Best Laid Plans Of Monkeys And Menj

I find something very disturbing here. How is it that something so simple will always degrade into something complicated enough to make my constant migraine seem like a soothing background noise? If you’ve been away for quite a while, here are some posts that would help you put things into perspective.

  1. A call to wipe out Christianity, ‘In The Name of Allah?’
  2. An Open Letter to MENJ
  3. Stand up and take pride!
  4. Why I’m not about to ‘let it be’
  5. Jesus Christ and Prophet Muhammad
  6. Religious Genocide Is Never Right
  7. Doing The Right, Honourable Thing
  8. Horror
  9. Mutual Respect Again
  10. Tidak Apa, MENJ
  11. Why we love cache / The Changing Post
  12. It Doesn’t Change Anything
  13. MENJ’s fantasy
  14. MENJ bans Malaysians
  15. What Menj Has To Say
  16. MENJ: Gone too far
  17. Open letter to MENJ
  18. My view on the whole MenJ furor
  19. In Defense of MENJ

I know it’s a lot, but it would help to take a look at every one of them to get the idea of things before you make up your own mind. Though…what disturbs me is that for the most part, there are some people that can summise this entire Menj issue into nothing more than the right to the freedom of speech.

Ok, I’m all for freedom of speech. I like the fact that we aren’t oppressed like monkeys in the zoo who can do nothing but eat, sleep and fling dung at tourists. Then again, there is a very large loophole in the right to the freedom of speech, it just happens to be called…flinging dung at tourists. Let me explain in a long winded way which you can skip until the bottom line.

Say we’re all monkeys in the zoo. We’re a bored bunch that are forced to do things like steal bananas from unsuspecting visitors. To amuse ourselves (as monkeys) even further, we wait till those hoard of kids on a school trip come over to our cage where we put our name on the map by flinging dung at them while they take cover. We get into trouble and somehow it all ends with us getting neutered.

Now what if we’re set free? Can you imagine that? Can you imagine the kind if crap that will be flung around everywhere? Would you want to clean that crap up? Are you going to crap up? Do monkeys even clean their own crap up?

Now imagine that we’re in some large natural reserve or open zoo. We’re free to go wherever we want but in the compound. We’re maintained by the man. Since we have a system to govern the reserve, we can spend more time picking bugs off each other, having delirious animal sex and on occassion fling dung at tourists because at the end of it, it all gets cleaned up.

That’s freedom of speech for you, the right to throw crap around when it’s appropriate because there is a system in place to make sure that crap flinging is maintained and cleaned up. If everyone has the right to say anything they want, you’re going to have a lot of crap to clean up. So you can say you are all in favour of freedom to express hatred, if things go bad and too messy…are you going to be the one that cleans it up?

In fact, the bottom line here isn’t even about the freedom of speech. It’s very simply what’s right and wrong. If a child does the wrong thing or says inappropriate things in public. What…are you going to tell the rest of us that it’s freedom of speech? That your child has the right to say whatever he wants? Come on, I like to see one decent civillised parent say that it’s what they would do.

The same goes for those that just want to ignore the whole thing. Would you ignore your child should he say something wrong. Well…would you? And before someone says Menj is not our child, consider this, we’re all human. We’re all related to each other on a genetic level. Whatever happens in my backyard will affect that of my neighbour. No matter what my family may have done to tick me off, they will always be family and we have that obiligation as family, as a society and as a species to make sure mistakes are taken to light and learnt.

This is quite simply something black and white that even a child would know better. Religious genocide is never something to claim to be the right thing. It’s not even something you can claim to a satire especially when you’re known to have your own motives behind it. It’s just something that should have a set tone that it’s wrong and there is a line drawn across it which is why we do what we do. Like what any decent civillised parent would do to a child that knows no better. I should think you’re old enough to know that.

Or at least I hope that you do.

17 thoughts on “Best Laid Plans Of Monkeys And Menj

  1. It is good to say what you don’t like. And there is a difference between preaching hate and preaching freedom of speech. Because where is the freedom of speech for those that are hated by the haters?

    Back in German, after Hitler won the election, one priest framed a sentence that I love. I hope I get it together correctly:

    “When the Nazis burnt the synagogues and arrest the jews, i kept quiet, because I wasn’t a jew. When they came to arrest the communists, I kept quiet, because I was no communist. When they came to arrest the social democrats, I kept quiet, because I wasn’t a social democrat. When they came to arrest me, there was no one left to protest.”

    We need to fight those who proclaim intolerance, hate, and destruction in the name of whatever ideology.

  2. Andreas: That’s why in that, there will always be balance. The line has to be drawn somewhere otherwise, how far we’ll we go?

  3. That’s false analogy. We’re neither monkeys in a zoo nor a child. Furthermore, the analogies are too simplistic to describe the nature of free speech.

    We’re all have rights and whatever happens, that rights mustn’t be compromised. Even a murderer has his right. We can’t just go to the murderer and kill him in return, acting like vigilantes.

    Free speech comes in the ability to speak out, no matter how controversial or offensive that material may be. What MENJ said may be offensive to many people but is offensiveness enough to strip him of his rights?

    What if I find your on this particular matter as offensive? Should I make haste to restrict your right to free speech by hacking you blog or somehting?

    Once you impose a restriction on free speech, then problem will occur because being offensive is a very subjective matter and somebody will manipulate the system to prosecute those that are deemed “offensive”. Imagine, on the ground of offensive, how would a government react to criticism?

    If MENJ is being reported to the authority on the ground of religion sensitivity or offensiveness, imagine what would happen to those that question the increasing influence of religion on the constitution. Any criticism against the increasing influence of region would be deemed as offensive and in the end, the critiques would be thrown to prison just because their criticism is offensive to some people.

    If we really want free speech, we need to understand the full implication of free speech – not cherrypicking.

  4. I’m all for going against people like MENJ.

    However, the frightening recent mass movement of bloggers ganging up on him threatening to report him to the authorities leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    Yes, MENJ did something really stupid and intolerable. It is not the first time for him.

    But perhaps a little more consideration is needed to handle the matter with a more civilized finesse.

    Demanding him to publicly apologize unconditionally for his previous actions is perhaps the most diplomatic thing to do.

    Forcing him to willingly admit to his won stupidity is a better solution than turning him into a martyr for other religious extremists to look up to.

  5. MENJ is an idiot, and he will always be an idiot if he himself does not change. No Muslim in his or her right mind will defend his twisted views of Islam. And to date, no one has.

    The mass movement against him over the weekend, I feel, has proven the point that religious facism has no place in Malaysian society, whether real or virtual. However I do feel that taking it up with the authorities is not a particularly advisable thing to do. Not yet.

    The most diplomatic thing, in my opinion, is for the movement against MENJ to demand that he apologize unconditionally and promises the Malaysian blogging scene to tone down his brand of absurdity.

    Forcing him to admit willingly to the baselessness of his belief system is a better conclusion to this whole fiasco, rather than making him a martyr for other religious extremists to look up to.

    If he refuses to apologize, however, then that leaves the movement against MENJ no choice but to resort to a legal course of action.

  6. I totally disagree. If Jeff Ooi got into trouble for supposedly “insulting Islam” on his weblog (although it was in fact the words of an anonymous commentator) then MENJ should damn well get in trouble for something even more offensive and serious.

    How justified would it be if we launch hate campaigns against people for “insulting Islam” and when someone does something similar against Christianity we ignore in the interests of “freedom of speech”? Aren’t we all equal under law?

    Throw the book at MENJ I say.

  7. Hafiz: I did say in the beginning that something so simple such as this would always be degraded into something complicated. That’s why I simplified it. To cut through the red tape to what really matters…which is…that this isn’t about the freedom of speech.

    This is like monkeys flinging dung at tourists or a child saying something inappropiate that he doesn’t know better. It’s not about oppression or restriction. It’s just simply about what’s right and wrong. What’s civil and rude. What’s clean and messy.

    You don’t need a whole debate on freedom of speech to tell you that having other religious groups “kick off” because you don’t agree to them be justified as something to voice out openly. A line will be drawn regardless and while old men can have time to debate the philosophy of freedom, our time however is finite and best left to that black and white of things to take action upon.

    Shariman: Well, law isn’t my speciality. I just run a blog. Yes. What he said was in my own thoughts, wrong. And while in a ideal world, such fundamentalistic opinions while given the freedom to be thought off, would have the common sense to not be said out for respect towards others. But this is not an ideal world and we just have to do the best we can with what we have. At least that’s what I’m trying to do.

    Laozul: Well…personally I wouldn’t go that far. I mean…we have drawn the line that says this is an issue that is clearly wrong. If he doesn’t press it then we won’t too. Whether he will eventually abide to it, that’s a different story for another day. But at least he’ll realize we’re not all ignorant hicks that sit back and keep quiet.

  8. Thank God I don’t blog on religion.

    Pretty messy situation indeed, but then again, this is part and parcel of the internet… wild, untamed, and free to be used by all sides.

  9. kamigoroshi: This isn’t the first time MENJ has done something like this. Remember the time he (again) stirred up controversy by claiming that if you used the word “Deeparaya” you were “blaspheming Islam”?

    What about the time he claimed DAP were responsible for May 13? What about the time when he rejoiced over the death of Almaryarham Datin Seri Endon?

    If he didn’t get the point then, what makes you think he’ll get it now? My opinion is if let off this time its just a matter of time before he says something in terribly bad taste again? How far should we, as part of the greater Malaysian blogosphere, allow it to continue?

  10. If I may offer my 2-bits worth (and I’ve already posted something on this issue here), a beligerant, obnoxious, insensitive idiot like him deserves ostracization, not the book being thrown at him. Without a participating audience (i.e. commenters on his blog), he’ll eventually wither and fade away. I’ll still monitor what he has to say in the future, but will refrain from commenting on his site. IF there is a dire need to rebutt, I’ll do it on my own blog.

    If enough people do the same, this dude will be but a bad memory, in due time. IMHO, that is.

  11. Walksi yes, but then there will be more people springing up with the idea thats OK to ask someone to wank of to the bible or that its OK to call someone’s spiritual leader a ‘naked man on the cross’ and calling respected figures of community, deceased and alive all sorts of degrading names.Coz to me, and I know many more with me, its not.

  12. “Forcing him to admit willingly to the baselessness of his belief system is a better conclusion to this whole fiasco, rather than making him a martyr for other religious extremists to look up to.

    If he refuses to apologize, however, then that leaves the movement against MENJ no choice but to resort to a legal course of action.”

    I’ve got to say I agree with Shahriman. I think that’s it’s the most rational course of action right now. And as for any course of action, whether it be to the PDRM or PM, I think it would be best to actually get legal advice first, just in case.

  13. I’m gonna have to disagree with you here. I dislike his views, but I think he has a right (or privilege, depending on how we look at it) to voice them out on his blog.

    just because i think they’re bloody annoying doesn’t mean he can’t say them. it just means I too have a choice to voice my views too (probably will have to do it on my own blog if i do, since he censors comments on his).

  14. Lainie: Well…I wasn’t talking about freedom of speech or what not cause that was irrelavent. It’s just a simple question about whether what he talked about is right or not. Right and wrong. Why does it have to be about freedom of speech to stand up for you you believe in?

  15. Everybody! Let us wish MENJ a Happy DeepaRaya! For those who think that he is a pest and a menace…..SHAME ON YOU! Why don’t you all and I get together in Johore one day to discuss calmly and rationally the need to justify MENJ’s existence. OK?

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