MAY 8 — Islam has so many “protectors” today.
As if under an imminent threat, we have new NGOs mushrooming on a regular basis to champion the religion. These I suppose are the “superheroes”, “guardians” of Islam.
And unlike other superheroes who fight crime and villains, these NGOs seem to be fighting multiculturalism, secularism and the freedom of religious and political discourse.
If we were to believe them, these are the new “enemies” that are bent on destroying a religion that has survived more than 1,400 years, a religion embraced by people of different races, cultures and traditions around the world.
Ideas and opinions that run contrary to theirs are viewed as a threat that needs to be silenced, suppressed, and individuals responsible sent for religious counselling.
And even more pitiful is the fact that they actually believe this is done in the name of Islam.
Quran said 5:48, “.....Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ.”
If they read the Quran, they would also realise that their coveted job is already taken.
Quran 15:9, “Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian”.
I’m sorry folks, no vacancy for the position “protectors”, “guardians” of Islam, ever.
Persecuting and prosecuting those with opposing views
In the same context, there is really no need to arrest and prosecute Dr Kassim Ahmad.
He was merely expressing his views. Disagree with him. Argue with him. But persecuting and prosecuting him for insulting Islam is a waste of time, and a retrogressive step in our quest to become a modern and developed nation.
Perhaps our leaders would do well to remember that a developed nation should not only be measured in monetary terms. A developed nation should also mean the creation of a mature, civil and just society that is able to contribute to the general well-being and progress of the whole nation.
Malaysia should not be one of the countries that have First World incomes and infrastructure but Third World citizens. No point in having a high income when people still double park, spit in public, cannot keep their lavatories clean and cannot speak and argue properly.
Believe it or not, one cannot, no matter how hard you try, insult Islam that has survived more than 1,400 years and is guarded by the protector of all protectors, God.
And even if you think Kassim Ahmad is a deviant and oppose his views, you can do what Quran 73:10 says about the ignorant and non-believers, “And be patient over what they say and avoid them with gracious avoidance.”
Why can’t they answer and rebut Dr Kassim’s views with facts?
I would say that “Cerita Misteri dan Hantu Nusantara” are more dangerous to our belief and faith, don’t you?
Contrary to popular belief, Islam allows, and asks us to graciously agree to disagree. Persecuting and prosecuting Dr Kassim Ahmad for his opinions go against the Quran and therefore Islam so many swore to protect.
It makes you wonder what kind of Islam these “protectors” are selling to the public and to the watching international community. A bigger question would be, if it is not Islam they are protecting, who are these “protectors” actually protecting?
The most logical answer would be the Muslims. While you cannot insult Islam, you can definitely insult the weak, ignorant, and the less educated people who claim to be “Muslims”. People who cannot argue, rationalise and debate with patience and facts, who resort to force, intimidation and predict doom when things don’t go their way.
People who kill, maim and destroy in the name of Islam.
A true Muslim should not be so easily insulted, and faith not easily swayed by arguments.
So the next time you think someone is insulting Islam, think again. Is it Islam who is insulted, or could it just be a weak, over-sensitive you?
Protectors or pretenders?
I write because we have so many organisations clamouring to be protectors of Islam. And they behave, speak and write as though they have not heard of Islam and read the Quran.
ISMA, for instance, called me the product of a “mistake.”
Not directly, but since they said the Chinese and Brits came into the country as intruders, I volunteer myself as a “mistake” since my mother is Chinese.
Credit should be given where it’s due, and no one can deny how much they have contributed to the economy, health, welfare and social well-being of Malaysia.
How can you generalise? Are all Malays all good? Are there no traitorous and corrupted Malays around who would sell the country away?
You cannot determine one’s deed and loyalty through skin colour. That is bigotry. That is racism.
Quran 49:13 “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.”
My mother was a teacher. She taught for 40 years, inspired and motivated countless students who ended up becoming doctors, lawyers, architects, engineers throughout her career.
She taught in a “Kebangsaan” school, so most of her students were Malays.
Calling us a “mistake” is a heinous statement, and leaders who chose to stay silent over such statements are not fit to earn our respect, loyalty and vote.
I don’t expect an apology from ISMA, but what I expect is for Malaysian leaders to take a strong stand against religious and racial rhetoric that is ripping us apart.
Assuming that the majority of Malay Muslims are with ISMA, cannot discern right and wrong and needs protection from a group that does not even make sense is at the very least politically suicidal.
If you truly want to be a “protector”, go to Sabah. We need help over there.
Stop fighting made-up bogeymen. It’s a waste of time.
*This is the personal opinion of the columnist.