Religious fervour serves no god well

Religious fervour serves no god well

Aformer rock musician has embraced the role of online preacher and denounced, above other things, rock music. In fact, he objects to most kinds of music, deeming it against Islam. Weerachon "Toh" Sattaying, once the high-pitched frontman of the band Silly Fools (love the name), has over the past six years quit his former lifestyle and became a born-again Muslim. Bearded, skull-capped, fiery-eyed and charismatic, Weerachon runs a dry-aged beef business and hosts an online religious programme that has cultivated quite a following.

This week, he crossed the line: His criticism of Buddhist practices came across as aggressive, insensitive and insulting -- basically, he said it's silly to pay respect to images of Buddha -- and the internet, naturally, erupted in anger and ridicule.

This is not the first time Weerachon raised eyebrows. Two years ago he said in an interview with BK Magazine: "Music is a sin", "Muslims these days are brainwashed by secularism in the education system", "Campaigns against Islam are orchestrated by a world media owned by rich families and backed by big companies", and lastly, "I like this junta government [because] I like rules". He also condemned the Islamic State and said sensible things about Thai education system. In short, here's a man who found Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers in his 20s, then found God in his 30s -- a discovery he treated with a fervour that can feel either stirring or off-putting.

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Kong Rithdee

Bangkok Post columnist

Kong Rithdee is a Bangkok Post columnist. He has written about films for 18 years with the Bangkok Post and other publications, and is one of the most prominent writers on cinema in the region.

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