There is one similarity between the Malays and the Jews, id est both races were nostalgic. Glories of the Malacca’s Malay sultanate and the history of ancient Malay empire were taught as a compulsory subject to teenagers who studied the historical text as early as thirteen. The phrase “Takkan Melayu Hilang Di Dunia” (Never Shall the Malays Vanish from the Face of Earth) was chewed enthusiastically by Malay kids since the moment they were exposed on races, supremacy and honor.

The Jews, in the same context until today nostalgically honored their ancestral glory that is the Kingdom of David. Liberation from the dictatorial rule of Egypt’s mighty Pharaoh was a historical event that marks the beginning of Jewish evacuation on the Land of Kanaan (now known as Palestine/Israel) which sparks supremacy conflict with the Arabs until today. I’m not so sure if there is any, throughout Jewish civilization exist a ‘Hang Tuah’ who agitate his people by saying “Takkan Yahudi Hilang Di Dunia” (Never Shall the Jews Vanish from the Face of Earth) as a motivation for them to defend the so-called ‘Jewish Supremacy’ in dealing with their crisis with Palestine.

After the falls of Israel, during the Roman acquisition, the Jews lived hopelessly. Political power, supremacy and their special rights seems to be vanished and forgotten. For almost 2,000 years, this so-called chosen race was suppressed and marginalized. Nowadays, the Malays, a race that establish its civilization not more than 700 years ago have becoming to worry on their unpredictable future.  If the Jews uphold Zionism as an ideology to defend their supremacy, the Malays seems to be fanatic with Umno, the ‘spirit of the Malay’ that will turn 62 in May this year.

If I am a Jew, Hatikvah might be the best cure for my worries on my race supremacy. Hatikvah was the melody of ‘hope’ which was inspired by Samuel Cohen in 1888 and was combined with a poem written by Naftali Herz Imber in 1878. Maybe the Malays need a new hatikvah. Not in the form of poetry or the form of melody or by Umno’s rehabilitation.

This new hatikvah should appear in the form of a leader who will not only unite the Malays but also will form unity and develop understanding amongst all citizens of this country. Who is this future messiah? Will he be an outspoken pensioner? Or a once failed figure? Or maybe a former convict who was being treated with cruelty?

And behold, We said to the angels: “Bow down to Adam” and they bowed down. Not so Iblis (Satan): he refused and was haughty; he was of those who reject Faith. (Al-Baqarah: 34)

Behold! We said to the angels: “Bow down unto Adam” : they bowed down except Iblis: he said, “Shall I bow down to one whom You did create from clay?”

He (Iblis) said: “See You? This is the one whom You have honoured above me! If You will but respite me to the Day of Judgement, I will surely bring this descendants under my sway–all but a few!”

(God) said: “Go your way; if any of them follow you, verily Hell will be the recompense of you (all)–an ample recompense.” (Al-Israa’: 61-63)

I still remember during my days in the kindergarten, one of the stories that have been told by my ustazah (female teacher) was the story of Adam and Eve being tempted by Iblis. The story that had been described briefly in The Holy Qur’an was also mentioned in the Old Testament, in the Book of Genesis.

According to the Qur’an, after the creation of Adam, God commanded all angels to bow down unto Adam as a sign of respect to him; a newly created human who will be sent to earth as the caliph (leader). The angels obeyed God’s command and bowed down before Adam but there was one who refused; Iblis.

Questioned by God on his act, Iblis boastly argued and criticized God’s command. He said to God that it is unusual for him to bow before Adam as he is much nobler than him (Adam) in the aspect of creation. He was created with element of Fire while Adam was formed by God using Clay. Iblis’ refusal angered God. The Almighty then rejected Iblis and commanded him to leave Paradise. He (Iblis) was labeled as kafir (one who rejects Faith) and was cursed by God for his arrogance.

When I was a kid, I used to look at this story as the beginning of feud between Mankind and Satan (Iblis). Iblis, who is so arrogant with his nature of creation was cursed by God and ousted from Paradise. And until now, Iblis’ jealousies on Adam’s offsprings remain with his pledge to lead mankind astray till the Day of Judgment.

Recently, in a discussion with a friend, I started to understand the actual context of this story. Iblis was actually the first racist since he is so obsessed with his ‘Fire’ identity. He assumed that others were incomparable to him and that leads him into not to bow before Adam who was formed by God using clay. Thus, from my observation, it is not wrong for me to conclude that Iblis was actually the Father of Racism throughout history.

In relating this story from the Qur’an in the context of what has been happening in Malaysia, it is clear that Iblis was admired and idolized by a lot of those who were so obsessed with their race and tribe. These racists claimed that they were bestowed special privileges and became dominant in dictating others who were not from their race. Are we becoming one of them? And do we want to follow footsteps of Iblis who have been cursed and rejected by God due to his (Iblis) racist sentiment?

Did Islam teach us to be a racist, arrogant and obsessed with our race? If Iblis was cursed and ousted from Paradise because of his racist manner, thus, is it proper for us who follows Iblis’ footsteps to speak about Islam and its dignity?

If you want to be a racist and a fanatic to your race, be prepared because Iblis was rejected from Paradise and will be thrown into Hell due to his arrogance and obsession on his race and nature.

This potrait of a little girl, hugging a wooden doll was recorded 50 years ago by Alberto Korda, the famous photographer who was also known for his greatest masterpiece; the classical potrait of Che Guevara.

The potrait of this little girl later transformed Korda’s view on life. Initially, he was an easy going, carefree guy who had no obejctive in life. Soon after that, while witnessing inequalities, poverty and oppression around him, Korda has decided to dedicate his life and work to struggle in the Cuban Revolution.

I am personally touched when I first time saw this potrait. Imagine, because of poverty, it was just good enough for her to have a piece of wood, carved into a shape of a doll for her toys. I wonder whether the condition in Cuba fifty years ago still exists in a country like Malaysia, a country that celebrates it’s fiftieth anniversary of independent last year.