Gay Awareness Week Update Will Be Postponed

Just a quick post, people.

Yours truly is preparing for a very important 4th year exam…and therefore cannot find the time to update on the gay awareness week held by the uni. I know, I know I promised. And I will fulfill my promise, insya Allah.

But at a later date.

I was thinking of making a post on WHY being gay is not natural. And I need to do some literature and journal research and some historical digging up to do.

I don’t even have the time to properly memorize all the causes of paediatric infectious disease and all those tongue-twisting pronunciation of bacterias and viruses that exist in  this planet. I am THAT busy.

Besides I have my own academic-related literature and journal reviews to do. I am stretched for time.

I want to talk about homosexuality properly and look at it medically and academically. I am not planning on making some post of cursing the homosexuals, or hating them or criticizing them without any valid or scientific and medical reasons. It is not going to be a hate-post (the way some people did towards Muslims) but a discussion of why homosexuals are wrong…homosexuals are not wrong simply because they are different from us or the population at large.

Muslims living in the West are also different from  the Western population at large; it doesn’t mean we are wrong to choose to live Islamically.

The same reasoning goes for homosexuality…homosexuality is not wrong just because it is different. But there are reasons!!

There are some fundamental reasons why homosexuals are not natural and it is based on those reasons that I am going to write my post on. Not base on emotional bashings and dissing, because God knows we hate that sort of things ourselves when  they happen to us.

So, in order to be fair for everyone and to create a post that is beneficial for both the heterosexuals and the homosexuals, I need TIME for proper research and writing. And TIME is the one luxury I don’t have at the moment.

Please pray for my success in the very scary paediatric long case. May Allah help me go  through this very painful stage of medical student life.  Until the next post, ciao!

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For The Sake Of Clarity

“Never do I argue with a man with a desire to hear him say what is wrong, or to expose him and win victory over him. Whenever I face an opponent in debate I silently pray – “O Allah, help him so that truth may flow from his heart and on his tongue, and so that if truth is on my side, he may follow me; and if truth be on his side,I may follow him.” Imam Al-Shafi’i.

Salam everyone,

My previous post seems to have garnered a heated discussion in the comment section. I hope everyone would take this positively as I do think we need to discuss these issues and not just sweep them under the carpet because they would never go away in that manner. They would always be there; only invisible.

I am not homophobic. I have met patients who are lesbians, my college caretaker at the uni is a gay…he lives with his partner and they have a son. My consultants who taught me in the hospital…some of them are gay. We know each other’s stand; there has never been ANY problems. I got good marks in my assessment items anyway, Alhamdulillah (praise for Allah) for that. I have known a fellow medical student who is a gay too.

None of them have ever reduced me to shudder in my boots in fear or disgust whenever I am in their vicinity. NONE!! Nada!

It all comes down to tolerance; acknowledging each other’s stand but despite of that, getting along very well anyway! If we want everybody to agree with our own stand 100% of the time, we will be offended 100% of the time. Because in everything that is not self-evident or factual, there will always be opposite, different and slightly dissimilar views that other people would have compared to ours.  So, we should all put ourselves in someone’s shoes and try to understand where they are coming from without feeling any compulsion to change  our own belief just so we could please them.

Would they want me to agree with them just because I want to please them? I don’t think anyone would like that. Because I know I don’t.

I don’t want anyone to agree with me just to please me. Agree with me because you see merit in what I am saying. If you don’t, that’s absolutely fine. To you, is your own belief; To me is mine.

If it is indeed true that as a medical professional, I am not allowed to have my own views made public regarding homosexuality or write about them base on my own opinion, I wouldn’t want to be a doctor. I don’t want to restrict myself in that manner…not even for a medical degree. I am, insya Allah, going to be a Muslim doctor and I come in that package. That package means I would not do abortion without any medical reason, I would not offer euthanasia (but I would withdraw treatment), I would not advocate for anything not permissible in my religion.

However, that does not mean I am going to treat my gay patients in a degrading manner. In medical school, we are taught communication skill and we are given ethic lectures. We do public health and we know all about health equity. So don’t worry.

I haven’t decided what kind of doctors I want to be. I do know I love certain specialty more than others.

I love cardio…and I want to be a cardiologist. I could see myself saving a gay patient from myocardial infarction. I love obs and gynae…and I still see myself treating uterine cancer in a lesbian patient. I love gastroenterology…and I still see myself treating  gastroenteritis in a child adopted by a gay partner.

The truth is, there isn’t much opportunity for doctors to impose their views regarding homosexuality on any of their patients. They treat all patients admitted under their specialty with no regards to their sexual orientation. The only way gay people would feel insulted by medical professionals who happen to oppose homosexuality would be if they go to a sexual counselor wanting to talk about their sexual orientation and end up being talked down to. (most medical professionals who oppose homosexuality would still not talk down to a gay patient. You would think we have enough intelligent to have more finesse and subtlety than that).  Even then, they could have chosen a sexual counselor who they know is pro-homosexual (there are many of them!!). But it’s not fair to limit OUR rights to speak up about what we believe as right just because we happen to be doctors.  How is that not limiting my freedom of speech? If by my becoming a doctor, anyone feels they have the right to zip up my mouth…then I want OUT!

If the homosexual people EVER feel insulted going to a gastroenterologist, a cardiologist, or a respiratory physician regarding their illness that is not related to their sexual behaviour, then the blame is on the doctor!

I hope I have made myself clear, because I am not very good with reading between the lines (and therefore do not write between the lines very well and always write clearly. For this post, I forgo the use of sarcasm in favour of clarity.)

I am still following the Queer Awareness Week at my uni (it’s such a shame I have broken my camera during my last trip to NZ because I would love to be able to put some pics). And I would update this issue after that week comes to an end.

I leave my readers with a video from YOU TUBE about the Muslims stand regarding homosexuality. We are not against the person or the people…we are just against the action.  Maybe, after listening to this video, you would know how it is possible that I can have gay friends yet I do think the action is wrong.

Awareness Week!

Call me silly…but I am very obsessed with looking at people’s ears…especially the left one. Whenever I was introduced to a guy, I would look straight at his left ear right after I took in his face.

The presence of an earing would alert me to the very likely possibility that this guy could be gay (and I don’t mean he is happy; got that?)

****

This week is the “Gay Awareness Week” at the uni.

Hahah. Quit rubbing your eyes in disbelief; you read it right the first time. I put the words in red and I bold them real nice…so stop doubting your visual senses. They are working just fine, trust me.

Sometimes, I find myself thinking about how vastly different would my whole worldview be if I study in Malaysia instead of in OZ.  In Australia, they look out for everybody’s rights, at least in principles and theory, if not in the actual practicality of it. So, I am exposed to many different cultures and different outlook in life and I thank God that so far, not once have I ever been tempted to deviate from the true way of life.

Our uni have Cultural Week where all the International STudents from various countries could promote their food and traditional dances and so on. We also have Christian Awareness Week and we used to have Islamic Awareness Week (when Brother Danu was still around and me and my batch were in 1st and 2nd year of med school and therefore relatively less busy than now) and we also have Queer Awareness Week.

I could not recall Judaism Awareness Week (oh yeah, there was a period of time I was obsessed with looking at people’s noses, too) but I think that is mainly because Judaism is a religion specific to the Jewish race. They don’t tend to promote their religion and they don’t welcome converts with all that much earnest enthusiasm, anyway. 

During those days when I was still at the uni and was involved in UNIS (now I am mainly in John Hunter Hospital every day; and some nights too, ugh!), organizing the Islamic awareness week was one of the best experience a Muslim student could ever have when she/he studies in overseas. Setting up booth, handing out pamphlets and brochures, promoting lectures and talks,  booking lecture theaters, and organize the lunch barbecue…it was great fun.

It gave me lots of experience promoting my religion to curious questioners who visit our booth. I learned many English Islamic vocabs. I mean, my command in English is very, very basic….I read a lot of novels and that’s why I don’t have any problems writing ENglish essays back in my school days, and I watch a lot of movies and that took care of my conversational English skills. And if you want me to explain medical stuff in ENglish….that is relatively easy peasy! But try translating words like ‘akidah’ into ENglish at the spur of the moment…or ‘Syariah’, or ‘Fikah’ and whatnots. Maybe, if you ponder real long and hard, you could come up with just the right ENglish words for them…but it was a struggle while you actually have to explain at that very minute to an Australian who knew NOTHING (zip, zero, nada, zilch) about Islam and at the same time try to sound as convincing as possible. (How convincing can you be if all the words that you use in constructing a simple sentence are alternated with many ermms and err and ehem ehem…so pathetic!) 

By the way, akidah is ‘creed’ in English. Syariah is ‘Islamic Law’ and Fikah is ‘Islamic Jurisprudence’ (what’s the difference between the two of them also need to be explained), Jihad is ‘to strive/to struggle in the cause of Allah’. Mahzab is ‘sect’. I found that all out at last. Hahahha. I mean those are all really simple words but if you don’t think of them beforehand, it would be hard for you to come up with them at the spur of the moment, especially when the question asked is the provocative one and you are in a panic.

Such a shame that now we don’t have Islamic Awareness Week anymore…because now our batch is already in 4th year and we are very busy. And the 5th year seniors have to go outside Newcastle for their respective rural placements. The Saudi brothers are not that keen…the Saudi sisters are quite passive, in my opinion, but that’s just their culture.

****

I had been to all those activities. I had been to Christian Awareness Week when I was in first year of Med School with a couple of my friends and I remember feeling so damn awkward being the only Muslim in that large lecture theater. I was even given a Bible and I still have one in my room. Imagine if I did that in Malaysia…a lot of people would think I am showing a ‘dangerous’ interest into becoming a Christian, LOL.

And in Malaysia universities, there would never be any Gay movements rights or advocation going around the campus and I will never be exposed to their point of views. Don’t get me wrong; I wish Malaysia would never have enough queers and gays to be able to set up a booth in any remote backstreet, let alone at a campus. However, I do believe that we should learn about them so that we know what we are up against. What are their arguments? What are they up to? How can we counter their so-called scientific medical facts about the ‘natural-ness’ of being gay?

As a medical student, we do have an ‘influential’ status, a convincing voice, when it comes to medical facts! So use your God-given status to learn and do what’s right.

****

I’ll be keeping a close observation of the Queer Awareness Week and will be reporting my findings in the next post, insya Allah. I will share with you my own ‘pertembungan’ with the Queer culture as well. Don’t be surprised…my first encounter with the Queer culture started in Malaysia, not here in Aussie.

I end my post with a word of caution:

BEWARE OF ALL-GIRLS SCHOOLS!!!

(I need not say anything about ALL-BOYS school; To do that would only be redundant)

Shoes off??

To take your shoes off or not to  take your shoes off?

That is  the question.

The dilemma of the day!

***

Today I was attached to the Child and Family Nursing Care unit in Wallsend. I had never been there before and having to go there by bus, not knowing when to press the bell, was enough to give me a headache (I am exaggerating, of course. I just don’t like unfamiliarity, that’s all). I told the bus driver that I would like him to drop me off at Longworth Avenue, and the poor guy did not even know where that was. If a bus driver didn’t know it, what chance did I have of  knowing it myself?

Luckily, last night just before I slept, I had googled the bus route and the map of  that area…I could roughly remember the landmarks I was supposed to look at. It all ended up well and I arrived at Harker Building, Wallsend, safe and sound.

Because my map-reading skills is so pathetic, I consider my victory of finding the place on my own as worthy of a loud applause (before this, I always, always ask for someone’s help to google the map for me. Now, I am quite good at doing it myself, yeay! Alhamdulillah, for a skill newly acquired. heheh).

J and L (the nurses there) greeted me warmly and offered me a cup of coffee. I declined (would you believe it?) as I have already eaten my breakfast earlier (though that has never stopped me before. I think my tummy has shrunken pretty impressively after the Ramadhan month.)

J asked me to choose between staying in the clinic with L or going to home visits with her. I pondered for a second before choosing to do home visits (and at the same time feeling bad lest I offended L for not choosing to stay with her. I hope she knew that it was never my intention to imply that clinic is BORING like neraka and I am not one for self-inflicting pain).

Imagine my pleasant surprise after knowing that one of the three patients that I would be visiting is Kak Sya’s newborn baby. Aww…what a coincident! When we arrived there, I started taking off my shoes…J looked at me strangely.

She said, “You don’t have to take off your shoes. I mean, you don’t have to if you don’t want to. I am not going to take off my shoes”

This is a tricky situation, agree? But, I just told her that I prefer taking off my shoes.

Kak Sya greeted us in her very Malaysian-style kain batik and I greeted her Malaysian -style too (the salam and the air-kissing at each side of the cheeks). While Abang Insan was still in his kain pelikat, washing off the dishes. Inilah dia suami mithali yang patut dicontohi. heheh.

While Kak Sya was changing her baby’s diaper in  the other room, J told me that it was a ‘rule’ that we should not take off our shoes when doing home visits because we want to avoid picking up germs from those houses that we’ve been to.

I shrugged my shoulder and I told her, “I prefer to  take my shoes off because I know this family, personally. And that’s the practice in our culture.”

J was nice about it. She understood where I was coming from. I mean, it would have been the height of rudeness for me as a Malay, to visit another Malay, with my dirty shoes on. I mean, it’s okay for J because she’s not Malay, so people would be more forgiving about her not taking her shoes off.

I am not so westernized as to ignore the most basic rule of cleanliness regardless of who I was with at that time. I need to explain that.

J then proceeded to tell me “I have visited this family before, They are very nice and very modern and they don’t mind it if we don’t take our shoes off.”

I was like, what does being modern has anything to do with it? But whatever….I had already taken my shoes off and they were right outside the door. I was not about to wear them back, now that I was safely inside the house. Sheesh.

Honestly speaking, I think that rule is the most asinine thing I have ever heard! How does taking my shoes off can prevent me picking up germs from the house? I don’t get it! We pick up germs everywhere…we breathed germs when we inspire, we touched germs with our bare hands whenever we pick up our own pen to write (unless you regularly alcohol-swab your pen every other minute), you rest your body on germs whenever you lie in your own bed (unless you change and  sterilize your sheets every other second). Come on! Am I going to care if my FEET pick up germs when my hands do it every nanosecond, considering I don’t even eat with my feet the way I do with my hands?

Not bloody likely!!

Besides, I think it makes much more sense for us to worry about bringing the germs from outside the house with our dirty shoes, into the relatively cleaner home environment. Right??

Sungguh, aku tak paham! I couldn’t relate with that kind of reasoning.

****

The next house we went to is an Australian house.

I happily did not take my shoes off since this house would, of course, practice the western culture. But I noticed that the owner of the house herself was wearing the fluffy slippers…not her outside shoes.

It just didn’t feel right to just barge into someone’s home in our dirty shoes. But hell, if that’s what they like to practice when they are receiving guest into their own home, I am more than happy to oblige.

****

The next house is the house of a Bangladeshi who could not speak English very well.  And we could not get an interpreter in time for her session.

When she received us into her home, I followed J’s example by walking right in with my shoes on.

I noticed that the lady’s feet were shoe-less, naked, bare.  But heck, I have become desensitized by my experience from the previous house.

I was, of course, deeply mortified when I found out that this sweet Bangladeshi lady was a Muslim. I have tarnished her home and her living room with my wanton imitation of a Western unhygienic practice.  God! Probably her living room is her place of prayer too!

I felt so bad about myself. Ugh!

***

When in Rome, do as the Romans do, agree?

Well, to a certain extent.

I think that the Australians, who they claim to consist of  many cultures and races, need to be aware about what is culturally acceptable in every respective culture. I mean, it’s so easy. All you need to do is look at the host’s feet and make a clever deduction of whether or not she prefers your shoes to be off! And it’s not even that hard to ask, “Would you prefer me taking my shoes off or you don’t mind either way?”

When you said you worried about germs, were you by any chance, making a joke? I have seen the Australians walking around OUTSIDE (at the beach, in the shopping complex, in the park) bare-footed without the slightest thought about the MACROscopic organism; let alone the micro ones.

Sunguh2 aku tak faham.

I would be really offended by people who come into my room with their shoes on without even asking me for my preference. I guess, it’s futile to hope that I will ever acclimatize to the Australian culture.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

But I say, when in Australia, use your common sense.

Muslim Bloggers Alliance (MBA)

Salam everyone.

It’s just a quick post here. I am supposed to study actually, but I could not help myself from updating my blog after I have read my emails.

I have just been accepted as a new member of Muslim Bloggers Alliance. If you want to know more about this, I put up a link at the Right side, under ‘THE OUTSIDE WORLD’.

I strongly recommend Muslim bloggers who cares about the issue of our ummah to subscribe to this group and keep abreast of the issues affecting our deen. This group has some great personalities in it…there’s the president himself Mahaguru58, Sis Zabrina who wrote the motivational book Life Is An Open Secret, and Zulkifli Noordin and many more.

The issues they blogged about/talked about are varied, knowledgeable and intellectual. For someone like me who is really busy with my medical studies, it would be good not to have to search the whole cyber world for great blogs to read because they are all compiled in one group.

I came across this group when I was searching for ‘Penyebaran Islam di Nusantara’ (and this search was triggered by a recent daurah organized by the Islamic community here) and then I came across the blog ‘Sejarah Negara Kedah’ (there’s a link here as well) And from that blog, I clicked on the blog of Mahaguru58 who is the president of the Muslim Bloggers Alliance…I became interested and then applied to join.

I love it! I mean, there are so many good and great bloggers out there and searching for them is a hassle in itself…. plus, I can’t keep on putting up links in my own blog because the list would be too long! This Alliance is just what I need.

Here’s are two of the objectives of MBA which hopefully if you feel interested and you would like to contribute (even as passive readers, for all bloggers need readers to spread their ideas), then try to apply and we can all reap the benefit together, insya Allah.

1. The purpose of the MBA is to attempt to unite the Muslim Bloggers and improve the relationships between fellow Muslims whilst building a model community of dedicated Muslims that aspire to uphold the
Principles and Tenets of Islam and those of the Federal Constitution.

2. To organize and establish a network of like minded Muslim Bloggers to help clear the misconceptions
about Islam and the Muslims by enjoining the Dakwah al Islamiyah through positive writings of articles
and disseminating true information about Islam and the Muslim Way of Life to all blog visitors.

 

There are many more objectives (you can read them in MBA’s own website) but I only include the first two just to give my readers a glimpse of MBA’s vision and mission.

 

And yes, I am also promoting the blog Sejarah Negara Kedah.

 

Sometimes, I wonder whether I am really interested in medicine, because I actually love history. It’s one of my best subjects back in school, other than language. It’s just that back in school, the history felt dry and stale…

 

Now, revisiting the historical facts in a new point of view with all my emotion stirred up…it feels different; more exciting, MUCH more exciting!

 

I think I would like to join archaeological expedition in my capacity as a doctor, one day, if Allah gives me the oportunity! That would be sooo exciting!

 

Okay, I need to get back to Medicine. Studying is only fun when not just your brain, but your HEART is in it as well. Right now, my HEART miss learning history…