The Distinction Problem

I was queuing up to buy some drinks at the food court downstairs when I overheard a discussion going on between some students of a nearby college on Islam and the Arabic language. There was this Arab student who was telling the other students (non-Muslims) about the religion of Islam, and how it is superior to other religions, and how the Arabs, are the preferred ones as compared to Muslims of other races. To this, I turned towards him and retorted:

“You Arabs are scum of the earth. Muhammad was chosen amongst you NOT because your race is superior; it is because you guys were so fucked up then, and even so now. You have no manners; no regards for your surroundings; no regards for the traffic regulations of other countries; your kids throw things around in supermarkets; and you think this whole world is yours! Muhammad was sent to teach you bastards a lesson! And the Quran is in your language because that is the only language you can understand.”

He just kept quiet, red-faced. Everyone just ceased to talk, and looked at me.

This whole world is in a fucked-up state because the Muslims, Jews and Christians alike think that one is superior to the other. That the world domination of one’s religion is the supreme and divine cause, and that Paradise is promised to all those who succeed in subjugating the rest.

Well, let me put a damper to your thoughts, you religious-racists! God only asked you to be good, and that you follow the good ways. No one mortal has the right to say that the other is wrong or otherwise because that is God’s prerogative. Unless, you’re the Pharoah and you think that you are the God of all Gods. I can’t say if one has sinned, or whether his or her deeds would be accepted by God or not. That is for God to say, and not certainly not me.

And we are all the same: Muslims, Jews, Christians. We were so fucked-up that God had to send His Messiah to deliver us. Then, the Jews whacked the Christians for having Jesus, and not subscribing to David’s way. Then, the Jews and Christians whacked the Muslims for following a Prophet who’s not a Jew. Then idiots from the Muslim quarter thinks that world domination and submission is THE only way to go. While I’m at it, let me just whack my own kind, because the so-called religious zealots, while claiming to defend Islam, don’t even understand the Quran.

God stated in the Quran:

The Messenger (Muhammad PBUH) believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. They say, “We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers” – and they say, “We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your Forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all). (2:285)

Say (O Muslims), “We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Ibrahim (Abraham), Isma’il (Ishmael), Ishaque (Isaac), Ya’qub (Jacob), and to Al-Asbat [the twelve sons of Ya’qub (Jacob)], and that which has been given to Musa (Moses) and ‘Iesa (Jesus), and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted.” (2:136)

And those who believe in Allah and His Messengers and make no distinction between any of them (Messengers), We shall give them their rewards, and Allah is Ever OftForgiving, Most Merciful. (4:152)

Say (O Muhammad PBUH): “We believe in Allah and in what has been sent down to us, and what was sent down to Ibrahim (Abraham), Isma’il (Ishmael), Ishaque (Isaac), Ya’qub (Jacob) and Al-Asbat [the twelve sons of Ya’qub (Jacob)] and what was given to Musa (Moses), ‘Iesa (Jesus) and the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between one another among them and to Him (Allah) we have submitted.” (3:84)

So, there have you. So if the three of you are bent on proving that this whole planet can be better if they subscribe to your ways, then get off the fucking planet. We all worship the same God. So, whichever way that you pray to Him, is your fucking business.

The Thing That Still Bugs Me At 43

Just the other day I went out with Wifey and the kids, and I looked at them eating. I did the same when my stepchildren ate. I just looked at them. I am always reminded of my childhood.

I learnt table-manners the hard way. That included the use of hand while eating; the use of fork and spoon and fork and knife while eating – all the hard way.

I think I was eight or nine years old. I would assume children of that age would have problems eating at their own house. It’s not fun to eat unless it’s something that cannot be cooked at home ie. hot dogs, burgers etc. And it is always more fun eating when there are people of your age: friends, cousins etc., that even if the food’s not that good, you tend to eat more than you would at home.

So, there I was, at the house of a family friend, eating plate after plate of rice with their children, and my elder sister. It felt so good eating with people around your age, and my friend’s mother would pile scoops of rice onto my plate.

A week or two later, back at our Section 16 PJ home, I was having dinner, and ate very slowly. After a while, I turned to my mother and told her that I didn’t want to eat anymore. My father was furious. He got up, scooped some rice into his hand, and literally shoved the rice into my mouth. When I did not chew as fast as I could, he would either twist and pull my ear, or slap me. I ate as much and as fast as I could even though I could taste blood. But I guess that tasted better than the ear-ringing slaps that were offered as the alternative.

Another reason to get slapped is when you go for a dish with your rice-covered hand – in this case, it was a fried fish. The fish was good, and I went for it. As soon as my hand touched the fish, a slap landed on my face.

And I dreaded those trips to Fraser’s Hills. Those were when I learnt the hard way how to use the fork, spoon and knife. My dinner would end more than an hour later until I got the correct way of getting all those peas and corns onto my fork using the knife or spoon, depending on whether it was local or western food being served. Come to think of it, maybe that is why I have tinnitus. Just by having dinner.

Sometimes, you get punished for not even being there. There was once when my younger brother had his fingers trapped by my father’s car door. I was inside my room, upstairs, when that happened. Then I heard my father yelling my name out. I quickly rushed downstairs and when I got to him, a hard slap greeted me – the kind where your vision blacks out momentarily and your ears ring like mad, but by the time you regain your senses, you’re being dragged by your ear to his favourite place for you – where all his canes were stored, and he would whack me with only two – either the Officers’ Cane that would leave the back of your thighs promoting the Royal Malaysian Police force, or the Kayu Tas cane from Sarawak that was covered in beautiful beads.

I was so terrified of my father. And it was not just me. Even my mother’s friends would scamper into the kitchen whenever they hear the sound of my father’s car. But why me is the question that keeps bugging me, even until now. Is it because I was born exactly 40 days after my elder sister died? I don’t know. I don’t ever want to know, and I will never ask.

It is because of the past that I still have problems talking to my father (not that I have for the past 2 years and 5 months anyway). But it is also because of the past, that I would give my kids big hugs whenever I see them.

Although I have this rampart built around me because of my past, my kids are inside with me.