Can Muslims Think?

Shaun Tan has a question about Malaysian Muslims.

A few months ago, my Australian Muslim friend asked me about Islam in Malaysia. When I told her about it she was shocked. Shocked at the coercion used to impose a narrow brand of orthodoxy. Shocked at the extremism and intolerance in a country that proclaims itself a ‘moderate Muslim nation’.

“I can’t believe it,” she said sadly. “A fundamental principle of Islam is that there is to be no compulsion in religion.” She then told me about the Allah that she knew. The Allah Whose name is peace and love and compassion and understanding and wisdom.

We’ve seen a very different version of Islam in recent months. We’ve seen draconian laws used against childish bak kut teh bloggers. We’ve seen four Muslim beauty pageant finalists charged with “insulting Islam”, apparently for the egregious sin of daring to participate in a beauty contest. We’ve seen them threatened and insulted and bullied into apologising. We’ve seen Maznah Mohd Yusof, a kind person with a big heart, arrested for posting up a video of herself celebrating Aidilfitri with her dogs. All these waves after waves of persecution done in the name of Islam.

The rabid fanatics at the head of this farce have been the Islamic departments JAKIM and JAWI. These measures are necessary, JAKIM and JAWI allege, to protect Muslims in Malaysia. According to them, Muslims are so stupid that they can be misled by bak kut teh antics; their faith is so shallow that it can be threatened by a beauty pageant; Islam is so petty that it can be undermined by a woman choosing to celebrate Aidilfitri with the animals she loves.

With all their talk, JAKIM and JAWI might have convinced me. Except that I happen to know quite a few Muslims and have on many occasions been impressed by their intelligence, by their kindness, and in some cases, by their extraordinary courage and their strong sense of justice. Some of them are my friends and I am honored to know them. I’m convinced that they are capable of thinking and choosing for themselves and I put my trust in their judgment knowing that, while we may not agree on all things, their essential goodness and humanity will endure.

JAKIM and JAWI seem to think otherwise. They seem to think that the best thing is for Muslims in this country to be scared out of their wits, to be straight-jacketed into orthodoxy, to live in fear of fictitious ‘enemies’ behind every corner – and for proof of this you need only look at JAKIM’s planned Aidilfitri sermon. They seem to think that Muslims must be treated like children (or rather, like machines, for even children are supposed to think), incapable of thinking or questioning for themselves, but who should just uncritically accept the diktats JAKIM and JAWI hand them. They seem to think that any Muslim who lives a little differently should be made to cower, to apologise where no apology is necessary, to feel shame where there is no cause for shame.

It is time, past time, for Malaysians to start calling injustice by its name. To say to bodies like JAKIM and JAWI that stupidity is stupidity, that bigotry is bigotry, that cruelty is cruelty, no matter what religious scriptures they try to twist to defend their villainy.

Many Malaysians are starting to see some of the officials of JAKIM and JAWI for what they really are: a bunch of bitter and vindictive individuals who know little of the world beyond their myopic perspectives, who were elected by no-one, but who somehow have the incredible presumption to claim to do the thinking for millions of Muslims. It’s strange that they seem to go through so much trouble to find perceived insults to Islam. The next time they want to find an insult to Islam, they need only look in a mirror.

At their official Aidilfitri sermon, Jakim planned to cast the issue in opposition to “secularism, pluralism, and feminism”. The real question at issue is a far more fundamental one: Can Muslims think?

Are Muslims, as JAKIM and JAWI seem to suggest, subhuman, unique among all the peoples of the world in being unable to think for themselves without disastrous consequences?

Or are they just as smart as everyone else, capable of pursuing their own happiness in their own way, of living their lives guided by their own sense of justice and goodness?

I, and some other Malaysians who I respect and admire, have given our answer to this question. JAKIM and JAWI have given theirs. It’s up to other Malaysians to speak out about whose they think is right.

 

Featured image by AP


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Shaun Tan is a Malaysian writer. He enjoys reading, partying, and talking about himself in the third-person. Contact him at [email protected]

Posted on 19 September 2013. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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52 Responses to Can Muslims Think?

  1. The first verse from the Qur'an is to read. But most Muslims I know fail at being thinking beings – not because they cna't, but because they simply won't. Dogma rules over reason for them, and it's a sad, sad thing that Islam is used as a source of public policy and law here in Malaysia. As a woman, I suffer the brunt of it.

  2. I am a humanist. I love all humanity. For me, a Jew, Malay, Indian, Chinese, a Baha'i, a Muslim, an Iranian, an Iraqi, an American, a black, or a white are all the same. I hate no one. I love every human being, irrespective of his or her color, race, nationality or religion. But that does not mean that I approve of what they do, say or believe. I feel it is my duty to show them their errors if those errors harm others. And I would accept with gratitude and humility if they helped me see mine.

  3. Dark Lord Bobi

    The real question : can this writer think?

  4. Suri

    Kinda agreed with dexter here. By the way dexter thanks for explaining it to the writer. I do understand the writer frustration with the way our religious authorities (jakim…ect) been handling the issues (stated in the article). As a muslim, i don't agree with them toward the issues (alvivi…maznah…Allah in bible) And I do understand why hafiz, a muslim reacted the way he did (in the article). I guess we should be more humble in projecting our argument and opinion as a respect to the multi-ness (is this even a word) in malaysia. Both the writer and hafiz had good points. I wonder if can learn to listen with open heart to each other. :)

  5. Dexter

    Good article.

    my comments.

    The headline is misleading. What I understood from the article is that, there are some Muslims who tries to stand out by claiming that they are speaking on behalf on Malaysian Muslims and protecting the Muslims. And true enough, there are many intelligent Muslims around that think they are acting like idiots and they are doing so to gain political advantage. The author of this article is trying to urge the Malaysian Muslims to come out and voice their opinion against these "so-called Muslim leaders" that claim to speak on behalf of all Malaysian Muslims. So, the question is not "Can Muslim think?" because certainly they can. Instead, the headline should be something like "Can Muslims stand up for themselves?"

    Starting the article with the wrong headline already give people (especially Malaysian Muslims that the article is directed to) the impression that you are arrogant. Growing up as an Malaysian, I'm sure most of you will agree that we inherit the concept of "Chinese think Malay is stupid. Malay think Chinese is arrogant and take everything away from them." through parents or friends or racial jokes. It is when we're educated only we learnt that it's all bullshit and it's a divide-and-conquer propaganda.

    I understood and agree with the intentions of this article, however, you should have written it in a different way and different headline. Especially when this article is written by you as a non Muslim, directed to Muslims.

    • shaunzhimingtan

      Good observation.

      I chose that title for the article for one main reason.

      The question 'Can Muslims Think?' certainly sounds like an absurd one! 'Of course they can think! What kind of question is that?!' is what most people would probably say.

      However, that's the point – what's messed-up about this whole issue is that Jakim and Jawi have been treating Muslims like they truly are subhuman and cannot be allowed to think for themselves. And they are doing this whilst claiming to champion the rights of Muslims! This is really ridiculous. I decided to use the absurd question 'Can Muslims Think?' to reflect the absurdity of this whole situation.

      • Dexter

        well my point of view is that it's very political. GE13 shows that it's urban vs rural, but the governments wants us to believe it's malay vs Chinese. Main stream media and political parties has been trying to reinforce the governments message of malay vs Chinese.

        Take the bakkutteh case as an example. Mainstream media and the Muslim parties make it such a big issue as if they're murderers. Our law system joined in by denying them bail. But I do hear that some Muslims are not offended by it and just think that it's a really bad joke that went terribly wrong.

        What we hear and see is what the government wants us to hear/see through mainstream media. It's not a question whether Muslims can or cannot think because they certainly can, the question here is, are they voicing them out and if they did, are they being heard.

        I do believe and agree with the meaning and intentions of the article. But why I think you should write it in a different way is because you're a non Muslim writing about the Islamic community. A softer and less arrogant tone would have been more convincing.

        Btw I'm a non Muslim too, and I do find the headline and style of writing arrogant. I'd imagine that if I'm a Muslim, upon reading the headline my defenses will be all up already. I'd probably want to find faults or argue back and totally miss the real meaning of this article.

  6. a muslimah

    this article is well-intentioned, i believe, however in malaysia, we always have the case where the comment section itself is depressing. on both sides of the divide(ones who agree with the writer, and the ones who dont), obviously some people are offended with the title(i wonder thru their anger, do they actuall read and comprehend this article wholly). And then, the ones who agree with the article betrays the author's tolerance by going the racist/islamophobic wa ("ya, the muslims.malays cant think just look at their blabla3)……..

    and some commenter up there said that liberal muslims would agree with the writer, oh well, sir/maam, im an orthodox muslim and i do agree that JAWI and JAKIM are bigots,narrow minded and screwing up the religion and they dont represent me.

  7. no2ajal

    musuh Islam dimana mana tak perlu nak hairan banyak banyak

  8. Alloha

    It is best to ask the Egyptians whether they like the Muslim Brother ex- president Mohd. Mursi who had introduced so many Islamic agendas, including sharia laws, in his government. Because of this he was overthrown by the majority including the arm forces personnel of Egypt.

  9. Fed Up

    What is new? When Muslims attack & criticize non-Muslims, it's permitted. When non-Muslims attack & criticize Muslims, they'll say non-Muslims are ignorant about Islam, therefore, have no right to say anything. In other words, Muslims are always right & no-Muslims are always wrong.

    • "Guest"

      And when non-muslims try to voice their dissatisfaction in hopes of a better co-existence, they are asked to leave the country since they are so ungrateful, dissatisfied etc….

      • A Muslim

        Not just Non-muslims, even Muslims who voice dissatisfaction over the present inequalities in attempt to support their other Malaysian brethren are labeled as ingrates and told to leave the country. I think there is a pattern emerging here…

  10. Adam

    I hope not all Chinese in Malaysia are as racist and ignorant as the ones on here. If you hate the Malay Muslims so very much, then why are you living in Malaysia? The irony is that through this article, you are exposing your own ignorance.

  11. no2ajal

    selain dari muslim pandai sangatkah berfikir – tidak sehebat mana pun pentadabiran dunia ni pun kucar kacir tindas sana sini.

  12. Alina c

    Some years ago, a university prof took 10 years to research the thinking abilities of our malaysian
    school children.
    It was finally revealed that our M'sian students ' can't think for themselves' !!
    I could have given the answer without the lengthy research.
    I was a school teacher who was ' ACCUSED' by some serious students that my teaching was torturous to them because I "MADE THEM THINK"!!!!!
    So what quality of society do we have?
    Religion, politics, nation's economical/ physical health, etc. etc., will forever be in futile debate by the few if
    education of the masses continues unabated on it's path downhill.
    That's the real problem our nation is facing!!!! Words won't heal a sick nation – action will!!!!
    But as it stands, nobody's doing anything …. And the debates go on……..
    Interesting, but very, very sad!

  13. bumi non malay

    With the Case in Syria…..seriously you ask can muslim think???

    There are so many types of Islam….Islam Sunni, Shia, Taliban, Allawhite, Al Qeada, Al Shebab, Islam UMNO Cult…..etc… Which type do you think ….really think about the problem in Syria…….still blame it on Isreal type islam???

    JAKIM & JAWI is the Extension of UMNO -PDRM – Sulu terrorist islam Cult Arm …….approved by Sultan / Agong…..
    http://bumi-non-malay-malaysia.blogspot.com.au/

  14. Ammar Khairi

    Misleading headline.

  15. c57k

    Can Muslims (M’sian, that is) think is only the syndrome NOT the solution!

    Most of them can. Whether their line of thought is logical, illogical &/or childish, that’s another story.

    The solution is whether any action should be taken to right/skew /enforce those thoughts.

    As it stands now, a section of the Muslims does take strong action to that effect, while a silent (majority?) group just, lies silent, impervious to the actions, rightly or wrongly, of their more vocal congregation! Full submission, just like Allah dictates?

    Who is which, is as clear as the sky in M’sia!

    Why the liberal Muslim M’sians let them to be herd into submission. Or superficially to that effect. THAT’S the big question that needs answer.

    R they lack of free will? No. No. At least their intellectualism has disproved that in many of an occasion.

    R they less confrontational towards their own congregation in voicing opposing view points? SIS has disproved that.

    R they putting religion behind race, in considering their subsequent action, consciously or not? Since Melayu MUST be a Muslim, but not all Muslims r Melayu. So, the herd mentality in race is BIGGER than that of the religious doctrine! Arrrrr… could that be it?

    So, within the world view of universal Islam, the Muslim M’sians (Melayu, not the non-Melayu Muslim) has a localized version of their religious interpretations. Thus Allah is only for Muslim. Traditional Malay alcoholic drink is halal, etc etc etc.

    & since a section of the congregation allows the vocal group (JAKIM and JAWI) to be their spokesperson for the group, it then appears that The Malay Muslims as a group cant think.

    So, at the end it's still a race issue! Islam is just happened to be a convenient front, due to the definition of Melayu. Yes?

  16. sweetpie

    Excellent piece here! Can muslims think for themselves for once? Since we are in Malaysia, there's no use in redirecting focus on 'other religion' as opposed to the big elephant in the room, surely. The points shared here resonated with me and I am a Muslim by birth. Perhaps not so much in practice, but I often wonder why people here in Malaysia has to force feed their so-called superior belief on others. Live and let live, people!

  17. On a more general note, here is a research paper documenting on how the Federal Consitution has been used to legitimise ethnocracy in Malaysia.
    http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/2010/06/

  18. joseph tan

    Interesting articles!Matter of opinions.Expression of thought. But at the end of the day, what has happened recently potrayed a particular religous faith in a bad light. Or has this been going on for a long time. Religion as a guide to better living is all good but religion used as a political tool, that is something else.This, like I have mentioned at the start of this comment, is merely an expression of my personal opinion. Same as the others who have posted thier comments here. Other religions have been put in bad light too. Do we rant and rave as well? In the defence of our almighty religion?Or do we try to examine the "cause" of this bad "potrayal" and if justified, modify our rigidly held religous values to be in touch with the reality of the 21st century, not in the years when the basis of our religous was first formed. Remember , all religions teaches one basic thing, to be good in life, to think good things and to do good things. We do not live in the years of the religous crusades, where bloody wars were fought in the name of the defence or expansion of religous beliefs. Please comment on my comment. At the end of all the huffing and puffing, the answer is very simple and straightforward. Just think about it!

  19. Haziq

    5) Contrary to popular belief, we were not "straight-jacketed into orthodoxy" It's particularly interesting how you can suddenly assume the lives of others just because they want to prove your point.

    6) You finally come to a conclusion by stating "Are Muslims, as JAKIM and JAWI seem to suggest, subhuman, unique among all the peoples of the world in being unable to think for themselves without disastrous consequences? Or are they just as smart as everyone else, capable of pursuing their own happiness in their own way, of living their lives guided by their own sense of justice and goodness?"

    So you basically segregate Muslims as people who are molded by dictators therefore even though they want to think, they are unable to because of the confines of their religion and Non-Muslim as people who are vastly more capable of thinking.

    Which now I will come to my conclusion.

    How come someone who sound so intelligent can be so ignorant? Does grammatical expertise count as being educated? Did he listed the keyword "Bigotry" on the tags to prove a point or did he do that in reference to himself? These are some of the questions that linger in my head when I read your post, but lets try not to be offensive towards each other now and try to base on facts instead. That is the basis of your writing yes?

    Opinions are a good way in stating how you feel about something. I myself am fond of opinion as it refreshes my thoughts and allow me to rethink about way that I can improve myself. But opinion is by definition: a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. It saddens me that more and more people have too much opinion based on their emotions and not facts and knowledge.

    There is a lot that you don't know about Islam and how it works. Not only that, in this article itself you fail to address the key issues that society nowadays are facing as a whole. How social media is affecting how people think. The ever growing globalization and how it is more and more closely related to westernization. How world leaders are constantly waging wars over disputes similar to what we are facing right now in our country but in a smaller scale. What culture is and how norms, taboos, mores, laws etc affects the properties of each society. These are all issues you have to look into before making such bold statements. What saddens me the most is that more and more people are agreeing with you and people like you instead of thinking and researching and observing.

    • Kong Kek Kuat

      Dear Haziq,
      I think your response is a worthy reply to the above article.
      It affirms that you are no different from JAKIM and JAWI.

      • careful bro, sounds like he's ready to blow himself up in the name of peace :D

      • hitokiri1989

        Ad hominem attacks. You actually didn't reply to Haziq or rebut his facts. The article however seems to imply that only Muslims are victims of "stupidity".

        • NotHaziq

          ^ straw-man through and through……it does not imply that Muslims are such victims, the author questions whether Muslims needed to be judged as such. Haziq loves straw very much. Grammar grammar liberal liberal blah blah blah…. your emotions don't have any say in this issue but mine does. It's difficult for me to find a case against the non's who perceive us as ignorant fools when ignorant fools seem to speak for us. Come on! Mehmet al-Fateh was a polygot who blew the walls of Constantinople at the age of 21! Need he be reminded about the dangers of learning hellenic ideas and such?

        • Kong Kek Kuat

          Hi hitokiri1989,

          I don't get what kind of facts Haziq is giving. Are there any?
          Not even close. He is just like the author, giving an opinion.
          You might want to read closely Haziq's points.

          1 : " This article is full of jargon and pompous style of grammar that tries to create an illusion that you're actually talking based on knowledge and facts, and not emotions. The real question is that can Malaysians think? Let me correct your errors and hope that all the readers might actually learn from it. "

          2: "Opinions are a good way in stating how you feel about something. I myself am fond of opinion as it refreshes my thoughts and allow me to rethink about way that I can improve myself. But opinion is by definition: a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. It saddens me that more and more people have too much opinion based on their emotions and not facts and knowledge. "

          Just this 2 statements alone, has already determined Haziq's acceptance and utter arrogance towards the author's opinions.

          People like you and Haziq do not deserve freedom of speech.

          • NotHaziq

            Haziq is the answer to the question…. literally

          • non-malay muslim

            haziq is an idiot and is no differrent than JAKIM or JAWI.
            and the article is generally, in my humble opinion, directed at muslims (malays) in malaysia that think like JAWI/JAKIM/Haziq.
            i am not surprised this article had pushed the 'anger' buttons of some malays, because, well, malays as muslims in general are VERY VERY sensitive when it comes to religion (and their so called 'malay rights', but let's not go there).
            personally, as a muslim, i think most muslims/malays can think but they have this fear of being criticized/ridiculed and labelled a murtad for thinking outside the box (when it comes to religion).
            it is embarrassing for me to see muslims/malays getting annoyed and responded in anger and violence when article like this comes out. it clearly shows that we cannot think rationally and anything that we deem 'insulting to islam' must not be tolerated, and must be responded with violence and anger!
            i for one, wish that religious bodies like JAKIM and JAWI to dissapear for good as they do not give Islam a good picture, what JAKIM and JAWI ever do is portraying Islam as a draconian religion and that muslims just can't think for themselves, that muslims must be controlled and told what to do with their lives.
            oh i'm pretty sure only 1 out of 10 malays would agree with me, the rest would criticize and label me a murtad.
            i have given up hope on malays.

          • dziff

            "People like you and Haziq do not deserve freedom of speech."

            What, because he raised a valid point with a simple statement? Maybe if you stopped attacking ad hominem everywhere you wouldn't get replies like that that seem to ruffle your feathers so much :)

    • mr gaman

      haziq.. u have your bomb strap ready? your long long long comments actually made no sense or meaning but just twisted fact and side swiping.. we are not impressed as we heard and saw enough of these terrorist jakim jais kais pais here. now scream and go booom..

  20. Haziq

    4) You now start talking about your observation on "very different version of Islam in recent months" by opening with the statement ""A fundamental principle of Islam is that there is to be no compulsion in religion.” She then told me about the Allah that she knew. The Allah Whose name is peace and love and compassion and understanding and wisdom."

    Do you know how politics work or not? Don't just talk with your emotions my presumptuous friend. Simply put, Majority of people complain about an issue > politicians respond to the issue. Doesn't matter what your beliefs are, who you are siding, what background you have it is all the same everywhere. For example:

    Issue: Asian sex bloggers posted a racially and religiously offensive picture
    Reason: To provoke
    Probable consequence: Public outburst will result to heightened in racial and religious dispute that could possibly lead to chaos if the issue is not managed properly.

    I'm just going to ignore the statement you make describing the Islamic departments with the word "farce."
    But I will provide the readers with the definition of farce:

    a comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay and typically including crude characterization and ludicrously improbable situations.

    synonyms: slapstick comedy, slapstick, burlesque, vaudeville, buffoonery

    PS; just to set the record straight, I'm not for any political parties nor am I defending anyone. It's sad how politics work, but that's just how it is. Like how i stated in the other comment, replace the word "Islam" with other religious, non-religious, political or ethnic groups. When there human is present, human error will occur. It's all the same, but why people like to talk about Islam in particular is simply based on what they see, not what they know. I am simply here to correct what is wrong and shed a light on some ignorance. That is in fact what a Muslim does.

    • Secularist

      Perhaps you should consider taking some classes in grammar before you attempt to "shed a light". You've misconstrued the whole point the author is trying to put forward.

  21. Haziq

    This article is full of jargon and pompous style of grammar that tries to create an illusion that you're actually talking based on knowledge and facts, and not emotions. The real question is that can Malaysians think?

    Let me correct your errors and hope that all the readers might actually learn from it.

    1) You're comparing our culture and the culture in Australia as if it's the same situation and you try to justify it by putting the term Australian "Muslim". It is same as if I state that my Chinese friend that has been born and raised in Russia is similar to the Chinese friend I know in Malaysia just because they both 'slant eyed'

    2) "Shocked at the coercion used to impose a narrow brand of orthodoxy" is simply a manipulative way of saying "pushing beliefs onto others by using excessive force"… You just wanted to sound more professional and you are afraid of being bashed by people online.

    3) "“I can’t believe it,” she said sadly." Why is she sad again? Why is her emotion relevant? You're just trying to imply emotions on your statement again to make it the argument be sided with you.

    • Patrick

      Shaun Tan is a moron. Did you read his self-righteous article on the Ranau earthquake?

      It takes a real arrogant, pompous and racist person to write "Can Muslims think?". Why did he not write "Can Christians/ Jewish / Buddhist / Hindu / think?"

      This article as well as the Ranau earthquake one have a common pattern as Shaun Tan mocks those whose views are not agreeable to his. He thinks he's intellectually superior, I think he's just a below average dumbo who thinks too highly of himself.

  22. annoyed

    why, why, why people without a good knowledge of Islam loves to talk about Islam???

    • Greg

      Interesting question annoyed. Many reasonable people also wonder why (and are annoyed) that Muslims in Malaysia, especially Muslim clerics and Muslim politicians like to talk (and humiliate and denigrate) other religions.

      • Haziq Zainal

        Replace "Muslim" with other religious, non-religious, race or ethnic groups. When there human is present, human error will occur. It's all the same, but why people like to talk about Islam in particular is simply based on what they see, not what they know. Which is what Mr. Annoyed is trying to imply.

        • Hi Haziq,

          The focus on Islam in Malaysia is because what was once a secular country has now been Islamised.

          So, the argument goes that only leaders with Islamic credential should lead. That Islamic values should under-gird society.

          The other religions in Malaysia do not do this.

          And tell me Haziq, with the plethora of Islamic institutions, with the millions of dollars used to promote Islam in Malaysia – are Muslims any better today morally and spiritually, is Malaysia any better today, have is it produced any great Malaysian Muslim leaders?

  23. no2ajal

    kalau nak faham ajaran Islam sebenar jumpalah pakar dalam agama Islam tak perlulah kutip kenyataan dari orang yang hanya cetek ilmu agama Islam. yang pelik banyak sangat cubaan untuk kondem Islam agama lain tak ade siapa pun kisah.Islam tetap Islam hanya pengikutnya yang banyak buat hal bertentangan dengan perintah Allah.ramai manusia hendak Islam ikut kehendak mereka.Agama Islam ajar manusia untuk hidup dalam dunia ini bukan manusia nak ajar Islam macam mana nak hidup dalam dunia milik Allah.apakah ada manusia yang cipta dunia ini.ada manusai percaya asal kejadian nya dari berok kera monyet

    • Cheetah Haittumn

      You have a point there. As what is instilled into us, the non-islam, all religions are good. None teaches to be bad, to steal, to kill or to destroy another religion. But, the sad thing is the Globalisation (Islamise the whole world thing) is getting out of hand. If those people who screw the religion are put to death, I think a lot of people would agree, the other religions will start trusting and respecting Islam religion again as before. Honestly, there is no subject matter expert when it comes to religion. We trust that one person who talks as though he just had the last supper with Christ or the last fast with the Prophet, however, when that person throws in his own twisted version into the talk and everyone listening to him will trust and believe that person to oblivion and shit starts happening. That is exactly what the masses are trying to bring forward…stop telling everyone…your God is the bestest and every other God is crap….well, some take it to extreme by condemning and bad mouthing ISlam but it comes back to 'who started it'? Just my 5cents worth!

    • mr gaman

      kalau tidak faham topik yg diperbahaskan di sini jangan cuba tunjuk hebat sampai jadi monyet. baca balik dari awal dan fahami. but guessing from your comment in bahasa you're at lost and didnt really understand but normal reaction to so called defend islam made u utter total trash blubberings.

  24. The first verse from the Qur'an is to read. But most Muslims I know fail at being thinking beings – not because they cna't, but because they simply won't. Dogma rules over reason for them, and it's a sad, sad thing that Islam is used as a source of public policy and law here in Malaysia. As a woman, I suffer the brunt of it.

    • Reza

      Really? Did you bother to ask this Shaun Tan guy if he had done any undergrad or graduate degree on Islamic studies? What's his qualification then to speak about Islam and Muslims?

      His grasp of Islam is at best shallow, at worst, just downright flawed. It's pretty obvious where he obtained his "mastery" of Islamic matters: Google.