Saturday, 26 September 2015
SURVIVING IN A MULTI-RACIAL, MULTI-RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY
When I reverted to Islam despite my parents' opposition, I was already breaking a few family taboos. Nobody in my family has ever been other than a Buddhist. Well, maybe nobody has been other than Taoist. I could never really be sure, growing up in a country where almost everyone profess to a religion but not all are actually practising believers. You see, in my family altar, KuanYim Buddha sits at the same table with Taoist god KuanKong.
Now with all the racial tensions created to divert some of our attentions from the real issues at hand, as a Muslim revert caught in the middle. being married to a Malay chap some seven years ago, I could only sigh in relief that my family is still ok. Relieved that my children are still too young to understand the problems faced by Muslim reverts and their families. Happy that as a civil servant, I'm free to practise my beliefs and earn an honest living. Glad that my parents, who are still Buddhists, have finally accepted my new family and I back into the family. Of course, some adjustments are necessary but those minor issues have never failed to diminish our love for each other.
So when a Malay youngster called the Chinese in general as 'Cina Babi' I could not help but feel sorry for him. Why?
First, for his naivety. He apparently does not have many Chinese friends to realise that not all Chinese eat pork. Vegetarians among the Chinese community do not eat any meat. Some Chinese Christians don't eat pork either. Of course, the Chinese Muslims, some 70.000 of us, don't eat pork as well.
Secondly, to call someone an animal would only result in another calling him another animal. God, You created humans, the best and most intelligent of all your creatures, yet some humans are happier to call each other animals.
Thirdly, pointing a finger at another would only result in 4 fingers pointing back at him. It reflects one's own upbringing. The Malays themselves have the term, 'kurang ajar'... lack of good moral teachings by one's parents.
Now you see how stupid it sounds when a person says "Cina Babi"?
It's already bad enough to be labelled as 'an infidel' by some staunch Buddhists who dislike another Chinese to revert to Islam.
It's already tough to survive in a narrow-minded society where the common thought is that one reverts to Islam to marry a Malay, or worse still, to become a Malay and gain the Bumiputra status. Never mind what you try to tell them.. they still prefer to think you become a Muslim because of marriage, than to accept the fact that you've studied the holy books for years before finally deciding to make Islam your faith.
I can write 101 things about surviving as a Muslim revert.. or as a mualaf, which born muslim Malays like to call me.
Yet nothing is as insulting as to be labeled as a 'Chinese Pig' by some narrow-minded racist Malays.
I'm still counting my lucky stars, you know. I'm also married to a Malay man and my children, may God bless them, are born Muslim Malays like their father. I'm sure they don't see me as a big fat pink pig, do they? And as a responsible Muslim mother and wife, I have no intention of ever allowing my family members to resort to such name-calling in future, God forbid it.
Which is why I start this blog with this issue. It may look as a lame issue to some of you but unless the society at large is able to solve this problem of racists-labelling, Islamic dakwah will forever be slow-moving in this country.. it will continue to be hindered by some narrow-minded people with their own agenda.
Let's stop all general labelling of people.
No 'Cina Babi'.
No 'Cina DAPig'
No 'Melayu Lembu'.
No 'India Keling'.
No anjing, kucing, kerbau, ular, whatever.. heaven knows why Malaysians are so obsessed with animals.
Have a pleasant weekend, folks.