Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Mixed day: personal stuff - and where are the compassionate Muslims of this nation right now?

I had great plans for today, all listed down neatly (because that what you have to do when you are my age), and then I went and lost the list (which is what you actually do do when you are my age).

Just to put some blood on the seal of my day, I parked on a side slope when I went for my morning run at the riverside, and the car door slammed on my hand. Just what you need when you have a report to finish before you go off to enjoy yourself at Convergence...

...three more days and I shall be in Melbourne!
And to make it even nicer, I get a first copy of the Song of the Shiver Barrens delivered to me in Melbourne on Sunday, hot off the Voyager presses, courtesy of the lovely Karen.

I'll let you in a secret: No writer worth a reading public ever gets blase about holding the first copy of a book in their hand...it is a special moment, like savouring a particularly tasty pie when you are starving hungry. The smooth feel of it, the smell wafting up from the new pages, the taste of knowing it is yours...I'm salivating already.

Anyway, the day was great around lunchtime, because I met up with the mob - my bookgroup - and caught up on everyone's doings. Good things, sad things, funny things - I really miss these folk when I am over in Kota Kinabalu. (Did I ever get around to mentioning I am back in Selangor at the moment?) They mean such a lot to me.

On a sadder note, the saga of the woman imprisoned for not being a Muslim, when she was raised a Hindu, continues. Apparently, the Arabic TV channel AlJezirah (sp?) ran a spot on her. I didn't see it, having no TV, but they interviewed her husband, who has been to see her in jail three times. Twice he was refused entry.

[Fantastic. Now they keep her from meeting her own husband - I don't think they even do that to murderers here!!!!!]

On the third visit, a sympathetic guard allowed them to meet with a chainlink fence between them. Apparently all they could do was touch fingers through the wires...

Their toddler daughter has been stolen from them and given to the Muslim side of her family to raise. [Presumably the same good Muslim family who so cared so much about their daughter's religious well-being that gave her to a Hindu grandmother to raise...]

And the woman has refused to knuckle under and agree to follow a religion which has torn her family apart and treated her as a criminal and subjected her to brainwashing in a prison environment.

So what have they done to reward such intransigence? Extended her 100 day sentence by another 80 days.

Perhaps the worst thing in all this is the lack of outcry and outrage from Muslims in this country. Are you all so heartless? I have had nothing but gentle consideration from the majority of you in all my years here. Was that all a sham?

If you want this woman to be a Muslim, you have gone the wrong way about it.

Revathi Masoosai, this blog entry is dedicated to you.

I wish I could do more.

8 comments:

Tunku Halim said...

This sort of thing is only whispered. I'm having scrambled eggs for lunch.

Glenda Larke said...

The best sure for egg on the face is go write another book...

And I wish the whisper was louder. I am reminded of the quote attributed to Paster Neumoller, about there not being anyone left to protest when it was his turn to be thrown into prison.

Or John Donne: "Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee."
When everyone wakes up to what has happened, it will be too late. If anyone deviates from the party line, off they go to "rehabilitation". And they define the crime, not us. We don't even quite know what the crime is.

Satima Flavell said...

I, too, wish there was more I could do. Bigoted beliefs are one of the barriers to attaining a better world. And not only Muslims are guilty. Anyone who believes that his or her way of doing things is the only "right" one is cast in the same mold as the officials who drafted those crazy laws.

May Allah, Krishna and Shiva all be with this poor woman! Add Jesus and Quan Yin as well. She needs all the help she can get...

animah said...

Glenda,
There is outrage and compassion amongst people in this country, including Muslims. You don't see it because the local media have been asked to "behave". The issue is however flourishing in the blogs. Please see these, all of whom are Malaysian Muslims:
http://harismibrahim.wordpress.com/
http://rantingsbymm.blogspot.com/
http://legitexpect.wordpress.com/
http://www.othermalaysia.org/
http://malikimtiaz.blogspot.com/
http://www.malaysia-today.net/
The Al Jazeera programme you referred to is available in You Tube.
It helps that you make noise as well.

Glenda Larke said...

Thanx Aminah...

Tunku Halim said...

There are no bells. Only the sounds of the kompang heralding another outrageous expensive wedding. Gold, silver and designer shoes will take priority to anything else.

According to Amir Muhammad, I'm not the first to write, nor I'm sure will I be the last. And I do love eggs :)

As for another book, it'll be one out very soon . . .

Anonymous said...

so much for 'there is no compulsion in Islam'...

Donna said...

We sit here in the West and have no understanding of what it can be like to be jailed for loving someone. We can even love criminals and still get to see them in prison.

I agree Glenda it is a shame...on everyone.

Isn't Allah the compasionate?