Thursday, July 13, 2006

Camels and Aeroplanes

Back from East Malaysia! Coming up soon: glimpses of the Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak. But first, a word from our headdress:

Islam is not about turban and beard

One has to admire the ability of the judge not only to decide as such, but to say, "Does that make riding a camel a more pious deed than travelling in an aeroplane?" in reference to the appellants' claim that they were trying to imitate the Prophet Muhammad. (In an unconfirmed story, MAS and AirAsia take joint hostile take-over bids over Malaysian camel distributors Our Humps Bestnya Air Bersih Ya also known by the acronym OHBABY.)

On a serious note, it's nice to know that Malaysian courts are modern enough to make a ruling, but when it comes down to it, what was really wrong with wearing turbans to school - when Sikhs are allowed to do it? It essentially does one thing - it determines what a person can believe is religious, or more specifically what a person cannot believe is religious, and that is a scary thought.

Remember that every Good Friday, there are people in the Phillippines, who wear beards just a Jesus is said to look via the Shroud of Turin, who go through the entire process of crucifixion.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for progression in any religion, whether it be moving on to more modern music in churches or choosing not to wear a burkha, but more important than my personal inclinations is respecting the right for that person to choose. It's just important that they don't get brainwashed into any one choice. To do that, all education systems must impart skills of analytical thinking and rational thought processes so that they all fully understand the choices they make.

And it's rather difficult to get that when they are banned from entering school because of how they wear their hair.

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