Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Let's do the Dannatt!

This is in reference to that very refreshing picture of United Kingdom Chief of General Staff General Sir Richard Dannatt who participated in a prayer, or doa, at the prayer session at the 74th Malaysian Army Day in Port Dickson.
For a non-Muslim, Dannatt was seen cupping his hands during the prayer session and this is seen as one liberated human being whose respect for other people's religion is something our Malaysian leaders should emulate and do when "visiting" each other's religious session. I have seen S. Samy Vellu, Ong Ka Ting, Lim Keng Yaik, Kayvveas and other non-Muslim politicians when during a prayer session or doa session at a function graced by Malay leaders seemed so wanting to be totaly disassociated themselves from this simple Islamic ritual. So what wrong if they do the "Dannatt" it will make them a much sought after non-Malay politicians to be admired by Muslim-Malays. Of course one can argue that Malay-Muslim leaders must also do the same at any non-Muslim ceremony, and I think they should, what do you think! It is kind of odd to see these respectable non-Muslim leaders not being able to do a simple ritual at a doa session there is nothing wrong and it will not make them less Buddhist, Taoist or Hindu, or Christian! I once placed an incense, no three incenses, at an ancient Buddhist temple in Siem Riep out of respect for this ancient religion, does that make me a Buddhist? I was once initiated into a Sundance ritual of the North American Indian, the first Malay-Muslim I believe, but that does not make me an animist! In fact it made me richer in knowledge knowing how other people rituals which lead to the same thing, to be close to God! There is only one GOD as far as I am concerned! But how we do it is what makes a diversity in kaleidoscope of religious rituals, rich in cultures, and mystic and humility knowng how small we really are when in our quest of finding the meaning of life! So let us be the first to start! Lets do the Dannatt! Its about time! Hey!This can be THE first step towards real understanding! For example we have to stop associating Islam with the Malay culture, and even if you hate the Malays, when it comes to religious ceremony just think about the goodness Islam as one of the great religions along side Christian, Juadism, Hindu, and Buddhist!


Anonymous said...

This is new surely something that we have to think about if we want understanding.

Mat Rempit Hubris,Carthage said...

Datuk Pasquale, this posting you almost sound like a liberal...a label that i was under the impression you disdain....hahahaha

But who cares about labels, right scallywag?

Anyway,wanted to share 3 different experiences related to your postings.

In 2001, i was at a Thai Buddhist Temple in Songkhla with a group of freinds and when they were burning the 3 incenses, on an impulse, i participated.Until today i dont really know why i did it-maybe the circumstances of the occasion had triggerd the impulse, or maybe due to the fact that i have the utmost respect for Bhumibol. Well, regardless of what triggerd such a response, faith wise, i have never felt bad or unsure about it. And never have i felt that the act in anyway compromised my faith or made me less a Muslim.

Additionaly, on a dare and aslo as an act of respect to a Sikh friend, i've aslo had the experience of being a vegetarian for forty days and the privilege of participating in the langhar.

Being a vegetarian was truly an arduous experience for me, far harder than fasting and i had to do it with the full accompaniment of invoking Sikh religious prayers.The prayers went along the lines of:

Farida bhar peraya bessna,
Saiyee mujhay nadhei,
Jay-tu air ver rahksi,
Jeeyoo seri rohlay

After the forty days was up, in no way did i feel less muslim, but on the contrary, i felt a sense of contentment.

None the less, many, many years ago while i was in a Catholic school in England i never once participated in mimicking the symbolic gestures of the crucifix when the school prayers were held each time before lunch.Somehow or rather i felt that it was incongrues to certain fundermentel tenets of my faith.N today when i look back i am glad that i did what i did. To me participating in the symbolic gesture of the cross is totally against the concept of tawhid.

So participating in the religious gestures of different religions provoke a different response from me- i am fairly indifferent to burning incenses, contented after being a vegeterian for 40 days but i wont participate in the symbolic gestures of the crucifix.At least not in earnesty

PS-Thanx for starting the blog.I find what you write interesting while your writing style, no paragraphing and full of bile, refreshingly irritating.

Keep up the good postings, mate.

spycatcher03 said...

If you go to Indonesia,during a doa ceremony by muslims , the non muslim(Hindus and christians) also cup their hands. That why most of the functions I attended in Indonesia the emcee will announce ' lets pray according to individual belief'
Your write-up is very inspiring towards a more untited and harmonious society!!

shanghaistephen said...

Seems you and your commenters here only show /display an act of understanding of the other religions when you are outside of this country. Why ? are you afraid of peer persecution right here in this country. You can see that the other religions display respect to Islam in this country without protest( e.g. at school assemlies, goverment functions,) but the same cannot be said vice-versa. And to mat rempit hubris- only monkeys mimmic - and you do come across as a 'pasquale'if I may say so.. Don't try to do a 'Dannatt', be yourself first and make sure before respecting yourself ...respect God... in any language GOD is LOVE !
Respecting all God's creation and their beliefs would never make you a lesser being .
By the way I have yet to see a muslim politician in a church..heh...heh!
I repeat...I am neither a racist nor a religious bigot!

Mat Rempit Hubris,Carthage said...

Dear Shanghaistephan,

Yo what's up dude? Been doing too much "yam seng" lately?

You know, i would love to reply to what you wrote but i cant. Though you mentioned me in your comment, nonetheless, I have no idea to which part of what I wrote, were u responding to.

Part of what you wrote seemed friendly in nature, though couched a tad sanctimoniously, while another part seems tinged with sarcasm. But nothing clear.

Don't be equivocal mate.

I await your reply.

PS- Datuk Pasquale- not sure if my previous comment got thru..something wrong with the computer. So if there is 2 similar comments by me, pls delete one.Thanx