Faith and the state July 25, 2005Posted by elizabethwong in Columns, Human Rights, Islam in Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Politics, Southeast Asia, Writings.
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There is something about faith that drives believers to, on the one hand, astound the world with what the human spirit is capable of accomplishing, and on the other, commit the most heinous of crimes in the name of their religions.
Take for instance, the religious inspired monuments and objets d’art molded with mere mortal hands. At the other end of the spectrum, there were the ‘holy’ wars which saw the slaughter of men, women and children.
We needn’t go out of the country to witness this paradox. Here we have the Ayah Pin commune in Jerteh, Terengganu. Many had traveled to this little village to seek whatever they were looking for, and found it. Some were hardened heroin addicts for 20 years who were able to kick their habit there. Some wanted to heighten their spiritual growth and understanding, though not discarding their personal faith. There are others, for example, a family of three who, without any musical training, were able to compose songs out of thin air.