Musings: By MARINA MAHATHIR
LOOKING at recent developments, I think there should be a new association registered for the propagation of the shallow and superficial. It should be called, for short, the SS.
The SS is open for membership to people who have nothing better to do with their lives than look for monsters under their beds, enemies in their blankets or crosses in their buns. The first members of the SS are the people who believe that the path to hell is paved with ice-cream biscuits.
In case there are still people out there who only read the mainstream papers and therefore have been blissfully cocooned in ignorance, a group of defenders of the faith have lodged a report that a certain brand of ice-cream biscuits have (Christian) crosses on them, and therefore this is a grave threat to our faith. If any of us were unaware that all it takes is ice-cream to melt our faith, now we know.
The SS would comprise of people who really believe that their faith needs to be protected from confectionery, lipstick, books, magazines, songs, maybe even SpongeBob SquarePants. Everything should be scrutinized for their ability to creep into one’s soul and destroy one’s beliefs. Having laws that allow for this scrutiny would apparently show how superior and strong their religion is.
The SS are not in the least bit interested in any real issues that might truly be threats to their community. Not for them the trivial matters of poverty and hunger nor of people being bombed to death every day in Iraq or Palestine, or dying of diseases such as AIDS. Nay, these are unimportant compared to the dangers of ice-cream and lipstick.
In case anyone thinks I am making this up, some people might remember that in the days before the United States invaded Iraq, an e-mail listing out the brands of cosmetics one should not use because their lipsticks were not halal was passed around. Undoubtedly, several hundred thousand dead Iraqis later, those who boycotted those lipsticks feel very good now.
Let us not forget other SS members, those who should be conferred the special title Simple-Minded and Stupid, otherwise known as SMS. These are the sorts who believe every little message that comes into their hot little phones, no matter how unlikely.
Without even asking simple questions like “Is it true?”, they pass them on as if they were, well, gospel. Even worse, instead of just relying on electronic gadgets, which one can always blame technology for, they pass on these messages verbally to other members of the SS, all of whom accept everything the SMS say is literally The Word of God.
The alleged Word of God is then borne into action by Korrupt Kombative Knuckleheads, otherwise known as the KKK. These will do things like throw firecrackers into churchyards, destroy temples and raid married people’s bedrooms. Pretty soon we may find them dressing up in bedsheets and stringing up people they don’t like on trees.
One thing about the SS, the SMS and the KKK is that they never take responsibility for anything. Unlike hijackers, kidnappers and terrorists who want to be known as people who do bad deeds, the Malaysian versions don’t own up to anything. If SS or SMS talk about how Other People are bad, and the KKK then go and string up people by their necks, the SS and SMS simply put their hands up and say, “But I never told them to do that. I only mentioned these things in passing.”
Thus they can pass out simpleminded but dangerous messages without having to take the consequences. Unlike Other People who are constantly being threatened with all sorts of Dire Consequences should they so much as open their mouths. This is how less than a dozen people talking peace and goodwill can be told to shut up in the face of 10,000 talking war and hate. It’s the same sort of argument some Neanderthals make about cameras peering in inappropriate places; the victims shouldn’t have worn skirts.
The sad thing is that an association like the SS would have so many members in this country. While those who are reasonable, moderate and tolerant are getting marginalized every day.
The voice of hate is these days so much louder than the voice of peace, love and inclusiveness. Just as we don’t see the supreme irony of trumpeting our religious superiority while at the same time claiming that it only takes biscuits to destroy us, we don’t see the irony of extolling ourselves as a superior race while at the same time insisting on crutches and handouts.