These are just plain opinions; they can be rejected, refuted, argued against or accepted. These words are not meant to impose my ideals upon anybody , and they are not going against the law of the diversity of thoughts~~

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Awkward People

                  PRC ( Pas Representative Council UK-Eire)  had a chance to meet a number of PAS leaders in Sheffield a few days ago, and to be honest, I was quite disappointed to find out that they are just human beings. There were no fireballs coming from their mouths when they speak, and when they pray, nothing magical or out of norm ever happened. Perhaps it was wrong to put high expectations before meeting someone you have never even seen before.
from left; Aiman Athirah, Mumtaz Nawi and her husband, Anas At-Tikriti, Suhaizan Kayat and Jupri Bade from PRC

              Suhaizan Kayat , Salahuddin Ayub, Mumtaz Nawi and Aiman Athirah Al-Jundi ate together with us , sitting on the cold floor and sharing food on the same tray as if we had been friends for decades. They spoke of normal things like any decent human would do, instead of spewing complicated ideological bullshit and clichéd words of reform. We talked about the never-ending grass fields of Sheffield and the weird British weather, fat sheeps and queer locals, and at some point we even sat in complete silence and awkwardness as a result of the failure to hold an interesting conversation.

            We had expected many things from the leadership, but it was never thought that the Youth Chief and the Vice President can be awkward at times. It is perfectly human and normal thing which happens every time we make new friends and meet new people, and it happens to the best of people. I managed to further prove that they are just regular human beings due to the fact that Senator Mumtaz  did not  freeze things with her bare hands, and Aiman Athirah became tired after speaking for two hours.

          My friend told me how disappointed he felt after meeting the leaders for the first time, due to  the fact that they too are humans, as human beings are a boring bunch. We had been expecting special people with traits of an alien being, batman-like ideals and superhuman strength. It was widely rumored that these people are excellent speakers and experts in oratory skills, but I bet some of my colleagues can speak way better than they did. They weren't extremely pretty or extravagantly beautiful either, only somewhat good looking-on the fine line of being not ugly.

           Suhaizan Kayat , the friendly Youth Chief who is the role model for all young Muslims is quite fat, despite the stereotypical expectations that a leader of Muslim youths should have been a man with taut muscles and tough expressions. They all looked tired and lethargic after long hours of flight and endless travel through the grass fields, and that made us feel guilty to have them speak all day and greet all kinds of Malaysians that came.

           It made me realize that they have nothing to offer by themselves to us in order to join their fight. Suhaizan even told us that he can't even sing ,at the end of our short meeting, and it was frankly frustrating. He was trying to sing some folk songs during his last speech, which resulted in a number of non-rhythmic lines which doesn't sound like music at all.  Senator Mumtaz is quite pretty, but she is already married and is really quite proud with her husband . What was the point of them coming thousands of miles from the homeland, and why were they celebrated with respect and admiration?

                I found that they are regular people, who became leaders and special people due to their unwavering will to bring Islam back to their nation. Suhaizan Kayat was a university lecturer who was then fired, but unlike millions of people around the world who were fired from their jobs, he was fired because he wanted to deliver Allah's words to his students. Salahuddin Ayub and Mumtaz Nawi rejected numerous offers of wealth and status in order to fight for the jemaah, despite the fact that they are barely able to sustain themselves and their families. Aiman Athirah had been a fighter since her days as a students, and she had experienced police violence and harsh criticism from the public and even from members of the party. They had prevailed various sorts of tribulation , mentally and physically, and had always risen to the occasion, whenever an issue arises.

                 What they have to offer to us was the promise to topple corruption and cronyism once Putrajaya is taken. What they have to share with us during this short but meaningful meeting is the vision of prosperity and harmony under Allah's blessings, once Islam reigns over the nation.  We believe that these honest and strong people would lead Malaysia to her better days ,and that they would prove that Islam is indeed rahmatan lil alamin.

                 The way they treat themselves like common people assures us that these people are indeed qualified representatives for the oppressed majority, the poor and the disabled . Had they bring with themselves an air of importance and arrogance, I would have felt disgruntled and doubtful of their intentions in this fight . Seriously though, it was funny to find out that they can be awkward at times.


Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Rise of the Planet of the Goats

                     I just started playing the Goat Simulator, and it is as awesome as I thought it  would be. In the game , you take the role of a goat whose raison d'être is to terrorize the citizens of a city and destroy everything .  The goat makes cars and trucks explode just by headbutting them, leaving a trail of destruction and horror  throughout the small map.
         It is a game made for those who had dreamed for so long to be a goat, and indeed it is a dream come true. What is better than being an overpowered goat who has the ability to shoot into the space simply by colliding with a truck?

                 One who is estranged to the world of gaming might perceive that the Goat Simulator is the height of folly, a waste of time, or even a disgrace to the goats, due to the blasphemy done by the developers by giving it strange powers. Some might even brand this masterpiece as trash not worth looking at, but I strongly disagree. Only in a way which is strongly philosophical and retrospective could one fully appreciate being a goat.
 Goat Simulator, As Told By Steam Reviews
           Being a goat means living a liberal life free of problems and transgression of the modern society. One is freed from the fears of the upcoming exams and the pressure that comes with it. There is no mortgage to be paid or children to take care of. It is a life of blissful ignorance and complete disengagement with the society. Nobody could call you a liberal or a secularist when you are a goat, or condemn your laziness which was an actual genetic trait.

        To top it all, being a goat in the Goat Simulator is to be immortal. No amount of damage or injury you take would kill you, and the goat avatar would simply rise again in all its glory and awesomeness after being hit by a convoy of trucks. It is only during the unfortunate case in which the computer crashes or blows up due to the meaninglessness of the game would the goat ever die. You are free to do whatever you wish , from licking the citizens with its overly long tongue or destroy petrol stations with a headbutt. Truly a magical experience; there is nobody that is able to stop the path of destruction.

          What makes the Goat Simulator a truly better experience than our harrowing daily life is that the goat has the freedom to do things we are so afraid to do, and to make choices in its stupid life without the fear of being judged or stigmatised. We human beings can’t even read some books due to the fear of being brainwashed or being led astray. While it is true that goats can’t read, the freedom of which it is granted symbolizes that it actually has the potential and the will to do things by itself. I am waiting for some day during which the goat simulator has the ability to read and outwit those cowardly human beings.

 Goat Simulator, As Told By Steam Reviews
         The main principle of the life of the goat is that it is not restricted to any law and creeds of weird organisations which pressure their members to conform to the backwards and unyielding ways of thought. The goat is free to think whatever it wants to; whether to  destroy tanks at the north corner of the town or break into houses of innocent people. It has the power to decide by its own discretion, which is wrong and what is beneficial for the benefit of the goat and its community as a whole.

        Secondly , the goat does not have to worry about what his human neighbours have to say about him; well; he’s a goat after all. The immature and childish thoughts of the proletariat beings around him will not deter or destroy his mind and desire. His raison d'être is clear and immaculate; destruction and havoc.
 Goat Simulator, As Told By Steam Reviews
            After experiencing the free life of a goat , I figured out that we do not have the freedom of thought and the strength to venture into a dimension of strange ideas which is so vast and interesting. Our religion had emphasized so much upon the discovery of knowledge , the importance of reading; so much that it was the first ayat in the Quran. What are we so afraid of? What can a book do to the mind? Corruption of the mind is a choice made by oneself, not by ideas in writings. Be free like the goat, my friend!

             In these times where we are too afraid to seek the truth from issues due to the incapability to trust our own judgement, we should follow the path of the goat. We humans should be able to grant ourselves freedom to read and think about liberalism and those other  ‘Western’ ideas we were so afraid of, the real meaning and philosophy behind it,  or else the free life of the goat would always be better than our small existence upon this planet.

                 I believe that it is the obligation of those who wish to fight for a cause to study and seek profound knowledge of what he is fighting for. Being someone without authority does not reduce our mental capacity to think and discover by ourselves, neither should we restrict ourselves from thinking about choices that we make.

Be better than goats.

*goats referred above are those exclusively in the simulator, not those that are being domesticated.

** 'Siri Serangan Pemikiran' books are always available in bookstores .
***images courtesy of Kotaku.com

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

A Doublethink

            When I was 17 ,my history teacher told me in the classroom, that should I insist to disagree with the National Constitution, I should migrate to a country of my own creation .  I was dissatisfied with the textbook which has too much of the name UMNO in it, and I did not agree that Tunku Abdul Rahman should be called the Father of Independence. He was born in a rich royal family, and did nothing except for going to London to talk with some rich people there.  There was nothing he did that I could count as a struggle.

                       I did not agree with the reasons stated in the textbooks for the uprisings of  Mat Kilau, Tok Janggut and Dato' Bahaman. They seemed superficial and trivial; that was what I thought. Tok Janggut was suggested to refuse to pay tax to the imperialists, while those people who conspired in the murder of J.W.W birch supposedly did so because they interfered in the customs and traditions of the Malay people. Haji Abdul Rahman Limbong were said to fight for the rights of farmers over the lands. Some of the fighters were known as clerics, as ulama' , and the lack of a religious motive in their struggle was very suspicious. I thought that to fight over socioeconomic matters weren't as  important as hudud and Islamic laws.

     It wasn't a profound opinion , only logical. And as time flows, they become logical no more.

       I could not accept that the reason for uprisings were petty things such as refusing taxes, or that the British interfered in our customs and traditions. Yes, to a child, taxes and customs do not really matter.

      I believed that there were bigger motives than a mere scuttle for power or land disputes, to bring back Islam as the ruler and the law to the Peninsula. I begun to imagine those freedom fighters as Mujahideen, the frontrunners of the muslim society at that era.

      I thought that they were actually fighting for hudud and to reinstate muslims as rulers.

       Without proof of any sort, I rejected what the textbooks supplied, and proceeded with my own belief, since it seems more logical that way. I had read Orwell's 1984, and I am currently under the impression that the government could easily alter history, rewrite the textbooks, since nobody would ever bother to check.

        It seems to be a very acceptable conspiracy theory that the text writers concealed Islam as the reason for uprisings because Malaysia as a secular country cannot afford such history . It would only lend credit to islamic political movements, and that is not beneficial to the ruling party.

       I went to talks by students about the rise and fall of Islam, during which they seemed to voice the same opinion that I had. The talks ,though always supported by vague and unverified information, supported my view that those people who fought against the British were actually leaders of some sort of an Islamic uprising against the toghut.

       But then time flew, and I had to pay things with my own money. I found out there and then that the struggle against taxes and the rising cost of life is real. It is in no way something petty. I had learnt about exploitation of labour, inequality in urban areas, and how people struggle to make ends meet. If Islam is indeed rahmatul lil alamin, why would the fight for the poor and against living costs not  part of its core? Why shouldn't it be ?

          I was mistaken for saying those reasons as petty motives and were not worth dying for.

      I was mistaken for seeing that refusing taxes and fighting for land rights as not part of a fight for Islam. 

      I was too vehement to believe that they fought for islamic laws and its rule, and taxes and lands were worldly matters, not important enough as a motive.

      There were many verses in the Quran about good governance , the land and taxes, as many as there were rules. To disregard them as a part of Islamic struggle is to be a secular in its pure form. I had thought that they were worldly matters, and money is not a religious thing.
Sahih International
Indeed, Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due and when you judge between people to judge with justice. Excellent is that which Allah instructs you. Indeed, Allah is ever Hearing and Seeing.


Sahih International
And give full measure when you measure, and weigh with an even balance. That is the best [way] and best in result.

Sahih International
There was for [the tribe of] Saba' in their dwelling place a sign: two [fields of] gardens on the right and on the left. [They were told], "Eat from the provisions of your Lord and be grateful to Him. A good land [have you], and a forgiving Lord."

      People who talk about the rise and fall  of Islam often gloat about the glory and the size of the empire, buf often fails to mention that the charity of the people was part of the glory, and it should be a part of the current struggle. The most emphasized  part  were always the beautiful architecture, the rules and the development of technology, but matters concerning economic developments and the social conditions were always left out, as if they weren't part of the religion.  

       It is wrong to think that the fight for charity and human rights is not a major part of what Islam is. We had been so far left behind in the matter of human rights, exploitation of labour and the sort. The prophet was an advocate in freeing slaves, one who spoke against malpractices in trade, taxes , and he taught us against asobiyah/racism. It is embarassing to see that Muslim countries always regard matters involving human rights and discrimination as minor issues; or simply failed to acknowledge that those problems ever existed.

             I was always under the impression that should Islamic laws and rules come into fruition, social problems and human rights issues would be solved by itself, but indeed I was wrong. As long as economic and social issues weren't considered as part of Islam itself, we haven't practiced Islam as a whole, and more than that, we became secularists ourselves.