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An archeology of my library

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This piece was  inspired by Walter Benjamin’s essay “Unpacking my library.” In that essay, Benjamin described his experience of lovingly unpacking his library  as well as reminiscing how he got some of his books. Reading that piece reminded me of my own library and my collection. More

Letter to a friend concerning Occupy Wall Street

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Hey RR,

I always look forward to what you blog which always made me pause and think about what you have to say. Your latest piece on the Occupy Wall Street was no exception. Indeed, I read it some time back which really took some time for me to think about what you said. Anyway, I thought I write a letter to you to give you some of my thoughts about this phenomenon.

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Why I read Slavoj Zizek

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This piece is written as a supplement to the series of introducing the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek by my friend Alwyn Lau. It is not my intention here to reiterate who is he or what is he all about. Rather, it is about why I enjoy (in the plain sense of the word) reading him. More

CCM Youth Hands Over Protest Memo On Threats by Dr Terry Jones of Dove Outreach Center to US Embassy Officials in Kuala Lumpur

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CCM Youth Hands Over Protest Memo On Threats by Dr Terry Jones of Dove Outreach Center to US Embassy Officials in Kuala Lumpur KUALA LUMPUR, Wed, 8 Sept 2010: Representatives of the Youth Wing of the Council of Churches Malaysia (CCM Youth) handed a memorandum of protest to the United States Embassy today calling on the US government to stop a church in Florida from burning the Quran this 11 Sept 2010.

The group of five people were led by Bangsar Lutheran Church pastor Rev. Sivin Kit, and CCM Youth Moderator and Executive Council member Chrisanne Chin, who handed the memorandum to Jeremy Nathan, the Deputy Political Counselor of the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

CCM Youth is strongly against threats by Dr Terry Jones of The Dove World Outreach Centre, a small congregation of 50 people in Gainesville, Florida, to burn the Muslim holy text, the Quran, on the anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, condemning attempts to ban or burn another faith’s holy text as tantamount to a form of hate crime that must be dealt with utmost severity.

CCM Youth reiterates that The Dove World Outreach Center’s intentions do not represent the sentiments of Christians in Malaysia, and considers the act of burning the holy scriptures of any faith a disrespectful, provocative, insulting and harmful act that is contrary to the fundamental Christian belief to love our neighbours as ourselves and to be peacemakers.

After handing over the memorandum, the group was invited into the embassy for a private discussion with the officials. Kit and Chin were assured by Jeremy that this matter is being taken very seriously up to the highest levels of the US Government as both the White House and the State Department have issued statements of warning and criticism against Jones and his church.

The group was encouraged to learn that Americans have stood up to condemn the act, and at least two dozen counteractive measures have been made by the grassroots of the American interfaith community – from synagogues to churches to mosques – working together in solidarity against Jones’ plan.

CCM Youth believes that there are better constructive ways to commemorate September 11, and will endeavour to promote to the Government of the United States, as well as the United Nations, to turn this day of grief and sadness into an international day of reconciliation and just peace, upholding the rights of every single human life created in the image of God Almighty, henceforth building an equal place for all under the sun. ~ CCM Youth Hands Over Protest Memo On Threats by Dr Terry Jones of Dove Outreach Center to US Embassy Officials in Kuala Lumpur Note: To sign the petition go to Please don’t burn the Koran.

Source CCM Youth.

Full text of the memorandum:

The Youth Wing of the Council of Churches of Malaysia (“CCM Youth”) is deeply concerned with the escalation of tensions in the global community following news of threats by Dr. Terry Jones from The Dove World Outreach Center in Gainsville, Florida, to burn copies of the Muslim holy text, the Quran, on September 11, 2010.

Through this memorandum, CCM Youth calls on the Government of the United States to put a stop to this disrespectful and provocative act under the guise of raising awareness.   We believe that any proposed acts of banning or burning another faith’s holy text is tantamount to a form of hate crime that must be dealt with utmost severity.

We are very disappointed that the call for the International Quran Burning Day was initiated by a Christian pastor, as we see this as incongruent with the message, manner and model of Jesus Christ, namely, His love and wisdom even when speaking out against authorities on matters of principle and justice. We conclude that this call and act by Dr. Terry Jones and the small congregation of about 50 that he is pastoring to be an utter rebellion to the fundamental Christian character to love our neighbours as ourselves and to be peacemakers as exemplified by Jesus Christ.

We fear that the failure to stop this atrocious act will bring catastrophic ramifications not only to the United States but will also adversely impact global communities.   CCM Youth wishes to reiterate that burning religious texts of other faiths is a harmful, insulting and irresponsible act of provocation that will severely destabilize plural societies around the world and will bring about serious repercussions not only on Christian communities, but all minority communities worldwide.

In such volatile times, we urge the Government of the United States to protect all American Muslims and Christians alike from any potential hate attacks that may arise from this irresponsible act.  We call on the American community to uphold the fundamental rights of those who follow another faith, to respect their rights to their own holy scriptures and to put an immediate end to further instigations which are destructive to world peace, by breeding religious hatred and anger.

Furthermore, in remembrance of the anniversary of September 11, we recommend that all governments diligently protect all communities of all religions from being exploited by any form of extremist and racist behaviour.

We also recommend that all governments immediately stop any situations that threaten to destroy our global unity cord to ensure that things do not unravel out of control.

Undeniably, September 11 has become a day of sadness and grief, marred forever in history, not just for the loved ones of the victims on that dreadful day but also for the entire world community.

Therefore, in the efforts to promote world peace, we urge the Government of the United States and the United Nations to turn September 11 into an international day of reconciliation and just peace, upholding the rights of every single human life created in the image of God Almighty, henceforth building a common place for all under the sun.
Yours sincerely
CHRISANNE CHIN

Youth Moderator and EXCO MemberCouncil of Churches of Malaysia

Dated this: 8 September 2010

Source: CCM Youth.

Zizek on the ethics of charity in the world of capitalism

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This is not everyone’s cup of tea but I find him extremely thought provoking and entertaining.

Quick Note

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Well, I completed my thesis and will be submitting it for examination next Tuesday. Anyway, I’ll be back blogging next month … which seems pretty soon. First thing, I’ll need to do is to get back into the rhythm of blogging after taking a month’s break. Anyway, it is for next month but for now I just want to savor the moment about not having to think (and write) about my thesis …. at least until my viva.

Be back in the workplace next month as well. After taking a two years break, it will get some kinda of getting use to. But still it feels do about having a job after being unemployed (and always kinda poor) for so long.

Until next month …

Welcome to the new Cacoethes Scribendi!

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Welcome to the all new Cacoethes Scribendi. Unlike the old blog, this new one will not focus narrowly on commentaries on Malaysian politics. As to my reason for why this new blog and what it is all about, check out the “About this blog” page .

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