Monday, July 7, 2014

Remove the cancer of racism in our heart and soul

Remove the cancer of racism in our heart and soul

Everyday, one of my daily rituals after getting up in the morning is to switch on my computer and opening up my Facebook account to keep up with the news from friends and family from back home. It helps cure my longing from being there and feeling homesick especially when I am living in another continent and a country faraway where there is only a handful of Malaysians living here.

The place is Denmark, a country of 5.5 million people who made the world headlines some years ago when a Danish artist drew a cartoon of Prophet Muhammad. The infamous incident led to the burning of Danish embassies, flags and protest from the Muslim countries all around the world.

One of the laws that the Danes are proud of is the freedom of speech and press. You are free to practice in what you believe in, religion, God, no God or what not, as long as you don’t hurt anyone. You can be a Muslim and practice your religion freely; nobody is going to stop you.
If you decided to be an atheist the next day, nobody really gives a care. You don’t have to worry about Islamic police come charging at your door and forced you to repent according to their understanding of what Islam is or worry about being arrested for committing apostasy, a ‘murtad’ and be fined and jailed for a period of time just because your opinions are different from them.

In Malaysia, the ongoing case with 80-year-old Kassim Ahmad is a fine example of how religion is being forced on you, whether you like it or not.  This is opposite to the basic teaching of Islam, which says that faith or religion should not be forced to a person. The only way you can find peace and freedom through Islam is when you freely submit to it. By forcing people doing something they don’t like doesn’t solve anything. It simply makes it worse. People will only rebel to it.

Another example is if you are born a Malay, then you are automatically a Muslim. You have no choice but simply have to accept that Islam will be your religion for the rest of your life. Islamic faith is being imposed on you because that is just how things are here. Force id used to instill fear so that the people in power will easily be in control of people and all for the wrong reason. If you do the otherwise, you will be seen as a sinner, a wrongdoer of insulting Islam and should be punished in the name of Allah.

As year passes by, the decisions made by the lawmakers is making the country moving backwards in terms of humanity. The action taken towards Kassim Ahmad was unjust.  Simply by arresting him for having different of opinions was unIslamic.

In this multi-ethnics country that boast about giving it citizens freedom of religion, why are we not even allowed to discuss about Islam, about what does it takes to be a good Muslim? Why are we not allowed to be different from others and let us be our own selves?

Doesn’t Islam encourage its followers to discuss about the hadiths and the content in the Koran so that we to have a better understanding of what the teachings are all about? Are we not taught to settle our differences in a peaceful manner just like the Prophet have shown us?

Well sadly to say there is no such thing as freedom of religion in this country. We are not allowed to voice out our opinions about Islam. We have no rights to be ourselves and the only way to settle our differences is through authoritarian use of force by the so call moral Islamic police, who blindly follow their orders by their masters whose faith were driven by their ego trip on power and control.

Being a good Muslim doesn’t automatically make us better or superior than any other people. Islam teaches us to be good to others and to treat everyone equally, regardless of their skin colors or beliefs. The minute we started to believe that we are the chosen one that is when we can find ourselves in no better position than those Jewish people who believe in the same manner.

In my conversation with people from back home, I was surprised to find out that even some highly educated young Malays have this kind of mentality.  This slave mentality, which imprisons their minds are driven by their own fear to be the righteous one, and fighting all for the wrong reasons in the name of jihad and Malay rights.

The Malay rights were formed to help the poor Malays to improve their living and economic condition.  But the Malays rights are quite outdated since the people only served to a few people. Government contracts for example are given to Malay owned ‘Alibaba’ companies, many of whom did not have the capability and capacity to undertake them and forced to hire others to actually do the work. The Malay rights have also neglected a vast majority of Malays and helped some very much more than others. It is time to unveil the truth and get rid of the hypocrisies behind this policy. Moreover, besides the poor Malays, there are also poor Indian, Chinese and other poor ethnics Malaysians in Sabah and Sarawak who in need of dire help.

The mindsets of Malays need to be changed. Groups such as Perkasa and Isma are doing a fantastic job dividing the country, embarrassing and damaging Islam and the Malay race in the eyes of the world. I am deeply sorry and sad to hear the Malays who would say something like ‘ if you don’t like this country, then go back to where you belong’. These people are sick and their mind are brainwashed as if to say that this country only belong to them. Their way of solving problems through hatreds and threats are against the teaching of Islam and will only lead disaster. 

What is a good Muslim anyway? Who is the real devil? Just because we started to go to the mosque and pray 5 times a day make us better Muslims than those who don’t? Do covering ourselves from head to toes make us a better Muslim than those who don’t? Or just because we are Sunni Muslims make us better Muslims than the Shia Muslim? We could perhaps be abetter Muslim but not necessarily be better human being. 

Malcolm X said ‘ the true practice of Islam can removed the cancer of racism in the heart and the soul …’

If we can do that, Malaysia will be in no doubt could join Denmark, who has been frequently ranked as the happiest country in the world in cross-national studies.  Until then, there is still plenty of work to do.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Dear Helle - Solo exhibition at Immigrant Museum Denmark


‘Dear Helle’ is the title of Amir Zainorin’s solo exhibition at the Immigrant Museum in Farum, Denmark.
Helle or her full name,  Helle Thorning-Schmid is the Prime Minister of Denmark, a political leader for people of different background and cultures.

In this exhibition, Amir made an installation with two big portraits of Helle, one is a portrait of the Prime Minister by herself and the one is the famous ‘ selfie’ portrait of her together with American President Obama and the Prime Minister of UK, David Cameroun.  

This installation is made of only postcards and pins, which are installed straight to the museum wall.  Prior to the installation, Amir has been collecting postcards from the public with messages addressed to Helle. The people who took part were asked to write about anything that was on their mind. They came from different backgrounds such as the immigrants, asylum seekers and school children.

Amir has used over 2500 pins and about 2000 pieces of postcards for this installation. He said that he likes the fact that the work is there for only a period of time. It gives this notion of things being ‘temporary’, that everything in this world does not last forever, like a man, a building, an empire or like art itself. 

The exhibition can be viewed at the Immigrant Museum, Farum Denmark from May 15 – August 29 2014. 
During the course of the exhibition, the public is invited to write postcards to Helle and stick them to the museum wall. At the end of the exhibition period, Amir will personally delivered the written postcards to her.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

kuasa, harapan dan tanah (power, hope and ground) national visual art gallery malaysia

 the stamp series

this one is titled TAR and hang right across a rauchenberg.
this hsow at the national visual art gallery malaysia will on until nov 2012
all my work shown ar collection of the gallery accept for the video.

a collaborative project with camilla blackman. the exhibition will be on the 4th oct at galleri øxholm, cph. check this blog. ( oic from our first exchange of artwork - to be further work on )

mnkk residency rebild denmark 2012

work produced from the residency in rebild.
the exhibition took place in church in rebild.

Friday, June 1, 2012

'no' performance art by amir zainorin
Saturday 27th may 2012
the performance started from 10 am to 5 pm in different locations in copenhagen.

text from the invitation

no connection, no ego, no credit, no crap, no war, no brutality, no hypocrisy,  no unnecessary death, no brownies, no satisfaction, no admission, no choice, no foreigner, no prejudice, no deal, no shopping, no debt, no hope, no problem, no holiday, no junk food, no shitty drugs, no shit, no education, no mercy, no ****, no voice, no comment, no dickheads, no kidding, no end.....

this will be among the themes for my unorganized, unplanned ( ok maybe a little bit), uninstitutionalized, highly....whats the word...ambition - haha.., self proclaim professionalism, low budget self organized event. all for the love of arts and humanity.

i have been asked this question before, what do you expect from doing this and what do you want to be famous and makes lots of money!!
to be honest i dont really know how to answer this.....and actually i dont give a bloody ****....the time is short...who knows what will happen the wise young man Lukas Graham said....just enjoy the journey.

the whore and dildo house istedgade, the immigration office copenhagen, the graveyard roskildevej, Folketinget @the parliment copenhagen, the police headquarters cph, the royal academy cph, statens museum cph, one of the banks in cph, kastrup airport, mc donalds...among some of the places.

photos by Maher Khatib