Friday, November 17, 2006

Bugger common ethical values ...

… demi agama dan bangsa, though sometimes it’s demi bangsa dan agama – don’t ask me why the inconsistency, but at least the negara bit always come last - hmmm.

Now, during the UMNO general assembly’s debate on society and religion, Penang delegate Shahbudin Yahaya singled out four NGOs - the Inter-Faith Council, Pusat Komas, Penang Global Ethics Project and Sisters in Islam (SIS) - for carrying out activities that ‘threaten’ Islam.

Threaten Islam – OK then, in this case it’s demi agama

Let’s pick one of those three for discussion - only 3 because the Inter-Faith Council is not an NGO as it was shot down by AAB - Shahbudin screwed the
Penang Global Ethics Project (PGEP) for having the bloody gall to conduct ‘tours’ of various places of worship and worse, telling participants that all religions are similar.

Shahbudin was shocked by PGEP's audacity: “Imagine Islam being put on the same level as other religions. How are we going to defend the hadith?”

Mind you, he’s not unique in his belief because there are followers of other religion who feel the same way, but then in multi-racial multi-cultural and multi-religious Malaysia, his public utterance seemed a bit insensitive, that is, to look down on other religions instead of showing some respect - mind you, not belief but just neighbourly respect.

But alas, as the topic at the UMNO general assembly was 'society & religion', he has to demonstrate his concerns demi agama ...

Shahbudin identified the naughty organisations which have backed the Penang Global Ethics Project as Universiti Sains Malaysia, Municipal Council of Penang and the worst of the whole lot, the
Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAF).

He said of the German-based KAF, which incidentally has close links with Germany’s ruling Christian Democratic Union, as a far more dangerous threat than local NGOs towards the stability of Islam in Malaysia. That's because of KAF's systematic and organised means of using Malays and Muslims through offers of political education, grants for scientific fact-finding research for political projects and scholarships for gifted individuals.

Oh, those naughty Germans. Hmmm, maybe the Sultan of Johor could have a point about 'stinking' foreigners, though His Royal Loose Cannon was referring more to another KAF (Kiasu Always Frightened).

Incidentally KAF (er ... the German one, that is) has a office in Malaysia and has hosted a number of functions which were officiated by Malaysian dignitaries, including cabinet ministers such as Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Education Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.

I wonder what the two cousins have to say? "Wait Datuks, we would like to ask .....". Alamak, both have scooted off to their Mercedes Benz's!

Anyway, back to the Penang Global Ethics Project. Early this year, it held an exhibition which promotes the theme that "the common ethical values which can be the basis of peace and dialogue amongst the world's religious communities".

Mind you, common ethical values, and not any insidious attempt to tamper with religious precepts!

But Shahbudin wasn't going to be lulled by that. He pointed out that on
PGEP's website, the NGO promotes one common principle which it calls the golden rule, "Treat others as you like to be treated", and its claims that variations of the rule are found in all religions.

... perhaps like ‘reap what you sow’ and 'Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned, that Allah may give them a taste of some of their deeds: in order that they may turn back from evil'

... and of course the karmic/kammic laws of 'cause and effect' of the Hindus and Buddhists.

Shahbudin has been terribly upset that the NGO has the bloody nerve to promote such common 'ethical values’. Maybe his worldview says ‘fuck that golden rule’?


  1. Since bangsa means race, does that mean the whole nation is celebrating racism every 31 August?

    Maybe we should say Hari Kemerdekaan more often, rather than the distasteful Hari Ke-bangsa-an.

    Either that or we need to reclaim the word bangsa as in Bangsa Bangsa Bersatu or United "Nations".

  2. There's no universal golden rule in the Quran.

    The closest that Islam comes to this principle is a hadith that says:

    "None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." [Number 13 of Imam "Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths."]

    Thee brotherhood in Islam, however does not extend to everyone. Verse 9:23 of the Quran states that the believers should not take as friends and protectors (awlia), even their own fathers and brothers, if they love Infidelity above Islam. In fact there are many verses in the Quran that tell the Muslims to be harsh to unbelievers. The unbelievers in Islam are treated in the same way that the “niggers” and Jews are treated by white-supremacists[sic].

    Can one restrict the Golden Rule to ones Muslim "brothers" and still have it retain it's universal message?

    No one has yet to find the universal Golden Rule in the Quran yet!. Perhaps your reader may prove me wrong.

  3. Anon, both malaysiakini's article and my posting did not suggest that there is a Golden Rule (GR) in every religion.

    The NGO PGEP promoted what it (PGEP) called a GR, by selecting one ethical value in religion that appears to be common among religions, which I have attempted to refer to - such as 'reap what you sow' etc.

  4. Ktemoc,
    There is universal golden rule in all major religion.

    Check it out :

    Bahá'í Faith: “Choose thou for thy neighbour that which thou choosest for thyself." Epistle to the Son of the Wolf

    Brahmanism: "This is the sum of duty: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you". Mahabharata, 5:1517

    Buddhism: "...a state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I inflict that upon another?" Samyutta NIkaya v. 353

    Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful." Udana-Varga 5:18

    Christianity: "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." Matthew 7:12, King James Version.

    "And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." Luke 6:31, King James Version.

    "...and don't do what you hate...", Gospel of Thomas 6.

    Confucianism: "Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you" Analects 15:23

    "Ze-Gong asked, 'Is there one word that can serve as a principle of conduct for life?' Confucius replied, 'It is the word 'xu' -- reciprocity. Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.'" Doctrine of the Mean 13.3

    "Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence." Mencius VII.A.4

    Ancient Egyptian: "Do for one who may do for you, that you may cause him thus to do." The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant, 109 - 110 Translated by R.B. Parkinson. The original dates to 1970 to 1640 BCE and may be the earliest version ever written.

    Hinduism: "One should not behave towards others in a way which is disagreeable to oneself." Mencius Vii.A.4

    "This is the sum of the Dharma [duty]: do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you." Mahabharata 5:1517

    Humanism: "(5) Humanists acknowledge human interdependence, the need for mutual respect and the kinship of all humanity."

    "Don't do things you wouldn't want to have done to you, British Humanist Society.

    Jainism: "In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self." Lord Mahavira, 24th Tirthankara

    "A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated. "Sutrakritanga 1.11.33

    Judaism: "...thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.", Leviticus 19:18

    "What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the law: all the rest is commentary." Talmud, Shabbat 31a.

    "And what you hate, do not do to any one." Tobit 4:15

    Native American Spirituality:

    "All things are our relatives; what we do to everything, we do to ourselves. All is really One." Black Elk

    Roman Pagan Religion: "The law imprinted on the hearts of all men is to love the members of society as themselves."

    Shinto: "The heart of the person before you is a mirror. See there your own form"

    Sikhism: "Don't create enmity with anyone as God is within everyone." Guru Arjan Devji 259

    Taoism: "Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss." T'ai Shang Kan Ying P'ien.

    Wicca: "An it harm no one, do what thou wilt" (i.e. do what ever you will, as long as it harms nobody, including yourself). One's will is to be carefully thought out in advance of action. This is called the Wiccan Rede

    Yoruba: ( Nigeria ): "One going to take a pointed stick to pinch a baby bird should first try it on himself to feel how it hurts."

    Zoroastrianism: "That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself". Dadistan-i-dinik 94:5

    "Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do unto others." Shayast-na-Shayast 13:29

    Islam is the only religion that does not adhere to the Golden Rule!

    Peace to all.