Monday, June 29, 2009

What is there to be proud of?

What is there to be proud of?
29 June, 2009

So, does it really matter whether Lady Diana became a Muslim before she died? Would Islam benefit if Prince Charles or the Queen herself became a Muslim? Does this really enhance the image of Islam, as most Muslims believe it would?


Raja Petra Kamarudin

There are many who are pleased with the revelation brought on by the death of Michael Jackson. This is of course the revelation that he may have converted to Islam. These happy people were also pleased that Cassius Clay became a Muslim (and is now called Muhammad Ali) and in most likelihood Princes Diana and astronaut Neil Armstrong did as well -- although I don’t think these personalities concerned actually publicly said so.

Why is it so important to Muslims that these superstars converted to Islam? So they died as Muslims. Or maybe they never became Muslims and died as Jews or Christians or whatever. Does it really matter one way or another what religion they professed before they died? What is it to us anyway? Would it not be their business more than ours?

I suppose to some this would be very meaningful. To know that extremely important people like Michael Jackson, Muhammad Ali, Princes Diana and Neil Armstrong may have all become Muslims gives us that feeling of winning. This proves that we were right all along. And everyone likes to feel that he or she was right and enjoy the satisfaction of being able to say, “I told you so!”

Would it mean anything to Muslims if one million poor and starving Africans converted to Islam? Probably not and we really don’t care if it were 100 million poor and starving Africans who had converted. It is not the numbers that count. We don’t care about quantity. We are concerned about the ‘quality’ of the converts.

One million or even 100 million poor and starving Africans converting to Islam is not something to be proud of. But if Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, was to become a Muslim then that is cause to celebrate with the slaughter of 100 camels and 300 sheep. That proves beyond any shadow of doubt that Islam is the correct religion and it further proves that I was right all along in subscribing to Islam. Hey, even Prince Charles agrees with me and Prince Charles is no ordinary human being.

This ‘we won’ and ‘we were right all along’ is not only a Muslim obsession but also an obsession of all religions. So before you take this as a cue to start your Islam-bashing please note that the word ‘Islam’ can be replaced with the word ‘Christianity’, ‘Hinduism’ or whatever. No religion is exempted from this ‘competitive spirit’ and the obsession to ‘prove itself’ by the converts it attracts -- and the higher the profile of the convert the higher your win and the stronger your message of being ‘right’.

Instead of harping on the number of new converts you are able to attract and the high profile or high quality of these converts, I would rather focus on the high quality of your existing practitioners and ask whether they are doing justice to the religion they are supposed to be professing. What does it matter if Queen Elizabeth herself converted to Islam if the rest of the five million or so Muslims in Britain leave much to be desired as far as their conduct is concerned.

Why are properties in non-white areas in Britain lower than in an all-white area? Well, basically this is because in a non-white area the crime rate is very high. Even your car insurance is higher if you live and park your car in these ‘black’ areas -- especially if you don’t own a garage and park your car on the street.

Granted, not all the non-whites are Muslims. Some are Christians, Hindus, or whatever. Nevertheless, if that particular Briton happens to be a Muslim rather than a Jew, Christian or Hindu, you can safely bet that that person would be non-white rather than white. So, while not all non-whites are Muslims, most Muslims are non-white. And the crime rate is higher in non-white areas (as it is in ‘white’ council areas).

So, does it really matter whether Lady Diana became a Muslim before she died? Would Islam benefit if Prince Charles or the Queen herself became a Muslim? Does this really enhance the image of Islam, as most Muslims believe it would? What would really enhance the image of Islam would be if property in non-white areas are exactly the same price as property in the white areas and your car insurance is not loaded because you live and park your car in a non-white area.

If Michael Jackson really did die a Muslim then well and fine. Good for him. It does not do anything for me anyway. The same as far as Lady Di is concerned and for the rest of the British Royal Family as well. The fact that these high profile people became Muslims does not add value to Islam. What would add value to Islam would be when you buy a car in Britain and you don’t end up paying double the insurance premium because you live in a high-crime rate ‘Muslim’ neighbourhood’ or that your home is cheaper in value because all your neighbours are non-white Muslims.

Now that would make me real proud indeed.

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