How police reports filed in Malaysia and Israel Can Help All Governments and Countries
It starts with the source of this journey. Some of you would say the cause of this story starts more than 1000 years ago in the Arabian Peninsula. The story behind these police reports exposing a ground-breaking investigation to improve the world and billions of lives permanently began in a very different country, within Southeast Asia.
Southeast Asia is key to realising why all non-Muslims and more than 80% of Muslims today don’t know 2 facts affecting billions of lives every day.
Many people living in the Middle East, USA or European countries know very little about Southeast Asia and its complexities. Myanmar has more than 100 indigenous groups. The complex history of Cambodia is much more than the period usually labeled as “French Indochina” by foreigners.
How many people born in Southeast Asia are vocal and intellectually capable to fundamentally change the region or this world, which would be unfamiliar to many Americans beyond an article from CNN or Fox News? How many countries in Southeast Asia respect civic-minded freedom of speech which is fundamental to maturing a society, civil rights, and the right to criticise governments or problems within countries?
Born in Southeast Asia, the founder of Shift The Script and More Than Murtadd has travelled extensively by the age of 35 to countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Japan, New Zealand, Finland, England, USA, and Cambodia. Australia cemented the important years of tertiary education, which was visited somewhat regularly growing up.
Most families in Southeast Asia do not have a home library of more than 800 books for a little child to grow up with. How many children in this world have 2 parents, each of whom can speak at least 3 languages and 2 dialects?
How many families in Southeast Asia allow a child to grow up and question and develop their own ideas and opinions while digesting literary sources and media sources in more than one language, from all over the world, about topics such as religion and philosophy and history? How many children in Southeast Asia grew up interacting with people from many countries all over the world and as a result, are comfortably adept among foreigners no matter where they go?
How many children in Southeast Asia have the experience of an education grounded in sciences while able to appreciate the humanities, such as literature? How many children in Southeast Asia studied in the top school for pre-tertiary education, and obtained a score for a philosophical-science essay never achieved before among fiercely-competitive and highly-achieving peers, in the history of a prestigious local school being more than 100 years old? How many children would choose a project about the deceased King Hussein of Jordan as a person of interest, before the age of 15?
Nietzsche. Confucius. Plato. Shakespeare. Homer. Rumi. Hannah Arendt. Easy access to their works, easy to grasp, and vital in seeing flaws within their works for developing healthy scepticism with caution, especially Confucius. Guided by a respected and well-loved professor responsible for post-graduate students within a certain field in Australia, who strongly encouraged an uncertain undergraduate student to consider research as a career after graduation, and a willing source for character references?
This background in Southeast Asia is denied to more than 90% of children born in that region with parents and grandparents also from that region, which can lead to a child experiencing cruel ignorant remarks by some local children and adults about certain aspects of a physical appearance mocked as unusual, while growing up.
Many people automatically project certain views, based on their personal experiences and assumptions, unaware of their ignorance. Regardless of where you were born, how many of you can claim to experience all the above? How many of you can claim to understand important varying society-state factors and history affecting Muslims and non-Muslims living in Singapore, Malaysia, USA and Israel?
More than 5 years ago, I met some people in a group. They were curious, seeking like-minded people, uncertain, disagree with each other on an issue close to their hearts and minds, and very nice. Most of them are Muslims. One of them tried to convert me to Sunni Islam. Most of them kept a hands-off approach.
The attempt to convince me was a failure. For a short while, I indulged my idealism about the positive opinions of many people and positive sources online. But I became seriously curious, applying years of enjoying literature and studying sciences such as biology and chemistry and physics, with years of analysing news and politics, sharpened by certain research skills and an awareness of translation issues due to speaking at least 3 languages.
I wanted the original sources. I wanted to know the structure and definitions that have more than 1.3 billion people united in certain criteria for this topic, but so hugely divided on many other issues for this topic. I wanted to know how this was taught. I wanted to know how the students could justify any methods of deriving truth from so many different opinions. And as per my usual habit, I wanted to determine if people were sufficiently informed and understood what they were espousing. This requires being able to ascertain the extent of intellectual integrity of any teachers involved. I have many questions.
The extent of specificity in unity struck me as unusual, after noting the amount and extent of details needed from a scholarship to teach Sunni Muslims how to perform different prayers and ablutions, and the significance of each step. Despite different schools of Islamic jurisprudence, how is it possible for a majority of more than 1.4 billion Muslims maintaining unity in the mosques, yet have hugely different interpretations of one book?
The girl who wanted to convert me confirmed certain facts, when she lent me a book that she thought would convince me. None of the group members had my educational background or abilities. The book from Saudi Arabia by a certain scholar was from her uncle in Pakistan. She had not read most of the book, clearly not intended for people such as myself.
There was a basic united structure to the scholarship of Sunni Islam. Vague, but based on finding the concrete consistency of scholars and the classification of certain oral traditions, extending back more than 1000 years. The obviously-misleading embryology chapters on initial reading also using authentic oral traditions had been translated quite differently from the Arabic originals, strengthening my suspicions.
Certain words not translated stood out like a neon sign in complete darkness. A book fluent in English and Arabic choosing not to translate certain oral traditions accurately? Automatically prevents any trust in the editors and the author. I decided to do research, both for ancient scholarship references alongside modern teaching examples in print and video. I found communities which uploaded books I needed.
I found certain teachers of a certain standard from different countries living in certain countries who felt no qualms about using social media to upload certain information. Their information is completely different in private from what is officially classified as truth by many English news articles and journalists writing in English. They shared certain consistencies extending back more than 1000 years.
After piecing together certain vital connections based on one of the principles of faith fundamental to all Sunni Muslims who believe in 5 pillars of Al-Islam and six principles of faith, I finally found certain pages of one book.
On a hunch, I asked the friend who had introduced me to the girl who had lent me a certain book. I asked if he had a certain book from the same publishing company. And he did. He had not finished reading his book, and he also had difficulties in school.
The book I had borrowed was not written by a mere scholar. This scholar in Saudi Arabia with an illustrious history of teaching and preaching at mosques in Saudi Arabia was making very specific claims in a 2010 book based on teaching others about one of the 6 pillars of faith, published for many countries including the USA.
The giant red elephant impossible to ignore was his emphasis on the obligatory primary importance for all Sunni Muslims about this important piece of scholarship faithfully preserved and conveyed without alterations from more than 1000 years ago and with references extending to the earliest Muslims, but not taught worldwide and publicly by the people responsible for doing so.
The claims and reality were impossible to reconcile. The pages were impossible to ignore. It would be impossible to teach this giant red elephant in many countries outside the Middle East such as Southeast Asia or Europe, or the people who had preserved the scholarship for more than 1000 years would lose all authority they gained from the very same scholarship, because the structure and details of fundamental scholarship had been thoroughly invalidated by modern basic science.
I was faced with a difficult choice: If you have ground-breaking information the world needs to know and you are the only one who can navigate the obstacles, what will you do?
Such a complex topic must be simplified. It must be presented in a digestible manner. It needs action online and offline. It needs a plan, which can contain mistakes. It needs the appropriate language, to convey accurate context and nuances, if you value professionalism in writing and research.
Since this is obviously a pioneering effort needing constant refinement, it will consume years of time to be ready for the world. It is important to ascertain several primary factors instead of being instant certainty which shamefully infects many journalists and social media, when it comes to complex topics and making conclusions. What is the vehicle to facilitate the findings? How do I make it happen? How much will it cost? Where are the people I need, to make this happen?
Shift The Script has been spammed by crusaders from extreme ends who display obvious ignorance and an inability to read or analyse. We are pressured to classify all Muslims as evil. We are pressured not to mention anything negative, otherwise we are labelled as hateful and Islamophobic.
People helping Shift The Script are assumed to only belong to one country or one region, and the assumptions about race and region by those accusing Shift The Script of being racist are so condescendingly ignorant that I find it insulting.
We stand firm on our resistance to falsify conclusions and say what someone wants, simply because people online who refuse to read what we have presented want to play overgeneralised identity politics, while refusing to be fair or intelligent. And many do not read beyond 100 words. How can you please people who demand to know everything about an investigation spanning more than 300 pages and 4 years, in less than 100 words?
World leaders need to be informed, regardless of what you believe about them. They are responsible for their countries. If your dislike for a world leader inspires you to deny them vital information and attack projects that help people such as Nasrin Sotoudeh and Raif Badawi, while you ignore the responsibilities of all world leaders being more able to govern properly with accurate vital information? Such people are part of the problem.
The evidence of carefully-collated and dissected research should form your conclusions for such a complex topic, if you believe you know what you are talking about. The evidence completely validates the conclusion: More than 80% of Muslims today and all non-Muslims in many countries today do not know 2 fundamental facts from more than 1000 years ago, which should be taught together today. Reality in many countries worldwide obviously attests to that, every day.
Once you know the first fact alongside evidence and context, the significance is hard for many people to believe. Once you understand the second fact? It is almost as hard to stomach as the first fact, because all governments still unknowingly making the same mistakes, daily. Once you understand both facts together? You will realise why they are not taught together by certain people, once a certain central tenet is pointed out to you.
As you read this, every government today cannot make sufficiently informed decisions in many fields, because the governments and world leaders have been denied vital information. 84,000 people across 66 countries were murdered in one year, due to 121 groups united in a certain ideology. These terrorists are also denied vital information of 2 facts from more than 1000 years ago and with the first fact officially acknowledged by the world, they would realise how they have been misled.
Muslims in 4 countries prove the crusaders of extremes and many people wrong. Singapore, Malaysia, Israel and USA have very different approaches, when it comes to Islam. Understanding how these 4 countries are different is crucial.
The USA has the greatest freedom of speech and freedom of choice for practising faiths, granted by a country to its citizens. In such a large country of more than 300 million people, it is impossible to monitor and regulate everyone, which can be a double-edged sword when it comes to terrorists causing misery to people in the USA.
However, the USA has many freedoms to be cherished, and people who live in such a country and do not travel to many other parts of the world do not realise many restrictions others must live with, especially if you do not read or listen, and love to exercise your opinions online and offline. Singapore is very different from the USA in certain aspects. Muslims of any division of Islam have many freedoms in the USA to do what you want.
If Muslims and non-Muslims in the USA were to ask an associate professor at Nanyang Technological University, he would use a 2014 Pew Research article about Singapore being the most religiously diverse country, among 232 countries. And then he could proceed to educate you about Sunni Islam being finely-regulated, within Singapore by the government.
All Friday sermons must be vetted and approved before they can be taught in mosques. All teachers teaching any aspects of Sunni Islam must be properly registered. The extent of regulations is succinctly summarised by the professor expressing certain opinions, which also reveals certain details about the topic the professor has not realised.
Many Singaporean Muslims are good people who may not be aware of how thoroughly they are protected by the Singapore government. If you classify all Muslims in the world as intentionally evil people in the world? You are obviously wrong, and not only because of Singapore. If Singaporean Muslims believe they have the same similarities as other Muslims in other countries, they are also wrong. Singapore is a finely-regulated country, seen in the many ways the government tries to combat issues, such as fake news.
In a recent joint-leaders retreat with the Malaysian Prime Minister, the Singapore Prime Minister spoke about the Protection From Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill, which needs a second reading before being officially enacted. With regards to its wording inspiring criticism from multiple sources in many countries including local views, he said, “What we have done has worked for Singapore, it is our objective to continue to do things which will work for Singapore.”
Singapore shares certain important fundamental similarities and differences with Malaysia. Malaysia has a unique federal constitution enshrining a constitutional monarchy. Of more than 20 countries in the world with Islam in the Constitution, Malaysia’s Constitution and unique history provides all Malaysians with certain protections. The majority of Muslims in Malaysia and Singapore are Sunni Muslims who adhere to the same school of Islamic jurisprudence. Singapore’s Muslims are a minority, and Muslims in Malaysia are a majority.
Israel is quite different from Singapore and Malaysia, while also uniquely different from the USA. In a complex reality where different people are suffering, it is not fair to pigeonhole all Arabs or all Jews. Looking at official statistics for an issue is important, but so is remembering not to over-generalise. Israeli Arab Sarah Zoabi identifies as a Muslim Zionist, and proudly defends Israel. Her son Muhammad Zoabi is friends with a British Jew, and their story is heart-warming. Haneen Zoabi is a relative and former Knesset representative, and holds very different views from Sarah and Muhammad.
Whether it is Malaysia, USA, Israel or other countries, people and governments need to know about this investigation, and the 2 facts. Urgent Love Letters have been written to world leaders. Shift The Script presents More Than Murtadd, which is more than 300 pages of details. Start with 6 quotes and one question, then proceed to Our Mission and Press Release, before going on to Critical Summaries 3 and 4. The first fact and its evidence must be grasped before the second fact, and before all else.
Shift The Script needs help informing governments and world leaders. Accurate coverage by the media is necessary. People speaking out and informing their representatives is necessary. 99% of people today urgently need to know, including the Sultan of Brunei and POTUS Donald Trump.
Will you help Shift The Script change the world for the better and save people such as the Yazidi women and children still enslaved by terrorists, or will you turn away? If wanting to say whatever you want and not reading is more important than the ghastly reality of more than 84,000 people dying in 2017 because of 2 facts not being known?
Where is your humanity and intelligence?