Why are some Malay Muslims so judgmental and derisive to non-conforming members of the community?


I am Malay and nominally Muslim, and while I adhere to certain tenets of the religion, primarily those that I find make sense, I have found myself drifting further away from the religion by the constant badgering of certain family members about how I always am not, in their eyes, being the best Muslim I can be.

I do not eat pork, simply because I never saw the need to, nor do I feel compelled to do so or disadvantaged in any way by it. I do not drink, simply because I see no pleasure to be derived from alcohol consumption.

Yet, despite all this, many take offence to the fact that I do not pray the prescribed five times a day. I do somewhat believe that there is a higher power, but that said omniscient being can hear my “prayers” even if not through the means of, as many Muslims would see it, proper prayers.

However, whenever I posit such an idea to others who are supposedly more religious, they rubbish my ideas. They insist that only through praying, in the prescribed manner, can you reach out to the higher power, and that any other way is ridiculous.

I do not see the logic in that at all, and cannot do what I do not see logic in, but perhaps that is borne simply of my inability to completely submit to the will of God.

By definition, that would make me a non-Muslim to many. The Malay-Muslim community can be downright judgemental, and derisive, of anyone who doesn’t fully comply to whatever they feel should be the norm.

The greatest irony about overly preachy Muslims is that they are effectively driving some away from the religion.