It should surprise no one that PAS’ Pasir Puteh MP Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh, during a debate at the Dewan Rakyat, said that the Bible was dipesong (altered/distorted).
Zawawi’s statement simply reveals his deep-seated prejudice based on ignorance of the Bible. In a subsequent statement, he defended his position and quoted several Old Testament Scripture passages to show that the Bible teaches that Christians shouldn’t consume alcohol, but he didn’t show how the Bible was altered.
There are two points to note about all the Bible references to getting drunk. Firstly, yes, it is true that the Bible teaches that Christians shouldn’t get drunk but nowhere does it state that Christians can’t drink alcohol. In the cultural times when the Scriptures were recorded, the people drank wine with their food. There’s no mention of alcohol in the Bible just wine, which was a common drink at that time and which even Jesus Christ drank. The injunction is NOT, don’t drink wine, but don’t get drunk.
There is a distinction between the two. That’s the second point. Evidently, Zawawi and people like him are unable to make the distinction and prefer to ignorantly assume a baseless belief as true. That’s not only religious bigotry but belief in an untruth. It’s a mentality similar to that of extreme far-right Christians who hold certain groundless beliefs about the Koran, Islam and Muslims which I am not going to mention here because I don’t subscribe to those views and I don’t believe in discrediting someone else’s truth so that my truth looks better.
Despite offending Christians and all well-meaning people who believe in truths, Zawawi refuses to apologize and wants those criticising him to talk with him. Well, if he doesn’t see the wrong he has done, what’s the point of an apology? He wouldn’t mean it. And, what’s the point of discussing with someone who can’t tell the difference between drinking alcohol and getting drunk? With his limited understanding, it would be like talking to a wall. Many points will just fall off him like water off a duck’s back!
So, Zawawi, no need to apologize. We forgive you for being unable to respect what others hold as truths. We will be the bigger, better people and forgive you!
Having said that, however, what is surprising is that Zawawi exposed his bias. Perhaps it was a slip of the tongue. It is PAS’ strategy to hide its true prejudiced sentiments towards other faiths in order to get the support of non-Muslims for the coalition of which it is a member.
In the Zakir Naik issue, it was rather quiet. There probably was an understanding that PAS doesn’t attack Hinduism in exchange for MIC’s support. But, when it came to a Christian point of view, its bigotry slipped out.
In other words, despite what it feels about other faiths, for political purposes it will hold back — for now. But, when it is in a stronger position in a ruling coalition, it may not, and the constitutional rights of non-Muslims will be at stake.
PAS, under its hardline Islamic leader Hadi Awang, is open about its end-game: To establish an Islamic state. Its actions are towards that end. The only way to prevent it from achieving that objective is to deprive it of political power.
That is the single, most important reason why the non-Muslim and Christian-based Sabah and Sarawak parties must pull out of any coalition in which PAS is a member. MIC, MCA, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and PBS must pull out of the Prihatin Nasional (PN), Barisan Nasional (BN) and Muafakat Nasional in a show of solidarity against religious bigotry.
PN, BN and Muafakat are fully aware they need the non-Muslim vote to get a majority. In the coming Sabah elections, these coalitions are loosely represented by Umno, the main BN partner. PN partner GPS leads the government in the upcoming Sarawak elections. All true Malaysians, whether Muslim or Christian, must ensure these coalitions do not get a majority. Christians especially must send a clear message that they will not support any coalition which tolerates a party such as PAS which harbours religious bigotry. Use your vote to block PAS from gaining political power.
That’s the only way to protect our constitutional rights.