Thursday, October 19, 2006

How 'Kolot' My Community Can Be

A few days back an article in Berita Harian ran a story about this kurma, or date. A series chain of email, with its origin unknown, has been making its round and causing discomfit for quite a many netizens. When I first read that email I couldn't help but feel sorry for the person who wrote it.

Look at the date on your right. This product is from Iran. What does it tell you? What do you feel? Do you think the image looks like the Virgin Mary? Did that association cross your mind? And if it did, were you bother by it?

The trouble with some folks out there, and I mean the Malay Muslim community here, and [this taleban, rigid-like paranoia isn't exclusive in this country]; is that they tend to take, interpret, read, things too literally. These rabid ultra Islamists, [oklah let's not use that word] - let's refer them -- believers, for they too, worship the same God that I worship, just love to stir shit. So what if the image looks like Virgin Mary? You're not worshipping her, right? Some shaken netizens went so far as to claim that the dates are cleansed in Holy water. Seriously, if there was a conspiracy to convert millions of Muslims out there, you'd stand a better chance of doing so by -- eating dates? Whatever happens to your conviction in the faith?

You know how the community reacts when they're faced with unknown entity and this is a perfect example of misplaced text and context here. They get angry, they get mad and they want everybody to stay away, and boycott the product. I'm not sure if this 'kolot' reaction was because the image was associated to Virgin Mary and that she is a venerated figure in the Quran or it's because the 'kolot' mentality in them freaks out each time they see a biblical, iconic association in their face. In either case, I pity them more than the importer of these dates.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Private Idaho

Went out last week to break our fast and while waiting for M I found a bit of time to traipse this bookstore on the second floor of Orchard MRT. Didn't think I'd find something worthwhile on that level because I knew that place is much too greedily occupied in square metres by Popular bookstore. Don't get me wrong, I love the plebian feel of Popular but I just had about enough of it mushrooming everywhere.

And well what do you know? I found this neat bookstore called Haris.

I could lounge for hours in its quiet recesses of solid bookcases and turns of categories. The classics section is something to wish for. If I had it my way, or a place on my own; that's how I want it to be -- my own private Idaho .

And that's the picture of Harmony Centre @ An-Nahdhah mosque, Bishan I thought I'd post here for everyone's info. PM, together with many leaders representing the religions of the community graced the event and officially opened it on the 7th July 2006.

The Harmony Centre intends to facilitate Muslims in the understanding of other major religions in Singapore so that they can better relate to their fellow citizens, friends and neighbours. It's primary objective is to promote greater mutual respect [via many activities and platforms] between the communities which will in turn safeguard and enhance the peaceful and harmonious living that we have enjoyed so far.

Lol... can't believe I'm typing that in my blog but that's what it is folks. Go visit if you have the time, it is open to every race, creed, religion and colour.