Monday, May 14, 2007

Defending my country

Demonstrators wave Turkish flags during a pro-secular rally in Izmir, western Turkey, Sunday, May 13, 2007. Some 1.5 million Turks attended a secular rally in Turkey's third-largest city, which would make it the largest demonstration so far against the Islamic-rooted government. The rally, in the Aegean port city of Izmir, was organized as a show of strength before general elections on July 22, and it follows similar demonstrations in Ankara and Istanbul last month. (AP Photo)

This is amazing! I find the public demonstration of support for secularism in a muslim-majority country a welcome change from bombs and carnage that are normally mentioned in the same breath as Islam. Protestors held up banners that said, “NO TO ISLAMIC LAW, NO TO MILITARY COUPS: A DEMOCRATIC TURKEY.”

Reports quoted a teacher who participated in the massive pro-secular rally in Turkey as saying, “I’m defending my country.” I find that rather refreshing. Back here in Bolehland, for the longest time, Malaysians who hold similar views have been tarred unfairly as anti-national, unpatriotic, and anti-Islam.

No. No. And no.

In Malaysia, we who cherish the ideals of equality and liberty in a secular state are also defending our land.

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