Social change is contagious. Just as peoples movements, street rallies pushing for reforms and even revolutions in a corner of the world can spread through a region, so can changes in norms and social mores spread to farflung areas.
In fact, more Bruneians need to be aware that for years we have been facing a far more serious flooding than the recent floods in Tutong.
We are standing at the foot of a giant tidal wave of secularism, liberalism and pluralism, lashing at us with a force that may shake the foundation of the Islamic values of our nation.
We have every reason to be concerned and every right to be vigilant because the wave gathers here from all corners of the world, ready to pour into this tiny Muslim state the various lifestyles that can only be described as vile.
Through the Internet, the social media and various sophisticated IT gadgets, a lifestyle somewhere in the Western hemisphere is easily copied and pasted to this region. Through the same means, changes to the social makeups of our closest neighbours can easily reach us and leave their marks here.
A Canadian writer says: A few decades ago, homo-sexuality was considered a disorder, whereas now, anyone who holds this view is considered to be suffering from a disorder called homophobia. This new classification puts such an individual in the same category as racists.
A few decades ago, people would be ashamed of having homosexual relatives. Today, not only do homosexuals appear with frightening regularity in movies, television sitcoms or other entertainment programmes, some people now think that it is politically correct to befriend and support them.
Far from here, United States President Barrack Obama a self-described committed Christian recently enacted a new policy that would allow openly homosexual women and men to serve in the military.
The applause and fanfare accompanying the signing of the policy would have us believe that it has been a virtuous deed, when in fact it has been yet another evidence of how quickly does the virus spread.
The number of states that legalise marriage and civil unions for homosexuals has increased. In 2004, Vermont Governor Howard Dean signed a bill for same-sex civil union saying, If God had thought homosexuality is a sin, he would not have created gay people.
How long will it take before more countries are adopting the same thinking? Not long at all. In fact, some already are.
One of our neighbours, for instance, has for the past 15 years or so become the site of a massive campaign for homosexuality. In this country, where Muslims are the majority, there is a chain of Islamic universities that have in fact become the hotbed of secularism, pluralism and liberalism.
Their students of School of Syariah, for instance, organised conferences and discussions and wrote books in support of homosexuality. One of those books contended that Prophet Luth alayhissalam hated homosexuality for no reason but his personal disappointment because the men of his town preferred their same-sex relationships and rejected his offer to marry them to his own daughters.
One of their professors of those students declared boldly that homosexuals and homosexuality are natural and created by God, thus permissible within Islam. The professor quoted moderate Muslim scholars that were not identified as saying, there were no reasons to reject homosexuals under Islam, and that the condemnation of homosexuals and homosexuality by mainstream ulema and many other Muslims was based on narrow-minded interpretations of Islamic teachings.
The same professor contended that there is no difference between lesbians and nonlesbians. In the eyes of God, people are valued based on their piety.
Also in this neighbouring country, media powerhouses race to give voice to the marginalised namely the homosexuals and their patrons from among various organisations.
The largest publishing company, for example, acted as the patron and sponsor of a gay film festival while the second largest provides space in its newspapers for liberal and secular writers to disseminate their support for homosexuality.
How do we stem the spread of vile lifestyles such as homosexuality? How do we resist the flood of thinking and actions that will endanger our faith?
Taking away our childrens access to the Internet and cable TV which actually is a good idea because even parents in the most IT-saturated regions in the West are realising that too much TV and Internet is bad for kids may not provide the whole answer.
A return to Al-Quran and the whole Prophetic way of life is the answer, but parents will have to do a lot of homework of their own to help our young people resist the spread of the virus.
by Muhammad Abdullah, Bandar Seri Begawan
Source – The Brunei Times