In his latest salvo against religion, Alvin Tan posted a comic strip showing him using a page from the Quran as toilet paper. The Internet literally EXPLODED with thousands of people sharing and/or commenting on it. Take a look at the post that has polarised so many Malaysians…
For those who don’t understand Malay, here is the translated comic strip :
Needless to say, many people are calling for him to be killed, even decapitated by the IS (Islamic State), etc. and there sure were plenty of “Fuck you!” type of insults. For the sake of playing the devil’s advocate, I will respectfully disagree with them.
You and thousands of other Malaysians. The question though is – why should YOU be insulted?
Sure, the Quran is a holy book to Muslims in Malaysia and around the world, but it is still just a book. Did he weaken your aqidah, your faith when he smeared his poop on it? Was Islam mortally weakened by his act, like Superman is weakened by kryptonite?
The simple answer is NO.
If you feel insulted, it is merely a reflection of your own insecurities about your religion and your God. After all, Allah is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. He doesn’t need you, a puny human being, to defend Him… unless what you truly believe is that your God is weak and needs you to defend him.
Alvin Tan Insulted My Religion / God!
How does one offend a religion or God by simply smearing poop on a book? God is supposed to be omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent, so logically he is not only aware of the “insult” but he was right next to Alvin Tan when he committed the “crime”. Yet nothing happened to Alvin.
What does that tell us? That God approved of his act? Or that God doesn’t really care? If God did not care enough to smite Alvin Tan on the spot for this “insult”, why should it be an affront to His religion or His followers?
I Will Kill Alvin Tan!
Congratulations! You have just proven Alvin Tan right when he opined that Islam is not a religion of peace, love and brotherhood, but a religion of violence and hatred.
Your reaction to this “religious insult” is actually a reflection of your upbringing and the values YOU picked and chose to adopt. That’s why not everyone agrees with you that he should be killed, ass-raped, decapitated, burned alive, etc.
In fact, many Muslims have chosen to counsel or ignore him instead of threatening bodily harm. What does that say about YOU?
What If He Smeared Shit On YOUR Religious Book?
Well, I wouldn’t bat an eye, because it’s just a book. What matters is not the physical book, but the message it conveys. That can never be destroyed as long as someone remembers it. Neither can it be desecrated as long as someone believes in it.
There Should Be Laws Against The Desecration Of The Quran
If we want to ban the desecration of the Quran, then we should also ban the desecration of every single book that is considered holy by anyone. This should extend all the way to the Satanic Bible, and whatever holy book is used by all sorts of fringe religions, even those that preach values and messages that contravene the Quran. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
Desecrating The Quran Will Provoke The Muslims Against The Chinese
IMHO, this demonstrates your poor opinion of Muslims. In your mind, Muslims are easily provoked into attacking those who disagree with them.
Of course, there are Muslims who are easily provoked, but that’s human nature prevalent in people of any religion. We should give credit to the many Muslims who did not threaten him with bodily harm.
Where Is The Evidence?
How do we know Alvin Tan really desecrated the Quran with his faeces? Is that single picture of the Quran with something brown smeared on it sufficient evidence? Perhaps the mere accusation or admission is sufficient evidence? Or do we require 4 witnesses?
Everyone who screamed “Sacrilege!” when the comic strip first appeared was only jumping to conclusion. After all, it could have been chocolate, paint or just Photoshop. If that is really the case, then does his trolling of holier-than-thou Netizens still constitute an affront to any religion?
Alvin later declared that he actually smeared shit on the Quran, but do we know for sure he did what he said he did? He could be trolling you all with a false admission. If he later recants and admits he was just trolling, what then? Can you take back your death threats and insults?
Censorship Is NOT The Solution
There is no such thing as absolute freedom of speech. You can’t, for example, falsely shout “Fire!” in a crowded theatre because it is false and puts people’s lives at risk. But unless your speech is false and puts people’s lives at risk, it should be permitted even if it is offensive to some people.
Let’s be frank – practically any kind of speech we make will be offensive to some people. So censoring any kind of offensive speech is a slippery slope to the censorship of original thought.
Today, we may ban the desecration of a holy book. Tomorrow, someone in power might decide to ban all criticism of his/her religion. Who knows – eventually, only one interpretation of one religion will be allowed and you can either accept it or be punished with jail time or execution.
You Can Ignore Him, You Know…
I’m not saying that I agree with Alvin Tan. Neither am I saying that you should agree with him. It is your right to disagree with him, just as it is his right to insult your religion. Remember – he is not living in Malaysia, but in the United States, where free speech has far greater meaning and protection.
I personally don’t agree with some of the things he has said or done, but you won’t find me calling him names. I will just disagree or ignore him.
Those are the choices you can make too, other than calling him to be bodily harmed for his opinions, as disgusting or abhorrent as they may be to you.
Remember – ignoring a troll is the only way to defeat one! NEVER FEED THE TROLL! 😉