Monthly Archives: May 2016

An island to plant Zakir Naik’s radicalism? by Dr. Azly Rahman

ovicover_04_05_16Is there a link between the Terengganu government’s hysteric fascination of the Indian radical Islam televangelist Zakir Naik, the Chief Minister’s generosity in gifting the not-so-liked preacher an island, and the coming of 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers over a period of three years?

Seems that there is no connection. But first let me talk about the absurdity of live-on-TV public conversions as happened in the recent tele-dakwa tour of Mr. Zakir Naik — to give a sense of the implantation of Islamic radicalism in multicultural Malaysia. A connection through a complex system of meanings and representations.

Did the stunt cheapen religion into a show biz spectacle? Or is it done in sincerest honesty? Or to antagonize other religions?

I am reminded of the case of preachers on TV playing with rattlesnake in the Mid-West of America, walking on water in Nigeria, mass conversions in the Unified Church in Korea, and mass conversion of the Orang Asli in Malaysia — these perhaps gladly televised.

Read the whole article in Ovi Magazine, HERE!


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Tragedy by Dr Elsa Lycias Joel

ovicover_03_05_16As the ongoing news series on Kollam tragedy surfaces, Incredible India is not all that it’s cracked up to be, especially our living temples. It is a matter of national shame that despite more and more fire accidents, there is no national or state level policy that addresses this goof up as such. Given the agitation and persuasion from the people’s side to host the “Kambam” calling it a tradition, there is no doubt that temple festivals have wound their way out of all legal, political and moral conundrums to become a law unto themselves. It annoys me when an incident as this is described as a ‘Tragedy’ when it’s actually a ‘fallout’ of unwarranted deeds and the repetitive nature of temple festivals and accidents. Considerable suspension of disbelief I required to come to terms with the affected lot calling “Kambam” a tradition that can’t be banned. Fatalistic Indian!! Or is it his thought process orbicular that life’s inequalities tend to follow him around!

The past few days have shown just how difficult it is for the Kerala government to put up with the fire tragedy and confront the challenges. Though the discomforts with banning fireworks have been visible for a long time now and especially after the clamor for a blanket ban grew louder, it’s ridiculous that the government is still unprepared for the starkness with which a wise choice should be articulated. The choice is actually quite simple for the government: Ban the production and sale of fireworks or review the regulations and measures of The Explosive rules, 2008 to limit the sale of fireworks thereby include necessary prohibitions on the importation, sale, possession and use of fireworks in public places or places of worship even late at night. If the government is concerned that a ban could lead to an unregulated black market in illegal fireworks, then they should be at least working on the enforcement of the existing measures. For now, the spectacle is shocking.

Read the whole article in Ovi Magazine, HERE!


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