Saturday, February 12, 2011

'Christians sinful' remark by TV personality raises ire

Comments by motivational speaker Siti Nor Bahyah Mahamood linking Valentine's Day to Christianity and immoral activities by Christians have been criticised by the Council of Churches Malaysia (CCM).

NONEThe remarks, the council's Youth coordinator for social, economic and environment justice Elaine Teh said, "are derogatory and irresponsible".

A well-known Islamic motivator on local television networks, Siti Nor Bahyah said on an TV9 programme that "immoral activities, partying and unmarried couples associating in private are traditions of the Christian community".

She is said to have made the remarks in her bid to discourage Muslim youth from celebrating Valentine's Day. A clip of her TV programme was posted on YouTube.

Siti Nor Bahyah is a popular TV personality, with Semanis Kurma on TV9 and Astro being her biggest hit.

'Erroneous opinions disguised as facts'

She comperes the programme with her husband, Wan Akashah Wan Abdul Hamid, in which they give answers to queries and advice on marriage to callers and those who write in.

In the posting on YouTube, Siti Nor Bahyah gives her opinion on Valentine's Day. At 3.2 minutes into the clip, she says, "Maksiat, disco, couple-couple, bersunyi sunyian, inilah tradisi masyarakat yang beragama Kristian."

Teh rapped Siti Nor Bahyah for basing her argument on unsupported legends and fables and for using the public sphere to abuse another community's beliefs with erroneous opinions that she weakly disguised as facts.

NONEInstead, Siti Nor Bahyah could have advised the young people to be wiser and not to be exploited by such a blatantly commercialised celebration, rather than openly attacking another community's beliefs, Teh added.

CCM also hoped Siti Nor Bahyah would apologise to the Christian community for passing such remarks.

Siti Nor Bahyah, 45, received her early education at Maktab Mahmud in Kedah and furthered her tertiary education at al-Azhar University in Egypt, taking up Islamic Studies and Arabic.

She then began her career as a religious speaker and has produced 40 albums on various religious topics, motivation and tips in the form of VCDs, CDs and cassettes.

She has also authored eight books.

Yesterday, several politicians lashed out at PAS Youth chief Nasrudin Hasan for his intention to police Valentine's Day in the Pakatan states, as reported by AFP.

Nasrudin Hasan has denied that he or the youth wing are involved in any move to carry out checks on couples in the Pakatan states on Valentine's Day, adding that the AFP reporter had misunderstood his statement.


seals: So we all can link doings of some to their religion or this is her lame way of trying to get popular?

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