Evolution of race - and I am not comfortable

I actually wrote a few paragraphs about the troubles local employers face with their foreign domestic workers before I left office today. Two hours later -  I find the whole conversation un necessary and childish.

I think there are other matters in life that need more of our time and focus, rather than complain and lament about other people. I have had the issue summarised some time back. We cannot control people -  nor can we control the situation. We just have to control of our reaction towards any situation. I guess if we learn to do that -  we should be at a state of content at some point in our life.

This is the first month of 2016 and it has seem some sad news over the past few days. Murders, terrorist attacks, deaths just to name a few. I guess when this happens away from our shores -  we feel safe and assume it may never happen to us. We have to change that attitude. We have to change the mindset that we will never be scarred by something as foreign as terrorism.

I read the news in Today's and noted that the foreign minister had some tough words for us Singaporeans. He talked about terrorism and the rise of radical religion in the region. I will not say that I do not agree to his points. He mentioned that and I quote directly from the papers:"...Muslims growing distant from the "mainstream" community, and Islamaphobia among non-Muslim populations - Singaporeans must 'step up to keep country safe",

He mentioned alot of points which I strongly agree on:

  • ..if we behave with suspicion and negativity, then our Muslim population will feel isolated...
  • Islamaphobia will tear our society apart and we have to guard against it...
But he caught me dead on with the following points

  • ..sentiment among younger Muslims that sending greetings to friends on other religious festivals or reciting the National Pledge and serving National Service are at odds with their faith..
I don't have to go far to find such example -  I have one in my own family as well. They chose to isolate themselves in the name of God. I have no good words to say about those fools. Hence, I will not say much about it. But yes -  educated fools they are and I am glad the minister said it out loud. You are offended -  you are a fool too.

When I was growing up -  my country was a mix of people with different colours, festivals and religions and it was fun. We get to go to our Malay  and Indian friend's house for festivities. We get to go to Chinese friend's birthday and weddings. We have had so many places to go. Our parents for once - never ever told us that we cannot go to a particular person's place because they smell of coconut oil, or because they were of a darker color or because they prayed to different God.
Not even my friend's parents. They were cool.

My best of friends are Malay and Indians. My buddies are Chinese and I love them. They are a crazy bunch. But then -  that's what it is. We hardly cared about religion. We respect them yes -  but we did not seem to hang on to it.

Lets not go into race here -  but it is true that I have seen many Malays donning Middle Eastern attire  -  not for prayers - but for everyday wear. Maybe I am over reacting. So what if suddenly they find the middle eastern long gown for men comfortable to wear? That's not a reason to say they have become radical. But isn't it true that middle eastern influence has started to seep in to our unique ground? 

What? Suddenly you guys found religion? Suddenly the cultural clothes that used to identify your culture and race is a now a practice of ignorance? You wear Baju Kurong -  people know what your race is. You wear Saree -  people know your race. You wear middle eastern attire -  what are you  when your face and color clearly shows who you are? I don't have to see your IC or heard your name brother!

I will not claim that I know everything. For some -  it really is a leap of faith. They want to isolate themselves because they feel the rest of the world are Kaafirs.  For others -  I don't know. But evolution of race is something I am not comfortable with. I come from a few generations of Indians. I am a mix of religions as well. I am not going to give up those hundred of years of culture because of religion. Religion and race co exists. My culture may end with me -  my kid can marry someone of a different race, but the religion will always have to be Islam. I will not compromise my religion and race. They are on par as far as I am concerned. God does not need you to protect the religion. He can do that Himself. 

But in the end -  we will never know what we end up becoming do we?
We might be true staunch radical muslim and our kid end up marrying a devout roman catholic girl whose dad is a priest! Goodness...I don't know. 

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