Tag Archives: islam

The Fat Bidin Podcast (Ep 30) – We’re prominent Malays… right?


The Fat Bidin Podcast (Ep 30) – We’re prominent Malays… right?

Zan and Aizyl think they’re prominent enough as Malays to add to the discussion of moderation. They try to figure out what people have against progress, discuss how small groups get away with large claims made on their behalf, and learned how to be Malay from a Chinese guy.

Listen to more Fat Bidin Podcasts here.

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Isma, stop undoing progress


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Isma, stop undoing progress
By Zan Azlee

I work very hard in trying to teach my four-year-old daughter that she can do and be anything she wants to and that being a girl or a boy makes no difference at all. What is important is that she is a human being.

But it’s really difficult even in this day and age when one would actually assume that gender equality should be understood by all; but the truth is the opposite. It seems that patriarchal sexism is still as dominant as ever.

Certain friends and relatives always throw lavish praises of how pretty she looks or how a good girl should act so as to look pretty, but never pour positive reinforcements regarding self-esteem, confidence and intelligence.

What is worse is the fact that gender biasness happens even in the public domain. And most recently, even women are putting that extra effort to make sure their fellow women are held down in life.

Isma’s head of family and society bureau, Dr Nur Farrah Nadia Najib, was reported to have said that Malaysia can be a high-achieving nation with the men leading the workforce and the women staying home and raising children.

She went on to say that men should put in most of their efforts in shaping the nation while women should get a good education and stay at home to concentrate on raising healthy and successful boys and girls. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

Threatening and scaring people into submission is unIslamic


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Threatening and scaring people into submission is unIslamic
By Zan Azlee

“You should always be good and obey God,” said the ustaz.

“Because if you don’t, you will be committing sins, and for that, you will burn in the unimaginable heat of Hell!”

I used to hear that all the time as a small child between the ages of eight right up to my teens, attending Islamic religious classes. And I definitely have a problem with that.

First of all, little children who are being taught Islam in school or by their parents need to be taught about the beauty of the religion and how wonderful and happy it is to have faith.

They should not be threatened with sin and hell fire punishment for every little insignificant mischievous and naughty little thing that they do. It does not make them better Muslims.

Instead, there should be positive reinforcement.

“You should always do good because then people will like you just like how you like people who are good to you,” is what I would say.

“Then we can all be happy instead of being angry with each other.”

‘Pujuk’ is a Malay word and is officially translated to English as ‘persuade, coaxing or flattery’. And it all actually brings positive connotations rather than negative.

And any sane person would know that if you wanted a child to do something, you don’t force him or her, you try to ‘pujuk’ them nicely by talking sweetly or even rewarding them.

So it doesn’t take much to understand, as adults, that if Muslims want the world to see how beautiful their religion is, shouldn’t they show it’s beauty? [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]

The significance of ‘The Prominent 25’


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The significance of ‘The Prominent 25’
By Zan Azlee

Earlier in the week, news broke about a group of 25 top former senior civil servants who had penned and signed a document on the state of Malaysia’s race and religious discourse.

They are calling for better and stronger leadership in the government to counter the extremist Islamic views that are cropping out from amongst current leaders and politicians.

They are strongly against the statement made by minister in the Prime Minister’s office, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, regarding the transgender issue in Negeri Sembilan.

And, they are also calling for all moderate Malays and Muslims to speak out against the extreme and intolerant voices who do not speak for the whole of the Malay Muslim community.

This group of 25 wants to see proper, informed, rational and inclusive discourse happening when it comes to race and religious relations so that the harmony of Malaysian society isn’t destroyed.

They seem to believe that the insecurity of those in power have led to the rise in the voice of these extremists just so that they can grasped to power even tighter.

What is the significance of these 25 people and what they have expressed? [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]

Are Peninsular Malaysia’s problems creeping across to Borneo?


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Are Peninsular Malaysia’s problems creeping across to Borneo?
By Zan Azlee

I started travelling to the Borneo part of Malaysia quite late in my life. I was already in my thirties before I went there for the first time. But now I visit quite regularly.

Visiting that part of the country brings a sense of freshness in that it really feels like a totally different country because their culture and philosophy are totally different from that of the peninsula.

The most jarring difference is (yes, you know this was what I was going to bring up now!) the relationship between the different races and religions.

In the peninsula, everything is defined by race and religion. There are the Malays, Chinese, Indians and the Dan Lain-Lain (Muslims and non-Muslims).
But in Sabah it is basically just all the same people, and if any categorisation happens, it is merely between those who eat pork and those who don’t. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]