Sunday, June 25, 2006

Shahirah Raja Bahrin Revisited

Two and a half months ago I wrote about the happy ending of Raja Bahrin’s daughter Shahirah, who met up with her mum Jacqueline Pascarl after a 14-year separation in The Betty Mahmoody of Malaysia!.

Today Anonymous left the following comments (unedited) under that posting:

I think I must be reading craziness. It is obvious that the MAN who wrote this piece is completly without a soul. If you think that Raja Bahrin is anything akin to Betty Mahmoody. Betty was a prisoner in Iran, her daughter was the property of her father...people are NOT property!!! Women and children are not property!! How dare you people respect a man who stole the children from their mother, how dare you call him a hero. If you think any God in any realm thinks that this was a righteous move you really need to check out what LOVE is, what God is. There is no God who would condone causing such pain to one individual women. SHame on you!

Well, I have been accused of many things, but this is the first time I have been told I am completely without a soul. I have also noted Anon’s comments have been littered with words like ‘soul’, ‘God’, ‘realm’, ‘righteous’, ‘LOVE’ (and in upper case too) so I replied as follows (unedited too):

You think Muslim men has no love for their children? You think that a western justice system that believes a child in most cases should go with the mother is always right?”

I wrote:
"Betty Mahmoody’s story, which many film and book critics advised us to take with a hugh grain of salt because it’s written by a woman who hated her Iranian husband and at the same time wanted to dramatise her book for sales, and therefore for us to keep a finger on the ‘Maybe’ button, relates her side of a broken marriage and the fight for custody of her daughter across international boundaries.”

Property of her Iranian father? Yes, but according to Betty Mahmoody's gospel.

Raja has been a father who saw a divorce agreement to raise his children as Muslims not fulfilled, which forced him to act with overwhelming odds against him. He raised his children with LOVE, as evidenced by their freedom to move around now they are of mature age. That is not to say the mum wouldn't have raised them with love too. But you have already excluded the Muslim man from those feelings and ability, believing they are all Ayatollahs. Even Ayatollahs are fathers with fatherly love.

I wrote:
"But seeing a well mannered and mature Shahirah on TV reunited lovingly with her mum (the love between them was evident on TV), talking sweetly and confidently without any bitterness, I have to say the credit must go to Raja Bahrin for bringing his kids up well without poisoning their minds and allowing them to still love and be re-united with Mum."

Did Betty Mahmoody achieve or enable that? So who is superior in higher values of LOVE and fairness, Raja or Betty?

Causing pain to such a woman? What about Betty Mahmoody causing pain to a father?

This was what I wrote:
"But the other side of the coin had her telling flagrant lies to dramatise and popularise her story. And I can bet there would be very few Americans, especially today, who would express their sympathies for a lonely father somewhere in Iran who would be missing and pining for his daughter."

The fact that I have to requote my posting to you indicates you have read without seeing, except with an impatience to strike out at the Muslim party. Shame on you.

Stole from their mother? Ah, so they were properties of their mum?

BTW, I am not a Muslim nor a Malay. I am a Chinese. I am not fanatically blind with hatred for Muslims.


  1. Your earlier postings on matters muslim made me think you are a muslim. Fair and balanced comments; thats something to look forward to.

  2. Dear KTEMOC,

    You've explained the situation so well. Perfect!

  3. ur fairness has amazed me! =)

  4. i dont think you being fair at all..

  5. it amazes me how a non-muslim can see the real story behind this royal tug-of-war saga without looking just on the other side of a coin, you have truly flipped both sides of a coin and your opinion is spot on. bravo!
    it must be very difficult for raja bahrin as he is of royal blood and to have his kids professing a religion other than Islam is like insulting the royal family. granted, the kids were borned muslims to muslim parents at the time, so i wasn't surprised what he did to get those kids back. i do think that it is a happy ending as those kids finally get to see their mother at will.

  6. I am a muslim too, but I do not believe that Raja Bahrin has done right by his wife or children. It is so wrong and against our religion to force any non-muslim into converting and also to kidnap their children. We try to show how kind and considerate we are, but people as wrong as Raja Bahrin show our religion to be so wrong, this is why we are not liked so much. Shame shame shame on him, especially being a royal blood and swearing so many times on the Koran that he will not do the things he has done. Us women are usually forced to make our husbands happy (without a thought to our feelings) and belittled by them. We are forced to wear veils to cover ourselves, whilst our men go out and hunt for flesh. Even being a devout muslim, I am so against his way of treatment. Our men lost diginity for themselves such a long time ago. Who brought them into this world...a woman... who has to take care of them as they cannot do this themselves....a woman. So why treat us the way they do and be honoured for this? I think as so many women from my family that Jacqueline was so right to take her children away from there to have a decent life. Aisha Ali.. Bahrain.

  7. I agree with the last comment. I am a man and I believe that kidnapping and taking those children away from their mother is wrong. Of course he brain-washed those children. Otherwise, why did it take over 14 years for them to be re-united? How anyone can defend the actions of a criminal is also wrong. Shame on anyone, particularly Muslim men, who defend such actions. You all have mothers who you should love and respect. Learn to respect your wives as well.

  8. Imagine if the kids were kept with their mum in Australia, would it be likely they would reunite with their dad years on? Think Betty Mahmoud!