Defund Jakim and Jawi

Jakim and Jawi are as much a disgrace to Islam as they are to Malaysia.

Recent reports on Malaysia’s economic prospects have been grim. Decades of irresponsible government spending are catching up with us, the Ringgit has plunged, foreign investment is leaving our shores, and the country continues to hemorrhage talent. The government was recently pressured into a U-turn over toll hikes, but the simple fact remains that we badly need to find more money.

Various solutions have been suggested. Cracking down on corruption (if the government ever gets around to it) is said to have the potential to save tens of billions of Ringgit. Numerous spending cuts have also been proposed. Here’s an obvious one: Defund Jakim and Jawi.

Few organisations have less of a claim to funding, for few organisations have had such a noxious effect on our country. From their rabid persecution of the dog-loving Maznah Mohd Yusof and the Malay beauty contestants last year, to their fatuous threats over the ‘Allah’ issue, the officials of Jakim and Jawi have consistently worked to undermine reason and goodwill in Malaysia.

Jakim’s diktat to Muslims against celebrating Valentine’s Day, a day that commemorates love and romance, is the latest in their tirade of vitriol and intolerance.

Their hilariously incoherent post on their website (‘Practices such as the inverse of this is already a teenager and annual Taqwim necessary Christian’) shows that, in addition to their other considerable shortcomings, they are also grossly incompetent.

Jakim website with anti-Valentine’s Day explanation removed after drawing mockery from netizens

Why should they continue to enjoy support from Malaysian taxpayers to carry out their hateful and damaging activities? Jakim and Jawi are as much a disgrace to Islam as they are to Malaysia.

Tan Sri Khalid Abdul Bakar, the Inspector-General of the Police, has taken up their cause, threatening action against those who dare criticise Jakim’s anti-Valentine’s Day sermon — proof, I suppose, that Jakim’s stupidity is contagious.

He also added that non-Muslims have no right to comment on such matters as ‘they don’t concern them’, an argument that has been asserted many times before. Whilst it is true that it is Muslims who bear the brunt of Jakim’s persecution, this argument is patently illogical.

There is no issue that ‘doesn’t concern us’ just because it’s another group being persecuted. If we see people being bullied and persecuted we should stand up for them, regardless of whether they are Muslim or non-Muslim, Chinese, Indian, or Malay — it is a duty we owe them because they are fellow Malaysians, and fellow human beings. It is how it should be.

Think of all the money we could save by defunding Jakim and Jawi — all those petty officials who call themselves religious ‘scholars’ but who probably wouldn’t last a day at any reputable academic institution anywhere else in the world.

And not just that — think of all the money we’d save on policing against the instability they periodically rile up, or on court fees from the innocents they have charged or tried to charge for imagined crimes.

Use the money instead to build schools. Or to increase the wages of teachers, who are severely underpaid in Malaysia. Allocate the money instead to Sisters In Islam, which has dedicated itself to practicing and preaching the understanding and compassion of Islam, or to interfaith groups who carry out activities to build friendship between people of different religions.

On these grounds do I call for the defunding of Jakim and Jawi, until such time as their officials can prove themselves capable of carrying out their duties responsibly, or at least of opening their mouths without uttering foolishness and extremism.

I’d be very interested to see if their bigotry and intolerance can still survive without public subsidy.


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Posts by Shaun Tan

Shaun Tan is a Malaysian writer. He enjoys reading, partying, and talking about himself in the third-person. Contact him at [email protected]

Posted on 18 February 2014. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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8 Responses to Defund Jakim and Jawi

  1. Eric

    Too Funny! Malaysia gets Special Mention …towards the end on the Daily Show

    John Stewart kicks Sean Hannity's Ballz

    http://youtu.be/eJUqnuUDIec

    An Ode to Sean Hannity

    Aping Urbanity
    Oozing with Vanity
    Plump as a Manatee
    Faking Humanity
    Journalistic Calamity
    Intellectual Inanity
    FOX Noise Insanity
    You are a Profanity Hannity

    By John Cheese of Monty Python's Flying Circus

  2. Encik_Mohamad

    Hak asasi manusia bukanlah bermakna boleh masuk campur urusan agama orang lain kerana itu telah menceroboh hak agama orang lain. Dalam isu velentine day, orang bukan Islam nak sambut 7 hari 7 malam buat pesta itu ini lantak kamu semualah, orang Islam tak pernah peduli atau nak masuk campur agama kamu.

    Tapi golongan bodoh yang suka masuk campur urusan agama Islam ini masih tak sedar diri, kerana mereka memang bodoh dan tersangat bodoh hingga masuk campur dalam urusan agama orang lain, sedangkan orang Islam tak pernah peduli pun pasal amalan agama kamu, kerana kami tahu hormat agama orang tapi golongan bodoh pula tak reti hormat pegangan agama kami yakni Islam. Sedarlah diri.

    • marketrealist

      You say you speak for Muslim and that non-Muslims have no right to comment. Really? Have you heard about the thousands of Muslims who are too scared to voice their opposition to an Islamic state. I know so many living all over the world – from Thailand to the US. In a country talking about death to apostasy, why would they risk their lives? After receiving hundreds of thousand of ringgit in scholarships, many stay on in more liberal countries. Self proclaimed Islamist are not speaking for all Malaysians.

  3. marketrealist

    The whole system of funding for Islamic institutions is messed up in Malaysia. How did we allow zakat to be a tax rebate? This is fundamentally unfair. We have created an alternative government. This is not practical as all Malaysians are supposed share in the services provided by the principal government hence should also share in the costs. Why is the government funding mosques, Islamic colleges and universities, Islamic government departments, etc in a multiracial and multi religious country? There is a catastrophe that will come based on this fundamental flaw.

    • Encik_Mohamad

      Di negara lain, orang Islam nak buat masjid pun bukan main susah, tapi di Malaysia tempat ibadat orang bukan Islam boleh dibina walaupun ada beberapa orang sahaja dalam sesuatu kawasan. Inilah buktinya toleransi orang Islam terhadap bukan Islam, jadi kalau nak berperasangka buruk kepada orang Islam, fikirlah guna akal, kalau guna nafsu serakah, memang akan jadi bengonglah. Dalam isu zakat, negara Malaysia adalah negara Islam, jadi kalau tak suka tinggal di Malaysia boleh berambus ke mana-mana negara, dan jadilah seperti golongan tak bernegara, Stateless Citizen seperti beribu-ribu warga Malaysia yang mengkhianat negara sendiri, sanggup koyak kad pengenalan Malaysia kerana kemaruk nak jadi warga United Kingdom, tapi bila United Kingdom tak mau terima mereka terhegeh-hegeh macam bangsat merayu untuk jadi warga Malaysia pula, golongan sebegini, biarlah lantak mereka tak bernegara, dasar pengkhianat dan kurang ajar, padan muka mereka, tak guna kutip golongan pengkhianat sebegini jadi warga negara, biar mereka merempat di mana-mana sajalah, tapi bukan di Malaysia.

      • marketrealist

        You did not answer the question as to why non-Muslims should fund Muslim institutions by paying taxes which fund these institutions? By the way, please check the Federal Constitution, Malaysia is not an Islamic state.

  4. Pepper Lim

    Nice!

  5. I completely agree with you.I just wonder where all the rubbish talk that we hear now days is going to led the country to.We already are the breeding ground of extremist who interfer in the affairs of our neighbours.(eg Nordin Top).Our repatation of shooting first and asking questions later, have made us a class of our own.The beauty of our ethnic diversity is being destroyed by dictatorial statements such as dont"t play on our sensitivities as we are exclusive and can do no wrong , The list goes on and on and does not end here.