NO to the Imposition of Muslim ways on Non-Muslims in Malaysia!
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The Better Beer Festival was planned to be held in Kuala Lumpur for the 6th year on 6 - 7 October 2017 at Publika, Solaris. The event was open only to non-Muslims (as serving alcohol to Muslims is banned in Malaysia) to celebrate a wide variety of craft beer. However, in September 2017, a local Muslim political party, PAS, demanded the beer festival be cancelled, for the reason that this event MAY lead to vice activities. Their demands were successful and the event was cancelled by the KL local council. Now, PPBM Youth, another Muslim political group, is demanding that the beer festival be cancelled not just in KL, but all over Malaysia. On 1st October 2017, this group started a separate Change petition in Malay entitled "Hapus Budaya Pesta Arak di Malaysia!" (Destroy the Culture of Beer Festivals in Malaysia!).
There were 6 reasons given by PPBM Youth, however, we the logical people of Malaysia, wish to refute each of those reasons with logic and reason. Not because we necessarily wish to attend the beer festival, or even enjoy drinking beer, but because the demands of PAS and PPBM Youth to cancel an event which is only meant for non-Muslims is an imposition of their religious beliefs onto non-Muslims. This a severe infringement on the rights of non-Muslims to partake in activities which are legal and permissible for us in Malaysia and causes no direct disturbance to Muslims.
The 6 reasons from PPBM and our rebuttal as logical Malaysians is as follows:
1) The culture of holding a beer festival in public areas such as shopping malls is not a practice among Malaysians.
Rebuttal: There are many activities which are not part of Malaysian traditional culture, e.g. fashion shows, stand-up comedy, art exhibitions, Western food, Japanese food, etc, etc... yet these and many more are allowed in Malaysia. In a globalized era, it makes no sense to restrict activities originating from other countries using this as an excuse.
2, 3 & 4) Octoberfest is a German festival celebrated to commemorate the royal marriage between Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese on October 12, 1810. The holiday is celebrated every year from that day on the same month and eventually evolved into a beer festival that exists today. The question, however, is that is German culture so influential in the fabric of Malaysian society such that there are few people in Malaysia so desperately wanting to commemorate this king's wedding by holding a party of liquor? Octoberfest is not a celebration that has been the practice of generations of any races in Malaysia, but also not related to any religion. There is no reason to celebrate.
Rebuttal: Few here probably care about the history of Octoberfest and would rather prefer to just enjoy their drinks. 50% of the Malaysian population are non-Muslims, of which 200,000 are expats that include Germans, all of whom are all legally permitted to drink. Alcohol, while restricted in Islam, may have cultural importance among other nationalities, races and religions. PAS and PPBM has no right to restrict 50% of the population from drinking simply because they do not wish to understand or even seem to belittle the role of alcohol in the culture and history of others.
5) Muslims, regardless of political views should be united and firm in this issue. Harmony & racial unity can continue to be sown & built without the need for a beer festival.
Rebuttal: All Malaysians can further sow harmony and racial unity by not imposing their religious beliefs or cultures on others, and by not demanding others to conform to their ways.
6) True, those who do not want to be involved can choose to sit at home or avoid being in the places organized by this party. However, these are the seeds of freedom to be used as an excuse to host gay parties, to allow same-sex marriages and many other heinous and acursed activities.
Rebuttal: The beer festival has been held FIVE times before in Malaysia, and so far there has been no gay festivals held, neither has there been increase in vice activities as a result of such festivals as claimed by PAS.
It is clear that PAS and PPBM is not interested in protecting 'Malaysian culture', but imposing 'Muslim Malay culture' and beliefs on non-Muslims, even though under our Constitution, non-Muslims are allowed freedom of religion and not subjugated to Islamic practices. Just as PAS and PPBM have predicted all the unthinkable events that MAY occur as a result of beer festivals though, we can similarly predict all the unthinkable events that MAY occur if these extremist groups are allowed to get their way by imposing their beliefs on non-Muslims, in the name of upholding their 'culture'. For example:
- Restaurants will no longer be allowed to serve pork to non-Muslims, because eating pork is not 'Muslim Malay culture'
- Non-Muslims will no longer be allowed to rear dogs, because it is not 'Muslim Malay culture'
- Non-Muslim women must all cover their 'aurat' in public because it is 'Muslim Malay culture'.
On a side note, there was a recent tahfiz (Muslim religious) school fire in KL that claimed 24 mostly young lives, with subsequent reports that there have been over 200 cases of fires in tahfiz schools in the past TWO years alone. Instead of fighting to ensure better fire safety in such unregulated Muslim schools, which would help potentially save many young Muslims, it is disturbing that these so-called representatives of Islam in Malaysia prefer to instead focus on the moral policing of non-Muslims!
As logical and reasonable Malaysians who love our country and wish promote tolerance and understanding among all races, we demand PAS and PPBM to focus on issues that actually save lives of Muslims and cease imposing your values on non-Muslims!
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