Ignorant Malays

10112009891scale600Last Tuesday I manage to attend YTL 4G Innovation Network signing ceremony between YTL, Samsung, Cisco, just to name a few. I got the invites thanks to David Wang/Blogjunkie since he got extra and wanted to pass along to mobile developers especially. And I got to attend it. There’s many familiar faces. Kamal Fariz, Aizatto, Kugan Malaysian Wireless, Kegan Malaysia Crime, Richard Azlan Abas, Mike from iTrain and managed to knew Tham Keng Yew from Socialwalk that i’ve mistakenly recognize him as @zilch . Oh yeah saw Daniel Cerventus too. So after signing ceremony, it was followed by a luncheon.

The table seating arrangements were distributed by profession. Me came as Flavert Media Lab representative thus seated me altogether with Kegan and Mike with Tham. During lunch, we were served with, I think, not a chinese cuisine, but rather mixed up. But then, as we enjoy the business lunch together, sharing technologies about mobile development with Rocky Agrawal from YTL, one thing that spoils it all.

They didn’t serve Vegetarian Food, Kegan and Rocky especially, just enjoy bread and butter and soup. When the waiter being asked if there’s any Vegetarian Food supplied, the waiter shook his head.

And we were pretty surprised.

Curious, I ask Kegan since he Vegetarian, can’t he eat fish?

The answer: Afraid it was mixed or cooked altogether with non-vegetarian substance

Now, all inside my head that time is how we can be ignorant towards other selves.

Ignorant Muslim

I didn’t want to start the blame game for that event, who is responsible for food yada yada but what comes around goes around so take the lessons for that occurrence, I think I better preach to myself and some of my own, who might be, intolerant and ignorant in silence towards their non-muslim friends. Me myself, as reminder.

For Muslim, Halal thing is a big thing. Muslims will always look for halal food. It’s much better if it is certified halal food as it increase confidence. And speaking of which, if the food produced by non-muslims but passed Halal certification such as the chicken being slaughtered by Muslims and all, their businesses will grow bigger. As Muslims is one of, presumably say, major citizens in Malaysia, Halal business is a big thing. And if you go to certain chalet, you can find a set of cutlery that marked – For Halal food – or For Non-Halal food, for our own safety, so that we didn’t use plates that were used to serve non-halal food. Truly, the management for that chalet have take a step further in ensuring Hospitality towards their Muslim customers.

However sadly from what I see, sometimes we Muslims neglect our fellow Non-Muslim people who have treated us well. Say if we were to invite them to our ceremony or party, we forget to ask whether they were Vegetarian. We sometimes assume that when we serve food, as long as there’s fish, it can provide to anyone that didn’t eat chicken or beef. Do you know that some of them doesn’t even touch the fish. If that was the case, imagine, yeah, you Muslims, try to see at your Wedding Ceremony, how many of the dishes being served. Say let say there’s fish, meat, chicken and a simple vegetable+fruit dishes like pineapple with cabbage with onion.

What would a vegetarian eat?

Being left with fewer choices, I wonder how it tastes to eat rice with vegetable+fruit dishes that me thinks isn’t as tasty as others.

Treat others as the way you wanted to be treated

Since Muslims, I could say is the majority of Malaysia population, we’ve been taking things for granted. We’ve been pressing Non-Muslims when they didn’t cope with our request and such. Being majority, we close one of our eye and neglect their needs too. Respect comes from you respecting others. Treat others as the way you wanted to be treated. I’ve been talking with some Muslim Reverts. They said it was pretty suspense for them, when attending an event that starts with just Bismillah hir Rahman nir Rahim, thinking that the person who giving talks just cast something weird. It is advisable to explain the meaning so that it eliminates small fear within them

Try to said “Peace Be Upon You” after saying “Assalamualaikum”

Try to said “In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful” after saying “Bismillah hi ar -Rahman ni ar Rahim”

And if you were inviting them to your party or ceremony, be very polite to ask about their preferences of food, Vegetarian or non-Vegetarian.

This, would help to maintain our relationship in our multi-cultural nation even better and we coexist together in harmony.

And I end my article with “Wallahu aqlamu Bis Sawab” and that’s means, God knows best.

// I said Muslim Revert because in Islam we believe that when the baby was born, they were born in pure/Fitrah.They were born as pure as a white cloth.  When they grew up, it’s to their parents that the kids will start to follow what religions their parents practiced, and preached. And if they were non-Muslims, switching to become Muslims, I call the Muslim Revert because they back to their origins/pure/Fitrah when they were born.

//In whatever things, don’t try to start the blame game but try to look deeper beyond that situation. This is me talking back to me. I didn’t say all Muslim ignorant, but some might be.

//Edit – I’m changing from Ignorant Muslims to Ignorant Malays because, this problem maybe within Malays only. I’m same as what frecraze said, Muslim and Malays don’t equate each other.

Nov 2009
DISCUSSION 11 Comments

11 Responses to : Ignorant Malays

  1. maskawaih says:

    Actually I am aware with that. Like you, I have non-Muslim friends as well. This is the result of superiority through power and asking the others to assimilate. This might goes to politics, so let ignore that for the time being. Any religion will have they’re own extremists. As much as you can see, extremism of Muslims in Malaysia is pretty high except that there’s no visible violence. Not only a matter of different religion itself, even the talks of ‘teaching schools’ (mazhab) can turn the world upside down. For example, we have been thought in school that for Friday prayer, there will be needed 40 male adults to perform the congregational prayer and also the sermon. But in Prophet’s oral traditions (hadith), that 40 people part was actually ‘weak traditions’ (hadith daif). Try to write that up over a newspaper or something and you will be getting full load of shooting upon you. If things among Muslims can’t be processed smoothly, what would you aspect for other religions? Nothing much we can do except ranting over blogs.

  2. Very very good blog post.

    Speaking from years of experience, being vegetarian when attending government events can be a difficult affair. As a rule of thumb, vegetarian food is generally not available in such functions or people commonly mistake fish/seafood as being vegetarian. In addition,many will say: “why not put aside the meat and eat the rest?”. They don’t get what it means to be vegetarian.

    These days, my modus operandi is that I will inform the organizers beforehand. Fried rice/noodles is easy to prepare for vegetarians and there should be no reason not to provide vegetarian food when requested. If there is still no vegetarian food available, I just walk out of the event and write a letter of complaint right to the top of the foodchain (pun not intended). This seems to work wonders.

    FWIW, this is exactly why I insisted on a vegetarian option for FOSS.my attendees :)

  3. aizatto says:

    “Treat others as the way you wanted to be treated”

    I see you are ready for the Charter for Compassion http://charterforcompassion.org/

  4. ikhwan nazri says:

    maskawaih – what we can do is keep calm for sure. thanks for your opinion 😀

    ditesh – yeah I bet too I would do the same if I were invited to an event that presumably many non-muslims. But there’s lot of occurrence in my lifetime where the Vegetarian attendee were left to eat fish, and the event organizer said ‘you can eat fish’. Off course some of them still eat, some of them doesn’t touch it, but it doesn’t kill the point that the event organizer just now being ignorant. The least they can do is asking and go find the replacement for a moment. I hope when it my time comes to me to organize such an event, I didn’t neglect about vegetarian.

    aizatto – wow. after checked the website, such a coincidence this post fall on that date.

  5. Danesh says:

    Well said dude, respect others and you shall be respected in return

  6. faiz says:

    hahaa..dah lama aku pikiaq menda nih.. :P..baguih tekong..entry blog yang bagus

  7. sarakay says:

    Speaking of which, all the food packaging here in UK supermarkets have a mark if it is suitable for vegetarians/vegans. This not only assists them, it is also useful for muslims as well. Maybe the manufacturers in Malaysia could follow suit. It’ll be a great help.

  8. mohan says:

    Very good blog. If our neighbour think like you India will be a peaceful country.

  9. ikhwan nazri says:

    danesh mohan faiz – thanks guys! 😀

    sarakay – yeah vegetarian is the safest thing muslim can eat overseas

  10. fecraze says:

    vegetarians being ‘neglected’ isn’t something exclusive to Malaysia, or Muslims. Many people don’t fully understand what vegetarians eat or don’t eat, and seeing that for some it is a matter of preference rather than religion, they don’t see why things can’t just be put aside. Even though food is labelled with a V in the UK to help vegetarians, not a lot of things are labelled, and even then, labelling took a long time to come by. In the not too distant and not so recent past, vegetarian groups had to fight to get the chocolate manufacturers to stop using animal-based products. The west have only just in the past decade been aware of the needs of vegetarians, it would take a bit more time for things to pick up in the asian side of the world.

    Having said that, Malays (and I do say Malays, not Muslims, because it’s more a Malay mentality than an issue with Muslims) are especially good at being selfish and insensitive to other people’s needs. They’re so damn sensitive about the slightest of things and think that the whole world is against them, but that sensitivity stops when it comes to other people. Malay Muslims are the most finicky of Muslims (separate utensils? you’ve got to be kidding me… way to make things harder for yourself. Would they bring their own plates and cutleries when visiting their non-Muslim friends? Sheesh..) and yet they don’t seem to understand why vegetarians won’t just push the meat or fish aside. “leceh je” “apa menyusahkan orang”. Like what the hell… you won’t push aside the pork and eat a sweet sour pork dish (at least I hope you won’t) so how can you expect people to push things aside?

    So really, it’s not about ignorant Muslims. It’s about ignorant Malays. I don’t equate the two together…

  11. ikhwan nazri says:

    fecraze – verily, that is indeed a good explanation. I’m changing from Ignorant Muslims to Ignorant Malays, Muslims to worldwide, and it doesn’t equate with Malays, one small race in Malaysia.

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