July 2010 – Malaysia is in the highlights again for the wrong reasons. Nooh Gadot, a reportedly top Islamic leader from the southern Johor state had his two minutes of fame when he warned Muslims against wearing football jerseys with the crucifix on the emblem or with an emblem of the devil. While the football jerseys with crucifixes would cover a wide range of countries ranging from England which is hugely popular in Malaysia, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden to Norway, Manchester United was the undisputed target in Nooh Gadot’s attack.
Starting from the neighbouring countries, (The Straits Times) (Bangkok Post), (Jakarta Post) the news spread like wild fire across the globe (Taiwan News) (Conneticut Post) (France 24) (SBS Australia) (The Washington Post) (Argentina Star) (CBS) (IOL South Africa) (The Sun UK). While Malaysia is trying to prove to the world that it is progressively working towards a developed nation status, its ultra dogmatic clerics had just proved to the world that they have not come out of the dark ages.
What we are, who we are, comes from the heart, comes from the inside that makes us, a person, makes us a human being. This group of Muslim clerics has gone over board time and again, focusing only on what we eat, what we drink, what we wear. They preach that wearing a Man U shirt is sinful and making it into such a circus when there are so many real social ills such drugs, rape, incests, corruption, loan sharks, organised crime which have never been the focus of these clerics. They focus more on the scare preaching about the infidels and that Muslims should shun the non Muslims, instead of preaching love and compassion that a true Muslim should show to win over non Muslims. While this group of Muslim clerics has done a marvelous job in dividing the people, Muslims and others, or infidels in the minds of the clerics, it is boogling that the BN government with its ever efficient self sensorship media that blacks out many of the people’s grouses and opposition news, found it news worthy to promote the news of the banning of football jerseys with the crucifix on the emblem or with an emblem of the devil?
Perhaps, Nooh Gadot is just another pawn in a political manuvere to split the people, because unity is strength.
It is sad that only Man U fans are vocally objecting to the cleric’s warning to Muslims. The rest of the nation is silent. What’s next? Only football jerseys with a crescent motif is allowed? How will Malaysia ever achieve a developed nation when such backward clerics are allowed to reign without even a soft rebut from the ruling government.