Thursday, 12 February 2009

More Fatwas Please

I’m following with interest the edifying ‘fatwas’ recently issued by our venerable old men of MUI and to be honest, rather disappointed that they did not come up with injunctions that are a lot more relevant, tougher and pertinent to what this country really needs.

Take for example the ‘fatwa’ against smoking. While I fully agree that pregnant women and children should not smoke, there should be a fatwa against men or anyone else for that matter who smoke in front of pregnant women and children with the crime punishable by stoning, while those who smoke in public places should have their index and middle fingers lopped off so they would not be able to repeat their disgusting offence ever again.

Smokers not only pollute our lungs and contribute to global warming not to mention make my clothes smell like an ashtray, but they are evil incarnate and followers of Lucifer who will no doubt adjust very nicely to being roasted in the flames of Inferno.

As to the fatwa on chanting and meditating during yoga, I was hoping for a full ban on the whole exercise altogether along with Pilates, Ballroom Dancing and Karaoke, as my failure to perform any of these activities remotely well have greatly weakened my faith in a just and fair deity. I mean, that Down Dog and Sun Salute are not as easy as the Yoginis make them out to be. And what have I done to possess a singing voice akin to a cat slowly being skinned alive?

Also deserving eternal damnation, along with not voting during election time, is fatwas against aspiring politicians giving empty promises during the campaign period, lying about their wealth, high-school diplomas and how many houses and illegitimate offspring they have as well as sporting bad haircuts, cheesy smiles and singing in public. These sinners must be reminded that Heaven has no place for them, their greasy looks and their god-awful voices.

On top of that I would also suggest a fatwa against public officials for snoring on the job, rambling speeches and incoherent reasoning as these actions form a serious threat to our faith in God and Democracy and deserve nothing less than Purgatorial retribution.

Fortunately if I’m not mistaken there are already fatwas against corruption and watching gossip infotainments on the television. But why stop at the obvious?

One ‘fatwa’ which is long overdue in this country is against people who refuse to queue up and who, feigning ignorance and lack of peripheral vision, insist on pushing their way to the front of the line especially in public toilets. For these troglodytes the fear of hell fire and eternal torture is not enough for them. They should be thrown the lions along with the heretics and apostates.

As a matter of fact, thinking about it, there should be fatwas for all forms of bad manners and uncivilized behaviour in this republic. Foremost that come to mind, other than the inherent inability to stand patiently in line, are: spitting, gobbing and throwing rubbish out of car windows; taking off one’s shoes on airplanes; scratching one’s crotch; burping, chewing with the mouth open, slurping and making other unpleasant noises while eating and drinking.

Other annoying and morally deficit behaviours include staring, eavesdropping, gossiping in high-pitched voices, not saying what one really mean and not minding one’s business as these vices are not only insidious but they are traits inherited directly from that Serpent in The Garden.

And while we’re at it, I really think there should be a fatwa on personal hygiene and cleanliness. After all cleanliness is next to godliness and it’s not for the good of God’s health that this homily refers to. Yes, those MUI wise men should ensure that when their flock leave their respective homes they are free from the evils of body odour, bad breath and dirty fingernails that are sure signs of moral degenerateness and mental corruption.

Finally there really should be a fatwa against pathetic old men who pretend they’re clever, venerated wise men ordained by God but who could only come up with a bunch of the most ridiculous and pointless rulings that is an insult not only to the Almighty but to the intelligence he’s bestowed us with. (@Desi Anwar: First appeared in The Jakarta Globe)

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