Sunday, June 29, 2008

Anwar's Sodomy: The Inherent Unsatisfactoriness of Religions

* Anwar is accused of sodomy yet again. A religious crime punishable by law, and exploited in politics (probably). This entry is my response to the inherent unsatisfactory state of religions. 

** Full text of Malaysiakini article on Anwar's sodomy at the end of the entry. 

*** Even if you are just mildly religious, you may want to think twice before reading on. You may get really angry with me at the end of the article. 

I was only 14 in 1997, when i first heard of the words sodomy and liwat (in Malay) from news report on Anwar's alleged sodomy and political fallout. 

I had no idea what the heck it was about when everyone in school suddenly started teasing everyone else about getting sodomized (I was from a boy's school then that was full of adolescent boys heh). I found out the meaning soon enough, but was puzzled as to why would anyone want to do that. 

I suppose it was for the lack of a receptive sexual organ in the males, but if that takes place between two consenting adult males, why would it be an offense to anyone else? 

Then i learned that it was forbidden in Islam. That was the first instance i had a taste of how religion could actually dictate how people live. 

But who came out with the rules? Some says God. 

I think otherwise. It could very well be a misguided lunatic who thought he heard from God.  

These days we call it auditory hallucination. 

Perhaps we are placing too much faith in holy books across all religions whose origins could no longer be traced. Perhaps we are holding too dear those teachings that made little sense, and the original intention when those teachings were preached was anyone's guess now. We have commandments, but we have little insight into the preceding events that led to its being. 

Instead we try too hard to explain those absurdities. 

We resort to more accomplished beings in our respective religions for explanations, and we listen with full satisfaction of their understanding of the teachings. While forgetting you and me can as easily come up with those explanations ourselves. 

Human has inherent abilities to make perfect sense of happenings that had already taken place. You can explain anything, provided it HAS already happened. Anything at all. That's how columnist makes a living. 

That explains why religions are so lacking in prophecy, while full of retrospective wisdom. Simply because it's a human invention.

No ordinary human can foretell future, but everyone has his/her 2 cents on why something happened. Normal human beings use their logic to interpret the situations. Those whose religiosity surpasses one's own logic proudly utilize their understanding of the religion, which unfortunately is often very narrow. 

God's wrath. Bad karma. 
(Think of those RELIGIOUS comments on why New Orleans was flooded, why China was struck with an earthquake, why Tsunami bleached coastal countries)

*You may claim that religious groups are the first to offer help, i agree, but they are often the first to come out with stupid comments as well. 

They often blame it on something so abstract and intangible, that you hardly can argue with since there is so little substance to poke at. The religious fervor makes up for its lack in logic. 

The same fervor that makes you unwilling to argue with an angry old lady stubborn old hag whose demands aren't met. 

Powerful emotions. 

Powerful emotions that led us into wars. Think of Iraq. Think of your recent outburst with anyone. 

Those powerful emotions that cloud our consciousness and make us do stupid mistakes. 

Now think of when powerful emotions has done you any good the last time. 

Think harder. 

That's why we should never make any decisions when we are overwhelmed by emotions. They hardly have ever done us any good. 

Now back to religion. You can extol its merit for all you want, but for all the good deeds that a religious person can do, any nonbeliever is capable of doing them too. When they do it, they do it absolutely without religious pretense, without hoping for a divine reward. 

Yes atheists are capable of crimes too, but atheists are unable to band together to commit organised crime. Think of the religious conflicts, the religious persecution of nonbelievers, the Crusade, terrorism, etc.

Only in the name of religion can normal conscientious human beings commit the most heinous crimes, without remorse. Well, country and ethnicity can to a certain extent achieve that too. 

So what are their similarities? 

They are all artificial, all human inventions. They all tend to make us feel special, feel superior above others. Different from others, yet uncomfortably so. 

They all substitute individual reasoning skills with a common group-think. They all turn us into mindless zombies serving the wish of the persons who have learnt to manipulate us, doing their biddings while feeling all righteous. 

Are you a religious pawn waiting to be mobilized? 

Don't follow blindly what anyone tells you. Even if they are your religious superior, for they will falter as easily as any one of us. The only difference is that they are darn good at projecting an image of infallibility. 

Use your logic to interpret why you are doing what you have been doing. Is that because everybody has been doing it too? Are you a subject of group-think? 

The world will be a much better place if all of us who observes a religion questions its rationale, and cease following blindly. 

At least Malaysia will be a better country. 


Aide alleges sodomy: Report lodged
Jun 28, 08 11:03pm

A police report has been lodged against PKR 

de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim for allegedly sodomosing one of his aides - the second time that such an accusation had been made in over 10 years.

The report was lodged by the 23-year-old alleged victim at the Jalan Travers police station at 6pm.

pkr anwar ibrahim pc 080608 anwarKL police chief Muhammad Sabtu Osman confirmed that the report had been made.

The man has been sent to Hospital Kuala Lumpur for a medical examination.

"Yes, we have received a police report from an aide of Anwar Ibrahim that he was sodomised. But no, we will not arrest Anwar at the moment," added deputy federal police chief Ismail Omar.

"We will investigate this report first. We will look into it and carry out the necessary steps before issuing any warrant of arrest," he was quoted by AFP

It is learnt that Anwar met with a number of party leaders at an emergency meeting late tonight.

At 11.15pm, PKR sent out an SMS message stating that the police had detained Anwar's special aide Saiful Bahari this afternoon and forced him to lodge a police report about being sodomised by his boss.

It added that the police are expected to arrest Anwar soon.

Meanwhile, Anwar is expected to comment on this latest crisis at a pre-arranged press conference tomorrow.

The press conference is scheduled to be held after a meeting between Anwar and all PKR members of parliament and state assemblypersons.

Anwar expecting the worst

Party sources said that Anwar was chairing a party supreme council meeting at a hotel in Shah Alam when he received an SMS at about 9pm on Saturday night about the police report lodged against him.

He apparently then told the party leaders that his aide Saiful had been missing for two days.

"He then received another SMS at about 9.30pm and his face changed dramatically after reading that SMS," a party insider toldMalaysiakini.

"He did not reveal details of the SMS but merely said that the situation was very serious," added the insider.

Anwar is said to have left the supreme council meeting to meet his lawyers until about 11pm.

The council however continued their meeting without Anwar.

Party leaders are saying that they have to be prepared for any eventuality.

DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang wrote in his blog that he had spoken to Anwar over the phone and that the PKR leader was expecting the worst.

Press statement at 1.25am

Anwar issued a press statement at about 1.25am, saying that the report lodged against him was a "complete fabrication".

The following is his statement in full:

"The police report lodged against me earlier today is a complete fabrication. I believe we are witnessing a repeat of the methods used against me in 1998 when false allegations were made under duress. This is clearly a desperate attempt by the Barisan Nasional regime to arrest the movement of the Malaysian people towards freedom, democracy and justice. 
"The report has been organised by interested parties to attack me in retaliation for evidence I have recently obtained implicating IGP (inspector-general of police) Musa Hassan and the AG (attorney-general) Gani Patail in misconduct including fabrication of evidence in the cases launched against me in 1998-1999. This vile attack will not prevent me from releasing this dossier to the public.
"I urge the Malaysian people to stand against the repressive forces that will be unleashed by the government in the coming days and weeks. We expect the media, the judiciary and the police force to all come under the direct and unchecked control of the executive. 
"My fellow Malaysians - we took a bold step forward on March 8 towards a new dawn for freedom and justice for all of our citizens. This people's movement for change must go on with all of our strength and conviction."

Accused of sodomy in 1997

Meanwhile, at about 1am about 400 people had gathered outside the hotel in Shah Alam to ensure that nothing happened to Anwar.

The party leaders and Anwar's lawyer SN Nair also held a press conference at the Shah Alam hotel at about 1.30am where they distributed Anwar's statement.

Anwar, a former deputy prime minister and finance minister of Malaysia, was sacked from the government in 1997 for allegedly being involved in sodomy and abuse of power.

In 1999, he was sentenced in a highly controversial trial to six years in prison for corruption, and in 2000, to another nine years for alleged homosexual acts.

However in 2004, the Federal Court - the country's highest court - reversed the second conviction and he was released.

Anwar has always maintained that the charges were a government hatched political conspiracy against him, a move denied by the government.

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