islam and Hinduism included, uphold peace and human dignity as their common and core values. Our spirituality and love for humanity mandates us for the perpetual quest for peace and abhorrence of all forms of hatred and civil disorder.

The Shah Alam incident sadly reveals that violence and hatred are still inadequately delegitimized in our society. We exhort all Malaysians to unite in our joint efforts to decry and delegitimize violence and hatred to prevent any individual or grouping from resorting to intimidation and provocation when faced with any town-planning disputes or rows of similar nature.
(source: The Cow Head Petition)

If, after you’ve read the whole thing, agree with the petition, do sign it. Better yet – spread the word about it via Facebook or your blog (if you have either), or send an e-mail to your friends informing them about it. Instructions on how to do all this can be found on the petition page itself, after you’ve signed it.

While Walski is all for freedom of expression and all, even the kind of expression displayed by the Cow-Head fellers, in tense times, insulting others to further your cause is not always the most intelligent thing to do. And inciting violence is a definite no-no, under any circumstances.

So, give the petition a gander, and sign it if you agree. In the day or so that the petition has been put online, over 780 people have signed it (as of the time of this posting), but more signatures are needed. It is, after all, a call for everyone to conduct ourselves with more civility. Even if it’s to express our outrage – there are intelligent ways of doing it, and as we witnessed last Friday, stupid ways, too.

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