Conventional wisdom says that respect is earned and not to be forced with. So it is clear that it is forced with shown by that the latest JAIS fiasco raid. It is one of the case in point where the basic tenet of respect has been violated. This came not even less than two weeks after the similar case where Najib, when returning back to Malaysia said to the press that "respect Islam first then we respect yours".
There has been a perception that just because Islam is defined as the official religion of the country under the Federal Constitution meaning that there can be stamping the foot onto other religions. It is true that there are groups of people with such of mindset that if there is a slightest moment of an allegation of a Malay conversion to Christianity, as example, these kind of people, without thinking deeply would go frenzy and start making noises of violating their religion and doing things they are not supposed to do and so forth (e.g, the cow head demo in Shah Alam). The obsession of knowing things that are not so important seem to be engraved in the minds of those.
The latest JAIS fiasco with police rounding up dinner participants and coming without any warrant of search shows no respect to other religions just because in the religion context, they are big brother and nobody should challenge them, even if they are in the wrong clearly. You only need to go back to the Crusades period of Baldwin IV where any Muslim and Christian are welcomed to be together in harmony.
While many would start pointing fingers at others, many have failed to see the mirror side of themselves. They are mostly unaware that actions that they do are equivalent to forcing their perceptions and believes onto others, even if it is not really accurate as to what is defined in the holy books.
One night, I went for a round of drinks with my usual Malay retiree friend who lamented that even though a Muslim prays five times a day, yet they still do corruption things, which of course violates a core tenet of Islam which mandates the need to fight the evils like that. Some people would call me an infidel (kafir), just because of my skin, my personal beliefs as well as me eating pork but yet, he admitted that even a kafir can behave and do things much better than they themselves. This was clearly illustrated by Mat Sabu on Thursday which he said that: “Even when I tell them RM28 billion was lost due to corruption in Malaysia, they don’t care or can’t comprehend but the Chinese, as taxpayers, get angry,”
The complacency and who cares attitude adopted by these people are what Malaysia is heading to - an abyss of worse things that they can never get out unless there is a mindset revolution and enlightenment.
News articles about body snatching by religion officials, non-Muslim temple demolitions, child custody battle with conversion into count and the problems along the way would also give problem to others and poses the question of how non-Muslim religions are given the proper respect if there is an attitude of stamping onto others as leverage and demand for respect?
Respect is earned, not forced with. Unless it is a formal function with state leaders or kings / queens gracing their presence and include delivering keynote speeches, nobody would really care about the demand of respect, not unless a person does things that will help everyone regardless of creed and religion. In this case, this is what the GOM and JAIS is severely lacking. I must admit that the non-Muslim interfaith council won't go that much unless a Race Relations Act is proposed and defined clearly of how it would be done. Imagine seeing one big stamp vs a pool of small stamps equivalent to the big stamp. How would that be?
How will the Vatican take that issue? Not well, definitely. Not with after Malaysia establishing formal ties with the Vatican. They would surely in exchange ask for a consulate and will definitely monitoring the Christian affair in the country to ensure that the GOM lives up to their promise of respecting other religions, as what Najib told the Pope in Rome. And this? This has indicated wrong footing with them, breaking promises and then.
I understand that Hassan Ali was summoned to give an explanation of the fiasco tomorrow and I would really like to hear what he has to say in his own words.