Date: 10th January 2010
As my writing retreat came to a close, I was greeted by the disturbing news of "religious intolerance" in Malaysia. Four churches were torched, and two more were attacked today in two different states: Ipoh and Malacca. Some say these are a ploy to disguise a more sinister political agenda by certain parties in the Government, but the fact that so many people are affected by this is just unthinkable.
Imagine if you wake one day and you are forced to carefully plan your day to ensure that you do not 'exhibit' any religious images or items that are not recognised by the laws of that country.
Imagine when you walk into a church to pray, you have to think twice and tread with caution because anything could come at you.
Imagine you can never put any religious items in your car, because if it seen hanging on your rear view mirror, they will smash your car and windows.
NOW - Imagine the above situations enforced into your own respective faith.
HOW WOULD YOU FEEL?
Imagine the Muslims cannot blast their prayers five times a day anymore because it disturbs public peace and order, because a stronger or majority faith rules the country and this is the law.
Imagine the Buddhists cannot build huge structures or temples to honour their Buddhas but must enshrine their holy images within small, confined places.
Imagine the Hindus cannot walk the streets and hold religious parades every year as how they presently do during Thaipusam.
Imagine the world has looked at a particular religious group and sanctioned this specific group as 'dangerous, high risk, terrorists". Imagine the global ban on such a group.
Then the world order starts to get even more paranoid about this particular religious group and ordered all of them to be executed. In every country, they hunt them down and gather these people together no different than cattle. The portrait of all these people standing in the middle of nowhere, shaking in fear and holding onto the remnants of their faith does little to move these soldiers to compassion. Instead, the soldiers raise their arms and aim at the groups of people infront of them. Then the sounds of guns blazing and bullets flying fill the air. Finally, there is a cold silence.
HOW WOULD YOU FEEL if you belong to that group?
Is this what sums up our so-called civilisation?
Is this our prime of evolution?
I cannot even begin to fathom how our human race can descend into such darkness, while they are holding the flames of progress.
It is hard to understand life and people at times. Sometimes I wonder what really goes on inside a person's head, even as we can be standing side by side. The stark and horrific difference in our mind sets is what defines a GREAT DIVIDE.
We may as well be living on different planets because there is absolutely nothing humane in the way some human beings are treating one another, and how much they truly loathe and hate each other.
This is what disturbs me and scares me about the human race.
As much as we are great inventors and humanitarians, we are also the worst killers, sinners and criminals of all time.
We may have created the very best of life, but we are also the same diabolical MURDERERS of life and people.
So, this is how our lives will play out over time, we keep destroying every wonderful thing we create?
And this is the cycle of life that each of you are happy and willing to perpetuate?
You seriously want to hand this down from one generation to the next, like it is some precious heritage?!
If so, if this is really so - then I have only these words to say -
May God have mercy on us all.
May the Buddhas forgive us all.
May Allah save us all.
May Lord Ganesha protect us all.
MAY every faith's leaders do their part in teaching everyone how to love one another more, and not confuse each other more.
No religion ever encourages 'killing' or demands that we go ahead and suppress others, in any way or form.
No religion ever says that it is ok to mistreat others who do not belong in our faith.
No - if any religion did, then it cannot be hailed as a religion but a premeditated murder or massacre.
Some day, if we are not careful, we will be the real cause of our own extinction.