Letter referring to “More Arab Than Arabs” NST article

Letter referring to “More Arab Than Arabs” NST article
by Adnan Mohd Tahir

12 May 2004

Adnan Mohd Tahir
10 Lorong Limau Kasturi
Bangsar Park
59000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 22841289
Fax:22841981

Group-Editor-In-Chief
New Straits Times
31 Jalan Riong, KL

Attn: En Kalimullah Hassan

Dear Sir,

MORE ARAB THAN THE ARABS?

We refer to the above article which appeared in New Straits Times issue of 28 April 2004 which it seemed was intended to provoke the Muslim Malays.

We thought that with the new Prime Minister with Islamic credentials and with the change in Group-Editor-In-Chief in NST, NST would be more responsible, credible and balanced. Unfortunately, on top of giving anti-hadiths group a media platform, you are now giving non-Muslim non-Malay writers the opportunity to criticize us. Have you ever published articles critical of the Christians who are turning secular and godless, or Indians who are becoming more westernized than the Westerners, or the Chinese who are getting more materialistic than ever? Are these articles (if any) written by Muslim Malays? Do you dare to publish if we submit?

Why are your non-Muslim writers paranoid about Muslim Malays wearing jubbah, kopiah or serban, and not when we wear bikinis, skirts or suit and tie in the hot weather, dressings which are not part of the Malay culture? Your writers should have interviewed Islamic scholars for a balanced perspective, instead of just hearing opinions of people in the arts field if they want to relate Islam to culture. Anyway your writers, being non-Muslims cannot possibly be expected to know and feel the beliefs and sentiments of Muslims. It is therefore dangerous and inappropriate for them to write on matters concerning Islam.

Finally culture evolves, and if with more awareness, the Malays decide to be more Islamic and discard ancient un-Islamic ignorant practices, so be it. It is not for others to comment.

Yours truly,

Adnan Mohd Tahir