Special Racial Interest Groups and Government Funds
Note: The following was adapted from a post to the malaysia-today.net May 2005 debate.
I do not for the life of me understand what is wrong with the separation of religion and state. It is not the same as suppressing Islam, nor is it the same as depriving Muslims the right to lead their lives the way they wish.
The fact is, it's absolutely impossible to find any developed nation in the world with religion so closely entwined with the government.
The fact is, there are things going on in the government that are suppressing the rights of non-Muslims as well as a few Muslims. For example, what is wrong with allowing a Muslim to convert? He will not be very happy if he is forced to stay a Muslim; more likely than not, he will only put on a veneer of holiness while silently venting his rage.
Likewise, why is the money of non-Muslim taxpayers being used to fund the building of mosques? Democracy exists for minorities to have a voice, not to bulldoze them with a tyranny of the majority. Forcing non-Muslims to give up their taxes so as to build religious buildings for only one particular religion is infringing on a fundamental right. Either use taxpayers' money to build houses of worship for all religions (so it's fair) or don't use it to build houses of worship at all.
If government money is not spent on building mosques, then will Muslims no longer have the right to lead the life they wish? I doubt it. After all, this is not a commandment banning the building of mosques at all.
Digressing a bit, it is for this same reason I believe vernacular schools should not be built and funded with government money. The right to be educated in the language of your choice does not mean you have the right to use taxes to fund your education. In developed countries, Chinese who want to learn in Chinese don't ask the government for help; they build and fund their own schools themselves.
Again, this whole thing boils down to one simple issue: whether or not the government should help any old special interest that comes along. Until we can eradicate the idea that we have a right to help from the government in anything we want, we can never become a first world country.I do not for the life of me understand what is wrong with the separation of religion and state. It is not the same as suppressing Islam, nor is it the same as depriving Muslims the right to lead their lives the way they wish.