Assalamualaikum. Am I Muslim?

Raggie Jessy

There have been many calls for me to write an article that is “out of character.” I had this one reader who got a hold of my number and told me how much he enjoyed my articles and those written by Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK). He requested that I do a “spur of the moment piece” as if I were speaking to someone seated right in front of me. You know, RPK style.

Well, this is it.

This is me, Raggie Jessy, speaking to you as if you guys were seated right in front of me. This is how I speak. There is little formality, less planning and more of what is in the heart. This is no holds barred. Actually, I’m quite familiar with this sort of thing because the man who ‘created’ me some years back was none other than RPK. Back then, I used to write in Malaysia Today as Raggie Jessy before I decided to become “The Third Force.”

A little backstory:

RPK taught me how to write. He taught me how to be brave and even helped initiate me into Islam (that’s for another story). I used to get a hell of a lot of lectures from him back in 2014 on how and why my articles were “difficult to read.” Little by little, he guided me until writing became second nature to me. “It’s like a canvas, you know,” he used to say. “You just take out your brush, dip it into paint, and put the strokes onto the canvas. You can’t always tell what the final product will look like.”

“But whatever you do, be sincere, and never lie.”

So here I am, brush dipped in paint and all, ready to put some strokes onto the canvas. But for the first time in years, I’m stuck. What I have in my heart is something so deep, I just don’t seem to be able to bring it onto the canvas. Not even RPK could help me. I guess I’m bitterly hurt and disgusted with a lot of things that happened recently. Perhaps, I’m so pissed with both the Muslims and the non-Muslims, words don’t seem to convey the stuff I truly have to share with you guys.

But that’s all I have. Words.

They’re jumbled in my head in rhapsodies that’re very difficult to play. Perhaps the best way for me to convey them is to relate a conversation I had with an individual who messaged me right after a press conference (PC) I held on Monday in Petaling Jaya. Though boycotted by media, the PC earned me 180 missed calls and 327 private messages (mainly via Facebook) from friends and relatives asking if I had become a Muslim. These guys saw me addressing the plight of Tahfiz students in Malaysia and felt it was wrong for me to convert to Islam.

I ignored them completely.

All, except this one fellow, who I casually refer to as John. Following is a transcript (in blue, Italic) of the back and forth that took place between the two of us from 5.45 to 6.30 pm via Facebook messenger. Let it be known, that the transcript is edited for purposes of clarity and to correct grammatical errors that occurred.

John: Raggie, you actually converted to Islam?

Me: Why do you ask?

John: I saw you say assalamualaikum during your press conference.

Me: So?

John: Is that not what Muslims say when they greet one another?

Me: Who told you so?

John: Come on lah, don’t act dumb.

Me: What? So tell me, if I were to say Hallelujah, would that make me a Christian? Or would saying Namaste or Wanaikam turn me into a Hindu? When Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon used to address the Sikhs, he greeted them by saying “Wahe Guru Ji ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji ki Fateh.” Did that turn him into a Sikh?

John: So you’re saying you’re not a Muslim?

Me: Did you hear me say that?

John: Well, are you or are you not.

Me: Again, I ask you, why do you want to know?

John: I told you! I heard you say assalamualaikum. Turning into a Muslim is damned stupid, you asxhole!

Me: Why? Did you even get my point? Do you not see why Islam is under threat?

John: Why?

Me: Because dumbaxxes like you discriminate against Muslims for absolutely no rhyme or reason other than the bias that’s inherent in you.

John: What bias?

Me: Well, did Koh Tsu Koon turn into a Sikh when he uttered “Wahe Guru Ji ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji ki Fateh?”

John: Of course not. Any idiot knows that.

Me: Why?

John: It doesn’t freakin’ make sense lah!!

Me: How would you know? Did you check?

John: Hey fooker, it’s common sense. Don’t fook with me.

Me: I asked you, did you check???

John: No need to check lah. Ok, pookie?

Me: Ah, so you’re inherently biased in favour of Sikhs for absolutely no rhyme or reason. Likewise you’re inherently biased against Islam for absolutely no rhyme or reason. And it’s that bias that’s making you hate Islam.

John: Fook you! You can’t even admit you’re a Muslim!

Me: Why must I be compelled to tell you, particularly since you’re a Christian fanatic who’s inherently biased against Islam for absolutely no rhyme or reason? Who are you to compel me?

John: So asalamualaikum is not a religious greeting?

Me: Ah, finally…an attempt to discover. Do you know that Allah encourages His faithful to perform Hijrah towards the path of clear water in a never ending quest to discover?

John: Fook you you mutherfooker!!! (signs off from Facebook)

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