What would you think if I told you there is a significant Malay population somewhere in Shah Alam, that unanimously agrees to the latest referendum in Switzerland to ban construction of Minarets in the entire country?
What would you think if I told you these Muslim-Malays think that in a democracy the rights of the majority must be heard, and if they don’t want Minarets, then Minarets shouldn’t be built.
The Swiss, like most European countries, consider themselves forward-thinking and inclusive. Though in a open democratic referendum that the Government themselves have condemned, more swiss voted for a ban than against it. It means that regardless of the economic difficulties to build a Minaret, Muslims in Switzerland would be BANNED altogether from building these structures that stand as symbols of their faith.
As a minority in Malaysia, I understand how these Muslims must feel.
My church is Klang required 10 years before a building permit was approved for our church hall. This is for a church of 8,000 in a multi-racial town and the building was to be built on church property. IT TOOK 10 years.
If the building permit was approved 10 years earlier, as it should, we would have built the church at less than half the price and be a debt-free parish by now. As it stands we have a Rm3.0 million dollar loan that needs to be re-paid in the coming years. All thanks for the state governments stance of not approving the loan.
The Church of the Divine Mercy in Shah Alam, was moved from area to area, until finally it was decided that the church would be built on a factory lot, that the government used the National Land Act to forcefully take from a company. The church on a factory lot. This incidentally is the church that Khalid Samad visited almost immediately after being appointed MP.
This is the same Shah Alam, were recently residents staged the now infamous cow head protest outside the state secretariat to protest the construction of a temple. Apparently the majority muslim population in Shah Alam don’t like a temple near their home. These are the Muslims that agree the swiss. These are the Muslims that don’t want Minarets in Switzerland. The Muslims of the world, have these few to thank for the Swiss Ban.
Fortunately, we have a quite a few souls that respect everyones right to worship. Fortunately as Malaysians we are inclusive in nature.
The question is, that if we have a referendum, to once and for all, determine if the temple should be built in Shah Alam…… I’m not sure what the result would be.
Currently the only time Malaysians vote is in an election which is held once every 5 years. We gauge political support from these elections. The new-media which includes blogs and the internet and biased towards the opposition (including I admit, this blog) the old-media of newspapers and bernama tv reports and biased towards the government (although bias is an understatement). Any political data we gather from these sources are not accurate enough to gauge public opinion. In most cases of public opinion, the loud minority inherently quell the silent majority and we have no way to know for sure, what the average Malay Muslim in Seksyen 23 Shah Alam actually thinks about the temple.
As a minority in Malaysia, I feel for the Swiss Muslims. They should be allowed to build their own minarets. In Pakistan, I’ve seen beautiful churches, which have regular service every Sunday. Are Pakistanis more inclusive than the Swiss? On this context the answer is a resounding YES.
Are Pakistanis more inclusive then Malaysians….that’s a question for you to ponder.
That’s my 2 cents. Don’t spend it all in one place.