Saturday, 16 August 2008

A "Lazy" Post on "Toleration"

"Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword.
It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind.
And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry.
Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so.

How do I know?
For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar."

- Unknown

Setelah diberi "muka" oleh Zaid Ibrahim, de-facto Menteri Undang-Undang, dan beranggapan yang Kerajaan sekarang takut pada mereka, Majlis Peguam Malaysia bukan main lagi; sanggup juarai semua isu yang sensitif.
- Mahathir,

"I think he did not know anything about law, just like Musharraf.
He thought, 'Why should I have all these judges?
I will dismiss them and have those that would confirm that my appointment remains'."

"That was democracy to him ....... "

- Raja Aziz Addruse

"It is thus with a heavy heart that I must report to you that many non Muslims feel marginalised in today’s Malaysia.

.... the law must be made crystal clear that religious conversion, both into and out of Islam, cannot be used as an excuse to avoid a person’s obligations to his or her family.

Freedom of conscience of the individual must be respected, and a simple registration mechanism must be put in place to ensure that those who wish to leave Islam and revert to their former religion, or convert to any other religion, can do so.
Our religious development must not suffer at the hands of limitations on an individual’s right of choice as a fundamental democratic institution.
In this day and age where access to knowledge is without frontiers depriving citizens of the freedom to choose their religion may even be considered inhumane.
There is growing discomfort with the rapid Islamization of our society. Universal values of ethical conduct and good governance, values which are shared by all religions, are appropriated by some to be only “Islamic”.

The civil courts must always have jurisdiction whenever there is a dispute in which a non Muslim is involved. Justice in those civil courts must be administered by Judges whose integrity and intelligence are beyond reproach, and who will dispense justice even-handedly and in accordance with the Federal Constitution. Judges in the civil courts should not either knowingly or unknowingly try and apply Islamic law in administering justice.
Those law reforms must be urgently legislated.
The Judiciary must be restored to its rightful place in our system of Constitutional government.

All Malaysians must have confidence that our public institutions will act even-handedly in preserving and protecting the Constitution and the rights of all Malaysians.

We desperately need urgent action to preserve the atmosphere of mutual respect and harmony which ought to prevail in this country of ours.

-Datuk A Vaithilingam, MCCBCHST 25th Anniversary Dinner

"But of all these superstitions, is not the most dangerous
that of hating your neighbor for his opinions?
And is it not evident that it would be much more reasonable to worship
the Holy Navel, the Holy Foreskin, or the milk or the robe of the Virgin Mary,
than to detest and persecute your brother?......

It does not require great art, or magnificently trained eloquence,
to prove that Christians should tolerate each other.
I, however, am going further: I say that we should regard all men as our brothers.
What? The Turk my brother?
The Chinaman my brother? The Jew? The Siam?
Yes, without doubt; are we not all children of the same father and creatures of the same God?

But these people despise us; they treat us as idolaters! Very well!
I will tell them that they are grievously wrong.
It seems to me that I would at least astonish the proud, dogmatic Islam imam or Buddhist priest, if I spoke to them as follows:

"This little globe, which is but a point, rolls through space, as do many other globes; we are lost in the immensity of the universe. Man, only five feet high, is assuredly only a small thing in creation.

One of these imperceptible beings says to another one of his neighbors, in Arabia or South Africa:
'Listen to me, because God of all these worlds has enlightened me: there are nine hundred million little ants like us on the earth, but my ant-hole is the only one dear to God; all the other are cast off by Him for eternity; mine alone will be happy, and all the others will be eternally damned."

They would then interrupt me, and ask which fool blabbed all this nonsense.
I would be obliged to answer, "You, yourselves."
I would then endeavor to calm them, which would be very difficult.....

I would take the liberty to respond, "My brother, perhaps you are reasonable; I am convinced that you wish to do me good; but could I not be saved without all that?"

It is true that these absurd horrors do not stain the face of the earth every day;
but they are frequent, and they could easily fill a volume much greater than the gospels which condemn them.

Not only is it extremely cruel to persecute in this brief life those who do not think the way we do,
but I do not know if it might be too presumptuous to declare their eternal damnation. It seems to me that it does not pertain to the atoms of the moment, such as we are, to anticipate the decrees of the Creator."
- Voltaire, Treatise on Toleration


When dealing with the unknown one is tempted to reach for the familiar.
That is why the cliché, deplored as it may be, can be a writer’s security blanket.

-Katia Bachko, Beware the Cliche