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The recent decisions made within days of each other by the authority- the cancellation of two pool parties and the banning of the film ‘Noah’- were indeed commendable. These were courageous moves given the growing push by some quarters for absolute freedom to be accorded to the people of this country.

However, the action especially on the heinous pool parties could and should have been taken much earlier.

While a movie depicting the life of a prophet does not come by that often, immoral pool parties unfortunately do.

Simply Google it and you can find many of these are held from time to time and most are publicly accessible with the entry fee is just as minimal as its clothing requirement.

It is a growing trend apparently, so the authority should be on a better alert and not wait for public uneasiness to escalate before deciding on an action.

You don’t have to be a local culture expert to know that bikini parties have no place in Malaysia.

Back to those ‘freedom fighters’, it is interesting to see how their reaction to the actions on these events went from a typical display of disappointment to something along the line of a hysteria when the word ‘Islam’ or ‘Muslims’ appeared in the justification of that actions.

One local reporter fits this description aptly by going to the extent of penning a full Sunday column just to make known how disturbed he was in learning the underlining basis of the decisions.

Two wild parties cancelled and a movie banned are all he required to proclaim to the world that “there is no freedom of choice in this country”.

Reading that particular line of his simply reminds me of the way CNN provides coverage of the MH370 search mission.

Total freedom

Sometimes it makes you wonder whether they really understand the actual message of freedom that they keep harping on.

It is a sure recipe for chaos to happen if their definition is to go by when they insist that one must not made to be “bound by the same moral code that other groups adhere to”.

Just imagine a society wherein one group insists on using experimental drugs while another believes engaging in pedophile acts is a valid choice of value. Surely this is not what these people have in mind when they insisted on having total freedom.

But the hesitance to start introducing ethical boundaries on freedom is totally understandable because to look silly contradicting themselves is the last thing they will want to do.

The reality is these people just despise the fact they have to acknowledge the moral provisions in Islam are indeed suitable and beneficial to the society wellbeing.

Had the objection to these events come from non-Islamic entities, the response would surely be different. (It was expected though liberal and feminist groups like Sisters In Islam would step forward as the objectification of females are rampant in these kind of events but of course no such thing happened).

It is indeed strange to still find people who fail to recognize why Islam and its values feature profoundly in this country as if they were born only yesterday.

And to say that the inclusion of Islam as the religion of the federation was almost an afterthought is an utter insult to the history of this country and its forefathers who fought centuries of colonisation and still able to preserve its identity. And like it or not, this is how it will stay.

The problem with these people is that they are holding to and propagating this false logic that to apply one set of values equals to eliminating the others (unless of course the other values threaten its very existence, which is not the case here).

Noah’s ban

One need not be an investigative journalist to discover that in the case of ‘Noah’, a group of Christian leaders were invited for a preview and consulted by the Home Ministry in its process of arriving to the eventual decision.

It was wrong then to continue crying and selling false alarms that other groups were ignored and their concerns were not considered.

A responsible reporter would surely not hide this fact unless a certain view has already been intended even before materials were gathered – a view that is bent on portraying Islam in as bad an image as it possibly could.

It is sad to see that some people will just use every means and opportunity to pursue their peculiar agenda, in this case unchecked freedom of choice and Islam bashing, even including sacrificing the ethics of their own line of work and in the process sowing discord among the society.

You may blame this ‘error’ to the dry season, or maybe the full moon, or perhaps a haircut gone wrong but to earn a living by bashing Islam at every opportunity is just as shameful as earning one by misusing your own profession.

Umar Hakim Mohd Tajuddin

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