We are Malay-Muslims, we are entitled

Syahredzan Johan asks during this holy month, are Malay-Muslims entitled to better rights than others?

Photo credit: http://www.techwithus.com/2012/07/6-ways-to-survive-16-hours-of-ramadan-fasting/ | Is it time to have that sandwich?

So you are fasting. The sun is bearing down on you, your stomach is growling and your throat is parched. It is only 12.30 in the afternoon; you still have hours to go before you may break your fast. All of a sudden, a non-Muslim person appears before you, enjoying an icy cold can of your favourite cola. He looks like he is savouring the cola. You could imagine the sensation of that very same cola filling your throat with diabetes-inducing caffeine goodness. So you flare up. How dare this person drink in front of you? Does he have no respect for the holy month of Ramadhan, to be wantonly quenching his thirst in full view of Muslims? Does he not know that Muslims form the majority of this country and therefore must be respected?

This is the basic premise prevalent amongst many Malay-Muslims in this country. Muslims form the majority and therefore they are entitled to be respected. Malay-Muslim sensitivities must not be offended; the Malay-Muslim public must be protected from harm, confusion and many other bad and insidious things that may threaten the ummah. In recent times, these deep rooted sentiments are brought to the fore by opportunistic politicians. Thus it appeared as if Malay-Muslims have become more and more intolerant of minorities.

Malay-Muslims are entitled not to have a Hindu temple in the vicinity of their housing estate. Malay-Muslims are entitled to dictate what names others may use to invoke the Creator. Malay-Muslims are entitled to stop the sale of alcohol beverages and deny the establishment of a cinema in Malay majority areas.

Every Friday, Malay-Muslims are entitled to abandon their civic consciousness and park all over the place as if the streets belong to them. Malays-Muslims are entitled to blare religious ceramahs to every corner of the neighbourhood and into the wee hours of the night.

The prime minister must be Malay-Muslim, the civil service must be filled with Malay-Muslims and government bodies are seen as Malay institutions, tasked first and foremost to safeguard Malay and Muslim interests.

This premise of entitlement has also been used to justify the persecution and discrimination against sexual and religious minorities, purportedly because Article 3 provides that Islam is the religion of the Federation. So we say that LBGTs do not enjoy protection of the Constitution because their sexual orientations are against Islam, although we conveniently forget that other things, like gambling, are also forbidden in Islam but are still legal in this country. Books are seized and banned and fatwas are made absolute. In a recent decision, the Federal Court went so far to say that the integrity of the religion needs to be safeguarded at all costs. Does ‘at all costs’ include the supremacy of the Federal Constitution as the highest law of the land?

Make no mistake, this is not about Islam. It is about how we justify the discrimination, persecution and blatant disregard for fundamental liberties, all in the name of religion. It is how we view and treat others as inferior to us because we believe that we are entitled to do so. We permit transgressions because we labour under this presumption that Malay-Muslims, by virtue of being Malays and Muslims, are entitled to the best of the country as they occupy a higher standing than the rest of the rakyat out there.

There is no legal or constitutional basis for this. Article 3 does not make Malaysia an Islamic state and Article 4 expressly provides that the Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the land.  Article 8 provides that every citizen is equal before the law and enjoys equal protection of the law. The oft quoted Article 153 does not make Malay-Muslims superior in law or fact, it only provides for the reservation of quotas for Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak in certain matters.

So what if Muslims are the majority? We have such a flawed understanding of democracy; as if in a democracy, the rights of minorities are inferior to the rights of the majority. That is why we have a Constitution, which protects and guarantees the fundamental liberties of citizens from the tyranny of the majority.

We find ourselves up in arms at the fate of Muslims minorities in other countries like Thailand, Philippines, Myanmar and China.  We invoke freedom of religion when we hear of minarets being banned in Switzerland or burqas being banned in France. But if the rights of Muslim minorities should be protected in the face of the majority, why is it that we do not have the same vigour to protect the rights our non-Muslim minorities? Why must the rights of others here only be exercised if we deem those rights as exercisable?

So before you take offence at someone who is drinking in front of you while you are fasting, take a step back and think of your religion. Put aside your sense of entitlement and think; just because you are fasting, does it mean that everyone else around you must stow away their food and drinks?

Remember what Islam has instilled in you, not what Muslims have told you.

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Syahredzan Johan adalah seorang peguam muda dan seorang rakan kongsi di sebuah firma guaman di Kuala Lumpur. Dia melihat dirinya sebagai seorang pengkritik politik dan pengulas sosial. Tetapi dia sebenarnya hanyalah seorang warga Malaysia yang mempunyai terlalu banyak pendapat. Dia adalah seorang yang patriotik, walaupun bukan dengan cara biasa seperti mengibar bendera. Dia percaya Malaysia mempunyai potensi yang hanya dapat direalisasi sekiranya rakyatnya belajar bersatu-padu dan bukannya berpecah-belah. Ikutilah Syah di Refleksi Minda.

Posted on 1 August 2012. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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589 Responses to We are Malay-Muslims, we are entitled

  1. asdfghjk

    yes i agree.. however, muslims are being killed in Myanmar, so what rights are u talking about?

  2. Cass

    Thank you so much for your article. This proves to me that there are Malay people who do not use religion as stand and statement to anything they feel entitled for. I have wonderful Malay colleagues who never give a hoot if I ate or drank in front of them. They do not mind discussing non-halal and also controversy issues with me.

    It's all about acceptance and the desire to built mutual understanding and harmony. Religion should not be used as a shield and the sole reason and be responsible to how one should behave. As human beings, we have common sense and thinking power so maybe this it the time when we start thinking and stop thinking that the world owes us something.

    The fact is, the world owes us nothing. Nobody owes us any obligations to do anything. We owe that to ourselves.

  3. Anisah

    This is the story of a Majusi (fire worshiper) at the time of the companions of the Prophet. He has a Muslim neighbour. One day in the month of Ramadan he saw her son eating an apple in public. He scolded him. His son said, "why can't I eat, I am not a Muslim". The Majusi said, "But we are neighbours with Muslims. So I want to respect them. Go eat where people cannot see you".

    After the death of the Majusi, a religious person  dreams of the Majusi in heaven on a beautiful throne. 
    The religious person asked "how did you enter heaven when you worship the fire?"

    The Majusi said, "at the time I almost died I heard a voice, 'do not let him die other than as a Muslim. Indeed, he honored the Ramadan month.

    So indeed, respect cannot be demanded, it is something to be offered.  And any good deed is sure to be rewarded, insyaAllah. 

  4. Al Sabri Ahmad

    Dear shah,

    Islam may be the official religion of this country but Islam must be the only religion of all Muslims. It may be official under the Fed Constitution but it's in the heart of every Muslims and not only as an official religion. That's why when any attack or sign of attack is lodged against it , automatically the adrenalin of all Muslims rises and the response is almost immediate. Islam may be official religion but for Muslims like us it's more than that.
    It's something to do with love and affection my friend…..

    • whatever

      yeah right, adrenaline rush out of love and affection that leads to jihadism and killings of non-muslims…
      so much for a peaceful religion!

      • NIM

        Great, another one who didn't even bother to do some research first before accusing others.

        Dude, IF, I said IF, you have ever bother to study the history, you would notice that almost every religion has their own dark history. Secondly, if you have ever bother to study about religion, you would notice, almost every religion INCLUDING Islam, do not condone act of violence. Jihad is only done when we're wronged and other peaceful methods have failed.

        And lastly, in case you haven't notice, you and most of the non-Muslims in this country are still breathing and living peacefully with the Muslims, in a country controlled by the Muslims. What do you have to say about that?

  5. Dal Ya

    I don't know…But as far as I'm concerned, me & everyone around don't mind if non muslim eats or drinks infront of us…
    & about parking on friday, people cannot complain about it. Because human are increasing in number. How many mosque can a place bear?Have you made that into consideration?People are increasing day by day, millions to billions. What do you aspect?Houses are getting higher. Places are filled with houses & office.
    Btw, please look matters in "different perspective". Dont speak to roughly. I bet you have done your research. But you know, go find more because I don't think that's enough.
    Thanks for speaking up. You do have some points. Just some.

  6. CatSteve

    Haiyaaa…. come down to sarawak la… we eat at our school canteen and the vendor n her workers are 100% muslim…happily serving us like any other days. takde pun kutuk-kutuk kuali atau hempas-hempas periuk kat dapur.. Haiyaaa..tepuk lade tanya salela maaaa….

  7. stereotyping

    Stereotyping of a malay muslim by a malay. Perhaps he is ashamed of being a malay and is also an apologist. If a non-muslim in Malaysia knows about Islam and the sensitivities, he would not have opened and icy coke in front of a fasting muslim. But chances are the if he did it, the fasting muslim would probably would ignore what he did.

    • whatever

      this is not stereotyping a malay, this is really happening, perhaps you are too proud of your race and are ashamed to admit that this thing really happens? if you are offended by this post, then clearly you must be the very malay that this author talks about.
      most of my friends are malays and they always complain the chinese and indians never respect them during ramadhan just because they don't fast like the malays do.

  8. Liberal

    Whether you are Muslim or not fasting should not be made compulsory. It should be left to the individual. I heard that Indonesia and some other Muslim countries, it is not compulsory to fast. Why force it upon someone if he doesn't like to fast. Worst still is to force the non Muslim not to eat in front of you. If you demand non Muslim to be sensitive to you, then they will demand the same from you that you do not eat beef or meat in front of the Buddhist or Hindu. Isn't it selfish to think only of yourself and your religion. What if the Buddhist or Hindu countries tell you not to eat meat or beef in front of them and not to build mosque. Religion is a personal, so no one should be force to do things against their will.

    • jay

      What a stupid 'Liberal'

    • lina

      now you are ignorant. religious requirements cant be questioned like that duhh .. not only islam, other religions as well. we dont question why hindus cant eat beef, why muslims have to fast, you should read more and understand the concept of believers and faith. No one is forcing anybody, and of course God isnt forcing us. thats just a simple concept of being religious that you need to understand.

      think before you speak

  9. Pepper Lim

    Nice!

  10. Dr. Dee

    You should give yourself a tap on your shoulder and say good job. Well said! You should be proud of being a Muslim because you actually have earned it! I wish there were other like you out there. I wish the majority of Malay-Muslims are like you for the sake of the future of Malaysia! Kudos

  11. viatdn

    Not all muslims are offended when a non muslim eats in front of them. Thats exaggerating. I personally accompanied my chinese friend for lunch at an eatery during ramadhan eventho i was fasting just to have a chat. And most of the malay colleagues dont mind d non muslims eating in front of them in the office. Just that the non muslims try to notmake it obvious as a sign of respect. No harm of them giving respect as courtesy coz at the end of the day we wouldnt even mind them doing so. We are all fasting adults.

  12. Actually, you are not muslim enough if you feel anger at people eat/drink in front of you.. a true muslim will not be affected.

  13. Rajj

    The other day while in office a colleague of mine, an educated Malay lady offered me Bubur Lambuk. I politely told her that I really would like to try it, but unfortunately…..it contains beef so I have to say no. She asked me "why not? Are you a vegetarian? I just replied…"actually I’m an Hindu, and I don’t eat beef" and you know what her immediate response was? “ I see…..Hindu's don’t eat beef huh? As she never knew that before!!!! Respect and understanding should be from both sides! Is that fair to demand others to understand and respect your beliefs and religion while you are totally ignorant about other religion and beliefs? Hat's off to you Syahredzan…! It takes a great wisdom to come with such article…Do write more!!

  14. brandconsultantasia

    You raise a number of issues in your interesting article however I'll focus on the Islam and the non muslim element of your post.

    I've lived and worked in Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE and I've visited other Islamic countries during Ramadhan and I have to say Malaysia is the most tolerant and understanding of non muslims during this important time.

    There are exceptions like everywhere else and, like everywhere else, there are people who try to take advantage of this time but I sincerely believe they are the exception not the rule.

    I have to say that after living here for 20 years, yes the country has flaws but you tend to be very hard on yourselves…

  15. Shaz

    I think sometimes muslims forget why we are fasting. Its to understand what it feels like to be hungry and thirsty and see people around us not have that problem. Its so we have compassion for the have nots and understand roughly what they are going through. Someone drinking in front of you and you feel angry/sad/frustrated that you can't is the whole point. Sadly though fasting has just become scoring brownie points for the afterlife.

  16. Right On

    You just voiced what I've been experiencing periodically over the years.

    I once worked in a small company for a Malay Muslim boss who is a very tolerant person. The Malay Muslim finance officer was in charge of collecting lunch for the staff once a week, however, was a different kettle of fish. She insisted that during Puasa, none of the non-Muslim staff should be allowed to eat at our desks even during crunch time. We all had to spend the whole lunch hour eating out so she wouldn't be offended. We didn't mind since we were used to making accommodations for other races and religious beliefs, especially since Malaysia is an Islamic country.

    On the other hand, I am Buddhist and a strict vegetarian and she had time and time again bought rice dishes with meat and stuck it in front of me during the once-a-week staff lunch and turned a deaf ear when I asked her to order a vegetarian lunch for me which would have taken 2 seconds to tell the restaurant or vendor. She just either said nothing or told me to be grateful that the boss is giving us food!

    I can't help but compare her behaviour and disrespect with my Muslim friends from other countries who understand the meaning of mutual respect.

    • whatever

      the ugly truth is, a lot of malay women are like that.
      i've known a lot of malay girls who are exactly like what the author described. actually, the majority of my (malay) friends have this mentality. they think they have absolute right just because they are the majority in this country.
      and they justify it by saying Islam allows it. sigh…i have given up hope on my malay friends. they really really hate non-malays.

  17. liverpudlian

    I remember vividly when I was walking in KL sentral about a week ago with a mineral water in hand. There was a Malay man (in his 40's) standing in front of 7-11 waiting for someone. I went up the escalator, and I could hear him tell his son "Tengok orang ni, tak hormat". I then proceeded to turn around and ask him why is he standing in front of 7-11 if it irks him so much to see someone carrying a bottle of mineral water. He then kept quiet and looked the other way. I find myself stunned, after hearing something like that. I have always respected the Malays who are fasting and I go out of my way to not drink or eat in front of Malay-Muslims, just out of respect. It is absolutely not logical for anything like that to happen. It is as though during the fasting month, all restaurants and stores with food items should be closed, just to "menghormati" them. The "hormat" term is completely exaggerated to the point of no return. There is no way of distinguishing what is actually respect, and what is their own formulation of the term.

    To force a religion practice onto someone is ludicrous and what's worse is to publicly and openly inform someone what they should do to respect one. The term of respect is mutual. For anyone to sound off something like that means no respect to the minority of us who do not fast.

    In that same day, I went to McD's at about 5:30pm, and got a burger. I sat down with my Coke Light in hand. I looked around and observed about 10 tables of Malay-Muslims sitting around and chatting. Some were giving me the dirty look as I walked by them. That absolutely made me uncomfortable and I took my food to go instead. My question is, why would they sit around in a restaurant, not eating, and give people who are eating dirty looks. What gratification do they get from sitting around in a restaurant at 5:30, 2 hours before they break their fast?

    Anyways, I'm ranting. I have all but respect for the people who practice moderation during this time of the year, but it also irritates me to find that I am limited to what I can carry in my hand, or where I can sit in restaurants without getting dirty stares and people sounding me off for not being respectful of their practice. Take this comment with a grain of salt as I am sure the majority of Malay-Muslims understands that the multi-racial country we live in calls for understanding towards others.

  18. mosar

    an article with rampant sweeping generalization…if you've seen an malay muslim with the traits stated in this article, how many others that doesnt do such a thing? a behavior of minority, all the sudden, all malay muslim are bad? open our mind a little…there are many2 others that displays examplary behaviors…

  19. Wilson Chuah

    Yup, but still, I try my best not to eat/drink infront of my Muslim friends and colleagues out of respect. Tolerance must be mutual afterall, and not one-sided. Democracy is such that we have freedom to be what we want but common courtesy demands we treat each other with respect regardless of religion or other matters.

  20. Gee

    If only more people thought like you….

  21. anobrainer

    Only in umno-bn 'islam' that umno-bn 'muslims' are superior. From too many years of squatting under its armpit.

  22. Jci

    i believe, you have just voiced out the minorities' plight in this holy ramadhan period. When i was still in primary school, i was taught to exit the class and to have my drink outside when it was the fasting month during school. It was rather strange that drinking water could be so disrespectful at that time. What was i to do but to follow what the teacher says.

    Now that i've grown older to understand this issue, i was dumbfounded that this entitlement has started since school. Which also means this entitlement thing has long been instilled since childhood in most Malaysians. I do not understand why certain muslims found it offensive when non muslim consume any beverage or food in front of them with no such intentions of offending. It is after all the muslim's spiritual journey of fasting as a religious practice, not of other individuals. It doesnt mean that if i'm fighting for a cause i so greatly believed in that i am entitled to rights to dictate others in favour of mine.

    my last words: it is because of malay-muslims like you that the minorities still feel that there is this tinge of just and equality to their rights in this entitlement bullshit. you have my respect.

  23. Petaling Girl

    well, I am a Muslim, and I don't mind non muslim/muslim eating in front of me while I'm fasting.

  24. pop

    Bukan muslim makan didepan muslim ketika berpuasa.

    Apa masalahnya? Masa puasa sunat pun sama juga?

    Isteri period, tiada masalah pun makan depan saya?

    sigh

  25. pop

    Hmm…

    Banyak persoalan ya,

    Saya rekemen baca artikel Minda Ahad bahagian sejarah,

    Mungkin boleh membantu sedara.

  26. Vanisha

    That was a fab article
    Loved the part about The flawed understanding of democracy.. That's so true

  27. jejari

    This is a muslim country, so dont question about what we are doing to our religion and our country.. we respect you and you should give it back to us.. yes we are the majority so then you are the minority, but remember we did not kill you like what the non-muslims doing in some countries, killing the muslims because they are the minority! i think the writer have difficulties in doing his fast in this ramadhan month, thats why he wrote this article. i have many non-muslim friends here and we respect and never grumble about each other..you know why? because we believe we are sharing this country. why do you want to complaint about other religions when there are things in your religion to be consider of as well? think it in a bigger frame, not by just looking at your side.

    • Marcus

      "we believe we are sharing this country. "

      AND

      "This is a muslim country, so dont question about what we are doing to our religion and our country.."

      Either I must be slightly dense or there is some inherent logical dissonance here!

    • whatever

      jejari is a perfect example of a stupid racist malay who thinks he has the rights as mentioned by this author just because he is a muslim and malays are the majority of this country. he demands others to respect his religion but he does not even respect other people's religions and beliefs. what a moron.

  28. Eddy

    These article is over exaggerated. We Malaysian are very toleraNt bunch. I live in the city on weekday and in the kampung on weekends. The malays tolerant the barking of dogs in the early morning and the chinese tolerant the muslim prayers early morning. This is just one example and there a lot more of how tolerant we are of each other. I dont know where this writer lives but i have never come across a muslim being angry or giving an eye full to non muslims when they eat during the month of ramadan. This is a very bad article with bad intentions!

    • Al Sabri ahmad

      I agree with the fact that Muslims will never get angry on a non Muslim when he or she consumes food in the presence of Muslims.

      • gg123

        I agree the majority of Muslims aren't perturbed by people eating in front of them. But a vocal minority could as easily paint the whole canvas black.

        I did run into that said scenario before, and it was by a teacher when my malay classmates wasn't even bothered by the sight of us drinking.

  29. Johnphoon

    This article appropriate. To all our Muslim bro’ n sis’ here, personally many Muslim don’t mind if non-muslim eats or drinks or smokes in front of them, but some Muslim does mind! Just because you don’t mind does not mean such incidence not exist! To contributor Chines Muslim here, the way you wrote n the unhealthy language you used, exemplify the saying ” the worst enemy of Islam is Muslim themselves” ! The way you cuzz n ranting n same time saying you a Muslim actually tarnished the religion. And to all Malaysian whether Muslim or non, respects are earned not demanded! At the same time please help anyone that is more unfortunate, whether they are Muslim or non-Muslim. And treat others with respects because you are respecting yourselves n your religion. Ramadhan Kareem ya Malaysia , Asaalamualaikum

  30. YouAreTheTruth

    I ll vote for you.

  31. beruang

    nak tulis pasal muslim tau pasal islam dulu

  32. Minluna

    For me i dont mind non muslim eating infront of me because this is my ramadhan battle, but their insensitive behaviour at break fast buffet at the hotel or restaurant, and sometime being so kiasu, it's just frustrating.

  33. groupon

    uMNO HAS CREATED A MALAY RACE WHO FEEL THEY ARE MORE SUPERIIOR THAN THE WHOLE WORLD.

  34. vik

    Yeah well. I need to drive back to Putrajaya tomorrow. They close shop early there because of fasting month you see. The guy went back by 3pm today. Its hard not to connect the dots. Seriously. Whats the solution here?

    And no. Non muslims who eat/drink in front of muslims arent plain arrogant. Its part of the abstinance that ramadan is supposed to curb. Why should we make it easy for a muslim to fast? One of the main reasons he/she fasts is because its meant to be a struggle. If they complain that its an arrogant act, then they're fasting for the wrong reasons.

  35. viatdn

    Not all muslims are offended when a non muslim eats in front of them. Thats exaggerating. I personally accompanied my chinese friend for lunch at an eatery during ramadhan eventho i was fasting just to have a chat. And most of the malay colleagues dont mind d non muslims eating in front of them in the office. Just that the non muslims try to notmake it obvious as a sign of respect. No harm of them giving respect as courtesy coz at the end of the day we wouldnt even mind them doing so. We are all fasting adults.

    I think the statement is generalised which shouldnt be the case. Its casts the muslims in a bad light since its only happens in the minorities.

  36. lisa_ng

    Good time to share this article, Syah. I think that non-Muslims who refrain from eating in front of their Muslim friends practise a kind gesture. They understand that they are in a Muslim-majority country and show brotherly respect for their Muslim brethren. I also think that Muslims who don't mind non-Muslims eating in front of them are practising amazing goodwill and holiness. They know that puasa is their own personal test and challenge and they leave others out of it. Ultimately being Malaysian is just demonstrating that we are all aware of and respect our multi-cultural status through "sacrifice" that is not enforced pr expected.

  37. Jamie

    thank you for sharing, indeed, Malaysia needs forward and logical thinking people like you, and its not a malay-muslim and non-malay-muslim thing, everybody in Malaysia should be sensible, sensitive, logical and thoughtful as you are.

    I also agree that a lot of the things happening in Malaysia is driven by selfish politicians clearly using the name of Religion for their own benefits.

    I grew up in a multi-cultural environment, my dad was an English teacher in a full malay-muslim school in a tiny kampung, and i never see or feel any disrespect among races, or discrimination in any ways, so the Rakyat actually do not really think that way, unfortunately it is brainwashing from the selfish lot who obviously use the name of religion to influence, especially those who has little education.

    I certainly hope you will be spreading your words among the malay-muslim population on your sensible perspective.

    what a breath of fresh air!

  38. al sabri ahmad

    To be in the state of fasting is a miracle in itself. When one is fasting the desire to breach the rules ordained is not there. Deep in the heart we feel peace and tranquility . Even if a passer by consumes food in front of a fasting man, the desire to co taste the food miraculously is not there. For a man even if a sexy women makes an attempt to visibly seduce him, the in build power of fasting neutralizes the sentiment and "saves" the man.
    As such if a non muslim consumes an ice cream in the presence of a fasting man, its actually a non issue.
    Dont believe me? try fasting…. it is a miraculous journey

  39. jejari

    Stupid article

  40. malaysian

    i am from the f&b industry. i agree with the writer's opinion. i observed that in many functions including those hosted by the government, beef is served together with other dishes even when there are indian attendees. the hindus are not allowed to consume beef and they have no problem seeing beef being served with other dishes as long as they don't consume it. imagine the consequence if pork is being served in the same manner. surely the muslims will be offended and treat all other dishes as haram just like the pork. why is there a difference in treatment to muslims and hindus with regard to their respective prohibition on the consumption of pork and beef? muslims are prohibited to be employed by beer and gambling companies. but there is no issue for muslims with dato and tan sri titles to serve in the board of directors of such companies like carlsberg, guiness anchor, genting etc. why such double standards? why big shot muslims are allowed to enrich themselves by way of corruption, abuse and cronyism like pkfz, scorpene and nfc whereas the ordinary muslims on the streets have to earn a living through hard work. i can see that the problem here is not only the superiority of the majority muslims against the minority religions but also the superiority of big shot muslims against the poor muslims.

  41. wiseguy

    To all those lambasting the writer by saying "it doesn't happen" or "I've never seen it happen" or "I've never done it": your comment makes no sense. The fact that this article exists clearly means it DOES happen, and it HAS happened enough for Saudara Syahredzan to write about it. If you've never seen it happen, lucky you. If you've never done it yourself, good for you. Although to be frank, I have to wonder how "good" you are if you choose to castigate someone speaking up against an injustice.

    • Fauzi

      What annoys people is the overgeneralisations and inaccuracies. When many, including myself do not do what he claims we do, means the writer has erred. It makes the article nothing but silly.

      • lynncheang

        Fauzi, try to see it from the perspective of non-Muslims, will you? I bet the writer probably has feed-back from his non-Muslim friends and colleagues and was trying to sympathise with us nons who experienced such negative responses from SOME Muslims during the fasting month and a timely reminder to himself and others to display restraint and tolerance whilst carrying out the fast.

  42. Carly

    Hmm, I still remember the days back in secondary school when my teacher would tell us students not to drink water in class while she's teaching. If we did unintentionally, she'd reprimand us.

  43. jitraguy

    in paragraph one, is this kind of thing a regular occurrence or just your imagination? then,, ahhhhhhh whats the point…

  44. Aishah Hoo

    Salam.

    I am fasting in Prague this year. And all my non muslim friends have been so very careful about not eating and drinking in front of me even though I never asked them to. I didn't even tell them that I was fasting, they found out all about it themselves (and internet helps, of course). I feel very blessed and supported.

    In my humble opinion, and a reminder to myself:
    Often when one acts civilly, others will react similarly. If you want a change, start with yourself.

  45. your next door neighbour

    Strong words that are still echoing at the back of my head 20 mins after reading and sharing it. Perfectly executed. Keep penning your thoughts! ((:

  46. sjsolo

    obviously theres an underlying point in this article. all those debating on whether its right or wrong to eat in front of those who are fasting should try to understand what exactly is being said. its about INTOLERANCE. The more we expect people to be sensitive to our needs the more we should be sensitive to them. ie: because im sensitive to my muslim brethren I do not blatantly eat in front of them but at the same time, i detest the idea of it being expected of me to do. I shouldn't be made to feel bad.

  47. nqn

    Thee last sentence ia interesting…to enable "instilling" islam.,primary source of knowledge would be teachings …a.k.a. "being told"

  48. Miza

    I don't see what the big deal is with people eating infront of people who are fasting. Grow up! Is our iman so weak that the moment we see someone drinking and eating that we feel so challenged and tested in our ibadah? Fasting is a requirement for Muslims, not for non-Muslims. There are also exceptions for Muslims based on their circumstances i.e. illness, travellers etc. Having people sneaking and tip-toeing around you to eat is just childish.

  49. Sarah

    gee i dont know who your circle of friends are and what sort of people ure surrounded with but the Malays i mingle with care about the non muslims and even repeatedly told them to have their meals and not to mind about them fasting.
    and since when really malays are entitled for all the rights above? there are many malay community areas that have hindu temples,, some protested but the temple remains.
    i really think you should go out there and mingle more, and not just narrow down your perspective and be prejudice to the Malays, i believe mostly all malaysians tolerate one another (except the narrow minded people that youve been mingling with i guess), i see malays tolerating with the chinese on many various occasions for example my indian neighbour who constantly have their loud chantings on every morning and night, and no one interfered and we're good friends. whenever theres a weekly prayer at the nearest temple , we tolerate with the cars parked on both sides of the roads as well.
    open your eyes and see how we all live, which era are you living in really

  50. Xena

    I love the article. Thank you for specifically mentioning that it is Malay Muslim.
    The only thing I dont agree with is your last line "Remember what Islam has instilled in you, not what Muslims have told you.". I think it should be "Remember what Islam has instilled in you, not what bigots and uninformed pwople tout. Use your head".

    THanks for the lovely article