What next? Outlaw the Hadharites? Rehab centres, perhaps?

Posted on June 14, 2008

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In January, 2002, following upon Dr M’s ‘929 Declaration’ that Malaysia is an Islamic state, the St Francis Xavier church in PJ hosted an ‘Is Malaysia an Islamic state?’ forum.

If I recall correctly, representing the government view was a speaker from IKIM whose name I cannot recall. YB Lim Kit Siang spoke, as did YB Dr Hassan Ali from PAS.

One word each for the IKIM speaker and YB Dr Hassan Ali, and two for YB Lim, would succintly describe their respective views on the question whether Malaysia was an Islamic state.

IKIM speaker : Yes

YB Dr Hassan : No

YB Lim : Mana boleh

During the Q&A session, I asked YB Dr Hassan whether, if PAS ever came to power and ruled the country, and given that Islam does not countenance race discrimination, would PAS move to dismantle the bumi/non-bumi distinction in the country and to amend the constitution to remove the ‘special position’ of the Malays.

Like a true politician, he answered without quite answering my questions.

However, the audience were not having it and, one by one, many more rose to press for a more definitive answer.

Finding himself cornered, YB Dr Hassan finally and rather sheepishly, and albeit in a rather round-about fashion, answered those questions in the negative.

This man, now the chair of the Islamic Affairs committee of the Pakatan Rakyat state government, has recently announced that Islam Hadhari is banned “di Selangor ini kerana Islam yang kita amalkan dulu dan hari ini tidak berubah dan sudah cukup. Oleh yang demikian, kita mahu sandarkan ajaran Islam sebenar untuk memerintah Selangor ini dan bukannya Islam Hadhari”.

You can get the rest of this from a Malaysiakini report.

YB Dr Hassan says that “Islam yang kita amalkan dulu dan hari ini tidak berubah dan sudah cukup” and “kita mahu sandarkan ajaran Islam sebenar”

Really, YB? Ajaran Islam sebenar?

Well, then, how does your position in 2002 at the forum stand up to the following, reportedly said by the Holy Prophet, in the course of his final sermon?

“All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab. Also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over a white except by piety and good action.”

Is your position in 2002, YB, or that of the Holy Prophet noted above, ‘ajaran Islam sebenar’?

Malaysiakini quotes Nik Aziz yesterday as saying that “Islam hadhari is nonsense … so we can’t talk to the current Umno because it is promoting the wrong, deviant teachings.”

I agree that UMNO, given that it does not practise what it preaches, indulges in wrong, deviant and unIslamic practices, but perhaps Tok Guru would like to expound on which of the 10 stated principles of Islam Hadhari, are nonsense?

Which of the 10 Islam Hadhari principles, in the view of Pakatan Rakyat, offend ‘ajaran Islam sebenar’?

Oh, sorry, I’ve been presumptious in assuming that YB Dr Hassan’s announcement is representative of the well thought out and deliberated views leading to an informed concensus of PAS, PKR and DAP that Islam Hadhari offends ‘ajaran Islam sebenar’.

Well, was it?

Or has DAP suborned itself to the will of PAS on matters relating to Islam? PAS decides and DAP will go along?

Yes, YB Lim Guan Eng, tell us how your state government arrived at its decision to follow Selangor and prohibit Islam Hadhari?

Malaysiakini reports that Penang Deputy Chief Minister Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin confirmed that, based on the advice of more than 20 religious experts and former muftis, the Islam Hadhari concept would be discontinued in Penang.

YB Lim, in the name of transparency that we the rakyat have come to expect of Pakatan Rakyat, disclose the substance of the advice of those religious experts.

Tell us why your government has seen it fit to prohibit Islam Hadhari.

Were you aware, YB Lim, of the views of the Mufti of Perlis?

“Islam Hadhari may confuse many but there is good in it. The contents have not been obvious as it is only the branding that has been spoken about a lot,”, Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin is quoted by Malaysiakini to have said.

Is it the branding that is troubling, then?

No need for Hadhari? Islam suffices?

Well, PKR needs to be reminded that Anwar once mooted the idea of Masyarakat Islam Madani.

And did not JAKIM, in 1996, approve ‘Ahlul Sunnah Wal Jamaah’ as the only Islam that is kosher here? Something I’m pretty sure that meets PAS’s approval.

If UMNOites now want to call themselves Hadharites, what do I care?

So if all this arises from a fixation with brands and labels, what next? What gets banned next?

No, I’m no Hadhari fan, but I’m against any notion of governments banning ideas and thoughts.

As Farish Noor put it, ‘there are ideas, and there can be stupid ideas; but to ban an idea simply because of its stupidity seems to be a rather stupid thing to do in itself’

And as Farish asks, ‘what does this entail for the Muslims and non-Muslims of Malaysia? What, in the final analysis, was the objective of this ban?’

Is it because Hadhari is an UMNO / Pak Lah initiative to counter PAS’s Islamisation, and so it does not sit well with the latter?

Is Pakatan Rakyat looking to continue with the politicising of Islam that has gone on for so long between UMNO and PAS?

YB Lim, YB Wan Azizah and YB Hadi, be reminded that you have a Pakatan Rakyat today for only one reason.

Many people who do not care for the flavour of the political aspirations of PAS went along with the idea of an alliance of sort between DAP, PKR and PAS because we thought and hoped that DAP and PKR would serve as a check and balance to PAS.

And that is why you have enough seats in Selangor and Penang to form the government!

Don’t you ever forget this!

Posted in: Barisan Rakyat