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Category Archives: People and Community

The years 2015 and 2016 are truly depressing for many of us Malaysians. The 1MDB scandal is just not going away with all the tricks played by the protagonist. Tried as I might, I just can’t seem to feel easy with the ongoing issues related to this sovereign fund which has been sloppily managed by the very person we used to trust.

As a response to the people’s vocal comments and bold discussions on the scandal, certain websites and blogs have been shut down. This government has now shown its true colours. Freedom of speech  and expression is selectively defined to suit the power that be. It is a suffocating time.

The international press has given a wide coverage of the massive fund misappropriation with money trails around the actors from Malaysia, Singapore,the Middle East, Switzerland, Luxembourg, US and Hong Kong. Truly a financial debacle. And the Malaysian taxpayers are set to bear the burden of the billion Ringgit debt incurred by 1MDB’s management.

As 2016 wears on, the unhappiness and sense of anger that the people feel are mounting. Najib the Malaysian Prime Minister who established this fund and used it as if it belonged to him and his family is behaving as if nothing happens. Gosh, the shameless man is totally lacking in conscience. After the international investigators have wrapped up their various probes into this gargantuan money laundering outfit, I wonder whether the international community will even have a shred of respect for this man who leads Malaysia to financial disaster.

NR

Najib Razak the infamous Prime Minister of Malaysia

Najib’s party supporters and sycophants are protecting him because he has the dirty money to fund them and they know the good times will not last once he is gone. These are the men and women who are without a tint of integrity. They have refused to understand the need to serve the nation instead they choose to serve a corrupt leader. The man himself has trampled on and destroyed all the institutions set up to ensure good governance and enforcement of laws to serve the citizens. We are truly doomed unless there is a divine intervention (yes, that is how desperate thinking Malaysians are).

Najib Razak please do us a favour. Please just disappear.

My sister in law had been fuming. What drove her ire is the continuous preoccupation with the female species by the so-called clerics. She pointed out an article online on this subject of women not donning the hijab as a “rape material”. These men of religion have nothing much to talk about except blaming women for the society’s ills. Sadly many are influenced by these clerics’ words that you see now almost 98% of Muslim women are all covered up compared to 20 years ago. The women endure this foreign attire despite the hot and humid weather prevalent all year round in this tropical country. This change of garb is the first step towards mental colonisation and the next step in 25 years’ time  is enforced isolation when you will find that Malaysian Muslim women will be secreted in their homes just like what is happening in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and other Muslim dominated countries. With the suppression of half of the population, the “brain capital”, the country will go downhill before long.

The clerics have closed one eye to the rising number of reported incest/rapes in the country. Before they make such sermons against non-hijab clad Muslim women, they should study the data of rapes in non-Muslim countries where women are not covered up and compare to those in Malaysia, but of course these men of religion will not bother to do so because the study findings would make big liars out of them.

The writings are on the wall. At the moment we have quite a sizable non-Muslim population and so you can still see women not covered up in hijab (Muslim scarf) walking around but the time will come, at the rate we are going, that women in Malaysia will no longer be safe as those men not used to seeing women walking around without hijab are going to have their testosterone rise when they see even a strand of female hair! Hence fulfilling the “prophecy” of those sex-obsessed clerics.

The Arabisation of the Malay culture does not bode well now and in the future. With the downgrading of women, there will gradually be new generations of men who are likely to be more intolerant and despise everything that doesn’t follow their beliefs and they would die for them! The World will be more insecure with this kind of human beings. Their examples of extremism are everywhere now. The West had better take note of what is happening in countries like Malaysia and Indonesia where fanaticism is rearing its ugly head.

Just a final thought: for as long as the US is a good friend of Saudi Arabia, the increasing trend of Islamic fundamentalism in poor and developing countries will continue unabated.

In Malaysia when St Valentine’s Day arrives, the religious police will go on the overdrive; policing the morality of the masses. Just read the news here  Eight couples held in Malacca Valentine’s Day operation, even the giving of free condoms is considered promoting vices instead of protecting from sexually-transmitted diseases like gonorrhoea, syphilis and HIV.

In Malaysia giving condoms according to religious freaks is tantamount to encouraging sex...

In Malaysia giving free condoms according to religious freaks is tantamount to encouraging sex…

Though the  Malaysian moral police is not as vicious as those in Acheh, Indonesia, they will be so shortly should the country  go for Huddud or Shariah law. Well Kelantan, an east coast state in Peninsular Malaysia is initiating the implementation of Huddud and it seems they have the peoples’ support there. Well, good luck to them. The only thing is they might also infringe on the rights of the non-Muslims in that State sooner or later.

Paradoxically despite being an ‘Islamist” state, Kelantan has the highest number of sexually-transmitted diseases in the country and the highest divorce rate as well and also a sizable drug addiction problem. And of course no free condoms for the unmarrieds.So Huddud will solve their social problems? Let’s wait and see.

Muslim singles celebrating  Valentine’s Day  is a great “No,No”  in the last few years. I remember years ago Muslims and Non-Muslims alike would post their valentine greetings in the newspapers . My Muslim nieces used to receive valentine cards and get-together invitations from their many boyfriends, well not anymore as things have changed with the advent of creeping fundamentalism, frowning upon such practices. Now they even warn young Muslims that they would intensify their spying and arrest those singles found to be celebrating in close proximity (khalwat).

We truly appear to be in a regressive mode in all aspects of our life in this country where religion is no longer a private matter.

When I came across the article below, I felt a sense of trepidation for my fellow Malaysians who are the majority Malays in this country. Things have suddenly become more restrictive for them, namely, in the last 10 years or so and especially after the end of the Mahathir’s era (the ex- Prime Minister in power for 22 years from 1981). The succeeding weak leadership and fragile political power could be contributory factors in this unfolding scenario.

The emergence of a group of so-called religious people is making the dominant people of this country, the Malays, more inward looking. They are putting obstacles in almost all spheres of life making independent thinking not only a rare commodity but dangerous as well. All these development will put an undue pressure on the youth of this country beside creating inter-faith tension.

Many of the articles written to counter this unhealthy religious trend are in English and this prevents many English-illiterate Malay youths from getting different viewpoints to balance their outlook on life in Malaysia. Many would condemn first anything that doesn’t agree with their world view  and never ever think later.

There is no social let alone political will to remedy the current unhappy situation as people unwittingly suffer from this subtle oppression of human rights and oh yes, to the blinking religious people “human rights” are a Western devilish invention.

tears

I would like to think that I am a strong person emotionally but my heart bleeds for the Malaysian Malays.

Reposted below is an astute article on the predicament of the Malays in Malaysia by a senior lawyer and an ex-Minister in Malaysia Chronicle.

Quote (verbatim) :

Tuesday, 28 October 2014 21:58

SAVE the Malays from Najib & gang

Written by Zaid Ibrahim

Malays are defined by the law as Muslim, but while there is supposedly freedom of religion in this country, this does not extend to the Malays. Muslims are not even allowed to have an opinion about their own religion, for any that is contrary to what the authorities say is deemed haram and punishable by a jail sentence.

Per the latest fatwa (religious edict), Malays are now in danger of being classified as “deviant”—or rather, deviationists if they have slightly more liberal or progressive views about life and the world than those who call themselves “ulama”. We can expect more Malays to be prosecuted for saying or doing anything that can be perceived as menghina Islam. More and more will be forced to seek asylum in other countries to escape jail. The wealthy ones are already in London and Melbourne.

To the Malays who believe in Malaysia as a free and democratic country, let’s continue the fight here. Let’s keep asserting that Malaysia is a multi-racial country, where other religions have the Constitutionally-protected right to be practised freely. Let’s point out to the authorities that even Muslims have rights, and that it’s not them we have to answer to, but God. They may accuse us as being kafir, munafik, jahil and much more, but let them—they are the ones who are misguided.

To the Malays who believe and support democracy and human rights, let us be brave even when we are labeled or accused of being deviant. If we do not want this country to be controlled by fascists, then we must be prepared to go to jail.

Mindless robots

In giving the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) free rein to ridicule and punish Malays and Muslims in this way, I am at a loss to understand what this Government wants Malays to be. I am at a loss as to why Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Leader of the Opposition Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the leaders in the Istana stay silent when mullahs are destroying their own people.

Do they want Malays to threaten and fight each other, like the IS in Iraq and Syria? Do they want Malays to be mindless robots with no views of their own?
These leaders must bear the responsibilities of their offices and positions. They must not condone or support the persecution of Malays and any others in the name of God.

Najib, Anwar and the Istana must put an end to the despotic behaviour of the ulama who freely and without care issue fatwas without thinking about the effects these edicts have on the people—and I say “despotic” because the behaviour of these Muslim bureaucrats is not “Islamic” at all.

In the Golden Age of Islamic legal theory and jurisprudence, scholars and mujtahid (interpreters of Shariah law) issued fatwas or opinions regularly—sometimes a dozen fatwas on a particular subject. They relished differences in opinion. They regarded this diversity as a manifestation of the wonder of the human mind in the search of the Divine will.

Scholars and jurists of that era recognised that fatwas were only relevant for a particular time and situation and could change with new facts and circumstances. They ended their fatwas with wallah hu alam (Only God knows best) as a reminder to themselves that they were humans and therefore fallible. Fatwas were not laws, but were used by the rulers as guidance in the administration of the state.

Our scholars in JAKIM and the religious authorities, on the other, are apparently dead sure of their infallibility. They can do wrong or be wrong in their fatwas.
That’s why it’s a criminal offence in Malaysia for anyone to question, dispute or disagree with them or their fatwas.

In the Golden Age, jurists and scholars accepted the distinction between the tenets of Shariah (God’s way) which are immutable and beyond question, and the human search and understanding of the Shariah by way of usul al fiqh (legal theory).

The search through fiqh is a human activity that involves reason and a healthy mind. Fiqh is not fixed and immutable. It is changing, dynamic and fallible because it is human.

This flexibility and tolerance of ideas is the true Islam. The scholars of the Golden Age never once believed they were infallible, for that would be to ascribe to oneself an attribute of God.

Fast-forward to the 21st-century Malaysia and we see a new breed of Islamic scholars ruling over Malays. They use Islam to control Malay minds and they are supported by leaders who are selfish to the core, being interested only in the Malay votes.

These Malay leaders—like Najib and Anwar and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang—can easily move amendments to the Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) Act 1993 as a first step towards putting an end to this abuse of authority.

As Muslim leaders, they should stop this senseless proliferation of fatwas—but they will not because Malays are dispensable, and their quest for power is not! – zaid.my

Unquote

English words for:

Haram – forbidden

Menghina – disrespect/degrade

Kafir – infidel

Munafik – hypocrite

Jahil – ignorant

Istana – royal palace

JAKIM – (A government agency)

(Full article: http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=388111:save-the-malays-from-najib-gang&Itemid=2#ixzz3HbRynGGo)

The recent crackdowns on mainly opposition politicians and their supporters using the archaic Sedition Act have caused a lot of unease among Malaysians who desire and long for freedom of expression in this globalised world. Please note that  the Sedition Act 1948 was the brainwave of the Colonial British that sought to stamp out dissent during its colonisation of this country (1875? – 1957).

The Sedition Act 1948 which PM Najib has earlier promised to repeal but now close to flip flopping...

The Sedition Act 1948 which PM Najib has earlier promised to repeal but now close to flip flopping…

To think that a lot of the colonial memories like the names of roads in various parts of this country have been changed and people calling themselves nationalists have spoken out against things British.They even fought successfully against having English as the medium of instruction in all schools. All the vestiges and remnants that are British are unceremoniously removed with much gusto and yet, not strangely enough, they want to retain this bloody British made law!

The people who want to retain this law obviously are in the position that benefits from it. They are being protected by such law to reign supreme over others. This law protect their “interest” whatever interests mean. Just like the British that used this law to silence the people of the land whom they colonised so that they could exploit our natural resources in peace and enriched their so called “Empire” crap.

Well, we have come a long way from those days when some of us were not even born yet. We have seen how freedom of expression go hand in hand with the progress of a just society and brings about much needed ideas to improve the masses. We need freedom of expression to allow everyone to put forth ideas and criticisms to fortify and strengthen the social makeup of our country.

Granted that some people would go overboard in this ” freedom milieu”, we would not be a mature society if we continued to suppress expressions  and  instead hanging on to ours and ours alone. Those who are out to cause chaos in a society could be dealt with by the appropriate law to punish them but certainly we should not employ a law to silence them in the first place.

Marchers for the repeal... born years after 1948. And fighting for a level playing field.

Marchers for the repeal… born years after 1948. And fighting for a level playing field: and so it should.

People who support the repeal of the Sedition Act are those who are educated in the broadest sense and are comfortable with their sense of fairness and justice. They encourage engagements and debates and let others judge the merits of the points on the issues being debated. This permits people to think instead of just accepting and acting like morons who let everything be determined for them  (and sadly they forget that they are the voters who decide who should be their lawmakers!)

And now, hands up people who want to retain the Sedition Act (hear! hear!). Well, those who put up their hands are the insecure bigots. These are the people who are not willing to let others share the “pickings” in this country. These are the people who are getting the most in terms of “rights” ( not wealth mind you, because they only hold the political power but not real wealth).

These people use their “special position” to dominate others but actually they are not that successful though they like to think that they are. Despite their religion giving them a sense of spiritual balance, they are still insecure because they are not educated in the broadest sense like giving respects to other fellow human beings. They choose to retreat as if into a cocoon.

By the way, the ball is now at PM Najib’s feet. Am not very sure about his “educational status”; I can only tell when he finally makes a decision.

Having read angry criticisms of the Chinese New Year of the horse Video made by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Seputeh, Teresa Kok, I decided to check out the upload myself. I found it to be quite humorous with veiled references to matters which are currently trending in Malaysia.

In the video, the panel of three (comedians) are jovial and Teresa appears dignified , wearing a yellow shawl over a red dress. She is straight-faced to all the answers by the “panel”  to her questions and in the end, it is an entertaining piece with references to what is happening in the country.

Try as I might. I could not find anywhere in the video which are said to degrade Islam, the Malays or the royalty as claimed by some quarters. Theresa might have slid in some messages but I would not say that it was done in a spiteful manner.

People turn to satire to express themselves (remember Namwee?) and if we could appreciate the kind of issues that are touched upon and how they could have been handled better, we would have learned a lot from this kind of satirism. But of course people who are not born with humour and possessed of a short fuse and pathologically defensive, would jump up and accuse the satirist of being confrontational. Incidentally, Teresa is an opposition politician (Democratic Action Party) so there is a lot more fodder to attack her.

Some people, it was obvious that they were supporters of UMNO (United Malay National Organisation) the BN component party led by PM Najib, using religion as a label to win sympathy, took it upon themselves to condemn the video and making  baseless accusations for their action.

Slaughtering chicken and using the animal blood to smear the pictures of the opposition leaders is certainly not Islamic and hence contradicting with their supposed religiosity.

This same group of people are making threat here. This bullying tactic seems to raise the apparent racial tension in the country. Instigating people to hurt a person is an irresponsible act. Some stupid guy might just carry out the act without thinking of the consequences upon himself. The threat should not be taken lightly and that’s the main reason Teresa is forced to make a police report.

What is happening to our country when  expressing oneself  is met with derision, anger and intimidation ? Curiously, these people would rather watch contrived pornographic videos of opposition leaders like that of PKR’s Anwar Ibrahim and PAS’s Mustapha Ali designed to kill off their political lives: these video clips were obviously uploaded by BN supporters.

Why can’t these so-called  “upset” people make their own satirical video to counter Teresa’s ? Do you want to know why? It is because they lack creativity, lazy and  have no  financial means, as UMNO politicians would rather keep the money to themselves rather than spend on such “artistic” activities  and so these “bullies” find it easier to get together and slaughter some cheap chickens and make open threats.

Offering a measly sum of RM1,200 to any person who dares to  slap Teresa for making the satirical video is a pathetic gimmick. They did not have the guts(?) to slap her themselves instead wanted others to do it for them. It is clear that they are trying to whip up some kind of public sentiment to worsen the racial tension in the country.

Right thinking Malaysians should reject the bullying tactics of these retards and fight to allow the freedom of expression that seeks to promote a better understanding of our multicultural society.

Malaysia’s ex- long serving Prime Minister has risen the temperature and tension on the Allah issue by stressing that the term Allah is exclusive to Muslims in Malaysia a few days ago. He  said that the term was not used by the Christians years ago and he even accused that the term is used to surreptitiously convert Malay Muslims to Christianity.

My arguments are, firstly the term was not used by the Christians years ago because the sermons in churches were in other languages such as English and Chinese. With the formation of Malaysia, there are now many natives from East Malaysia who are Christians and not able to understand the sermons, especially in English.

By the way, Malay Nationalists who Mahathir would love  to include himself, insist on the Malay language to be the national language of this country and so the churches embrace this national language policy by giving the sermons in Bahasa Malaysia.

There are thousands of Christian natives of East Malaysia working in the peninsular especially in vibrant Kuala Lumpur and Selangor. And so his argument about the term of Allah has never before been used,  lacks a sense of progressiveness. We are in the 21st century now and we have the East Malaysian states with us. We move with the time.

Secondly, the paranoia about Muslims in Malaysia being converted to Christianity is really outdated and irritating. There is that clause about non-proselytisation of Muslims, which has been in place after Independence from the British in 1957. Christian groups are fully aware of this prohibition. They are not going to sacrifice what they already have and be foul of the authorities. It is already 56 years since Independence, how many Malay Muslims have been converted to Christianity?

Thirdly, this excessive fear of Malay Muslims converting to other faiths is a wasteful obsession engaged upon by insecure people. For a start, faith is a private matter. And on top of that our country’s Constitution spells out what a Malay is and it is difficult to just convert and made yourself public without  being ostracised and brought to Shariah Court  and forcibly made to repent and spend time in jail etc. It is not that easy for Malay Muslims in Malaysia to convert openly and so why the brouhaha about others calling God, Allah? It just doesn’t make sense.

Dr Mahathir, I respect you and love you as an outstanding Malaysian PM and a leader with an astute mind as evidenced by my previous postings on you and I am hard pressed now trying to reconcile your present stance on the Allah issue in these late stages of your life.  You should be uniting us and not alienating us. Do not waste your 22 years of great service to this country on this issue. I recall that the great Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) did remark on the great sin of the people who sever relationships (silaturrahim). What you are doing now is severing inter-religious relationships of Malaysians.

You are a great man but your greatness is tarnished by your insistence on this issue of faith. I pray to Allah swt that you be shown the right path in your capacity as an elder, dare I refer to,  “statesman”?

According to the Reuter’s report here, our country’s so called Movement of the Moderates, smugly mooted by PM Najib at an international forum, has been tarnished by the on-going Allah Issue. Whether we like it or not, the world will no longer look at Malaysia as a model country of inter-religious tolerance and racial harmony. On the economic front, investors will think twice about coming in. Tourism will also be affected. The two have contributed to our country’s growth.

We are big at talking but small at seeing things through, in short, we are only good at fantasising. Our sluggish political leadership reflects this observation rather glaringly.

Then over the weekend, we heard of another decree on the use of the term Allah and the response was quick on the constitutionality of that decree, you can read here. Tension is once again rising  as people are now saying that a segment of the citizens in this country are not subject to such pronouncement. If the political leadership is still clueless on this new development, the country might well be in for a simmering social unrest.

A ” cooling off period” is clearly needed with no new pronouncements on the issue at this stage. Both sides of the divide should rein in their people  and avoid  making insensitive remarks.

At the moment, the whole issue of banning the use of the term by Non-Muslims appears to some of us,  including the international communities, to be politically motivated. And for man-made and hereditary rulers to add to the tension is highly unwise as faith is between one and his Creator and not any human being, high and mighty regardless.

In hindsight,using the court to decide on this sensitive issue in the first place was unfortunate. People need to return to meeting mind to mind in a series of interactions that invoke the spirit of peaceful co-existence. The role of respective political leaders and leaders of NGOs in appeasing their supporters is  critical during the process.

The problem facing us now ,is that, no such leaders have stepped forward  to show the way. Some appear to have blocked the way at any attempt of a fairer re solution . Some look like they are praying and waiting for the whole issue to burn out.

It will burn out if everyone stops instigating the issue and pre-2005 status quo prevails I suppose.

The whole issue speaks volumes about the religious trend in this country, the mixture of religion and government and the quality of our country’s leadership.

I am always of the opinion that if we could sit down, discuss and settle an issue at hand among aggrieved parties,  there is absolutely no need for us to go to court and let it settle for us. It is of course easier said than done. Using the law to decide who is right and who is wrong is only mandatory for  cases which are criminal  in nature.

Asking the court to make the decision  on what we can or cannot call our Creator is a short-term solution with  long-term dire implications.

The Malaysian Court of Appeal’s verdict which disallows non-Muslims from using the term “Allah” to refer their God in their Holy Book and during prayers have got communities  abuzz. The international media picked up the news with much glee. And recently an Islamic scholar has labelled the verdict as not only a political decision but laughable as well. You can read his take here. I found his arguments clear with  a logical train of thoughts  and illustrated with several analogies.

The difference between the scholar and others like him when they opine that Allah is not exclusive to the Muslims, is that they think and they consider the issue in a much broader perspective. Those who support the verdict and oppose the use of Allah by non-Muslims, while thinking to a certain extent, they are more distracted with the potential confusion of Muslims about their God whom they also refer to as Allah.  They embrace a narrow and more emotional consideration. When you become emotional in your arguments you are not likely to see the wood for the trees. Your thinking becomes fuzzy, and your conclusions limited.

The issue will not settle till kingdom comes as it involves faith. No man-made authority should make “fatwa-style” directives on such a sensitive matter seeing that ours is a multi-cultural society.And need it be reminded that this is the Twenty-first Century?

The court really has no business in this issue because its specific ruling will not satisfy both parties and following that, due to its legal ramifications, the lost party could be subject to actions that would further strain inter-religious harmony in this country. The recent seizure of the Bibles in Selangor,  is a case in point. Someone nonchalantly said that the Islamic Religious Department merely acted according to the law. And yet it is not as simple as that. In fact, people who  justified the seizure of those Bibles as lawful, have simply stopped thinking.

“Quotable Quote”

Thinking-RR

Unity cannot be over-emphasised when there are totemic differences in a society. Unity brings benefits to any grouping of population vis-a-vis nation, race, faith and political orientations. It is closely related  to economic stability, security, cultural and religious persuasions.

Efforts at  ensuring unity in a country like Malaysia with various ethnic groups, cultural practices and religious persuasions can be extremely challenging.

Of late people are more concerned with unity of race and religion at the expense of others precipitating confusion to those of not the same ethnic group and religious persuasion. Slogans like “Sacrifice for religion, race and nation” are not helping to unite the citizens as the emphasis is placed on singular cultural aspects rather than the combination of these factors embracing pluralism and multiculturalism.

The article here by a citizen of a restive country with endemic turmoil is apt at describing what fragmentation of society would do to the overall well being and security of a country like ours.

We have been able to develop at a fast rate due to the peace and stability in our country.  Along with good administration, we are also fortunate to have had a visionary leader who, for 22 years has shaped our country to what it is today. While he is not perfect, many of his contributions have brought us to the global radar.

Currently common interests appear to be sidelined when individual race and religion are highlighted and people are differentiated by how they look like and even by how they practice their faith. Before 1979, Malaysian women could not be identified by their religious faiths: they all looked the same in their various attires. Those days are long gone. In one State there is now even a public area which is off limit to men and women not deemed to be properly covered. An ominous sign of things to come.

Harsh interpretations of the religion, exploitations of human frailties such as mental insecurity and a general fear of the unknown have incrementally transformed the society into one of visible division based on faiths.

When people accept themselves to be different in a society, tension will gradually build up on perceived intolerance, dissatisfaction, partiality and bias. As a country we will not be able to achieve our economic potential if we continue to indulge in division.

Dwelling on differences rather than similarities precludes  a win-win opportunity.

Fragmentation of such a homogenous society like Pakistan is tragic and the effects on the quality of life of the people are evident of the consequent destructions and unnecessary injuries and loss of lives. And yet we in Malaysia are heterogeneous and hence more malleable to fragmentation under the current cultural climate. Irresponsible politicians have, on occasions fueled this concept of mental separation to fulfill their political agenda.

Sectarian violence is a frequent occurrence in "fragmented" Pakistan

Sectarian violence is a frequent occurrence in “fragmented” Pakistan (net Image)

 

 

I believe education in the widest sense sans all these religious overkill will help us keep our society together and avoid fragmentation like what is happening in Pakistan.