Jahamy laments the abuse of religion in the name of politics.
There has been so much nonsense from the theological based political party PAS from the time I can remember that if I was to write about their nonsense, it will be volumes! First on the list is of course their unilateral claim to represent Islam. But that is a matter I have covered many times over for the past 10 years or so.
Today, I intend to cover snippets of their latest nonsense and insults to the Malay and Muslim intelligence.
Banning Elton John Concerts
It has always been characteristic of PAS that its solution to almost any problem, real or imagined, is to implement penal punishments, ban, and infringe human and individual rights. The latest contribution of party PAS to the Nation is to deny the voters and the Malay citizens the right to enjoy the first Elton John concert in Malaysia – this is Pahang PAS Youth’s best religious contribution to the Malays!
Baradan Kuppusamy says it well in his column in the Star:
IF PAS has its way, we won’t be watching movies, cannot choose the way we dress and cannot see an Elton John concert.
PAS acts like it is the custodian of the way we dress and the kind of concerts we can watch. It sees itself as the authority for morality in the country.
In Kelantan, it wants women to wear the hijab; in Bangi, it wants to ban cinemas and people have to travel some 30km to Kajang to catch a movie.
Now, it wants next month’s Elton John concert in Genting Highlands to be cancelled on the grounds the singer is gay.
So, what is PAS’s message to the Malays? That Malays have no sense of judgment such that they will become gays just by attending Elton John’s concerts or listening to his songs? I have listened to and enjoyed most of his songs very much. But I have always loved women and never turned gay. I did not need PAS’s “protection”, I suppose, because I am humbly aware that Allah has given me a brain and a sense of judgment. However, PAS Youth (umur berapa budak-budak ni?) seems to think that the Malays have no intelligence and they need PAS to tell them what is good and not good for them. Tak erti nak beramal ke?
But trust me. This is PAS. It has been like that 20 years ago as far as I can recall (they wanted to ban a Sharifah Aini concert in UKM when I studied there!). They will be like that forever. They will go on insulting the Malay mentality and intelligence in the name of religion.
My views on hudud laws are very clear to those who know me and have discussed the issue with me. BY scholastic definition, hudud laws are those “offences” for which punishment are clearly prescribed in the Quran namely, theft (sariqah), adultery (zina) , slanderous accusation (Qadhf) and highway robbery (hirabah).
PAS came out with the Hudud Bill sometime in 1993 and I believe it was passed by the Kelantan Legislature that time. I presume this must be the same law that they are now harping about. Of course, being a religious party, it uses the majority religion of Islam as their platform and unreservedly claim that their version is the Islamic version. In India, the religion based parties choose Hinduism; in Sri Lanka, they choose Buddhism, and in some European countries, they choose Christianity. Do you really believe that all these parties sincerely promote the “cause of God’?!
Any opposition to their version is spinned as an opposition to Islam. Jadi, nak bagi orang Melayu takut lah untuk mempertikaikan gubalan undang-undang hudud pakar-pakar mereka. There are so many issues that can be raised against their version of the hudud laws (I do not intend to cover all of it here. Some other time, God willing).
Again they insult the Malay mind in the sense that they expect the moment they say “Islam”, every Malay must prostrate to them without question. A reading of the Quran will tell you that it is not the attitude of the Muslim to accept anything said in the name of Allah without verification and knowledge (Quran 17:36).
Today, many Malays read the Quran such that religion based politicians and even scholars of religion do have the kind of monopoly they enjoyed for many years over the Malay masses. If you research the Quran, you will find that there are only FOUR offences which will come under the scholastic definition of hudud laws.
Prof Dr Mohamad Hashim Kamali, a renowned international Muslim scholar has analysed the Kelantan Hudud Bill 1993 in his book “Islamic Law in Malaysia: Issues and Developments” (get the book!) . He points out that the Kelantan Hudud Bill “has 72 clauses and five supplementary schedules, divided into six parts, namely hudud (prescribed) offences, qisas (just retaliation), evidence, implementation of punishments, general provisions and (Sharia) court proceedings”.
He further points out that “The hudud offences in part one also appear under the six headings of theft, highway robbery, unlawful intercourse, slanderous accusations of zina which is not proven by four witnesses, wine drinking (shrub) and apostasy (irtidad)”. The Quran clearly has only four offences for which punishments are prescribed, but PAS’s hudud law has six!
Prof Mohamad Hashim Kamali poses a valid question in his book, “The question may be asked as to why did the Hudud Bill of Kelantan extend the scope of the hudud from four to six offences in the face of clear evidence that would justify their confinement to four?” . So this question must be answered by the numerous “Ustads”, “tuan gurus”. “tok gurus” and other fancy religious titled folks in PAS. (While you are at this, please refer to the Quran to see how all the prophets are referred to without any fancy religious titles). The serious efforts at self-sanctification in PAS are mind boggling! The insulting aspect is, they do not expect any Malay to question this and accept whatever they say as God’s word. To date, none of the PAS leader’s has ever issued the guarantee that Allah has asked in Quran 68:40-41 to the Malays:
“Ask you of them, which of them will stand guarantee for that! Or have they some “Partners” (in Godhead)? Then let them produce their “partners”, if they are truthful!” (Quran: 68.40 to 41)
Clause 11-1 of the Kelantan Hudud Bill provides that the punishment for married persons who commit zina (adultery) is death by stoning. This punishment of death for adultery by stoning is found in the Old Testament of the Bible (Deutronomy 22:22; Leviticus 20:10), but not in the Quran. See my previous article on this.
Malays who take their Islam seriously believe totally in the Quran. They understand from the Quran that whenever the Quran specifies a punishment, it also mentions repentance and forgiveness. This aspect is totally absent from Kelantan’s Hudud Bill. I and many genuine Muslim scholars know that Kelantan’s Hudud Bill is a rehash of a typical fiqh book. However, PAS has deliberately picked and chosen which of the scholar’s interpretation it wants (the harsher ones, in this case).
This brings me to another insult of PAS on the Malay mind – Malays are expected to accept PAS’s selection of interpretation! Since when has punishment ever been part of the faith of the Muslim? Does any Sunnah Wal Jamaah find it in the 5 articles of faith called the “Rukun Islam”?
PAS is So Religion-Based That It Ignores the Spirit of Justice in the Quran
There is a big difference between being faithful to religion, and being faithful to God. What is the purpose of Islamic Justice? It feels rather odd to say “Islamic justice” as if there can be an “un-Islamic justice”. Justice should be justice, should it not, regardless of where the law comes from?
To me that law which is “just” is justice. So the purpose of any law must be to achieve justice. As a Muslim, it is important to me that the law must be consistent with the principles of justice in the Quran. Hence, I find the traffic light system very Islamic, though it did not originate from the Arabian and Persian lands. And the list goes on.
This is where PAS insults the Malay mind again. It often proclaims that it wants to implement “Islamic Laws”, whatever PAS means by it. However, the fact and reality of the matter is this: PAS has never seriously or even remotely analyzed and researched whether all the Acts, the Statutes that have been passed by the secular Parliament are “Islamic” or not! The Contracts Act, the Penal Code, the Defamation Act, the AMLA Act, the Money Changer’s Act, the Road and Transport Act, etc, etc – are they Islamic or not? Tak pernah kaji semua ni kan? Pasal bukan dalam bahasa Arab ke? Pasal bukan Al-Kontrak, Al-Penal Kod, Al Akta Pengangkutan dan Al Al yang lain?
Surely, PAS is not saying that a law must be Islamic only if it passed or sanctioned by a “tok guru” or a ”tuan guru” or a “sheikh blah blah” or an “ustad”? Unfortunately, PAS’s behavior implies this. After all, we have often heard from PAS statements from which we can infer that, other than a PAS member, others are not qualified to speak about Islam.
The apathetic behavior of PAS vis-à-vis the numerous laws that have existed and governed the Nation since merdeka clearly show that PAS is not interested in justice. Let me say this bluntly: PAS only wants to score points with some sections of the Malay community that it wants to uphold “Islamic laws” because and only because it is a religion based party. It wants to stoke the Malay sentiment of Islam. Full stop. If it had been sincere, you would seen or heard of many workshops by PAS over the decades studying and debating the existing laws passed by the secular Parliament. That never happened because PAS was and is never serious about justice according to the Quran.
Let anyone, Muslim or non-Muslim, forget this to their own peril. The religious law (I will not even term them Islamic) under PAS will be “divine laws” as PAS SEES IT. And you will have no choice to even protest against it because protesting against it will be made an offence against God. Is this not absolutely scary? To a serious Muslim, this may even lead to oppression on their faith towards Allah because under PAS they will be compelled by law to accept what PAS says is “Islam (Nauzubillah!).
As a Muslim, I find it almost sinful to vote for such a party as it will surely diminish my right to serve Allah as I understand it – unless PAS truly adheres to the Quran or makes an effort towards it. I certainly have no wish to turn Malaysia into a theocratic state where my friends and good people who do not belong into the category which PAS deems as “Muslim” are discriminated against. We are already grappling with racial polarization in the country, and we certainly do not need religious polarization.
The insult on the Malay mind by PAS continues and will continue but I shall stop here for now.
NOTE: No one is required to agree with the author. This article should not be taken as an attack on ALL PAS members, as I personally know quite a number of very good people and Muslims in PAS for whom I have tremendous love and respect.