FAT BIDIN MEDIA


Would God place an infidel in heaven?

Would God place an infidel in heaven?
By Zan Azlee

I’m a Muslim and I have been to several non-Muslim funerals and most of them have been of dear family members. I mourn and pay my respect during these times, and yes, I do pray for the soul of the dead.

So it really angers me when Muslims use religious difference to disrespect the death of others and I definitely take personal offence to it. It does not matter what religion the deceased is, respect should always be given.

We are all aware, especially since yesterday, how Malaysia’s main Islamic religious authority, Jakim, warned Muslims not to pray for the souls of non-Muslims as they are infidels and are confirmed condemned to hell.

We are also well aware of how many people have countered this with the story of the Prophet Muhammad standing up in respect of a Jew who had died. A friend had asked him why he stood up and he said that a Jew is still a human being.

This reminds me of a discussion that I have regularly with my friends regarding non-Muslims, or infidels, who died but had lived a life that was righteous and noble without ever committing any major sin aside from being an infidel.

Maybe he or she had fought against injustice, helped the oppressed and underprivileged, sacrificed for others, committed his life to the betterment of humanity, but was a Sikh, Christian, Jew, Taoist or atheist?

How would God, the all merciful and compassionate, treat these individuals? Would he decide to overlook all the good this person had done and dump him or her in hell just because he or she prays differently than Muslims? [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

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No place for racial and religious supremacy

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No place for racial and religious supremacy
By Zan Azlee

I believe everyone is created equal. And Indian is created equal as a Chinese who is also created equal as a Malay. And so are the Ibans, Dayaks, and all the ‘dan lain-lain’. I believe so much that everyone is created equal that I actually even believe that a Christian is created equal as a Hindu who is also created equal as a Muslim, a Taoist, and even a Scientologist. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure not many people share this belief with me. In fact, I’m sure that many people reading this article might not even believe that everyone is created equal.

I recently read an article by popular American essayist Michael Muhammad Knight, a Muslim, who wrote that many white Muslim converts seem to take the religion and think that they alone own it. Knight, a controversial figure not only in America but also in the Muslim world, explained that many well-known white Muslim converts in America have done this.

He mentioned how Alexander Russell Webb (1846 – 1916), one of the first American converts who significantly promoted Islam publicly, actually did his dakwah. Webb apparently thought that they were so intellectually superior that everyone else who are practicing Islam in other parts of the world were just not practicing it right.

He had framed his thoughts from the point of view of a white supremacist and that everyone else were just too inferior that their tradition and culture adulterated their practice of the faith. But that’s not the point of contention in this article. What I do want to discuss is how any certain groups of people who feel that their way of thinking and belief is the only right way is practicing the same elitism as Webb.

This has been happening in Malaysia and I am inclined to mention an article yesterday in a local news website of an interview with retired Court of Appeals judge Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]



I agree with Ridhuan Tee

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I agree with Ridhuan Tee
By Zan Azlee

I never thought in my entire life that I would one day state publicly that I am in support of my self-declared arch nemesis Ridhuan Tee Abdullah. But here it is, on this good Friday, that I am writing my column (which is usually utilised to condemn Mr. Tee) to show my support of his recent columns on Prophet Muhammad.

He wrote in his past two columns in Sinar Harian that although it is condoned for Muslims to praise the Prophet, we should not go to the extent of being too obsessed with him. The action and reciting of the selawat to the Prophet is encouraged in Islam because it shows love for the messenger and also the unity of Muslims. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]



MH370: A tipping point for the media?

mh370_media

MH370: A tipping point for the media?
By Zan Azlee

The media is subservient to the happenings of the world, and there are major events that happen over the years that can be considered turning points in the way the media world spins. Between 1914 and 1918, World War 1 contributed a lot for newspapers as more and more people wanted to stay abreast with happenings in Europe and sales experienced an unprecedented spike.

World War 2, from 1939 to 1945, became the era of the radio as people tuned in live to listen to the famous broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow narrate the bombing of London. The Vietnam War, throughout the 1960s and 1970s, was really the boom of photojournalism as pictorial news magazines made their mark in the world.

The first Gulf War in Iraq occurring from 1990 to 1991 was the era of television news as we saw how 24 hour news channels fed live broadcasts of bombings into people’s living rooms. The next major incident that happened changing the face of media was the 9/11 terrorists’ attack on the World Trade Centre in New York City.

Traditional media like newspapers, television and radio were almost totally ignored as people turned online to the Internet to get immediate alerts of what was unfolding in New York. That was the tipping point for the online news, and twenty plus years on since that day, the Internet is now the main source of news for the world community.

In fact, traditional news outlets such as newspapers are suffering so much from the switch in audience’s habits that they are facing a major financial crisis and many have even closed shop. And now it looks like the media world is facing another tipping point that is going to change the way the world community consumes their news and information and of how news organisations will create their content.

This will be the time when established news media organisations will have their legitimacy challenged as they are pitted with conspiracy theories that are spread online by the public. [Click to read the full article at Enlish.AstroAwani.Com]



The many theories of MH370

The many theories of MH370
By Zan Azlee

Amongst my friends and family, it seems that I’ve become sort of an aviation expert specialising in the field of missing aircrafts. They ask me all sorts of questions about the missing MH370 flight.

My answer is always the same – “It’s aliens, obviously.”.

It’s funny how an accountancy degree holder who turned into a writer, documentary filmmaker and journalist has now become an aviation expert.

After thirteen days, so many experts have formed theories of their own. Even ordinary folks with no aviation background have been in the limelight just because they have an interesting theory.

Like a friend of mine said, “I used to fold paper airplanes when I was in primary school. I’m willing to share my thoughts on MH370 with any reporter out there.”. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]



Raja Bomoh needs to be brought down

Raja Bomoh needs to be brought down
By Zan Azlee

Malaysian Christians who are practising an Abrahamic faith, as is Islam, are forbidden to use the Arab word “Allah”, which means “God”, because it might confuse Malay Muslims. The reasoning for this is because the word “Allah” has been used so much by the Malay community that in Malaysia, the word is almost considered a Malay word.

This will confuse Malay Muslims because they might think that the God that the Christians are referring to is the same God as the ones they refer to. All the ultra-Malay political groups and NGOs aggressively protested against non-Muslims in Malaysia using the word “Allah”, even bordering on violence. Those non-Muslims who don’t comply are dragged for investigations and even to court for only practising their freedom of religion.

I totally disagree with this because I think a word is just a word, no matter what language it is. For example, the English word “yellow” is the same as the Malay word “kuning”. Also, of course there is the jarring fact that the God that the Christians refer to is in fact the same God that the Muslims are referring to (and the Jews, too).

If the Malay Muslims in Malaysia don’t realise this, then they obviously don’t understand their religion well enough as they should. What religion did Islam evolve from if not Christianity? And what religion did Christianity evolve from if not Judaism? And all these religions teach its followers that it comes from the one God.

So, what happens when a group of Malay Muslims come out in public using the word “Allah”, but obviously practising something that is so detached from the actual teachings of Islam? Yeah, that Raja Bomoh guy (Ibrahim Mat Zin) who says he can see where the missing MH370 plane is at currently by using a method he claims is Islamic. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]



MH370: Empathising with the families

familiesmh370

MH370: Empathising with the families
By Zan Azlee

I’m a pretty hardened human being. I’ve gone to conflict zones and disaster areas for my job as a journalist and I’ve seen quite devastating scenes with my own eyes. As much as I sympathise and feel for the people involved, I have always felt that I could separate my emotions from the situation. But things in my life have changed. It’s quite surprising to see how getting married and having a child can change your entire outlook of life.

So, I got the call at 8:30am last Saturday from one of our executive editors, Noor Azam Shairi, while I was having breakfast with a friend and my book publisher.

“Zan, I think we have to go in today. A plane went missing,” he said.

Flight MH370 had departed from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing at 12:40am and had gone missing nearly 2 hours into the journey. Journalistic instinct kicked in and I rushed to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport to catch the first press conference… in my pyjamas. What ended up happening was me eventually staying at KLIA for three days (and the first day, I was doing all my live reports on camera in my pyjama t-shirt).

The scene was utter chaos. Reporters and cameramen were swarming all over the airport and at the attached Sama-Sama Hotel where the press conference was held. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com].




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