Wednesday 25 May 2011

Lending credence to stories By Marina Mahathir

Wednesday May 25, 2011


THE Americans have a term for when you’ve been fooled or had the wool pulled over your eyes. They say “you’ve been had”.

It’s not a nice term and it means that you weren’t smart enough to spot the trick. I look at the recent kerfuffle over assumed religious attempts to take over the Government and am bewildered by the number of people who were had.

Some totally unreliable bloggers said on the Internet that a religious coup was about to take place; and like a pack of cards, any number of people fell for it.

First, it was a newspaper, which once refused to talk about any stories which appeared online first, on the basis that they cannot be true.

Then lo and behold, it fell hook, line and sinker for an Internet fabrication by these bloggers who are not known to have any objectivity at all.

So we believe the Internet when it suits us, do we?

Especially when they sensationalise stories that don’t make sense?

Whatever happened to the days when broadsheets were credited with journalistic integrity, I wonder.
I suppose it’s true that if you read rubbish, you will spew rubbish.

Hence, it was that our dear leaders, instead of being more cautious about repeating incredible stories, actually lent credence to them by saying they ought to be investigated.

I suppose engaging one’s brain before opening one’s mouth is not standard operating procedure for our politicians these days.

How wonderful to know that those we elected truly have no grey matter or even the good sense to know that to repeat dangerous nonsense is as good as endorsing them!

Only one sensible person sat down to do the numbers and proved that, even if anyone had any such intention, they could not possibly make it happen.

It simply does not add up.

In one of the most just concepts in Islam, God does nothing if one thinks of something bad, only when one actually does it.

On the other hand, one gets instant credit for thinking of something good, even without putting it into action.
Imagine how much pahala all these people could have gotten simply by thinking:

“Naah, they can’t possibly be thinking of anything so outrageous!”

I have a theory that everyone imposes on other people their own values, whether the others subscribe to them or not.

In other words, many people assume that everyone will act exactly like them if given the chance in any situation.

Therefore, one assumes that others will behave in a good or bad way because if put in the same situation, that’s exactly what one would do.

So what does it say about a person who assumes that if people of different faiths from them get together, they must surely be plotting something bad?

It means that if this person were in the same position, that is in a minority position facing much harassment from ruling authorities over one thing or another, then he would certainly be plotting to take over the country.
I suppose that’s why the American government worries about its Muslim citizens so much.

Surely, they reason, if we harass them all the time, they must be conspiring to do something bad, such as blow up a building, because that’s what we would do.
So, if half-witted so-called writers who, only by dint of their race are getting any attention at all here, were to be put in the middle of the US where they would be in the minority of minorities, then the first thing they would do is plot to overthrow the US government.

Ever heard of Don Quixote, anyone? Why, I have to ask myself, does our Government waste so much time on nonsense such as this, causing even more grief among much of its people, when there are much more important things to do?

Or is it more important to divide people with artificial issues, then to bring them together to face larger problems?

Don’t we have enough economic and social woes to keep us occupied already?

There are people who sniffed at the Middle East revolutions because we are apparently not miserable enough to revolt.

Carry on this way, and by default, life will become desperate enough to warrant rebellion.

I doubt if I’m the only one who is not interested in any government or leaders with religious-political overlays.
Rather, I would prefer leaders who have some sort of ethics in the way they handle things.

Whether the ethics come from religious beliefs doesn’t matter, so long as there are ethical underpinnings to what they do.

Is it so difficult to just be fair these days?

Is justice a moving target?

More importantly, why do we put our trust in people who think like this?

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