Friday, February 27, 2015

Relief for Borders Bookstore's Nik Raina

Borders Bookstore manager Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz (left) can finally heave a sigh of relief because yesterday, the Syariah High Court granted her a discharge not amounting to an acquittal.
Since the raid on her bookshop on May 23, 2013 and her subsequent legal battle with the religious authorities over a charge of selling and distributing a book (Irshad Manji’s "Allah, Liberty and Love") deemed to be “un-Islamic” – it had made her realize that it is not only about her.

There is a bigger agenda, i.e. to ensure other Muslims are not harassed for merely doing their jobs and that they will not crumble under pressure and intimidation. Her unbending steadfastness should inspire other Muslims to stand their ground.
Yesterday, I was on Level 22 in Menara Milenium, Jalan Damanlela in KL’s Pusat Bandar Damansara – for the Ernst & Young Toastmasters meeting. I had accepted the Vice President Education’s invitation to speak at the club. And I delivered CC speech #6 on Vocal Variety titled “The Hulk Meets Green Goblin”.

Originally, I had wanted to share a story – something along the lines of Tuesday’s speech at Taman Indrahana – but it turned out to be a speech that used “explicit characterization” as a technique to illuminate and enlighten us. The speech informed us that if we look deep within ourselves, we can also recognize the Hulk as being a part of us.
C JoyBell C, author of "All Things Dance Like Dragonflies" expressed it well when she said: “Anger is like flowing water; there's nothing wrong with it as long as you let it flow. Hate is like stagnant water; anger that you denied yourself the freedom to feel, the freedom to flow; water that you gathered in one place and left to forget. Stagnant water becomes dirty, stinky, disease-ridden, poisonous, deadly; that is your hate. On flowing water travels little paper boats; paper boats of forgiveness. Allow yourself to feel anger, allow your waters to flow, along with all the paper boats of forgiveness. Be human."

The meeting saw just eight Toastmasters present and yet, we still managed the full monty, i.e. Table Topics, assignment speeches and evaluations. We started three minutes late but thankfully, excellent time management meant that we finished on time. I am giving this meeting a 6.5 score over 10. BTW, I was voted Best Table Topics speaker and Best Assignment speaker. 


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