A deductive investigation into those responsible for the terrorist act of burning churches in Kuala Lumpur. Black metal music fans will be pleased to know LoyarBurok Amer Hamzah Arshad clears the Norwegian Black Metal Inner Circle.
In the early 1990’s, during the height of the second wave of black metal scene in Norway, several churches were burned by a group who claimed to be Satanists and were members of the Norwegian Black Metal Inner Circle. Several notorious black metal musicians such as Varg Vikernes a.k.a Count Grishnackh, Samoth and Faust among others were said to be responsible for the attacks. The motive for those attacks was for a publicity stunt though they claimed that it was committed in the name of their faith.
So after my solat Jumaat (that means Friday prayer), I was told that several churches in Kuala Lumpur were burned. The first thing that came to my mind was the church burning incidents in Norway. Have the Norwegians come to our shore to spread their brand of black metal to the metalheads (for the record yours truly is a metal fan) in Malaysia? Was Varg Vikernes in Kuala Lumpur last night? That is not quite likely to happen because the last I heard about him was that though he was just released from prison, he is still on parole for the murder of a fellow black metal musician, infamously known as Euronymous. Anyway, he is too occupied in Norway spreading his ultra-right wing philosophies there, so why would he be bothered about Malaysia when we have our own ultra-right wing advocates?
So if the Norwegian black metal horde was not in Kuala Lumpur to set the churches on fire, then who did? And what would be the motive for such despicable acts?
It is hard not to link the incident with the recent ruling by the High Court over the usage of the name “Allah”. As reported in the media, several Muslim groups and Muslims are furious over the High Court’s decision. Therefore, it is not unlikely that there may be some ultra-right-wing religious extremists within this dissatisfied group who may have resorted to such methods. The existence of these ‘Ultramen’ (not to be confused with the Japanese comic characters, ‘Ultra brothers’) is not something new. Given the fact that we have policies that segregate the Malaysians either ‘directly or indirectly’ it is just a matter of time before these ‘Ultramen’ will rear their ugly heads in such a despicable manner.
As for motive, you don’t need to be a rocket-scientist or even Sherlock Holmes, because even our Ministers (who are world renowned for some of the most stupid and offensive statements in the history of mankind) can figure it out. It is obvious that the intention of those perpetrators is to spread terror and instil fear among the Malaysians especially the non-Muslims. After all, terror and fear are effective tools to either perpetuate one’s propaganda or to suppress rights and/or freedom of individuals. This is especially true when the individuals do not have the intellect and capability to engage in any intellectual discourse over the “Allah” issue. To these misguided individuals, the church attacks are effective methods to scare the non-Muslims from using the name “Allah” and at the same time, protect the Muslim ‘ummah’ from being confused. Well, these ‘Ultramen’ definitely do not represent or speak on my behalf or the other Muslims who truly believe in the teachings of Islam.
While those who are displeased with the High Court’s decision have every right to voice out and express their dissatisfaction through legitimate means such as peaceful rallies and demonstration (even though there is no permit issued by the police for such rallies and demonstrations pursuant to section 27(5) of the Police Act 1984), under no circumstances can the burning of places of worship be considered as a legitimate way of expressing one’s view or opinion.
Furthermore, the clandestine manner in which the attacks were carried out and the fact that no one has claimed responsibility over such attacks clearly shows the cowardice of the perpetrators. If the perpetrators feel that what they did is in the name of God and religion, or is a form of ‘jihad’, then why don’t they come out and claim responsibility? Don’t be cowards who “lontar batu dan sembunyikan tangan“.
Violent actions by these irresponsible cowards would not solve anything. Instead it will sully and smear the good name of Islam, of Muslims and further widen the misconception that others may have about Islam. Lest we forget hate begets hate. Violence begets violence. By scaring the non-Muslims, they will only instil hatred and misunderstandings among Malaysians. Today it may be the churches, but what’s stopping the temples or other places of worship from being the next targets?
As such, as a Malaysian and a Muslim, I implore upon all perpetrators (and would be perpetrators, if any) not to resort to stupid acts that will portray Islam in a negative manner. Whatever dissatisfaction that you may have over the “Allah” issue, violence is definitely not the answer.
As it is Muslims in the West are facing negative stigma due the acts of certain irresponsible individuals who promote violence in the name of Islam. Let’s not give legitimacy to such misconception about Islam. Just because Muslims are the majority in this country that doesn’t mean we can ignore and dismiss the rights of the minority. Otherwise we are no different from the bigots in the West who discriminate the minority Muslims in their respective countries.
As for the investigation into the church burnings, let’s hope that our police force has the intelligence to investigate such a ‘complex’ and ‘sensitive’ case (the phrase which is oft-quoted by our leaders and politicians). If the case is too sensitive and too hot to be handled by our police force, then perhaps we should seek the aide of Sherlock Holmes. After all, he is still in town (at the cinema at least) and even though he is a fiction, more likely to do a better job than our own police, who are our own national fiction.
The writer was supposed to be a reincarnation of Mahatma Gandhi, Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Hang Jebat, Bruce Lee and Nocurnto Beasto (a black metal dude from Bergen, Norway) rolled into one. Due to the highly complicated "1Reincarnation process" (which was impossible anyway in the "1st" place because of discriminatory scientific-politico policies) and Lord Bobo's intervention, he ended up as Amer Hamzah Arshad in the present life. And for the sins of others he has been condemned to practise law in Malaysia where nothing makes sense. Amer believes that Slayer's "Reign in Blood" is still one of the best metal albums ever made.
Posted on 9 January 2010. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.
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