Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Again, a Malay view of "Ketuanan Melayu".

TO: Malaysian Parliamentarians and Opinion leaders

I am reposting a previous article on what I see the idea of "ketuanan Melayu" might mean to Malays these days.

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A Malay view of 'Ketuanan Melayu'
Azly Rahman Feb 4, 08 2:51pm





‘O people! Your God is one and your forefather (Adam) is one. An Arab is not better than a non-Arab and a non-Arab is not better than an Arab, and a red (i.e. white tinged with red) person is not better than a black person and a black person is not better than a red person, except in piety. Indeed the noblest among you is the one who is deeply conscious of God.’
- a saying of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him)

‘Malaysia - to whom does it belong? To Malaysians. But who are Malaysians? I hope I am, Mr Speaker, Sir. But sometimes, sitting in this chamber, I doubt whether I am allowed to be a Malaysian. This is the doubt that hangs over many minds, and ... [once] emotions are set in motion, and men pitted against men along these unspoken lines, you will have the kind of warfare that will split the nation from top to bottom and undo Malaysia.’
- Lee Kuan Yew, now Senior Minister, Republic of Singapore

Instead of defining Ketuanan Melayu as ‘Malay superiority’ which is quite meaningless, philologically inaccurate, and philosophically arrogant, I think the word ‘dictatorship’ is closer in meaning. As you read this piece, please refrain from value judgment and from bring trapped in the prison-house of language pertaining to the word ‘dictatorship’.

To dictate connotes to tell, which connotes to narrate. To narrate means to weave a story based on an ideology. To ideologise means to encapsulate. To encapsulate means to be trap. Dictatorship, here might also mean an entrapment. Instead of acknowledging one's freedom to rule, one is acknowledging being in an entrapment - and to rule out of that condition. This is a form of false consciousness.

Words, as a literary theorist Raymond Williams might say, must also be contextualised/situated within the economic condition they emerge in. Marx's famous dictum that human beings' existence is defined by the economic condition they are in and that this condition is already predetermined. This is a deterministic view of human history.

I first read heard the phrase Ketuanan Melayu in the mid-1980s from a book by one Malik Munip. I was reading his work, at the same time reading Lim Kit Siang's ‘Malaysia in the dangerous 80s’, to get a sense of the argument. I was an undergraduate reading Literature, Education and International Politics.

I also heard that Malay students were discouraged from reading Kit Siang's work and encouraged to read ‘Ketuanan Melayu’. I love banned books and books that others tell me not to read. There is a sense of intellectual challenge to be able to read banned books.

I read Mahathir Mohamad's ‘The Malay Dilemma’ and Syed Husin Ali's ‘Malays: Their Problems and their Future’ and Syed Hussein Alatas’ ‘The Myth of the Lazy Native’ at the same time. Again, to get a sense of balance.

I read Malaysian official publications on economic outlook, juxtaposing them with a close reading of analyses on the political-economy of the Malaysian capitalist state.

I read the work of Freud and Marx to see where some of the major authors of the Frankfurt School of Social Research are going with their arguments on totalitarianism. I read the Quran and the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata to see where the arguments on race superiority lie and what the fate of humankind will be.

The idea of social dominance and racial superiority might all be primarily about economics, if we are to read the history of the development of ideologies of superiority. But my question is - who has the right to claim that this or that land belongs to this or that group of people. At what point does culture and citizenship meet and negotiate the issue of egalitarianism? When does ‘the truth of one's culture’ reach its limit and the question of ‘the truth of citizenship’ dominate?

This is a very complex question Malaysians must answer after 50 years of Independence. We must open up the dialogue on this issue.

Lyrical propaganda

Let us look at how the idea of ketuanan Melayu is disseminated to the young. One way is through indoctrination camps in which songs are used.

Over the decades, perhaps millions of Malay students like me were taught the dangerous propaganda song, ‘Anak Kecil Main Api’(A Child Plays with Fire). One verse concerns the power of the Malays::

… kini kita cuma tinggal kuasa

yang akan menentukan bangsa

hasil mengalir, ke tangan yang lain

pribumi merintih sendiri…


My loose translation of this 1980s propaganda song by the Biro Tata Negara reads:

… political power is what we are only left with

one that will determine the fate of our nation

wealth of this nation flows into the hands of others

sons and daughters of the soil suffer in solace...

I do not think we have a clear understanding of what the lyrics mean. I doubt if the songwriter even understand what a 'people's history of Malaya' means. It is a song based on racist intents; its lyrics penned by one who does not have a good grasp of the political-economy of Malaysian history, let alone the latest advances in the field of psychology of consciousness.

The training programes that encapsulate the theme of this song are meant to instill fear of the Malays, not of others but of themselves, and to project hatred onto other ethnic groups without realising who the enemy of the Malays really are.

Using relaxation techniques to bring the brain waves in the alpha and state (conducive for suggestive and subliminal messages), trainees were put under ‘half-asleep’ conditions to get the ketuanan Melayu message to colonise the consciousness. The technique pioneered by Russian brain scientists Barzakov and Lozanov in the1970s, called ‘suggestopedia’, is used to instill the deep sense of fear for oneself and hatred of others.

History is a complex syntagmatic pattern of interplay between technology, ideology, culture, inscription and institutionalisation not easily reduced to simplistic lyrics as such sung to the tune of pre-war German-nationalistic-sounding compositions.

History is about the complex evolution of the ruling class which owns the technologies of control. As Marx would say, at every epoch it is the history of those who own the means of production that will be written and rewritten. The winners write history, the losers write poetry or study anthropology, some would lament.

Back to the lyrics. After 50 years of independence, who is suffering in Malaysia? Who has become wealthy? Who has evolved into robber barons? What has become of our judiciary system, our universities, our city streets, our sense of public safety and security, our schools, our youth, and our entire socio-economic arrangements at the eve of the 12th general election. How has the idea of ketuanan Melayu contributed to this state of affairs?

Language of power and ideology is at play in those lyrics. The definition of ‘bumiputera' is at play. It has become a problematic word in this age of deconstructionism; an age wherein as the poet WB Yeats said, "the centre cannot hold".

Rock musicians will recall the Scorpions' famous song 'Winds of Change' to serenade the fall of the Berlin Wall and the beginning of the breakdown of the Soviet Empire. We have to face the 'wrath' of the word.

Put an end to Ketuanan Melayu

For Muslims in Malaysia, this saying by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is familiar: ‘Your descent is nothing to be proud of. Nor does it bring you superiority. O people! All of you are the children of Adam. You are like equal wheat grains in a bowl ... No one has any superiority over anyone else, except in religion and heedfulness. In order to consider someone a wicked person, it suffices that he humiliates other people, is mean with money, bad-tempered and exceeds the limits…’

I would say that ketuanan Melayu is a dangerous concept that is threatening race relations. It is an arrogant interpretation of selective history; of a history that is largely benefiting those who profits from the ideology.

Those promoting this concept are not well-versed in the matters of philosophy of history. I do not think thinking Malays these days subscribe to the idea of ‘Malay dominance and dictatorship’. If there is a ketuanan of one race, then the rest are ‘slaves’ and ‘serfs’ and ‘sub-citizens’, if we are to analyse it from the point of view of ‘Master-Slave’ narrative?

As a Malay wishing to see the withering of and an end to the concept of ketuanan Melayu and the birth of a new consciousness that will respect the dignity of all races and the humility of all ethnic groups, I call upon Malaysians to continue to be critical of any attempt by any race to project their own sense of false superiority that would only breed dangerous ethnocentrism bordering on xenophobia.

We should work together to deconstruct all forms of race-based political arrangement and work towards establishing a new order based on a more egalitarian economic design that takes into consideration the basic needs and dignity of all races.

We should teach our schoolchildren how to deconstruct such sense of racial superiority, through the teaching of not only tolerance but social egalitarianism - via peace education strategies. We will have a lot to gain for generations to come.




Posted by DR. AZLY RAHMAN at 11:52 AM

Labels: culture and consciousness


29 comments:
dahvid said...
Ahh.. I instantly see hints of 'Foucauldianism' and social constructionism. Good write up.

6:30 AM
moo_t said...
China has underwent the Animal farms part in 60's. USSR are not better. Many south American country also share Animal farms characteristic. Middle east, well, we know that, Africa, a mess.

I doubt majority of Malaysia aware the real danger Napoleons from the "Ketuanan Melayu".

2:32 PM
Leo said...
Dear Dr Azly,

I have sent an email with this article of yours attached, to quite a number of my friends and associates, and it reads like this ....

" ...You have got to read this essay to appreciate Azly Rahman's tight and indepth argument on a highly pertinent subject. Although the front bits are throughly articulated, I had wished the ending has more expansive substance.

But then again, I suspect he will tackle the core idea discussed at the tail-end of this essay, in another fresh and yet connected piece of writing. You must admit to expand on his prime suggestion of what should be done eventually to right the wrong, requires quite a different set of thinking, and may well need some researching..."

10:04 PM
david said...
my goodness!

it took you all these years of study and government funding--which is from taxpayers' pocket--for you to realise that the concept of 'ketuanan melayu' is dangerous?

1:26 AM
Anonymous said...
Dr. Azly,

I am glad and sad at the same time with intellectually inclined malays like your self.

Your article is good. It brings into focus the often overlooked reality that there is a class of Malay intellectuals who see the world from a more sensible, accomodative angle.

But even you could not bring yourself to not include the religious element into your otherwise perfectly universal articulation.

Even when you write for the 'world' you include religious caveats... just in case some other muslim takes offence !

Well, I guess you can not run away from certain realities. Not everyone is gutsy enough to simply call a 'spade a spade'.

10:02 AM
Anonymous said...
Won't you be afraid if people calls you the "pengkhianat Melayu"

With all due respect to your articles but its becoming part of malay culture.

2:12 AM
DR. AZLY RAHMAN said...
Dear "anonymous",

Thank you for your valuable comment.

I think I am doing a service to those interested in reading about multiculturalism. How might discussing "issues of race" make one a "traitor"?

What do you think of the arguments I raised in the article?

4:10 PM
Anonymous said...
Ketuanan Melayu to me means Melayu remains as Tuan di Tanah melayu, itu aje. You can do anything you want but Melayu remains the Tuan, in this case Raja mesti melayu, adat mesti Melayu based. KTM remains Keretapi Tanah Melayu. You can be a fool but still own the land. Nothing about Malay superiority. There is nothing rascist in Ketuanan Melayu but racial is probably the right word. What a waste of money to study this in the University..

10:34 PM
Azmi said...
I remember Tok Guru Nik Aziz said in one of his speech' regardless we are Malays, Indians, Chinese, etc. we are all brothers because we all came from Adam (puh)' and Islam promotes respect of inter-religions. 'Race' is a non-issue.

In th song 'Where Is The Love' by the Black Eyed Peas-
"But if you only have love for your own race, Then you only leave space to discriminate, And to discriminate only generates hate And when you hate then you're bound to get irate, yeah"...
How true!!

10:28 PM
S. Navin Kumar said...
The concept of `Ketuanan Melayu` is meaningless for most Malays who remain the poorest among the major races. The real `Tuans` are the elites linked politically and econimically to UMMO, MCA, MIC, GERAKAN. The Malays whom I know do not at all care about this `Ketuanan Melayu`. They work hard and live a honest life. But I don`t know about those linked to the ruling party. We only hear about `Ketuanan Melayu` once a year during UNMO General Assembly, invariably brought up by delegates who portray themselves as champions of the race but real intention is to get government contracts and tenders !

8:21 AM
nick chan abdullah said...
In simple terms, I have known some malay kampungs where the malay people look up to non-muslim as a Tuan. As long as there's improved religious education, malays won't find problem with non-muslim being Tuan.

9:47 PM
kumbahkarno said...
Dear Dr Azly

i have just read your article and it brings me great satisfaction to learn we have distinguished intellectuals and deep thinkers of elite class from this part of the world, and even more hebat from the shores of my Malaya. i cannot bring myself to say Malaysia because i prefer how this place was administered in the past; and how harmonious it was then, without self-serving politicians abusing the definition of unity. your depth and deliberations are cutting age and your conclusions the hallmark of an individual who champions the philosophy that we are born equal, and our actions,consideration to others and compassion are the very qualities we would be judged by. i do hope you will continue to share your wisdom with many in your motherland

9:21 AM
Anonymous said...
What's wrong with Ketuanan Melayu. The Chinese is the master in it's own land, so does the indian and other races too. However, they don't mention it b'cause majority is not an issue there. However in Tanah Melayu itis critical. So as a Malay we have to say it out loud. So, why can't Malay be the tuan in Tanah Melayu.

11:32 PM
Anonymous said...
fair enough, i still feel that the melayu community still need to get that idea. at present the masses still believe that they can demand a place or a position solely based on our bumiputera status...things like that never happen in australia or newzealand..do u see the natives of australia or any modern nation unfairly distributing contracts and so on based on one's race.
Come on, we have to wise up or we will lose out,at this rate soon we are going to be begging singapore for a share of its wealth, just based on the premise tht they were once part of us... i know, it sounds absurd, probably just about absurd as 'ketuanan melayu' sounds to a non malaysian..

11:32 AM
ck said...
Dear Anonymous who say "what's wrong with Ketuanan Melayu"

Surely nothing is wrong if you still have those feudal mentality. You are your own worse enemy.

What about Iban or Dayak or Orang Asli?

Look what happened to Ketuanan Afganistan or Ketuanan Iraq?

Whether you are majority or minority, one thing is certain, we are Malaysian. Why not called ourselves Ketuanan Malaysian and be proud of that!

11:50 AM
Anonymous said...
Love your piece, Dr Azly
So then it would be politically incorrect to name our railway system Keretapi Tanah Melayu and classify some Malaysian citizens as "non-Bumiputera". There are also some "patriotic" we innocently sang in school containing the phrase "agama, bangsa dan negara", with the obvious reference to one particular agama and bangsa ...

2:07 PM
Anonymous said...
May I say that the causes of the rise of concept of Ketuanan Melayu arises from a very popular quote: " Melayu mudah lupa". Malay in general are unaware or refuse to understand that the country was found together with the cooperation of various races of the country. Also, there are Malays who forget that the country is Malaysia, a democratic federation, not Malaya which the idea of Malaya should have been dropped with the founding of Malaysia

4:06 AM
red1 said...
I been a chinese who embraced Islam and having debated this subject up close, cannot help but deepened my sense of awe at why Malays talked about their superiority in an inferior manner?

Mahathir told it to me in a more economical choice of words,
"This is my land, my money. You got any problem with that?" (more or less, if you want to exercise economy of words here)

We chinese are fine with anyone's land and anyone's money for that matter (even better if it is OPM - Other People's Money). We do not mind throwing more dimes into the tiller. We just worried sick that brandishing kerises may get a bit out of hand. :)

Redhuan D. Oon

11:04 PM
Anonymous said...
Dear Dr

Saya amat tertarik dengan komen DR dan ia sangat menarik dan adil, Dr adalah seorang Muslim yang tulen atau seorang Muslim yang dapat di bilang dengan 10 jari. inzinkan saya memberikan beberapa fakta.

Malaysia telah 50 tahun merdeka, bayi yang lahir semasa merdeka dahulu pun dah berumur 50 tahun.Tetapi malangnya majority orang Melayu masih belum maju dan banyak lagi yang hidup serba kurang.Saya orang Cina, Saya mempunyai ramai kawan Melayu.Dan boleh saya katakan mereka tidak perkauman. Mereka lebih baik daripada orang cina. Cuma orang Melayu yang sombong dan bongkak dengan ketuanan melayu adalah orang melayu kelas atasan dan kelas politik. Ketuanan Melayu yang di perjuangkan ialah untuk kepentingan politik murahan individu.

Dan yang teramat dashyat ialah orang munafik telah menghalalkan perkauman yang mereka tiupkan dengan agama islam. Patutke Islam dipergunakan?

Mari kita tengok, setiap tahun ada beribu ribu orang cina dan india memeluk agama kristian di malaysia. Tapi Islam bagaimana? Dengar saje Islam bagi mereka adalah melayu. Mereka takut.(bukan benci) Salah siapa kalau bukan pemerintah? Saya rasa eloklah Islam dan Melayu dipisahkan demi memelihara kesucian agama islam. islam adalah agama dan melayu adalah kaum.

10:56 PM
CHAN said...
I WISH U ARE OUR MALAYSIAN MINSTER OF EDUCATION.I AM GLAD TO READ SUCH CONSCOUSNESS FROM MY FELLOW MALAYSIAN.I AM LEARNING.

8:20 AM
CHAN said...
BY THE WAY I AM CHINESE MALAYSIAN 40PLUS WHO HAD ENCOUNTER EXPERIENCES WHICH LEFT RACIAL EMOTIONAL SCARS N FEARS IN ME.THEREFORE YOUR BLOGS HELP TO STABLE OR CLEAR SOME OF THESE EMOTIONS. I BELIEVE MANY DARE NOT CLEARLY N TRUTHLY EXPOUND ON SUCH ISSUES.I FOR ONE DARE NOT.CALL ME A COWARD U WANT TO.I ACCEPT IT.THE PROFESSIONALS THAT I SOUGHT HELP FROM IS RELUNCTANT TO HEAR RACIAL PROBLEMS N RELUNCTANT TO EVEN RESPONSE IN PROFESSIONAL MANNER.I JUST READ N UNDERSTAND THE MAIN IDEAS IN THIS BLOG N AM IS RELIEVE BY IT.THATS SIMPLE.I DO NOT WANT DO MENTAL ANALYSIS N COMMENT ON THEM.SORRY?SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT FROM WHAT U EXPECT TO READ? I JUST WANT FEEL THE `CONSCIOUSNESS`OF THE TRUTH IN THE ARTICLE.THANK U DrAZLY RAHMAN

9:02 AM
ande ande lumut said...
Salams Dr. Azly,
Good to know that you wish to discuss with a measure of seriousness about ketuanan melayu - though I suggest that for those of you out there who sem to think that it corresponds to the notion of "malay dominance'to take a step back. As far as i understand it, the idea seems to more consistent with the notion of 'cultural sovereingty' in the same sense, I gather, as the complex ways in which, say an Arab, would describe large parts of the mid east and northern africa as 'arabic'. Tis is not to say that this idea is in anyway beyond contention - after all much discussion of identity(s) in the in the latter part of the twentieth century is understood in that manner. And viewing it from a historical perspective I don't think its to excessive to suggest that Malaysia as we know it today, was and is very much part of what is generally recognised as rumpun melayu asia tenggara.

I think perhaps the greater danger lies in the way in which the idea of 'ketuanan melayu' has been appropriated by politicians and their cohorts in the media.

Your reading of the 'past' (in these post modern times one wonders whether its still acceptable to use the term!)as impressive as it is in terms of its sophistication nevertheless may not be necessarily congenial to an understanding of the kinds of socio-historical approach which may shed better light on our past (and present!).

Though there is still much that can and ought to be said on the subject, I think that may require a different forum.
Ps, by the way, as far as I am aware, Malik Munip has never written something called 'Ketuanan Melayu' - what he did write was an essay published in book form called 'Tuntutan Melayu' (which though I may disagree with some of its arguments, was nevertheless an intelligently argued polemic on Malay cultural sovereignty - something akin I guess to similar efforts by earlier nationalists such as those schooled at Sultan Idris teachers college, the MNp and so on).
Thank you

9:34 AM
Anak Malaysia PRO Malaysian said...
Dr Azly,

Highest respect to you. You're truly 1 modern malay with brain. Syabas!

Ketuanan or tak ketuanan is not a matter of issue to other religious. As long as the goverment and the person who move the countries is fair and provides good improvement to the countries, all of this is fine.

But make sure the leader do not practice corruption, silent assignation and political threats.

10:41 PM
muthu r said...
Dr azly Rahman, you are a true anak malaysia I am very proud we have people like you with open mindedness,syabas Dr we are all in support of your motion truely. I am a ex BBMB officer who did my MBA in U.K sponsored by the Bank but sad to say today BBMB is non existent due to ???????ra mismanagement. I suggest all organisations should have corporate governance .

11:22 PM
ccdev said...
hey dude,

you are a thinker and intellectual but how many of malays are like you? Many malay friends that i know are of the "wait-n-see-what-happens" or leave it to God type attitude. apathy, man. Unless all of you act as a group, things will not get better.

And when I read stuff like this http://www.malaysiawaves.com/2008/07/umnos-latest-psy-war-materials-exposed.html, damn, the brainwashing is so ingrained in the system. Then you have to dismantle the system which is stupefying a certain group, as people's mind and psychological conditioning will not be changed by hope alone.

11:16 AM
ccdev said...
The link again

http://www.malaysiawaves.com/2008/07/umnos-latest-psy-war-materials-exposed.html

11:17 AM
ccdev said...
sorry,

the link ain't coming out right.

its http://www.malaysiawaves.com

and the article is "UMNO's latest psy war material exposed" on July 10, 2008

11:19 AM
Anonymous said...
makin banyak belajar hang ni rupanya makin 'sengal'. berpijakla dibumi nyata bro...

5:35 AM
A said...
Salam, Dr. Azly.

I've read several writings of yours before putting in my comment. I like what I read thus far.

Let me conclude my view gathered from my reading herein: if one day, God willing, I offer myself to be the next prime minister of Malaysia and win, I'll have your name in my list of the management team, ideally, as the Education Minister. Its my ambition to have our local public universities to be in the top 200 world class universities.

I'll resume my reading now.

1:08 PM

22 comments:

Totalcare said...

Just with word Ketuanan Melayu will not help Malay to be Tuan/Boss. They need to work hard and earn to be a boss / tuan.

For others, no need talk about this issue anymore. stop..stop and enought enought

Now a day, we need to work hard, and compete in the world to success. Want to be Tuan without hard working will remain the word only.

See what happen to Malaysia, we are behind others Asean cournty, coz every political leader too busy fighting on this issue, Just to have the word Ketuanan, do you think you can lead the word.

Anonymous said...

Supreme ?
My foot, if you are supreme why do you need the NEP ? Even with NEP why are you having to 'beg' for non Malays Oncologists to come back to serve in Malaysia with a population of 26 million. When Malaysia is only able to get 39 Oncologists (is it because Malaysia cannot 'pass' them in Malaysia) when the country need at least 200 ?
This number is no match even to Singapore with a population of only 4.5 million !
Also why do you need an Indian from Kerala, who wanted to get rid of the stimgma of his low caste Indian status discarded, to 'become'a Malay and to become your P.M. ?
Obama's African father married a white American but did not become a white American. Obama's and his children are still known as black American.
How then did Indian Mahathir and his children 'become' Malay ? His forefather came from India and was Indian and as such his descendants, Mahathir and his children, will die as Indians regardless of what the Malaysian laws may say . They can dress and live like one ,so can anyone, but cannot change their blood ever ! They still look and are Indians !
May be if they were to amend the laws Ketuanan Melayu will not be the majority in Bolehland and as a consequence will loose the NEP?
The Ketuanan is so disgraceful and shameful to claim the Mahathirs to be Malays !They are Indians !

amoker said...

Indeed, Ketuanan Melayu is the UMNO's apartheid based slogan and continue usage of it will divide and conquer. Who said it is not racist? Tell that to the 46 orang asal groups in Malaysia that may even precede the Malays ( or at the same time) exist.

For me, my main argument is that I have no TUAN except my God. Anybody can be my leader ( competency, achievement, integrity) but there is no tuan.

normsaid said...

Dear Anonymous who said "what's wrong with Ketuanan Melayu"...

If you have to ask that question, I suggest you read up a lot more on history, and don't forget to also read Sirah Nabi SAW. Regrettably, you are your own worst enemy, and sadly too, you were probably brought up with this mentality within your family and 'limited & restricted' social interactions.

And if you are true believer, doesn't & shouldn't this say it all: "... For Muslims in Malaysia, this saying by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is familiar: ‘Your descent is nothing to be proud of. Nor does it bring you superiority. O people! All of you are the children of Adam. You are like equal wheat grains in a bowl ... No one has any superiority over anyone else, except in religion and heedfulness. In order to consider someone a wicked person, it suffices that he humiliates other people, is mean with money, bad-tempered and exceeds the limits…’... ?

An excellent article and insight, Dr Azly. More is crtainly welcom. Well done.

Anonymous said...

Actually they got the spelling wrong. It is 'ketuWANGan Melayu' not Ketuanan Melayu.

Samsudin said...

Isu ini sebenarnya isu berat dan patut diperbincangkang di peringkat atasan yang melibatkan ulama, raja-raja, pemimpin-pemimpin dan mana-mana pihak yang perlu. Selagi ia tidak dibincangkan, selagi itulah ia akan dipertikaikan dan dibangkitkan. Kita harus menjaga keamanan negara di samping menjaga maruah agama Islam...

Anonymous said...

Will all the Ketuanan Melayu stop calling themselves as Malays please for crying loud. You are all from Indonesia or ,shall I say, except the half breeds like Mahathir and his children. They are 100% not Malays (not even 10%) because they are 'kings of the blind' !
The sons of this land are the Orang Aslis and the 'Head Hunters' from Borneo.
Do not call an Indian a Malay, find a real Malay and not an Indian. May be it is time you call all the Indonesians as Malays.
The Orang Aslis and the Head Hunters are the real Ketuanan Melayu of Malaysia!
I am well aware that the truth always hurt but that is the truth and will always remain the truth and why are you so fond of calling Indians as Malays ? Is it because they got 'brains' that you do not have ?

A true Malaysian said...

Due to systematic 'brain-wash', many of our Malay brothers have misconception of what 'wealth' means.

The lyrics of the song in Malay 'hasil mengalir, ke tangan yang lain' which carry the meaning 'wealth of this nation flows into the hands of others' have brain-washed many of our Malay brothers that 'hasil' or 'wealth' is there, but was flowed to other people's hands.

This has made many of the Malays do not think further that 'hasil' or 'wealth' should be 'created by putting in effort' and not 'always there'. Because of this, the 'hasil' that created by non-Malay through their own effort was seen as being flowed out from Malay to non-Malay.

But, blessing in disguise, there are still many Malay brothers that were not being brain-washed by BTN. There is still hope for our Malaysia.

Anonymous said...

The issue of the so-called 'Ketuanan Melayu' has evoked much controversy, some of which are unnecesary and uncalled for.Some arguments and comments have gone overboard with irrational and emotional outbursts.
If we look and analyse the issue with calmness, rationality and an open mind, we will find that it much ado about nothing.
On one side we have a group of Malays, mostly UMNO people and their henchmen who either believe, make believe or perceive that the political and economic position of the Malays and the position of Islam in this country are under threat with the results of the 12th General Election and the various demands and actions by some non-Malays. Within this group, there are two sub-groups. One, we can call the super-ultras and the ultras and the other, the more moderates. The ultras and the super ultras are bent upon imposing their understanding of the concept of Ketuanan Melayu as what it means literally - the Malays are the bosses in this country. If others are not happy with that they can ship out.The moderates try to explain that Ketuanan Melayu does not equal Malay supremacy. What it means according to them is Malaysians should not question and belittle the so-called Social Contract agreed upon by our forefathers where non-Malays recognised the position of the Malays as the indigenous people of Malaya then, the status and position of the Malay Rulers, the position of Islam and Bahasa Melayu. In return the Malays agreed for the acquisition of citizenship of Malaya by the non-Malays. These 'provisions' of the so-called social contract were later institutionalised in the Constitution of the Federation of Malaya and continued in the Malaysian Constitution.
On the other side are mainly the Non-Malays, ranging from opposition political parties, NGOs and bloggers and their visitors. As among the first group of people, there are moderates, ultras and super-ultras amongst them. Among the ultras and super-ultras, especially among the younger generation, the Ketuanan Melayu concept as espoused by both sub-groups among the Malays is totally rejected. To them the so-called Social Contract was only relevant then but not now and in the future. They even question and reject the very basis of the Social Contract where recognition is given to the claim by the Malays that they are indigenous to this country or at least they were the earliest organised settlers. People within this category say the Malays are immigrants from Indonesia, the real indigenous people being the Orang Aslis and Ibans. The super-ultras among them question the 'Malayness' of Malays of mixed parentage. The moderates among them do not question the basis of argument of the moderate Malays on Ketuanan Melayu but harp on the abuses, misuses, injustices and unfairness in the implementation of the relevant national policies.
Since so much has been
commented on the issue of who are the Malays and who qualify to be a Malay, a little discussion on this is necessary since quite a number of people seem to be confused leading to irrelevant and off-the mark views and arguments. Based on my readings and what I have learned in the university, there two 'kinds' of Malays. One, the anthropological Malays, the other, the political Malays. The anthropological Malays originate from a 'stock' of people termed as Austranesians who migrated southwards from Yunnan in China in two main waves. One was about 5,000 years ago when they migrated by sea to islands now known as the Philippines , downwards to Borneo, Sulawesi , Makasar and laterally to Ambon, Java and Sumatra. Some could have crossed the Straits of Malacca and entered the peninsula. The second wave was about 3,000 years ago when they move southward by land through Cambodia and Thailand and reached the Peninsula. These people are the ancient forefathers and 'mothers' of the present Austranesian sub-stocks of Luzons, the Visayans,the Moros, the Sulus and other peoples of the Philippines; the Bajaus, the Kadazans and Dusuns, the Rungus,the Ibans, the Melanaus , the Bidayuhs, the Muruts, the Penans and whathaveyou in Borneo, the Banjars, the Ambonese,the Maduras, the Javanese, the Sundas, the Riaus, the Baweans, the Minangs,the Achenese, the Bataks ,the Rawas , the Telu etc. etc. in Indonesia and the various present Malay groups in the Peninsula viz the Pattanis, the Kelantanese,the Kedahans and so on. Of course over the many many years there were many inter-marriages amongst them. Later with the coming of the Indians, the Arabs, the Thais, the Chinese and the 'Whites' there were intermarriages between peoples of the Austranesian ancestry with the newcomers. That is how you get Tun Mahathir and Kadir Sheikh Fadir ( plus Indian blood), the late Tun Hussein and his family (plus Turkish blood), Habibie and Syed Ali Al Attas ( plus Arab blood), Raja Petra and Harith Iskandar ( plus White blood), Aquino Fuad Stephens (plus Chinese blood) or Zainal Abiddin Hassan ( plus African blood). In conclusion, it can be said that the antropological Malays are descendants of the Austranesians who migrated from Yunnan and settled in lands which at one time was called the Malay Archipelago.
The political Malays are of two definitions. Before the advent of Western colonisation of the Malay Archipelago, anthropological and political Malays converged. The kingdoms of Majapahit in Java, Srivijaya in Sumatra and later the various Sultanates in the Philippines,Borneo, the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra claimed and were recognised as Malay kingdoms. There were a lot of movement of people amongst these kingdoms especially between those in Sumatra ( the Sultanates of Acheh, Riau, Bentan,Deli and so on ) and the Peninsula ( the Sultanates Malacca, of Kedah, Perak , Pattani, Pahang and Johor). There were no Immigration Departments then, so all these movements could be considered as movements of people from one room to another room within the same house.
With colonisation began the division of the hitherto freely 'mobile' anthropological Malays into specific compartments. Those under the Dutch rule evolved to become known as Indonesians and those ruled by the Spanish and later the Americans evolved to become Filipinos. Those ruled by the British evolved into the Malays in Peninsular Malaysia (some in Sabah and Sarawak) and Natives of Northern Borneo. Those in Brunei evolved into Brunei Malays. In the former Malaya and later Malaysia the term Malay is defined in the Constitution as a person who speaks Bahasa Melayu, Muslim and practises Malay culture (budaya). The definition of Malays is very loose and inclusive. If a Chinese converts to Islam, can be proven that he speaks Bahasa Melayu most of the time and can also be proven to practise Malay culture , he can claim that constitutionally he is a Malay. If a Malay speaks bahasa Melayu, Muslim in name only but practises western culture and lifestyle, is he a Malay constitutionally? Even the definition of Malay culture can be subjected to many interpretations. What are the criteria or yardsticks to be used in ascertaining whether a person practises Malay culture or not?.Furthermore this cultural thing changes over time.By the way it is under this loose Constitiutional definition of a Malay that Malays who are mixed parentage become Malays in Malaysia. So it is not nice to read snide and cynical comments of some people on the Malayness of Tun Mahathir, Pak Lah, Ahmad Ismail or Syed Hamid AlBar, because although anthropologically they may not be 'pure' Malays' but constituitionally they are Malays.
Now where do the Orang Aslis come in. It is an antropological fact that before the migration of the Austranesians, there were already local inhabitants in the Malay Archipelago.They were mostly the Negrito tribes who were found mostly in the northern part of the Peninsular Malaysia and in the Philippines(mostly in Negros Island) and the Semai tribes in the central part of Peninsular Malaysia and in Sumatra ( they call them the 'Semangs' there). The other Orang Asli tribes e.g. the Proto Malays are said to be descendants of the intermarriages between the Austranesians and the Semais.Winstedt in his book 'The History of the Malays' mentioned that the legendary Hang Tuah was a Jakun. Of the Orang Aslis, anthropologists claim that they also migrated from somewhere about 40,000 years ago. Before they came there were already natives in the Malay Archipelago who had settled much earlier but had moved on and settled in Papua New Guinea and Australia.
With all these elaborations (of course people are free to contest what I have put here) where do we place this controversy on the Ketuanan Melayu. To what extent backward in time do we need to go to establish the original people of Malaysia? If we were to believe the conclusion of these anthropologists, then the Abos of Australia should claim ownership of Malaysia. But even they too must have come from somewhere. It is illogical they they sprouted like mushrooms after a thunderstorm!
To me being a Muslim, I always look at things from the Islamic worldview . Allah says in the Holy Quran that the Earth does not belong to anybody but Him. Muslims are commanded to be his 'vicegerents' to do good things ( maaruf) and refrain from doing bad things (munkar). So if you have settled somewhere on this earth, make sure you take good care of the area, do not pollute it,be just and fair in distributing wealth from it, and so on.
I hope my view in your esteemed blog could contribute a positive discussion on this Ketuanan thing. Personally I prefer not to use this terminolgy even if what they want to mean by it is the concession on and recognition of some historical facts.'Tuan' in certain contexts can mean "boss' or 'master'. In colonial times we used to call all Mat Sallehs as Tuans although he might be a driver to a VIP. The British had been able to condition us so because they were the real bosses and masters. They dominated all spheres of life. Do the Malays really want to be like them? Not me.

Anonymous said...

The issue of the so-called 'Ketuanan Melayu' has evoked much controversy, some of which are unnecesary and uncalled for.Some arguments and comments have gone overboard with irrational and emotional outbursts.
If we look and analyse the issue with calmness, rationality and an open mind, we will find that it much ado about nothing.
On one side we have a group of Malays, mostly UMNO people and their henchmen who either believe, make believe or perceive that the political and economic position of the Malays and the position of Islam in this country are under threat with the results of the 12th General Election and the various demands and actions by some non-Malays. Within this group, there are two sub-groups. One, we can call the super-ultras and the ultras and the other, the more moderates. The ultras and the super ultras are bent upon imposing their understanding of the concept of Ketuanan Melayu as what it means literally - the Malays are the bosses in this country. If others are not happy with that they can ship out.The moderates try to explain that Ketuanan Melayu does not equal Malay supremacy. What it means according to them is Malaysians should not question and belittle the so-called Social Contract agreed upon by our forefathers where non-Malays recognised the position of the Malays as the indigenous people of Malaya then, the status and position of the Malay Rulers, the position of Islam and Bahasa Melayu. In return the Malays agreed for the acquisition of citizenship of Malaya by the non-Malays. These 'provisions' of the so-called social contract were later institutionalised in the Constitution of the Federation of Malaya and continued in the Malaysian Constitution.
On the other side are mainly the Non-Malays, ranging from opposition political parties, NGOs and bloggers and their visitors. As among the first group of people, there are moderates, ultras and super-ultras amongst them. Among the ultras and super-ultras, especially among the younger generation, the Ketuanan Melayu concept as espoused by both sub-groups among the Malays is totally rejected. To them the so-called Social Contract was only relevant then but not now and in the future. They even question and reject the very basis of the Social Contract where recognition is given to the claim by the Malays that they are indigenous to this country or at least they were the earliest organised settlers. People within this category say the Malays are immigrants from Indonesia, the real indigenous people being the Orang Aslis and Ibans. The super-ultras among them question the 'Malayness' of Malays of mixed parentage. The moderates among them do not question the basis of argument of the moderate Malays on Ketuanan Melayu but harp on the abuses, misuses, injustices and unfairness in the implementation of the relevant national policies.
Since so much has been
commented on the issue of who are the Malays and who qualify to be a Malay, a little discussion on this is necessary since quite a number of people seem to be confused leading to irrelevant and off-the mark views and arguments. Based on my readings and what I have learned in the university, there two 'kinds' of Malays. One, the anthropological Malays, the other, the political Malays. The anthropological Malays originate from a 'stock' of people termed as Austranesians who migrated southwards from Yunnan in China in two main waves. One was about 5,000 years ago when they migrated by sea to islands now known as the Philippines , downwards to Borneo, Sulawesi , Makasar and laterally to Ambon, Java and Sumatra. Some could have crossed the Straits of Malacca and entered the peninsula. The second wave was about 3,000 years ago when they move southward by land through Cambodia and Thailand and reached the Peninsula. These people are the ancient forefathers and 'mothers' of the present Austranesian sub-stocks of Luzons, the Visayans,the Moros, the Sulus and other peoples of the Philippines; the Bajaus, the Kadazans and Dusuns, the Rungus,the Ibans, the Melanaus , the Bidayuhs, the Muruts, the Penans and whathaveyou in Borneo, the Banjars, the Ambonese,the Maduras, the Javanese, the Sundas, the Riaus, the Baweans, the Minangs,the Achenese, the Bataks ,the Rawas , the Telu etc. etc. in Indonesia and the various present Malay groups in the Peninsula viz the Pattanis, the Kelantanese,the Kedahans and so on. Of course over the many many years there were many inter-marriages amongst them. Later with the coming of the Indians, the Arabs, the Thais, the Chinese and the 'Whites' there were intermarriages between peoples of the Austranesian ancestry with the newcomers. That is how you get Tun Mahathir and Kadir Sheikh Fadir ( plus Indian blood), the late Tun Hussein and his family (plus Turkish blood), Habibie and Syed Ali Al Attas ( plus Arab blood), Raja Petra and Harith Iskandar ( plus White blood), Aquino Fuad Stephens (plus Chinese blood) or Zainal Abiddin Hassan ( plus African blood). In conclusion, it can be said that the antropological Malays are descendants of the Austranesians who migrated from Yunnan and settled in lands which at one time was called the Malay Archipelago.
The political Malays are of two definitions. Before the advent of Western colonisation of the Malay Archipelago, anthropological and political Malays converged. The kingdoms of Majapahit in Java, Srivijaya in Sumatra and later the various Sultanates in the Philippines,Borneo, the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra claimed and were recognised as Malay kingdoms. There were a lot of movement of people amongst these kingdoms especially between those in Sumatra ( the Sultanates of Acheh, Riau, Bentan,Deli and so on ) and the Peninsula ( the Sultanates Malacca, of Kedah, Perak , Pattani, Pahang and Johor). There were no Immigration Departments then, so all these movements could be considered as movements of people from one room to another room within the same house.
With colonisation began the division of the hitherto freely 'mobile' anthropological Malays into specific compartments. Those under the Dutch rule evolved to become known as Indonesians and those ruled by the Spanish and later the Americans evolved to become Filipinos. Those ruled by the British evolved into the Malays in Peninsular Malaysia (some in Sabah and Sarawak) and Natives of Northern Borneo. Those in Brunei evolved into Brunei Malays. In the former Malaya and later Malaysia the term Malay is defined in the Constitution as a person who speaks Bahasa Melayu, Muslim and practises Malay culture (budaya). The definition of Malays is very loose and inclusive. If a Chinese converts to Islam, can be proven that he speaks Bahasa Melayu most of the time and can also be proven to practise Malay culture , he can claim that constitutionally he is a Malay. If a Malay speaks bahasa Melayu, Muslim in name only but practises western culture and lifestyle, is he a Malay constitutionally? Even the definition of Malay culture can be subjected to many interpretations. What are the criteria or yardsticks to be used in ascertaining whether a person practises Malay culture or not?.Furthermore this cultural thing changes over time.By the way it is under this loose Constitiutional definition of a Malay that Malays who are mixed parentage become Malays in Malaysia. So it is not nice to read snide and cynical comments of some people on the Malayness of Tun Mahathir, Pak Lah, Ahmad Ismail or Syed Hamid AlBar, because although anthropologically they may not be 'pure' Malays' but constituitionally they are Malays.
Now where do the Orang Aslis come in. It is an antropological fact that before the migration of the Austranesians, there were already local inhabitants in the Malay Archipelago.They were mostly the Negrito tribes who were found mostly in the northern part of the Peninsular Malaysia and in the Philippines(mostly in Negros Island) and the Semai tribes in the central part of Peninsular Malaysia and in Sumatra ( they call them the 'Semangs' there). The other Orang Asli tribes e.g. the Proto Malays are said to be descendants of the intermarriages between the Austranesians and the Semais.Winstedt in his book 'The History of the Malays' mentioned that the legendary Hang Tuah was a Jakun. Of the Orang Aslis, anthropologists claim that they also migrated from somewhere about 40,000 years ago. Before they came there were already natives in the Malay Archipelago who had settled much earlier but had moved on and settled in Papua New Guinea and Australia.
With all these elaborations (of course people are free to contest what I have put here) where do we place this controversy on the Ketuanan Melayu. To what extent backward in time do we need to go to establish the original people of Malaysia? If we were to believe the conclusion of these anthropologists, then the Abos of Australia should claim ownership of Malaysia. But even they too must have come from somewhere. It is illogical they they sprouted like mushrooms after a thunderstorm!
To me being a Muslim, I always look at things from the Islamic worldview . Allah says in the Holy Quran that the Earth does not belong to anybody but Him. Muslims are commanded to be his 'vicegerents' to do good things ( maaruf) and refrain from doing bad things (munkar). So if you have settled somewhere on this earth, make sure you take good care of the area, do not pollute it,be just and fair in distributing wealth from it, and so on.
I hope my view in your esteemed blog could contribute a positive discussion on this Ketuanan thing. Personally I prefer not to use this terminolgy even if what they want to mean by it is the concession on and recognition of some historical facts.'Tuan' in certain contexts can mean "boss' or 'master'. In colonial times we used to call all Mat Sallehs as Tuans although he might be a driver to a VIP. The British had been able to condition us so because they were the real bosses and masters. They dominated all spheres of life. Do the Malays really want to be like them? Not me.

Anonymous said...

kepada dr.
apa sebenarnya masalah dengan ketuanan melayu. saya sebagai orang melayu tidak pernah menindas mana-mana kawan saya yang berbangsa india dan cina. jangan disebabkan segelintir kumpulan melayu yang menyalahgunakan kuasa menjadikan melayu itu dilabelkan sebagai diktator. Dr mungkin orang yang berpendidikan dan senang. tapi saya rasa dr. tak baca betul-betul buku Dilema Melayu. Dr. ada menulis tentang hadis-hadis dan merujuk mengenai agama islam dalam penulisan dr. tetapi harus diingatkan sebagai orang isalam sesuatu hadis itu tidak boleh diambil maknanya secara lahiriah sahaja. haruslah merujuk kepada tempat dan masa hadis itu dinyatakan. Dr. mungkin fasih fasal falsafah barat, tetapi ini bukan barat.

Anonymous said...

Malaysia is a Federation of Malay Sultanates or for some states, used to be or used to be part of Malay Sultanates i.e Malacca, Penang(Kedah),Sarawak(Brunei), Sabah(Sulu/Brunei). The Sultans are the Landlords of their respective states and also a sovereign and absolute rulers. (think of Duchies or kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Closer to home, Brunei). When the Malay Sultans agreed to join the Federation (one of them refused i.e Brunei) they surrender some of their rights and powers to the federations or to the state executives. (i.e lands matter, administration of judiciary etc) and retained some i.e Matters of Islams and Malay's adat. Further they appoint their Royal brother to be the YD Pertuan Agong as their representative in the Federation

The Federation of Malaysia is Democratic. The Sultanate is not.
Imagine some day Perak decided to part herself from the Federation of Malaysia. The Sultan of Perak will be the absolute ruler. There will be no more Pakatan Rakyat government , no more UMNO, no more DAP or whatever in State of Perak. Only the Sultan remains. Now in this situation who holds the ketuanan? the Sultans off course. And please dont tell me the Sultan is actually is a chinese or Indian or African Perakian or a Punjabi or Mamak from Kerala .. lol...

Imagine further Sultan of Kedah decided to claim back Penang or to make matters more interesting the rightful descendants of Sultan of Malacca decided to claim back Malacca.

Think people. This is what ketuanan Melayu really means. Ketuanan Melayu is not about Malay Supremacy. A racial supremacy is an alien concept to the Malays as Malay race is relatively a young race and havent yet reached their peak of civilization or become the so called master race. For example like the ancient Chinese. To them everyone else are barbarians. May be its still seeping through the Chinese world view nowadays but who knows for sure?? Like wise the Caucasian through their Greeks and romans Legacy.

The malays just claimed the ownerships of Tanah Melayu through these Sultans. Its about the the ownership of Tanah Melayu and the identity of the Malays. As long as the Sultans exist, there will be always the Ketuanan Melayu. And in Malay Sultante there's no serf, sub-citizen, slave may be but not in the racial context even the Malays themselves can be slaves but that's a different story.

By joining the Federation of Malaysia the malays have sacrificed a lot. To deny this Ketuanan Melayu is the greatest injustice done to the Malays. The Malays will be become like the Jews. Landless. May be the Malays can dig up some obscure pages of Malay history and literature saying that China or India is the promised land for the Malays and migrate en-masse to either one.

And dear Dr. Azly with all the respect of your doctorate the hadith was quoted out of context. It talks about about Arab Supremacy not about Arabs ownership of Hijaz and the surroundings.

id.rus said...

ketuanan melayu is an oxymoron: a malay is a muslim; a muslim cannot be superior save in one aspect: taqwa or God-consciousness. therefore everyone is equal before God save for the muttaqin or muslim with taqwa who ranks higher. so all these talk about KM is not going to get us anywhere but downhill. there is only one possible area of KM or to be more precise MALAY DOMINANCE not SUPERIORITY. Malays being the most dominant race demographically have the right to lead, just as the chinese in singapore (ketuanan cina) and hindus in india (ketuanan hindu) and also white men in USA (ketuanan kulit putih). by sheer numbers, not superiority.

jazrul said...

tak baik kita mainkan soal ketuanan melayu ni

web design

jazrul said...

ye soal agama tak elok main2
sprinkler system

Eric said...

@Anonymous, 2:07 AM

your points sound a lot like some infamous anonymous pro-UMNO blogs. Just like these, your affirmations lack any concrete evidence.
For instance:

"used to be part of Malay Sultanates"
many of these states used to belong to Thailand (most Northern states in the Semenanjung) or the British (Penang, Malacca), does it constitute a claim for these countries to invade Malaysia to get these back?

"The Sultan of Perak will be the absolute ruler."
You appear to have skipped this pesky document called a constitution. Though much maligned quite a few times by the leftover of the Malaysian Judiciary lately, it is there to stay.

"relatively a young race and havent yet reached their peak of civilization or become the so called master race"
Would you care to document this daring assertion of yours? Since you are at it can you please define the concept of race? Human race is it? Or are you talking about ethnicity (way different you see).

"The Malays will be become like the Jews."
Same here. Is Malaysia being under Roman threat?

It is nice you invite others to think, please do the same too! Then you may start to make some sense.

1 Black Malaysia. Democracy Now. Elections First.

Anonymous said...

If the malays are true to the teachings of islam then the subject of ketuanan shouldn't arise. Just work hard lah.

fauzi said...

agama sesiapa tak suka di permainkan


malaysia seo

fauzi said...

semua perlu memelihra agama masing2

malaysia seo

Anonymous said...

Sir,,,what is the meaning of ketuanan melayu at first? ok before that, what is the meaning of tuan, if u intepret it master , i can tell u that u are very very wrong. The word tuan has high literalistic value in malay, if u look on malay poetry u will find that the word tuan is not necessary refer to master, but it applies to any individual n even on woman. So i hope u can made ur research more...
Oh BTW...
1/History has show that everyone in great civilirization will eager to fight or even war for authority n power because through this authority n power, we can implement what we desire through our way, we can shape our own history. It is funny to look that some malay are not interested on these, does malay have no vision?
2/ Using religion for arguement is CHEAP!! Because koranic verse can be simply manipulated for individual gain as how nonmuslim manipulate koranic verse to label muslim terrorist

jazrul said...

agama melambang kan bangsa
malaysia web design

Anonymous said...

Ketuanan Melayu is rubbish. Those who is proud of this ketuanan melayu is the high ranking malay in political party and elite. But the poor
malay in kampung area live in poverty.

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