Maz was my "member" way back when we had pigtails, & swam in the same public pool unself conscious of our bodies & the opposite sex, sewed patches on our jeans because it was groovy, & thought that boys may not be such dumb animals after all. The 3rd member is Eileen.
There we were. The microcosm of 1 Malaysia - not that we knew we were a microcosm or a politically correct entity. The Muslim, the Christian & the Confused Christian/Taoist.
"Tolerate" was a word we used on someone we thought was particularly distasteful like "Adoi! She's so mean. Just Tolerate her lah!" but never on our religion or race (whatsdat?).
Fast forward 35 yrs, & we are all same-same but different-different, as the Thais would put it. Some fat (sic), some lines, 2 Muslims, one undecided.
Yesterday I called Maz up to order a few of her delicious carrot cakes for the coming New Year.
Ofcourse we chatted & gossiped. After all, who can resist a nice yarn with an old friend?
Then I asked her what she thought of the "A" issue.
"Don't know & don't care about idiots! I don't even read about it anymore."
I told her about the report on Malaysia Insider about the sermons on Friday's mosques in Selangor asking Muslims to be united against non-Muslims using the "A" word.
Maz gave me more words of comfort & displayed more sense than our esteemed gomen did.
"Allah! I don't know why this is an issue now.
For so long this was never an issue. We all respected each other's religion & it's not like Muslims can become unMuslim because someone is using the same word when praying to their own God.
People have nothing better to do issit?. Is someone paying these gangsters to vandalize people's property?"
If at this point you are picturing Maz as someone radical & not necessarily religious?. Yes she wears jeans. Yes she leaves her head uncovered. But don't you mess with Maz's prayer times. Or her Morals & Ethics. Or her Carrot Cake.
And is this how her Muslim friends think?
"Eh. What do you mean Muslim or not Muslim? My friends can believe in the little green men lah! And my friends are not that bodoh lah!!"
You can almost hear the wink-wink in her voice. I love you Maz. The voice of Sanity, Humor & Friendship.