Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Polygamy And Dress Codes

I thought this was a spectacularly hysterical opinion in Malay Mail! :)

It addresses 2 main courses of discussion I was planning on bringing up and serves them up in 1 page with a side order of dripping sarcasm.

Speakeasy > Ibrahim and the pleasures of polygamy
by S. Jayasankaran

THE Member of Parliament for Kelantan’s Pasir Mas, Datuk Ibrahim Ali, was a rational thinker who worried deeply about things like marital problems and divorce. So he proposed to Parliament that Muslim women be taught to accept polygamy in order to avoid these evils.

Men, he explained in dulcet tones, “just want to have fun”.

It was a deeply insightful remark which warmed the hearts of Mormons the world over but left Marina Mahathir cold because she thought that Ibrahim was descending to new lows even by his own standards.

Actually, Ibrahim was a humble man with much to be humble about and he knew that to succeed in politics it was often necessary to rise above one’s principles. That was why he generally got a rise out of people by switching political parties so often that it left them bewildered. It was simple: if you could not convince people, you confused them.

The politician was an independent lawmaker who was dependent on Parti Islam SeMalaysia, or Pas, to make it into Parliament but independent enough to bite the hand that fed him.

Still, he was a conscientious parliamentarian who always missed a chance to keep quiet but never underestimated the power of less-than-intelligent people in large groups, urging them to unite because they had nothing to lose “but their IQs.”

“By Ibrahim,” whistled the Zimbabwean president admiringly. He was moved to tears by the eloquence of Ibrahim and felt compelled to offer the canny politician Zimbabwean citizenship, the highest honour ever bestowed on canny politicians the world over.

“Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin,” replied Ibrahim for, firstly, he had three chins and, secondly, because he was a self-effacing man with much to be self-effacing about.

Munirah Bahari, the vice president of the National Islamic Students Association of Malaysia, didn’t agree with that sort of transparency because she thought there was too much of it in schools already.

She firmly believed that schoolgirls wore alluring outfits that “were a distraction to men” which, if left unchecked “could lead to babies born out of wedlock and, to an extent, even prostitution”.

It was staggering logic that floored Marina Mahathir but Ms Munirah knew that Malaysian men were a serial-raping, handbag snatching bunch of miscreants who vacillated between the English Premier League and ‘keris’- waving in fits and starts, which only proved that they had to be protected from themselves and their penchant for hanging around schools to ogle children.

Ibrahim sympathised and thought that the answer lay in teaching women to appreciate the pleasures of polygamy. He was a self-taught, well-read man who rued the fact that his library had recently burned down, which meant that he’d lost both books, one of which he hadn’t finished colouring.

Ibrahim told Parliament that marital problems came about because women could not accept polygamy, so, “from a preventive point of view”, what was needed was “a big campaign” to educate them. It was a bold and far-reaching statement that gladdened the hearts of Ogilvy & Mather staffers who thought that Ibrahim was, indeed, worthy of Zimbabwean citizenship.

Ms Marina agreed because she realised that Ibrahim was unique, just like everyone else, and that he was a meek fellow with much to be meek about. She didn’t blame him one bit either because she realised that… he was born with a silver foot in his mouth.

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