Are we going to extend the Isreal-Palestinian conflict to Malaysian schools?

Letter to editor

A VIDEO is circulating in the social media where pupils in a Malaysian school are coerced and instigated to step on an Israeli flag. In the background, an elderly voice is heard telling them to do so because “we are Muslims and Israelis are our enemy”.

This is sending a shock wave among Malaysians.

Hate speech or any form of biases or prejudices can take the form of verbal or non-verbal communications through spoken or written words, bodily expressions or facial expressions that are meant to ridicule, hurt, discriminate or single out an individual based on their race, religion or nationality.

We send our children to public schools not only to learn sciences and arts subjects but also to learn moral values and then to apply those elements while interacting with people of other races true to the spirit of unity in diversity.

Though we condemn the Middle Eastern bloodshed among the Palestinians and Israelis, we must not teach our pupils to hate others at a tender age.

There are volumes of research that elucidate with clarity that those who are nurtured with hate will definitely turn out to be aggressive individuals in their adult life.

‘Love thy enemies’

The geopolitical issue of Israeli-Palastenian since the formation of Isreal in 1948 is perpetuating for decades endlessly – for and against Israel.

While we condemn many of the atrocities committed by either parties in the form of violence against innocent public – especially children and woman – we should also recognise the contribution of Isreal to science and technology which are consumed all over the world.

We should have the courage to call a spate a spate or heap praises in recognition and acknowledgement of a positive contribution. A simple example is the stent – innovated by the Israeli – which is planted in a heart patient when there is a blockage. Can a heart patient who is anti-Israel remove the stent from their heart?

We must teach our children to love even our enemies as such is a noble quality that will lead to the spiralling of love and unity.

If you teach hate, enmity will spiral. Once hatred possesses a human heart, it can manifest itself anytime and anywhere, and in the process, creates monsters in us unknowingly.

At the end of the day, however bleak the situation of the world may be, love and unity will eventually succeed but hatred, prejudices and biases will only lead to eternal destruction. – Oct 20, 2023


K. Tamil Maran

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE