This is my 100th post on this blog. Happy reading.....
I am writing this post well-aware that I'm setting myself up for hate comments. I'll probably be labelled as someone who is opposed to human rights. Some will call me a homophobe. Others may label me as a religious extremist. Truth be told, I don't care.
First and foremost, I understand loud and clear that Seksualiti Merdeka is NOT a festival to PROMOTE A GAY LIFESTYLE. I understand that you are not holding a gay drive, and trying to get people to sign up to become gay. I understand that you don't change your sexual preferences like changing a t-shirt. I understand perfectly well that this event is not meant to attract people to become gay. (While I'm at it, I also understand that Elton John's concerts are not some subversive plan to turn the concert-goers into homosexuals, but I digress.)
Anyway, now that we have that out of the way, allow me to say that the problem here is what Seksualiti Merdeka stands for and what it aims to achieve.
The following is a quote from the Seksualiti Merdeka website :
"Indeed there is a lot of hate going on, but fear not, you are not alone. There are so many of us. Let's not be afraid! We have done nothing wrong."
Allow me to remind you that in Islam (and many other religions as well), homosexuality IS wrong. Therefore when you are trying to promote the fact that it is not wrong, that's where the problem lies. If you choose to believe that what Islam, and other religions are saying about this matter is wrong, then that is your own personal choice. We are not an atheist society. We are strongly connected to our faiths and beliefs. Malaysia is an Islamic country and it can't be more clear in Islam that homosexuality is not acccepted. Therefore your crusade to make us endorse you is plain ignorance at work. How dare you call us ignorant when you are the ones who fail to see the pure and simple truth?
If I commit a sin, I do not go around saying that what I have done is right just so I can feel good for doing something wrong. What's wrong will remain wrong. Educate yourselves first before taking it upon yourselves to declare the rest of us as ignorant simply because we do not endorse your lifestyle.
Here'a another quote found on the website :
"I'm pleased that the police regards Seksualiti Merdeka as important as Bersih that it needs to be similarly banned. We ARE important. And if anything this ban proves why we need to keep fighting for our rights. The rights of innocent people are important." - Pang Khee Teik
Need I say more? Let me illustrate it this way. When a husband commits adultery, and the wife finds out, the wife hurts. But know what hurts even more? When the husband insists that what he did was not wrong, totally justifiable and goes around parading his sexual prowess. Does that make his meandering ways right?
One thing LGBT advocaters have somewhat overlooked, by calling the rest of us ignorant, is that you are denying us of our belief, and you are insisting that if we do not condone your preferences, then we are abusers who promote injustice and so on and so forth. Who put you on the rosy side of the border anyway? Why am I in the wrong for holding on to my beliefs? Why am I stupid and ignorant if I refuse to endorse your way of life? What about your ignorance in realizing that you are living in a society where same-sex relations are illegal? If you want openness, if you want acceptance, perhaps you should move to San Francisco. Call me ignorant all you want for saying that, but that is the bitter truth you refuse to accept. The choices you have made do not give you the right to be high and mighty over the rest of us. Nietzsche did say that morals were imposed by those lower in the society so as to hold back the intelligent few. Perhaps that is what you believe. You feel as minorities of the choices you made, then you must be right (It is perhaps interesting to note that Nietzsche died of syphillis.). Throughout history, minorities have been discriminated against and in the end they triumphed. The slaves from Africa, the blacks in America, women, coloured folks, Asians in Europe, and the list goes on and on. Therefore you have taken the superior attitude in placing yourselves like those people. Those people who were discriminated against, fought injustice and emerged triumphant. However you failed to note that no religion in the world ever condoned the discrimination of people based on their gender, on their race, on the color of their skin, or on their ranking in society. No religion ever endorsed what the Ku Klux Klan did. No religion said it was right for human beings to make slaves out of other human beings. However, when it comes to sexual preferences, it is clearly stated, not just in Islam, in other religions as well, that homosexuality is something that is not accepted.
When I say homosexuality is not accepted as a norm, that doesn't mean I promote the abuse of those who are gay. It is important to understand why such a choice was made, it is important to study the matter, it is important to respect one another and to give good advice, lead them to the right path, and if that fails, present them with the implications and let them make their own choices. Whatever they choose, that is between each individual and the Almighty. It is not up to us as the society to pass judgment, not up to us to persecute and call names, inflict torment or cause them harm.
I do not understand why people become gay. I do not condone it. However I respect their choices and I leave them be. That is the part I play in exercising human rights. What more do you want from me? What more do you want from Malaysia? We are an Islamic country. Homosexuality is clearly illegal. The way I see it, those promoting Seksualiti Merdeka are rather selfish indeed. They boom out that we need to stop injustice, they cry for freedom and the right to be queer without fear, they scream that we are discriminating them, but all I see is a bunch of people who are trying to widen the crack in an already fragile society. Seksualiti Merdeka has flown somewhat under the radar since 2008. Marina Mahathir even officiated it once, but it never became big. No one talked about it that much. But this year, 2011, suddenly Seksualiti Merdeka is splashed on the newspapers, on the news, and on social networks. Suddenly it made the Washington Post. And who's officiating it this year? None other than Ambiga. Why her? Why not Marina again? Why not some other celebrity? Why Ambiga? And why this year?
The way I see it, some people are taking advantage of the fragile situation in Malaysia and wants to makes the country look bad. They are using the homosexuals' fight for alleged justice to their own satisfaction.
Yes you are being selfish. Because you are trying to justify what's wrong just so it will make you feel good. I don't care if you do not subscribe to any religion, but understand that the majority of people in this country are Muslims. Therefore the way I see it, it is you folks who are being selfish. It is you folks who do not understand the concept of human rights. So you want to promote awareness, you say. Creating awareness on something that is illegal in this country is kinda like trying to promote the goodness of eating beef to Hindus.
An open dialogue is necessary to understand and combat these issues. Islam is a beautiful religion, it does not tell us to shoot first and ask questions later. Just because some people choose to call you names or refuse to give you a job because you're gay doesn't mean that the religion is at fault. Islam asks us to be tactful in whatever we do.
Speaking of being called names, and allegedly being shunned, how many of those who opt for an alternative lifestyle are abused, blackmailed, arrested or shunned from society in Malaysia? Maybe a few isolated cases, but for the most part, they are pretty much free to do whatever the hell they want. I see tomboy couples holding hands in malls. I don't see anyone throwing sticks at them or calling them names in public. If u go to our nightclubs, i'm pretty sure u can see gay couples practicing their lifestyles freely. What more do u want? The way I see it, this is just a ruse to break up our already fragile society. There are even some states in the United freaking States of A who still do not accept alternative lifestyles. And here we are trying to promote being queer with no fear? In Malaysia? Seriously?
Human rights does not mean acceptance of every damn thing. Not endorsing gays does not mean we are against human rights. In some countries, they'd probably stone you for being gay. We don't do that here in Malaysia. Isn't that human rights enough for ya?? Especially considering that you're fighting for acceptance in an Islamic state?
It is interesting to note that those who fight for alternative lifestyles often take it upon themselves to become the judge and jury of what is deemed right in a society. If we do not endorse you, then we are the ones at fault. Who died and made you guys the human rights police? Who put you on the pedestal of justice and freedom? Either we support you or we rot in the stench of shallowness and ignorance??
Ask yourselves this question, who's ignorant here???
I have friends who are homosexuals. I look at them as people. I respect them as friends. I enjoy their company. However I do not talk about their lifestyle choices. Because that has nothing to do with me. I do not condone homosexuality but that doesn't mean I can't be civil with them. Doesn't mean I can't be friends with them. Doesn't mean I can't listen to their music (Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me comes to mind...).
I do not wish to be educated on "Seksualiti Merdeka". I do not condemn you in public, I let you and your choices be. The rest is between you and the Almighty.
Stop being selfish. If you want to be gay, that's your choice. Just don't impose it on the society to embrace and endorse your choices. How would you feel if I came up with a program called “Being Straight is Awesome” and shove it in your faces? Because that is exactly what you're doing, you're shoving it in our faces. And to me, that's unfair.