Azira Aziz asks fellow Muslims to open their eyes.
In the Perdana Leadership Foundation forum on 17 February 2014, entitled ‘The Thoughts of Kassim Ahmad: A Review’, Mr. Kassim Ahmad said some very interesting things, the first of which I think is the main reason why he was arrested:
(1) He said that Islam in Malaysia has been abused through a “priesthood caste” system.
“This priesthood caste did not exist at the time of the Prophet or the four caliphs. They only emerged about 300 years later by appointing themselves as interpreter of religion for Muslims,” he said.
“They (Muslims) view their religious leaders like gods and goddesses, that these leaders are seen to be protected from maksum (protected from sin) and must decide on everything about their lives.”
(2) He said that “the old method to use the hadith (Prophet’s saying and actions) to explain the Quran is not very good, as this means we are saying that the Prophet Muhammad knew everything. This is ridiculous, as he is just a messenger of Allah.”
(3) He also argued that hair is not part of the aurat (parts of the body which need to be covered) with tudung.
I agree with him on all counts.
His courage in speaking his mind got him Section 9 of the Federal Territory Syariah Offences Act 1997 for disrespecting or not complying with the religious authorities.
Open your eyes, fellow Muslims.
The religious authorities want to be the gatekeepers of heaven in your eyes, when in truth they are mere mortals like we. Having a degree or license does not make you spokesperson of God.