Porking at the Wrong Place

Those of you who know Unspun would know that he looooves his pork. Not only that he would defend to the last bite the right of other porcine lovers to eat of their right to imbibe in The Other White Meat.

The joys of pork consumption are many and profound but that should not make the eaters pigs themselves. Some sensitivity is called for, especially in a multi-religious society.

So what is ostensibly can be interpreted as a case of religious intolerance on the part of Muhammadiyah in Semarang is actually a sensible objection to the insensitive nature of the Semarang Pork Festival.

If the article below is accurate the objection to the Pork Festival was because it was being held in a very public place frequented by Muslims and as such might seen to ostentatious and provocative to some Muslims. Nothing wrong with that.

Now to get back to my Babi Hong…


Ormas Islam Kecam Festival Daging Babi di Semarang Pork Festival

SEMARANG – Festival masakan daging babi bertajuk “Pork Festival” di Semarang mengundang protes dari ormas Muhammadiyah setempat. Even tersebut dinilai berpotensi menimbulkan ketidaknyamanan bagi sebagian umat muslim.

Menurut Ketua Pemuda Muhammadiyah Kota Semarang AM Jumai, acara yang rencanannya bakal digelar pada tanggal 4-8 Februari mendatang itu sebaiknya dibatalkan saja.

“Ini untuk mencegah terjadinya hal-hal yang tidak diinginkan. Mengingat masyarakat saat ini mudah terprovokasi,” kata Jumai kepada Radar Semarang (grup JPNN), Selasa (2/2).

Jumai mengatakan, acara itu dapat diartikan sebagai tantangan kepada anggota masyarakat yang mengharamkan daging babi untuk bereaksi.

Apalagi, pusat perbelanjaan Sri Ratu yang jadi lokasi acara berada di kawasan dengan mayoritas penduduknya umat Islam.

Jumai pun mengatakan, pihaknya tidak akan keberatan jika acara itu digelar untuk kalangan terbatas dan tidak dipublikasi luas.

“Silahkan tetap digelar tapi khusus untuk internal saja,” ujar dia. Wakil Ketua Pemuda Muhammadiyah Kota Semarang Muhtarom menambahkan bahwa pihaknya tidak bermaksud buruk kepada penyelenggara acara.

Menurutnya, Muhammadiyah hanya khawatir akan terjadi hal-hal yang dapat merusak kehidupan toleran yang ada di Semarang.  “Jika tetap dilaksanakan dan dipublikasikan, kami akan melayangkan surat protes,” tegasnya.

Untuk diketahui, Pork Festival diselenggarakan komunitas pecinta kuliner Kuliner Semarang. Acara tersebut rencanannya bakal menghadirkan berbagai masakan daging babi baik baik dari dalam maupun luar negeri. (fai/ric/cel/dil/jpnn)

Source: Ormas Islam Kecam Festival Daging Babi di Semarang – m.jpnn.com

The Allah issue in Malaysia: Look South

This Allah issue in Malaysia is getting ridiculous and dangerous – the latest developments include the firebombings of churches in Taiping.

Ironically Taiping, where Unspun grew up in the state of Perak in Malaysia, is means “Great Peace” in Chinee. It was given the name after a bloody civil war between rival Hokkien and Cantonese migrants in the tin trade. For many years since Taiping has enjoyed the serenity of its namesake and the biggest action in town when Unspun was growing up was when they installed traffic lights in the road junctions.

The firebombings last week has destroyed whatever Great Peace Taiping seems to have had. Perhaps it is a sign of the times.

Allah is used freely by all denominations in Indonesia without widespread defection of Muslims to other religions. Why is Malaysia so different?

In this entire hoo ha one question that needs to e asked is what is the role of the Malaysian Government playing in all this? If you will recall, it was the Malaysian Government that triggered the issue in the first place when the Home Minister forbade  the Catholic Church to use the word Allah in its newsletter Herald.

When the Church successfully challenged the order in the Malaysian High Court, the Malaysian Government said it would appeal, and it did on the grounds that if the Catholics were allowed to use the word Allah there MIGHT be racial conflict.

The problem with prophecies is that they tend to be self-fulfilling. So did the Malaysian Government inadvertently suggest the idea of racial conflict or was it cynically prescient in predicting the future?

This is a question worth thinking about. But while pondering about this, what to do about the genie that is being let out of the bottle with the firebombings of the churches in KL and Taiping?

Here Malaysians should Look South and learn from the Indonesians about religious harmony. When there were riots in 1997 the more responsible Muslim groups not only did not partake in the destruction of churches and calling for calm, they actively form brigades to guard against the violent attacks of their fellow muslims against churches. How cool is that?

And for those, like the Malaysian Government, who advance the idiotic argument that the use of the word Allah by other religious groups would encourage Muslims to change their religions, they should also Look South to Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country in the world where over 90 percent of its residents have been and remain Muslims.

Here churches use Allah freely in their sermons and  in the Bibles they use, Muslims do not whip themselves into a fervor if Muslims decide to change religions, and Allah is just another word for God, whether they are of Christian, Muslim or other persuasions. And the result? No widespread defection of Muslims to other religions. Go figure!

Crash and Burn: DVDs of 2012 by school kids

All very commendable for elementary school students to support their religious wallahs in protesting against a movie. Unspun, however is curious whether the DVDs they burned were legal copies or the cheap pirated stuff you get at Ratu Plaza and other illegal vendors.

If it is the latter then you have to wonder what MUI has to say about respecting intellectual property rights. LOL


(Pic and story from The Jakarta Globe)

A vendor sells DVD copies of the film "2012" in Central Jakarta. (Photo: Trish Anderton, JG)

Indonesian Elementary School Students Set Fire To ‘2012’ Film DVDs

The controversy over the film “2012” continued on Wednesday when hundreds of elementary school students in Bogor, West Java, set fire to DVD copies of the disaster film.

Students at Kemang Elementary School in Bogor burned “2012” DVDs and posters in their school playground.

One of the students, named Rifki, said the end of days could not be determined by man because it was God’s secret.

“Nobody knows about the end of days, not even prophets or angels,” Rifki told okezone.com.

After they finished torching the DVDs, the students held a prayer session.

Protests against the movie were also voiced by the Riau branch of the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI). Mahdini, the head of Riau’s MUI, said that the movie had violated God’s power.

“Nobody in the world could imagine the catastrophe of the end of the world. “2012” is misleading,” Mahdini said.

Meanwhile, MUI chairman Amidhan suggested that the Indonesian Film Censor Board (LSF) withdraw the movie from cinemas, saying that the board did not do a good job of editing the film, which could lead to more controversy.

Amidhan said there was a part of the movie that showed a collapsed mosque, but there was no footage of a collapsed church.

“The board should have cut the footage (of the collapsed mosque). If the movie only showed a church, no problem, but they also showed a mosque. We have a difference in culture,” Amidhan told okezone.com.

The MUI branch in Malang, East Java, issued a fatwa on the film on Monday, calling it “improper and misleading” and the Surakata branch in Central Java also expressed its opposition on Tuesday.

The film, directed by Roland Emmerich, portrays the earth’s destruction following the movement of the magnetic poles and shows various disasters sweeping the globe such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis.


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What would Christ do about undercover hacks?

This is an interesting case where praise and gratitude should prevail over anger.

The story: Two Muslim reporters pass off as Christians, attend a ceremony and took communion in an effort to check out rumors that young Muslims are bing converted to Christianity. They write the article saying that the rumors aren’t true. This is good for the Church. How much more credible than two Muslim reporters saying that rumors of young Muslims being converted are not true. The Church should be happy, right?

But no. The Church is fuming mad. Why? Because they took communion. They took some bread dipped in wine and the Church feels that this has violated the sancity of the Church.

Unspun has only one question to the Church: what would Christ do if he were Rev. Lawrence Andrew? Say “forgive then Lord for they know not what they do” or get his vestments in a knot?

2 Malaysian Muslims stir

anger over church article

The Associated Press ,  Kuala Lumpur   |  Tue, 07/14/2009 2:23 PM  |  World

Malaysian authorities are investigating two Muslims who sparked complaints after they pretended to be Christians at a church service to write a magazine article, officials said Tuesday.

The investigation poses a fresh challenge for the government in its efforts to reduce religious friction in this ethnic Malay Muslim-majority country, where religious minorities have complained that their rights are being sidelined in favor of Islam.

A churchgoer filed a police complaint last week after reading an article in the monthly Malay-language Al-Islam magazine written by contributor who described how he attended a Roman Catholic mass with his friend and hid his Muslim identity.

The writer said they were trying to confirm rumors that many Muslim teenagers were being converted to Christianity in Kuala Lumpur’s churches every Sunday. He described how they tasted communion wafers to blend in with the crowd, but found no evidence to support the rumors.

Rev. Lawrence Andrew, the editor of the Herald, the Catholic church’s main publication in Malaysia, said the men had “insulted the Christians” through their actions.

“For us, this is a very holy matter,” Andrew told The Associated Press. “They have shown disregard, disrespect. … So we are very upset about this.”

Representatives of Al-Islam, which writes about Islamic teachings and news, could not immediately be contacted.

Police federal crime investigations head Mohamad Bakri Zinin said officials were investigating the two men for possibly causing religious disharmony – a crime that carries a prison sentence of up to five years.

Joachim Francis Xavier, the Catholic man who filed the police complaint, said the men had been irresponsible and that their actions could cause religious tensions.

“If everyone starts to intrude into each other’s services and write about it, there will be chaos,” Xavier said.

He noted that non-Christians were welcome to attend church ceremonies, but they cannot take communion. The magazine article also indicated the men had spat out the communion wafer because they took a photograph of it partially bitten.

Christian, Buddhist and Hindu minorities – who comprise about one-third of Malaysia’s population – often say their constitutional right to practice religion freely has come under threat from Muslim-dominated authorities. The government denies any discrimination.

Religious disputes include a court battle between the Catholic church and the government over a 2007 order banning non-Muslims from translating God as “Allah” in their literature. The government says its use would confuse Muslims, but Christians say the ban is unconstitutional.

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How do you cover racial bigotry?

Journalist Andreas Harsono, recipient of Maverick’s Click of the Year Award for journalist-bloggers, ponders how journalists should cover a story of religious bigotry in Pontianak.(Thanks to reader Bonar for the link)
clipped from andreasharsono.blogspot.com

Bagaimana Meliput Pontianak?

Ratusan pendukung Barisan Melayu Bersatu datang ke Rumah Adat Melayu di Pontianak pada 20 Februari 2008. Mereka minta pemerintah melarang warga Tionghoa menggunakan bahasa Hakka atau Tio Ciu. Mereka juga menuntut pemerintah melarang perayaan Imlek dengan barongsai dan naga. Mereka minta semua aksara Mandarin dilarang di tempat-tempat umum.
— Photo by Lukas B. Wijanarko. All rights reserved.
Sejak Januari lalu, ketika Barisan Umat Islam datang ke DPRD Kalimantan Barat dan minta Majelis Adat & Budaya Tionghoa dibubarkan, hingga demo kemarin dengan Barisan Melayu Bersatu minta kebudayaan Tionghoa dilarang dan orang Tionghoa dilarang berbahasa etnik, saya sering ditanya bagaimana harus meliput ini?
  blog it