On Thursday Adam Lambert performed his first concert in Malaysia. Similarly to other artists before him, his visit was highly criticized. But this time it is not because of his performance, but because of his lifestyle. It is also not a wonder that the most vocal of the protests came from PAS.
I’m no stranger to concerts. I’ve been to my share of concerts by western musician and had honestly enjoyed myself. So you could trust me that what I’m going to say is purely rational, not emotional.
When PAS protested, they have their reasons. Maybe not everyone agrees with them, but on what basis, may I ask, do these people counter-protest PAS? PAS stands for Islam. Obviously they do not have a lot of fans, but if Islam, or PAS, compromises to the demands of the people who do not know what’s up in the sky and below in the ground, then the religion defeats its purpose as a mechanism to keep society peaceful.
I am fully aware that Adam Lambert took it to his twitter account to say that he finds the commotion uncalled for because he is not preaching for gay rights, but solely for the rights to love. Sounds acceptable to a liberal’s mind. But if the liberals want their rights to be respected, they need to be sensitive of Malaysia’s Muslim-majority population and what these people believe in. I know Malaysia is a multi-cultural, multi-religious country, and those who do not believe in the teachings of Islam should have the freedom to lead their life without the constraints of Islamic teachings – including their freedom to go to concerts. But what saddens me is when MUSLIMS question the actions of PAS members, and are embarrassed by how the western media portrays Malaysia.
Let me start with the western perception. Borrowing from Plato (an obviously non-Muslim philosopher), we should NOT care about what the masses think because the masses DO NOT KNOW what is the right thing in the first place. They (the media) do not have knowledge of what’s beyond their senses. So who cares if TMZ ridicules Malaysia? First of all, they do not hold the same values as us, and second of all, their words do not matter except to those who pay attention! And those who pay attention to entertainment news make up a very small number of the population.
My second argument is a much simpler one. If as a Muslim you are embarrassed of the RIGHT thing, then don’t call yourself one. It is more embarrassing that when Facebook has a “Draw Muhammad” competition you called them insensitive, but when at home you want to be the bully and call other Malaysians embarrassing. You are the embarrassment for you speak out of ignorance, and do not have a coherent opinion.
Finally, I repeat that I am a concert-goer myself. If Adam Lambert comes to Pittsburgh, I’ll be among the first to get his tickets. Not to mention that I have a couple of friends who are gay, therefore I am not homophobic. I acknowledge my friends for who they are, without publicly condemning or accepting their lifestyle. That is between them and the God they believe in. All I know is that my knowledge is limited and I do not intend to act all-knowingly on such fragile ground.
Thus neither should you.