I was surprised reading this article, not that because it was written by a Malay Muslim but by its poor reasoning and lack of grip to the issue. Actually, this kind of reasoning is nothing new, if you joined a closed FB group full of Islamophobes like GE-Global, you’ll find this argument repeated everywhere. Hafidz is just parroting the same argument.
Ok, lets go into the specific detail on what he wrote. Lets start with his underlying thesis which is the bulk of the article. He argued that “why did we banned the Israeli, not others who violate human right such as the U.S., Russia, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar, China”.
There are 2 main flaws with this argument. The first one, its outlandish if not idiotic that whenever we stand for some right we are hypocrites because there are other violation elsewhere. It’s like a Penang Environment Group (PEG) voicing out about the deforestation of their mountains, was jeered off because there are other cases of deforestation in Kelantan, Sarawak, Selangor, Indonesia, Uganda, Micronesia, Palau, Panama, Mexico etc. So PEG is hypocrites unless they also championing the violation in other states. So if we used his logic, we cannot stand for anything unless we stand for all the right in this world all at once, which is impractical and almost impossible.
Second, it is a clever diversion from the real issue. Instead of arguing the substance, he resorted in moving the goal post. It will never end. Say we banned Israeli and U.S. athlete. Then someone can say what about Russia? We banned Russian. Then he will ask what about Turkey? We banned Turkish. He will ask what about Zimbabwe? It will be an infinite whataboutism. If the international community subscribed to his logic, Apartheid South Africa will still exist today as they cannot adopt a concerted targeted effort to end a particular injustice.
Reading through his article. It is not what he wrote were the only dishonest argument that I find, but what he left behind. I only can conclude that Hafidz Baharom was a real hypocrite rather than Tun or Syed Saddiq. We may not banned other athlete from other countries which we had a diplomatic ties, but Malaysia was far from silence. In case of Yemen, Malaysia pull-out our servicemen from the Saudi-led campaign. In the case of Uighur, Malaysia defied China by releasing Uighur detainees. In case of Rohingya, we even built them a hospital! So, while we might not banned their athletes, we respond according to the situation with a diplomatic ties we have. We, on the other hand, never recognized Israel, we have no ties with them. If he had a problem with that, maybe he can try apply an Israeli citizenship.
Then, things get more interesting. Why we singled out Israel? He claimed “Probably because it is convenient, and that is all. It is easier to ban a small, tiny nation we don’t have to trade directly with rather than the superpowers of the world.” Tun made it clear why, instead he used his made-up imagination to put up his case.
Nevermind, let’s look at this flimsy imagination. If we look at the fact, this argument collapsed spectacularly. He failed to mention that Israel is a “mini-military superpower” and was the 7th largest arms exporter in the world. Israel is armed to the teeth with a nuclear capability. Israel even wield huge political power influencing the U.S., Israel has meddled in U.S. through AIPAC long before the accusation of Russian meddling, that is why they are immune to UN resolutions. Just last Monday, U.S. senate advances bill to combat the boycott of Israel. If a country is a tiny country base on its geographical borders, tell me how come a small European island called Britain can colonize India for 200 years.
Hafidz is plain wrong and don’t even know what he is talking about.
Lastly, and this is the most funny of all. Where he used his assumption to make a case which he did not substantiate. He said, I quote “you won’t find Malaysian Muslims suddenly insisting of boycotting haj and umrah packages to Saudi Arabia over Yemen ever.” Farouk Musa of IRF has indeed call for boycott of Saudi Arabia over war in Yaman. So, again, his argument i.e. imagination collapsed miserably.
Author of several books including Berfikir Tentang Pemikiran (2018), Lalang di lautan Ideologi (2022) and Dua Sayap Ilmu (2023). Fathi write from his home at Sungai Petani, Kedah. He like to read, write and sleep.