Religious issues and beliefs has never stopped circulating our lives. Every decision in our life is guided by our religious beliefs, depending on how strong our faith is. Some people may have strong beliefs. Some are just moderate practitioners of their religion. Some might not belief in any religion or some are extremists.
For the past two weeks, religious issues arises again in the social media and in the news. Farah Ann Abdul Hadi, our Malaysian gymnast, had certainly made us proud by winning the gold medal through the women’s floor exercise routine. Young and talented, she made us stand tall in front of our neighbouring countries. But when photos of Farah was posted on the social media wearing the gymnast’s leotard, the so-called strong religious believers criticized her for wearing a revealing outfit.
“Until she’s dead too people can see the shape of her vagina and aurat,” a Facebook user, Muhammad Nur Salam commented.
Another Facebook user with the name of Amir Muhd wrote, “Just strip off your clothes lah… let everyone see.”
When most of the Malaysians are appreciating the beautiful routine performance of our young athlete, it is so sad that the first thing that these people with “strong religious faith” saw is her vagina.
We should ask these perverts whether are they really preaching what has been taught in their religion. I doubt any religion would have asked their faithful followers to look at people’s private parts.
In fact, all our Malaysian gymnasts are wearing the professional attire required for the competition.
Probably we should just force our Malaysian gymnasts to wear a ‘sarong’ like what
Facebook user Suzanna G L Tan was asked to wear in JPJ office.
As many would have known, Suzanna was instructed to wear a ‘sarong’ before entering the office due to her skirt which is just above the knees. While I agree that many public places including government offices should have guidelines for clothes and attire; those who have seen her photos on the Facebook believed what she was wearing is decent enough.
In a separate Facebook post, a man questioned Texas Chicken, a fast food chain outlet over the brand of it’s dipping sauce, “Church’s”.
He wrote on the social media, “Dear TCM … Please do explain your dipping sauce brand at Malaysia franchises … Most of ur customer is a Muslim … AND Muslim didn’t not eat food from church brands – feeling worried.”
Although there are mistakes in the English grammar, it is obvious that the man meant that Muslims does not eat foods from a church.
Little has been known that the brand name of “Church” has nothing to to with Christianity, but it happens to be the surname of Texas Chicken’s founder, George W. Church Sr.
Several months back in Taman Medan, a small group of Muslims has protested and demanded that the local church remove its cross from the building. The protesters claimed that the cross was a challenge to them and would sway the faith of youth in the area.
These group of people who see themselves as strong believers in their religion are creating unnecessary tensions in the social media. As much as I have learnt from my friends from other religion, be it Hinduism, Muslim or Sikh; it was never taught to them to be extreme.
Sometimes we just doubt whether do these critics really have strong faith in their own religion. Are they so weak that their faith can be easily influenced by a mere look at a name believed to be related to other religion, a professional gymnast wearing her leotard or simply by looking at the religious object of another? I believe it is all in our own mind.
My parents sent me to a church’s kindergarten when I was small. I was enrolled to a Methodist school since Standard One in S.K. Pykett Methodist up to Form Six in Methodist Boys’ School. In total, I have studied in a Christian-based education institution for 15 years. Although I may not be a perfect religious follower, but from the day I learnt how to pray to Buddha, I am still a Buddhist up until today.
Not any name, religious object or person can shatter one’s faith if it is strong enough. And by being strong to one’s faith, does not mean one has to be an extremist.
This article has been published in Mandarin in Kwong Wah Yit Poh dated 19th June 2015.