Friday, 10 January 2014

"Allah, Minions and Fried Bananas"

I found this online and it was too good not to share.

By Brian Gomez*

It is not often that you will find me defending The Church.

My own brief dalliance with Christianity came to an abrupt end when, at the age of 12, I was instructed to "throw away those metallic (sic) tapes. They promote evil". Even though Def Leppard can hardly be considered Metal and the most evil thing they ever promoted was hairspray.

But I find myself drawn to defending The Church on this occasion simply because they clearly haven't done what they've been accused of doing, which is using the word Allah for proselytisation purposes.

Before we get into that, however, let's be clear about something:

I hate proselytisation. For one thing, it's damn hard to spell.

More importantly, the people who proselytise are often annoying nitwits - the Christians who interrupt your meal with their "Hello there, have you accepted Christ into your life?" and the Muslims with their "Wah! Pandai cakap Melayu ah! Kenapa tak masuk Islam?"

But my own hatred for proselytisation aside, I do believe that everyone should have the right to proselytise. Muslims should have the right to proselytise to Christians. Christians should have the right to proselytise to Muslims. And Other People should have the right to punch proselytisers in the face if they can't take a hint when you politely tell them to fuckoff. But enough about my own feelings about proselytisation. Because I'm sick of typing the word. Geez, what an asshole of a word.


With that out of the way:

Let us now, you and I, Malaysia, take time out from worrying about how the heck we're going to pay the bills, and devote substantial brain-time to the important questions surrounding this Allah Issue.

Here we go:

1) Are Christians using the word Allah to confuse Muslims with the aim of converting them into Christianity?

I'm going to go with a No on this one.

It seems to me that that would be a very strange and unproductive tactic. I'd be more worried about the other evil things Christians are supposedly doing to convert Muslims, such as offering them food and shelter. Also, if Christians are indeed using this tactic, how the hell would they justify that to their god:

"Dear God,

today I converted a Muslim into Christianity! I hope you're proud of me. Just one thing though: He doesn't really know you're the Christian Allah. He thinks you're the Muslim Allah. I confused him. Ha ha! But whatever. A convert's a convert, what. Right? Anyway, if he prays to you, just pretend you're the Muslim Allah. He'll be none the wiser.


2) Has anyone, ever, in the history of the Universe, converted into Christianity because they were confused by which Allah is which?

Again, I'm going to have to say No.

Christians in Malaysia have been using Allah for 300 years (or something. I'm too lazy to look it up). In all that time, there has not been one documented case of a Muslim converting to Christianity out of confusion. That means, between the year 1714 to 1814 - not one case. Between 1814 to 1914 - nada. Between 1914 to 2014 - zip.

So what we have here, is basically a Preventive Law, that assumes people will get confused sometime in the future, say, I dunno, in the year 2114, when presumably human beings will be way more stupid than they were in 1714.

At least you can't accuse the government of not being proactive.

3) Speaking of the government, does the Kementerian Dalam Negeri know that Sabah and Sarawak are also terkandung "Dalam Negeri"?

I'm going with No again.

Sabah and Sarawak are part of Malaysia. As are Johor, Selangor, Kelantan yadda yadda yadda. I cannot, personally, vouch for Perlis. Because let's face it, no one knows a damn thing about Perlis. They might have secretly seceded for all anyone knows. But enough about Perlis. We're talking about Sabah and Sarawak. Specifically, Sabahans and Sarawakians.

Don't look now, but some of them are ... here!
That's right. Right here in West Malaysia.
They could be sitting next to you as you're reading this, secretly judging you. You would have no way of knowing. They blend right in, the sneaky fuckers.
They're in our offices. Our apartment buildings. In our Mamaks.

And in our churches.

If my memory serves me right, church services in BM started in the 80s to cater to the Sabahans and Sarawakians (and Indians who didn't speak English but were too few in numbers to justify having a Tamil service). And those East Malaysian Christians called their god Allah. And so the churches here used Allah as well because you can't expect people from your own country, who called god Allah all this while, to suddenly start calling him, I don't know, Fred or something.

But the government, apparently, expects exactly this. How would that even work? Should there be in-flight announcements?

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have now entered East Malaysian airspace. The No-Allah sign has been turned off. Feel free to no longer be stupid.

4) Should there be a compromise?


I have read opinion pieces by well-meaning people who have said that there should be a compromise on both sides. This is great and all kumbaya and all, but the opinion pieces failed to say what that compromise should be. Christians use Allah from Sunday to Wednesday, and Muslims from Thursday to Saturday?

These opinion pieces also asked Christians to give in and emulate Jesus by "turning the other cheek".

Listen. I've never met Jesus. From what I've heard, he was a patient guy.
But, if someone had told Jesus "Yo, Jesus. My dad's name is Jesus too. And I'm all confused and shit. And emotional, man. This shit's emotional. What if I called "Jesus!" and I meant to call my dad but then you show up instead and I get confused and think you're my dad (he's a long-haired Caucasian too). What then, huh? What what what? You gotta change your name, man. Or at least only use it when you're not in the vicinity."

Now, if someone had told Jesus that, I'm pretty sure Jesus would have told him to Go Forth And Fucketh Thyself.

But like I said. I never knew the man.

5) So how did this whole mess start? Is the government stupid or what?

It appears so. This whole mess started when the government conducted an in-depth study, the results of which are contained in a detailed report. Here is an excerpt:

Kajian terperinci telah dijalankan oleh Kementerian Dalam Negeri (Bahagian Kajian Terperinci) dan hasil daripada kajian ini menunjukkan bahawa penggunaan Kalimah Allah oleh orang Kristian bakal mengelirukan umat Islam, seterusnya menyebabkan mereka terpesong akidah dan memeluk agama Kristian. Satu fokusgrup telah diadakan di Bilik Mawar di mana 10 peserta beragama Islam telah didedahkan kepada kedua-dua Allah. Didapati 6 daripada mereka memilih Allah yang salah. Tiga peserta lagi didapati mengalami gangguan emosi sampai mengamuk dan membaling-baling cekodok.

I'm kidding, of course! The government doesn't do in-depth studies! About anything! They just do whatever the fuck they want without thinking about either the causes or consequences! Ha ha!



6) Stop kidding la. How did this whole mess start? Seriously.

Okay-okay. Serious:

Our Mess begins, as all Messes do, with a Minion. The Minion receives a copy of The Herald. He sees the word Allah. He is bewildered.

"Ini tak boleh, ni," he says. "Eh takboleh-takboleh-takboleh. Ish ish ish ish ish ish. Takboleh-takboleh-takboleh."

He shakes his head.

He allows himself one more tak boleh.

He has The Chop.

Our Minion chops TIDAK DILULUSKAN on the paper and goes out for tea (it is 2pm). As he eats his Goreng Pisang, his mind is blissfully unaware of the shitstorm he is about to cause, preferring instead to occupy itself with more important thoughts, like Why Is It Called Goreng-Pisang and Not Pisang-Goreng?

He doesn't know that later, The Minister will seize the opportunity and use this to present himself as The Champion of the Malays and Islam in the eyes of the PAU delegates. He doesn't know that The Prime Minister will use this to present himself as the same in the eyes of the voters. He doesn't know that churches will be set on fire, and mosques desecrated.

No. Our Minion doesn't know anything.

Even though he has The Chop.

7) Are you making this up even though it's probably exactly what happened?

Yes. But if the government can just make shit up, then so can I. Fair's fair.

8) Actually, why the hell is it called Goreng Pisang and not Pisang Goreng?

Actually, I also dono. Grammatically, it should be Pisang Goreng. But I grew up calling it Goreng Pisang. Where I come from, we've called it Goreng Pisang for godknows how long. So that's what I call it. And will continue calling it.

And if anyone tells me otherwise, I will tell them to Go Forth and Fucketh Thyself.

* I've been told by my mate Antares that Brian Gomez wrote this piece. Brian, says Antares, is among the most brilliant young novelists, singer-songwriters & anecdotalists on the scene. Should you feel the compulsion to stalk him, he can be found at Merdekarya in Jalan Gasing. I'm not supplying any GPS coordinates (anyway they purportedly lead you to Sungai Buloh) but there's an address and directions on the website. Also go to the Facebook page, there's Free Kangkung this coming Friday.


Anonymous said...

Hi Crankster,

This is spot-on yet entertaining, It's a masterpiece that should be read by every Malaysian.

Damn Tu Lan

Antares said...

Why no credit? The young genius who authored this is my friend Brian Gomez who's among the most brilliant young novelists, singer-songwroters & anecdotalists on the scene. Help support independent thinking by dropping in on him at his cozy pub, Merdekarya (off Jalan Gasing, just google it) where lots of local talent is showcased almost every night.

Crankster said...

Damn Tu Lan, I totally agree!

Antares -- I had no idea who wrote it. I shall correct that immediately!!