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Monday, July 21, 2014


by azly rahman

I don't know. It is too insensitive for the PAS member to say this, without looking at the complexities of events, cause and effect, consequences, karma, Chaos Theory, interplay between fate and determinism, comparative aspects of right and wrong, pragmatism, and a range of other considerations especially when it comes to linking "divine retribution in Islam" vis-a-viz good v. evil. Too simple, simplistic, and irresponsible of a statement to make ... it also begs the question of a "Just God" . Here is why as I have always pondered upon the question of "Man proposes, God disposes", and I address this question to the questioner from that "Islamic" party : 

-- Was Allah angry at the Muslims and PAS in the case of the murder at Memali, back in the mid 1980s?

- Is Allah angry at PAS that it has never been able to take over the rule of the government of Malaysia?

-- Was Allah angry at the family of the prophet that led to the massacre at Karbala in which the bloody murder became a womb to the current chaos and mayhem in the Islamic world?

- was Allah angry at the Muslims in Middle East that the Islamic countries are now, one after the other humiliated and destroyed by "kaffir forces" that continue to win the war on terror?

- Is Allah angry at the Palestinians that it has never been able to get out of its misery although the world has its sympathy, and that Allah has been on the side of the Israelis? 

-- Is Allah also angry at all the airlines in the world that serves alcohol? Or-- is alcohol okay to be consumed according to other religions, as long as it is done so in moderation? 

I seriously don't know the answer but I would like any member of PAS to answer these questions ...

Otherwise, my continuing sympathy to family members of all those that lost their lives -- be they Jews, Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, or pagans.

It is not time to hurt other more that one ideologically should. Besides didn't Islam even PAS preachers about "wisdom/fatanah" in sending messages of peace; that there such an idea called siddiq-amanah-tabligh-fatanah -- that one whose wishes to spread the truth must first embody it (siddiq), keep it as an eternal trust (amanah), educate one's self first (tabligh) and if one is confident that one's little learning is not dangerous, one can share with family members with utmost wisdom (fatanah) ...

And is that not what Muslims too believe that these four phases are also the basis of Muhammad's character?

THINK ... I am sure party members as such are well-versed in basic Islamic matters ...
I don't know ....
I seriously don't know ...
but do explain please
or if one prefers, be silent
and be respectful
better still, console the grieving
that will be the most "Islamic" thing to do ... -- ar
UPDATED 9.51PM MH17 FREE This includes serving alcohol and the attendants' uniforms.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


because it went into rebel airspace and the rebels were shooting airplanes and by chance it was a Malaysian airplane ...

that is why ...

that is as scientific an explanation as we can get ...

sometimes we have to live with realism and that there is no religious or metaphysical explanation to phenomena. we need to stop the blame game or the temptation to provide a "holier-than-thou" explanation that this or that is a "curse" or a form of retribution or worse because "alcohol was served in this or that airplane" ...

we need to wish well; that those who lost their lives had given their best to society, their family, and themselves ... to make this a better world as what their religion teaches ... that each will be in eternal peace in each one's own paradise according to the paradise described by each faith, if you may ... just as no one religion is truer than another ...

we can never feel that pain of those who lost their love ones

we need then to move on and make sure that those left grieving are well-comforted, and that those working hard in the Malaysian Airline system need to be consoled and congratulated for consistently doing a world-class job in the industry ...

it is an inexplicably sad day for the nation and for those in the nations who lost their loved ones too. it is time to heal and to work, in our own way, for peace -- beginning with peace within ourselves ... each child, each young man and woman, need to be shown what peace looks like and what patience and perseverance can do ... in a world plagued with war and violence, peace should be the agenda for education of nations

each Man must tame the Evil within and bring our the Good ... a challenging first step in our understanding of the world we have created; a world of the Master and the Slave, the Victim and the Victimizer ...

there is so much chaos going on in this world that each one of us need to calm down and ask ourselves what kind of world do we wish to create, beginning with the inner world we inhabit ... and each one of us is given a certain time period to prove our humane-ness and to contribute to what humanization ought to mean ...


 - azly rahman

Friday, July 18, 2014


if we do not come together, look at ourselves, where we came from as a people, what we have become, and where we want to go ...

within the last few years we have been experiencing unusual phenomena pointing out to social, political, and religious turmoil -- all these exacerbated and sped up and even made viral by high-speed cybernetic technologies. ...
these phenomena takes on a truly global and globalizing character, thrusting this one "pastoral, peaceful, and pristine" nation into the world arena of both fame and infamy.

from mystery to tragedy .. this is the theme where are at at now in the two incidences of the Malaysian Airlines we are still grappling with, as a nation new to problems of such magnitude. within six months we not only lost planes by we are plunged into socio-emotional chaos of untold proportion, as if they are capstones of the never-ending corruption, bigotry, power-abuse, mismanagement, and the inability to enculturalize systems meant to make our living safer and saner.

as a student of existentialism, cybernetics, the the nation-state -- a topic that inspired my doctoral studies, i feel that the internet, as a tool of social engagement and cultural change is pervasive. it can bring us together or rip us apart, it can build a nation or destroy it, and it can educate for peace or incite violence on a massive scale.

it is a frankenstein in post-modern times.

i had hypothesized that the installatiom of or Multimedia Super Corridor, the birth of Cyberjaya, and the rise our own networked society and the "democratization of the post-industrialzied digital and globally-networked tool of social engagement" will alter the fundamental character of the "nation-state" such as Malaysia. i had that thought in the early 2000. i am stil "observing" what the internet will continue to do and what will be the cognitive and emotional consequences of the nurturing of this post-modern prometheus.

as a nation, we perhaps become more informed, more able to learn from the boundless wasteland of cybespace, and perhaps more able to see where we are going as nation.

but with any technology, and as it becomes enculturalized and become us and even as it tells us how to live, think, as well as to continue to be and become as a human being, we are confronted by all the contradictions of what it means; confronted by the disabling or even deconstrcuting and destructing aspects of our creation. that frankenstein we are no loner able to bring back home.

we are at a critical juncture -- how do we stop and think how to use technology, especially this mediium i am using. do we see its value and utilty from the point of view of ethics or do we become a child overly excited of the freedom it accords and use it without understanding what "creativity and altruism" means? do we use it to spread falsehood and half-truths and to destroy others -- or do we use it as a tool to educate and to educate for peace based on the crafting of knowledge and the sharing of information that will elevate human dignity and help reduce the suffering of others?

of course, like many, i am a believer in the internet as a tool to make others aware of the injustices the powerful amongst us inflict onto the powerless, of the hideousness of capitalist formation and the evolution of the sophisticatedness of the modern class system, of the rise of religious fundamentalism that is leading towards the "struggle to eatsablish" this or that theocratic state through violence, and as tool to make children smarter by having smarter shools. these are the elements of what this frankenstein of ours can do.

in a time of chaos ... we ought to think how to use this medium. my emotions these past 24 hours have been quite "fried". i have been overwhelmed by images of horror derived and drawn from the two horrifying events unfolding: the israeli incursion into gaza and the massacre of innocent people in response to the diablic work of hamas and the massacre of innoent people as well, and in the case of the instantaneous destruction of Malaysian Airline MH17 with all on board reportedly dead.

the images, especially of dead bodies strewn into pieces and of children dying and dead in such horrible conditions, became too much for me. they are meant to make a point of the war: the crime against humanity but they have come to me too much to be cognitively and semotically ingested. many of them ought not to be posted and passed around.

use the internet responsibly. educate and not arravate to annihilate. use it to build this nation and not to celebrate bigotry and racism.

but at this moment in the most difficult time we are facing as a nation .... we need to look at ourseleves and look at this social media too we have in our hands and ask this question: will this help globalize and multiply hatred ... or will this spread love and goodwill ... ?

LET US WORK TOGETHER ON A COMMON GROUND for the COMMON GOOD. and let us pray for the ending of the violence destroying both the people of Gaza ... and the children of Israel.

-- azly rahman

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A LADY and A PEUGEOT a malaysian road rage story

by azly rahman

I was at the parking lot one day
near a Malaysian teh tarik stall near the lagoon Sunway
I saw a giggly kind of incident
a young Malay lady in tudung was trying to jump
on a Chinese Uncle without a tudung ..

and it was a funny scene
that became quiet obscene
and worse there were many people at the scene
wondering if it was the shooting of a movie scene

The lady had her Peugeot
when I was a little kid, when I could not say the right word
I call the car a PIJOT
an insect that is a sister-in-law to the bed bug PIJAT daily we fought
Yes, PEUGOET was the tudung-ed lady's car
and PIJOT was her pet insect she kept in her booth

The young lady was mad I did not know why
maybe she wanted to become a gangster and become totally wild'
but she got bitten by a pijot and almost died that day
and she ended up driving her PEUGEOT all day
till the battery died like a lover betrayed

I am still trying to figure out what happened
she was like a mad woman all of a sudden
a lady Suarez
demon possess'd
I should not have been a busybody
and stayed drunk with my teh tarik and kepala ikan curry
and read my magazine The National Lampoon
I bought in Chow Kit with the price of a Dutch klompen

I should have waited to find out
by playing a playback video
(like they do in the brazilian world cup)
of what the lady said to the poor elegant apek
who was patient enough to receive the verbal blows
coming from the lady who was shouting
and yelling and break-dancing like a pro'

What was funny was she had a steering lock
she waved to the poor old man who was at first in shock
and the shock turned to tai chi and
tai chi turned into being scared
of the angry tudong-ed malay minachi

Still I did not know what happened
In fact nobody knew what actually happened
But things happen
and I will not let my spirit be dampened
I now vow --- by the sound of a Peugoet
and by Pijat or by Pil Chi Kit Teck Aun
I will find out what happened

So- folks before I go on a journey to find our what happened
Do you all know what happened?
But one thing for sure
I will not buy a Peugeot
if the demons in it will make me turn into
a pijat one day
and a pijot another day
and bite my steering-lock in anger
while the poor tai chi master of an old man
was chanting mantras
like a good man with a good chi
as patient as the Malaysian chocolate Cadbury

But be warned my friends
Be warned
Be warned
it is never about race or religion
those reasons are lame and ancient
it is simply about a lady who loved her Peugeot
who snacks on steering-locks daily
and could not control her anger
and the demons in her Peugeot
summoned a force inside her -- greener that a PAS logo
and that moment ignited that deadly spark
and turned her into an Incredible Hulk

-- - ar



and see what better things she can do if you understand the psychology and the joys of motherhood. in any household a woman would generally be the better planner and the more prudent one and will always think of how not to waste resources and to ensure that education, safety, and the well-beingness of the children come first. if we say that women cannot become a state leader, we are insulting what our mothers have done and capable of doing.violence against women (and this includes violence with words) is a consequence of not being able to respect what women can do -- a misogynic way of thinking.women are more careful in spending (except the -shop-till-you drop-type), as what is important is to clothe their children and to ensure that food is on the table. placed in the position of power, they are extra careful with its uses and will adopt the transformative, nurturing role with a no-nonsense attitude. Failing to perform well might spell disaster because it is still "a man's world", unfortunately. Women leaders might be better peace-makers, peace-keepers, and peace-builders than men. 

Men leaders in Malaysia in general? -- tell me what they are like? Schemers, time wasters, liars, thieves, plunderers, back-stabbers, some are escaped bloody murderers, anti-intellectuals, and prone to thinking of himself, his clan, his cronies, and where to hide his money ....
a woman leader, accused of corruption may be shaken to death at the prospect not just being imprisoned and bringing shame to the family ... a man in a political leadership position will wiggle himself out of it by covering himself with money and buying off people ... especially in Malaysian politics where shame is not in the vocabulary
agree? -- ar

Monday, July 14, 2014


of ones who have passed on -- it does not matter of what faith one born into and died in

flowers -- symbol of the blossoming of life and of love and loving memories etched

My personal fatwa says that I should do more of this and what a strange reminder that the practice of putting flowers and scatterings petals, I overhead, is a Jewish and Christian practice ... HO HUM ... I am getting bored of these unexciting recycled ideas from mangled mullahs ... . There is no law against putting flowers on graveyards of loved ones, is there? So, what is the concern? So-- do as one pleases, unless there is an arrest warrant issued on graveyards during Hari Raya.

I sill continue doing this as I love this ritual and practice that gives me a sense of gratitude and a feeling of love. It is a good practice -- good for the soul. If others do not think it is a good practice, it is just their opinion. Just don't do it.

If one says that it is a Jewish and Christian or even a Hindu practice, then it is fine -- it means that there is a good connection and harmonizing strand to this good-to-the-soul practice. I will gladly do it. Because I love the ritual -- just like I love giving flowers during Valentine's Day which I celebrate.

I do celebrate many things celebratable -- anything that brings my soul to that level of celebration and no one can tell me if what I do is haram or halal as long I do not bother other mullahs of imams and his/her strong views against this or that. I produce my own fatwas for my own consumption. I have been successful. But only for me. Not advisable for the consumption of others, perhaps.

One thing I would not do is to kiss any black stone in some holy place and think that I will have a glimpse of Paradise. That is strange, to me. What if one cannot afford to go to that place and peform that ritual because one is homeless and the mullahs and the theocratic state do not really care about homeless people? And besides -- do stones talk?

Ahhh .. flowers .. petals scattered on the graveyard of a loved one ... is a lovely sight especially on Hari Raya Day. PRICELESS.

For those who disagree, tough. -- it is a free country.

Better spend time advising youth not to die for jihad called upon by a self-proclaimed mullah-mahdi-messiah created perhaps by the Mossad. Or better still, start championing for the rights to produce intellectually stimulating new understanding of religion -- to something more peaceful and inclusive and intellectualizing, perhaps. That should be better than arguing about flowers. The San Francisco flower-power children did that already.

I love flowers -- don't you?

Thursday, July 10, 2014


and MEN ...

(a summary below shared with me)
here's what the Islamic scholar Imam Al Ghazali said about women. I hope scholars out there would care to comment. And I hope women should debunk Al Ghazali and denounce his views ...

" ... Al-Ghazali is considered to be the greatest Muslim scholar ever. He is called “The Defender of Islam”. He has written around 1,000 books in the Fiqah of The Islamic Human Rights Commission .
In his well-renown Book, “The Revival Of The Religious Sciences” Al-Ghazali defines women role:
- She should stay at home and get on with her spinning
- She can go out only in emergencies
- She must not be well-informed nor must she be communicative with her neighbors and only visit them when absolutely necessary
- She should take care of her husband and respect him in his presence and his absence and seek to satisfy him in everything
- She must not leave her house without his permission and if given his permission she must leave secretly
- She should put on old clothes and take deserted streets and alleys, avoid markets, and make sure that a stranger does not hear her voice, her footsteps, smell her or recognize her
- She must not speak to a friend of her husband even in need
- Her sole worry should be her “al bud” (reproductive organs) her home as well as her prayers and her fast (starvation for Allah)
- If a friend of her husband calls when her husband is absent she must not open the door nor reply to him in order to safeguard her “al bud” (vagina)
- She should accept what her husband gives her as sufficient sexual needs at any moment
- She should be clean and ready to satisfy her husband’s sexual needs at any moment
The great theologian then warns all men to be careful of women for their “guile is immense and their mischief is noxious; they are immoral and mean spirited”.Like a true Muslim cleric Ghazali states “It is a fact that all the trials, misfortunes and woes which befall men come from women” [3.2]
In his Book “Counsel for Kings,” Ghazali sums up all that a woman has to endure because of Eve’s misbehavior in the Garden of Eden:
“When Eve ate fruit which He had forbidden to her from the tree in Paradise, the Lord, be He praised, cursed women with eighteen punishments:
- menstruation
- childbirth
- separation from mother and father and marriage to a stranger
- pregnancy
- not having control over her own person
- a lesser share in inheritance; (one half of the male as per the Quran)
- her liability to be divorced and inability to divorce
- its being lawful for men to have four wives, but for a woman to have only one husband
- the fact that she must stay secluded in the house
- the fact that she must keep her head covered inside the house
- the fact that two women’s testimony has to be set against the testimony of one man
- the fact that she must not go out of the house unless accompanied by a near relative
- the fact that men take part in Friday and feast day prayers and funerals while women do
- disqualification for leadership and judgeship
- the fact that merit has one thousand components, only one of which is attributable to women, while 999 are attributable to men
- the fact that if women are profligate they will be given twice as much torment as the rest of the community at the Resurrection Day
- the fact that if their husbands die they must observe a waiting period of four months and ten days before remarrying
The idea that a woman’s sole purpose and “duty is to stay at home to satisfy the sexual appetite of her husband” is again summed up in Ghazali’s Book “Proof Of Islam.” Ghazali is still so highly revered amongst the majority of Muslim clerics that that he is called “Proof of Islam”. The most influential thinker of Islam, Ghazali, molded the minds of billions of Muslims with his opinions on women’s character :
“If you relax the woman’s leash a tiny bit, she will take you and bolt wildly….
Their deception is awesome and their wickedness is contagious; bad character and feeble mind are their predominant traits …”
Ghazali also exhorted women: A wife should never refuse her bud (vagina) to her husband even if it is on the saddle of a camel
Al-Gazali urged those men who teach their women to write : “Do not add evil to unhappiness” learning his lessons from his prophet Muhammad and caliph Omar Ibn al-Khattab who commanded :“Prevent women from learning to write, adopt positions
opposite those of women. There is great virtue in such opposition.”
As the supreme cleric Ghazali defined marriage for generations of Muslims :
“Marriage is a form of slavery. The woman is man’s slave and her duty therefore is absolute obedience to the husband in all that he asks of her person. A woman, who at the moment of death enjoys the full approval of her husband, will find her place in Paradise.”


Imam Al Ghazali ...

" ... As long as these philosophers and scholars produce opinions that are not in line with modern conception of human rights and liberalism, they ought to be critiqued and criticized. Plato and Aristotle are still criticized till today; their view of society and ethics critiqued as a precursor of totalitarianism, Al Ghazali may produce helpful conceptions of society and the "resuscitation/revival of religion" (Ihya Ulumuddin) but his work on the "Incoherence of the Philosophers" was heavily criticized by Al Arabi the Spanish scholar who wrote a beautiful thesis on the self and a "transcultural Quran" in "Bezels of Wisdom,". Even the Quran ought to be reviewed for its "borrowed contents" from older sources. The stories of creation, the prophets, and of ecumenical historiograhy are not original; they have been told in more extensive versions even as early as in the Zen Avesta of Zarathustra. The problem is that we revere religious texts so much we have forgotten to ask "Who is the Author" as the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau would ask, or as a modern semiotician Mikhail Bakhtin would also inquire. In the end we leave these text to be the "monopoly of truths of clerics, priests, pandits, preachers, etc." And next, we wonder why the Global Khalifah Movement come into being, and we fear the consequences. No-- we must also see where knowledge come from re:the matrix of power/knowledge. -- ar

Wednesday, July 09, 2014


of the joys of the sensible seventies
a child of much curiosity i was
when the world is a canvas to my imagination
Nature a teacher
i was a dot that went for a daily walk
religion was not a dirty word
of violence and mayhem
there are races around me
but there were not much rats racing
and the human race is of concern
as a child of thirteen
i was meeting the word
both with an occasional warm smile
and dead seriousness
knowing nothing could harm me
and that i kowtow to nobody
knowing that when books and your solitude
are your good friends
and contemplation an abode of inner harmony
you care much to not hurt others
nor living things
and that words you learn anew
becomes a world of wonder
and Imagination is always like a child within
that still lives within
that will die within
even if
i will still see robbery around me
of the world of my sensible seventies ...

-- azly rahman

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

THE SOUP KITCHEN OF LIFE (for Malaysian ministers)

by azly rahman

the greatest joy is
giving ...
giving ...

and living to give
because we do not own anything
all borrowed
as a gift of Life
body, soul, intellect
cells, DNA codes, breath of Life
memories, hope, desire
first breath of Life
final breath of Life
we accept the gift
we return it to Life
giving ... accepting
the giver ... the taker
the giver ... the beggar
the rich ... the poor
these are the dialectics of Life
give and give away everything
give Love, Hope, Happiness, Wisdom, Light
to thyself and to Others
in this sea of Love
in an Ocean of Mercy
until the last breath
you are
The Truth
each day
a new Child you are

-- azly rahman

Lecture: Edward Said


Lecture: Noam Chomsky


Lecture: Jacques Derrida


Lecture: Jean Paul Sartre


Movie: 1984


Movie: Animal Farm


Movie: Chicken Run


Poems: Rumi


Dialogue on Religion: Karen Armstrong


Dailogue on Religion: Huston Smith


















The Bhagavad Gita


Jesus of Nazareth


Siddharta Gautama


Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh)