God quits Twitter and denies us a hell of a debate


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God quits Twitter and denies us a hell of a debate
By Zan Azlee

God has announced that he will be closing down his Twitter account. The announcement was made on February 17, 2016 and his last tweet read “Justice”.

With 2.3 million followers, the reason given for the closing of his account is that it has been hacked one too many times. I guess even God can fall prey to trolls and hackers.

And true to the vow “till death do us part”, Mrs God decided to quit too: “My husband and I have decided to leave the Twitterverse for a new cosmos. There’s milk in the fridge. Goodluck and goodbye.”.

Maybe God lost faith in humankind or he is just pre-empting the eminent fall of Twitter after the media reported that their growth has remained stagnant and profits have been in the negative for years.

All jokes aside, the Twitter handle @TheTweetOfGod was created by comedian David Javerbaum as a parody account and he has now decided to close it down to focus on other projects.

In other news, the much anticipated debate between Perlis Mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin and Ahli Sunnah Waljamaah (Aswaja) president Zamihan Mat Zin didn’t happen yesterday night.

After it was changed from a debate to a panel discussion due to a request from Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Zamihan just didn’t show up.

However, the event still went on with panelists Asri and Dr Rozaimi Ramli sitting to the right of an empty seat that should have been where Zamihan would have been sitting.

They discussed the topic of the evening, “Religious extremism in Malaysia”. Of course, the two panelists who were in attendance represented the more rational and moderate stand.

What was missing were the views from the “other side”. And that was jarring for the audience because we were not able to compare the different perspectives and make up our mind as to which one was the right one.

But why harp over that? Even Asri has requested that the media stop harping on the issue between him and Zamihan because he did not wish any ill will on the individual who kept challenging him to debate.

One of the points repeated during the discussion was that there needs to be space to allow for the difference of opinion when it comes to Islam since there are many perspectives and interpretations.

“Agama ini ada citarasa,” said Asri (translation: “Religion has different flavours”).

Having a different perspective and opinion does not make a Muslim an apostate or infidel. And if you call them infidels, then you are “zalim” (cruel and unjust).

Both Asri and Rozaimi joked that they have been called infidels (“dikafirkan”) many times after voicing out their opinions and thoughts on religion.

They stressed that there should always be respect. If we want people to respect our opinions and perspectives, then we have to be ready to respect their opinions and perspectives as well.

It is the people who are so rigid in thinking that their own perspective is the right one, that are considered extremists. They are narrow-minded and need to gain more education and experience.

Asri also made a desperate plea, saying that the government should be careful not to allow people like these to infiltrate the authoritative religious bodies because it can create unnecessary tension and disharmony.

Both agreed that there are so many more pressing and important matters that our country and society need to discuss and address instead of “petty issues” like the difference of opinion on religion.

I have to agree.

[This article originally appeared at The Malaysian Insider]

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