Today, I read an article on Lee Kuan Yew's honest opinion from his book "Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going" which brings me to yet another chapter of heartache in this foreign land:
Lee Kuan Yew urges Muslims to 'be less strict'
(Click link for full article)
I strongly disagree with this. It's a very third world mentality coming from the man that made Temasek into one of the world's most expensive island to get by.
Case in point, my late great grandmother came from Mainland China. My aunt married a Chinese man whom fathered my 3 cousins. In addition, one of my cousins is dating a Chinese girl for 7 years. But then they're all Malaysians so I'm not sure if this applies to Singapore.
From *my* humble observation, since I first set foot on Singapore, Muslims here are already 'less strict' than from where I come from. I am neither holier nor more pious than the next Muslim in the mosque but (no offense meant) I do see tattoos everywhere, public consumption during the fasting month and nobody would care, and their dietry laws do not go hand in hand with the Holy scriptures. Alcohol consumption among Muslims isn't a shock factor. So I don't see how Muslims in Singapore can be less strict than they already have, and I'm not quite sure where these problems come from. Then again, I have only been here not more than 3 years and a half. I did not live long enough to see the rapid growth glitched by a wrench that is Islam.
In fact I went through a culture shock and even got involved in an argument because of the openly racist humour that I didn't quite agree with. Being the only Muslim in my social circle at that time, I can get overly sensitive.
I believe that his main issue is with the conversion of faith. Apostasy in Islam is almost miniscule when it comes to intermarriage - the spouse is usually the one to convert to Islam in order to tie the knot.
Tracking back my family tree, my late grandfather was an uneducated construction labourer with 9 children. Miraculously, without any taxidermy avant-garde cross-breeding, my 9 aunts and uncles grow up to be successful, educated people. Again, what do I know? I don't run a 1st world country.
With all that said, I can't entirely point fingers to Kuan Yew alone. Muslims at this day and age are our own downfall. How can we bring back the glorious days of Islam pre-Crusade period when all we do is squabble and agitate at the slightest provocation? Extremists with misguided jihad for terrorism only display the exact opposite of what Islam is about.
I would die for Islam but I won't blow myself up to make a point. That's suicide, man. No amount of virgins in heaven would welcome you in the afterlife for that :P
Up to this day all these bad news on Islam are self-inflicted, and they overshadow the good. So please, brothers and sisters. Before we lable the stigma as Islamophobia, let us all do our part in portraying the true teachings from the Holy Qur'an. To end my entry, a quote from a hadith:
Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 2, Number 38"
Peace be upon you.