Blogger Norlaila Othman, whose husband has been detained for more than six years, and their lawyer Edmund Bon (Picture courtesy of Merah Hitam blog)
I urge all readers of this blog – brother and sister Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and others – to continuing praying for the immediate release of all ISA detainees.
When we think of ISA detainees, we think of what Raja Petra, Teresa Kok and the Hindraf Five must be going through now. But there are about 60 other detainees; that’s a whole lot of human suffering, including that of their families.
The full list of ISA detainees can be found here.
If you are Muslim, you might like to reflect on what Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh wrote:
The ISA is against Islam for it violates the principles of truth and justice as mentioned in the Holy Book of Al-Qur’an in Chapters An-Nisa’, As-Syura, and An-Nahl, verses 58, 15 and 90 respectively. To arrest and detain a person only and only on the basis of suspicion and without trial, without opportunity to defend oneself is forbidden and considered haram in Islam. Even if the Government wishes to detain a person for preventive purposes, the matter must be decided in an open court. Detention without trial – without the opportunity to defend oneself in an open court – violates the rights and denies the guarantee that Islam provides to all individuals. The guarantee is that everyone has a right to freedom and well-being.
And here’s a verse sent in by Jane Abraham:
And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)?- Men, women, and children, whose cry is: “Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from thee one who will help!
( سورة النساء , An-Nisa, Chapter #4, Verse #75)
If you are Christian, you might like to meditate on this passage from Luke Chapter 4, which is more or less the “mission statement” of Jesus’ ministry:
16 He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day as he usually did. He stood up to read,
17 and they handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll he found the place where it is written:
18 The spirit of the Lord is on me, for he has anointed me to bring the good news to the afflicted. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives, sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free,
19 to proclaim a year of favour from the Lord.
And here is a Buddhist prayer sent in by blog reader Sabrina:
A Prayer for Freedom From Suffering
May all beings everywhere plagued
with sufferings of body and mind
quickly be freed from their illnesses.
May those frightened cease to be afraid,
and may those bound be free.
May the powerless find power,
and may people think of befriending
May those who find themselves in trackless,
fearful wilderness — the children, the aged, the unprotected –
be guarded by beneficent celestials,
and may they swiftly attain Buddhahood.
Blog reader Thinesh Rajasingam sends us what he says is one of the most famous and simplest Hindu prayers:
Lead me from untruth to Truth
Lead me from darkness to Light
Lead me from death to Immortality
Blogger Justin Choo sends us some words of wisdom from his Buddhist teacher:
Equanimity (upekkha) is the quality of being emotionally calm, balanced and even, especially when confronted with difficult situations. Sometimes it is also called equipoise (susamahita) or being centered (majjhatta). Equanimity is the last of the four Brahma Viharas, one of the different ways love can express itself. It can be difficult, impossible even, to feel warm friendly regard to someone who has hurt us or who is unapologetically evil. The way we can express love to such a person is by remaining calm, unmoved and free from hatred. From this stance it will be much easier to open up to that person when we have developed our love more strongly. Equanimity is also a skilful way to respond to the many temptations, provocations and sensual impressions that assail us every day. It will allow us to keep our sense of balance and, as the Buddha said, to ‘walk evenly over the uneven’ (S.I,4).
Anyone care to contribute a prayer from Hinduism and Sikhism?
Read Norlaila Othman’s touching blog “Merah Hitam” for an idea of what the families are going through, some of them for years and years. Her husband’s plight has prompted this remarkable woman to play a leading role in the Abolish ISA Movement (GMI), which has the support of over 80 civil society groups and political parties.