Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Everything but an Infidel

An "infidel".

That is the latest alleged characteristic pasted on the Filipino national hero Jose Rizal. Whether true or not, the fact is that a Tweet was published as saying that Dr. Rizal was "an infidel".

The original Tweet actually said:
"@BikMama2U: @datozainab Biasala tu, @anwaribrahim mmg pro-Kristian, pemuja Jose Rizal si Melayu kafir tu! Oh ya, jgn lupa..."
The user @BikMama2U was allegedly claimed by user @datozainab (the wife of the Malaysian ambassador to the Philippines) to be a fake account. Whether this is true or not, the Tweet is very offensive to any Filipino. Why? Because the Tweet translates as:
"@BikMama2U: @datozainab... That’s usual. Anwar Ibrahim is clearly pro-Christian, an admirer of Jose Rizal the infidel Malay! Oh yes, don’t forget..." *
I am not quite sure at which angle I should approach this very sensitive issue. On the one hand, my Filipino blood boils at this rude, inappropriate, and very classless description of a man who helped (in a huge way) bring down an oppressive and unjust Spanish regime more than a hundred years ago. On the other hand, I did spend almost half of my life so far in Malaysia, and my culture and sense is a mix of the two. I do know that racist comments can fly in a very off-hand manner in Malaysia (my Malaysian readers, please do not deny this.. not too vehemently, in any case) but for a racist comment to even be related to an envoy to the Philippines is perhaps a little too much.

As Filipinos, how should we react to this? We are a little notorious for our tempers (admit it; how many of us have witnessed hot-headed violence during inuman sessions?) and therefore, I think it would be wise - not to mention prudent - for us to remain more or less neutral in our reactions. Dato Zainab deserves the benefit of a doubt, as there is a chance that she was really not involved in smearing the good name of Dr. Rizal, and was merely tagged in a bad Tweet. I am sure that there will be due process in investigating this issue because 1.) this is a very sensitive and important topic for Filipinos, especially from a nationalistic, patriotic, and cultural angle, and 2.) because we expect foreign envoys and their families to always hold the utmost and utter respect towards the icons of their host countries. I can only pray that this issue does not get blown out of proportion, and that cooler and more reasonable heads prevail during this incident.

* Anwar Ibrahim was a former candidate for the Prime Minister position until a sex scandal ruined his otherwise illustrious career. He is currently back in the Malaysian political sphere and is currently the leader of the Opposition.

Full article and source here.


  1. I say death by burning to this person ... Oops, I guess that's just my Filipino hot-headeness speaking through me! LOL.

  2. You don't wanna know what I thought of :) LOL. Anyway, my head cleared up after a couple of minutes (which led me to blog it).