Thursday, December 20, 2007


Today we celebrate the Haj and the sacrifice bestowed unto the Prophet Ibrahim pbuh . In the Muslim world, I was told at a young age that Aidil Adha was a more important event or festival than Aidil Fitri. Somehow, Aidil Fitri is celebrated on a bigger scale in this region - maybe because of the month of Ramadhan and the anticipation created during the fasting period - everyone is eager to celebrate Raya Raya Aidilfitri. However, Hari Raya Haji is celebrated in a more muted manner, even though its significance may be greater.
So, this morning I went to the mosque in Kampung Tunku (last year we celebrated the Haj fest at my parents place in Janda Baik). There were not many residents in attendance today, maybe because of the long weekend most have decided to go on year end holidays with the family and kids. Nevertheless, the crowd was big and colorful enough to give a sense of festivity - that is until the incumbent President of the Mosque committee gave a speech before the start of prayers.
Personally, I try not to write about anything political in this blog, but having said that, I also believe that the sanctity of the mosque should not be smeared by politicking individuals.
The President or Chairman of the committee began by saying that he wanted to comment on a particular event that is in everyone's mind - the Indians who were demanding to be heard and asking for 'things'. I was shocked when he addressed the congregation as "Kita orang Melayu" - "We the Malays". And there was evident for all to see that in that mosque there were Indians, Chinese, mix-blood citizens and some Bangladeshis present - and the stupid Chairman had the gall to say " Kita Orang Melayu" assuming wrongly that everyone in front of him were Malays! Worse, it was in a mosque where race does not have any place in the proceedings - we are all Muslims there. Not Malays. Muslims!!!
Then he said that the Indians came to the country to work in the rubber estates and they were earning a salary of RM200 to RM300 a month which was more than what the Malays were earning. He also said that since then, the Indians have reached their objective - whatever that was I don't know because he didn't elaborate.
I had the urge to stand up and yell at him, but this was a mosque, not a meeting hall to debate such matters. So I sit cross legged, feeling nauseous at this man's idiotic rambling.
I thought that was more stupidity. Then after prayers, the Khutbah began, by this Imam whom I don't recognise. He began talking about the reasons behind the festival and gave his take on the sacrifice Prophet Ibrahim and Prophet Ismail did for the ummah.
Then he began to give a list of things that are wrong with the society - none of the items caught my attention much until number eleven when he said : "nombor sebelas - artis-artis yang tidak bermoral disanjung tinggi."...eckkkk!!!! Kena one time I was listening to a sermon that attacked my parents, friends and family - we who are part of the film industry - the so call artistes....wahh...we must be the scum of the earth to be praised and 'disanjung' for being immoral. In one fell blow, in a Raya Haji khutbah, artis are immoral! No one else is blamed. Only artistes! Sheeshhh!!!! Politicians are not immoral? Government servants are not immoral? I mean, why generalise and pick on us poor artistes? Was the imam angry he didn't marry an artiste? Was he jilted by someone in the film industry? Why use the khutbah to attack artistes? At that moment, I gave up on the imam and the mosque. This will be the last time I'll step in that mosque. I'll go to mosques that are further away that do not insult the non-Malays and local artistes.
What a way to celebrate Hari Raya Haji.
Anyway, to all my friends who didn't attend prayers at this mosque, to all my relatives, colleagues and readers, I wish you a very Happy Hari Raya Aidil Adha. To my non-Muslim friends and readers - have a great, safe and dry weekend. And for my Christian friends, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy a New Year.

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