Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saving Others Starts With Yourself

So another fancy video pops up from nowhere. But now, this video is not about Kony anymore. It is now about Islam and proselytism. Talk about the timing, really. It is released when Ramadhan has just started and Muslims are very enthusiastic on doing our best in this holy month of Ramadhan. But seriously, another attempt in making another viral video?

While the intention is good,there are some flaws or questions that need to answered here.

1. 2 million Muslims leaving Islam for Christianity each year? Based on this, the rate that Christianity grows does not reflect that, at most 6 millions in 5 years (2005-2010), which we are not even sure if all the 6 millions are Muslims who have converted to Christian. Meanwhile, Islam has seen an exponential growth of around 17 millions in 5 years (2005-2010). 2 millions per year? Thats a bit of an exaggeration,isnt it?

2. The fault should be at Muslims who neglect those who are in trouble. Seriously, what is the use of the zakat money then? Why blame those who are in trouble and get love and support from those who are not Muslims and attracted to Christianity? Why blame the Christians who proselytize? Blame the Muslims who are too lazy to care about others and neglect those who are in need. It is not something new really. In Malaysia, we have Hassan Ali talks about Christians trying to convert some Muslims by offering help and such. So how about other Muslims then? Why aren't Muslims helping other Muslims by utilizing the zakat money to those in need? It is not for a Minister to use it for his lawyer fees, that is for sure. I have had some experience in being involved with organizations which give out free food to homeless and those who are less fortunate and based on what I have seen, very few Muslims take up the initiative to be involved in this kind of programme. It is better for those who are reluctant to join to just stay in the mosque and listen to ceramah, I guess. So again, blame the Muslims who are not trying enough.

3. You know who need the real help? The Rohingya people. They are facing threats of being killed in huge numbers and this is not an exaggerations. Many of them have to leave Burma and to find somewhere safe where they won't be persecuted due to their ethnicity. Some of them are even here in Malaysia. Ahh, that is good to hear, right? Right here in Malaysia, a country where the Muslims are the majority. Wrong. Absolutely wrong. Malaysia has not signed the 1951 Refugee Convention agreement thus these refugees do not have the basic rights of a refugee and this also leads to many cases of abuse of power where they can be detained and treated as illegal immigrants. Of course, there are some discretion by the Immigration Department but cases of abuse of power is not something that is rare.

So how can you help them? One way is to get the Government of Malaysia to sign the agreement thus the Rohingya can actually be helped. If you really are concerned about Muslims, this is the way. Not just sharing videos and sitting there and hoping a miracle will happen. Life does not work that way. It requires action, not just mere words.