In a space of 48 hours, my Facebook wall has been decorated with posts of people joining the tribe, of condemning the you-know-who-beat-a-girl-in-a-lift. It makes for interesting read, when I visited the page and found scores of dynamic exchanges between supporters and critics. A wild search on Google will almost land you on captured screens of blog entries, pictures and what ever not. Interestingly, it does make media and social network work overdrive.
Whatever the matter is, I have a personal stance on this. One which is open to debate. The parody of such plight, is an expected consequence of years of mismanagement by our community’s big wigs. As much as this may be stretching the truth a bit too far, I definitely contribute this episode to the roots that is holding our community together. A report featured on Berita Harian offered little to suggest that there could perhaps be a remedy to this calamity. I mean, let’s face it. It’s not just a juvenile problem. It’s a morally motivated social kahunnah.
It is in this instances when I really wish, Mr Presiden and Mufti, sitting in the high echelons of MUIS can appear on the screens of our set tops and give at least a consoling summary, a verdict or conclusion. Or are we expecting Mr Lee to come up and arrange a committee or framework to tackle the problem. I think it’s almost high noon and high time that the “powers that be” in our community offer some flimsy framework in tackling this breeding social problems. And when I say flimsy, I am not well meaning it to be efforts at doing research and trying to understand deeply, before a solution can be proposed. The layers of bureaucracy in handling initiatives can be hindering at times. What we, as a community need is the education behind dealing with such matters. We need methods of intervention. We need objectives that illustrates the KPIs of progress and how to achieve them. We need to educate parents that there is nothing unique, if your son starts dressing as a girl or vice versa. We need to inform parents that there is no such thing as a parent-friend understanding synergy. A parent is a parent, tasked with identifying the problems at home before it escalates into social embarrassments. We need to share with parents, that when you plant a seed, the responsibility of germinating it with the nutrients of value and religion does not lie with society’s influence. It starts at home.
The media has to stop featuring highlights and making it look like a fashion statement. A rodent infestation has to be featured as a rodent infestation and not as a circus of parading hamsters. We do not attempt to understand something, by virtue of mere exposure. To hell with socio dynamics and theories which the West coined up to facilitate understanding of gays,lesbians and whatsoever other anomalies. Understanding of its existence, is crucial. But understanding to facilitate acceptance is so wrong.
That is why, I’ve always maintained the need for a more synergistic efforts between asatizahs and the community in dealing with such issues. Even if it comes down to the mundane but much needed effort of coming down from the pedestal of ranks and titles, to just get in touch with the community. Issue out a fatwa banning such practices (of gender imitations) or something. Do something at least from a religious point of view. Why are we wasting money on providing better chair for the Mufti, if all he and his council, can afford to do periodically is issue out decrees dealing with organ transplants? Or mundane and trivial things that may not even decide the fate of the community in the Hereafter. Such disservice to the ummah?
Over the course of time, we will realize that our community will be more academically sound and socially matured. But at what expense? At the expense of moral, values and religious damage being done. The slapping episode did not feature anything academically intelligent or social maturity. It showcased instead, the failure of our community’s stance at bringing progression into the core values of upbringing a young adult.
This generation and the next’s future developments could very well hinge on the response that we give to episodes such as this. Turning a blind eye, feigning ignorance will pave the way for irresponsible acceptance. Proactive approaches and dynamic religious framework, will be an unpopular and arduous choice. But it will, at least create a dent in demolishing such ill.
We do not need to criticize the sinner or the sin. That’s God’s judgement. But God will definitely judge the community he was in, for failing to remind. We are all in a way responsible.