Archive for category Islam

Excommunicating Saudis? A New Fracture Emerges in Islam

By YAROSLAV TROFIMOV
Wall Street Journal
Sept. 22, 2016

International conference in Russia’s Chechnya leaves out Saudis, creating fresh religious strife — this time within Islam’s Sunni sect

Political conflicts in the Middle East between the Saudi-led camp of Sunni powers and a rival Shiite camp led by Iran have already morphed into a religious war. Now, a theological dispute within Sunni Islam is causing another regional political rift — a result of an initially obscure conference in Russia’s Chechen Republic.

Chechnya’s strongman Ramzan Kadyrov — just re-elected with a modest 98% of the vote — is a follower of the Sufi current of Sunni Islam. The diverse and more mystical version of the Muslim faith is one long at odds with the puritan Islam promoted by Saudi Arabia and based on the teachings of 18th-century cleric Mohammed ibn Abdel Wahhab.

Normally, Mr. Kadyrov, a former Islamist rebel known for his fierce loyalty to President Vladimir Putin and for using his Instagram account to solicit citizens’ help in locating a missing cat, isn’t considered an authority on Islamic affairs, at least not outside Chechnya. But buoyed by Russia’s new influence in the Middle East after last year’s intervention in Iran-allied Syria, he managed to bring some of the Muslim world’s most famous luminaries to a conference in late August in the Chechen capital of Grozny.

The conference, co-sponsored by an Islamic foundation in the United Arab Emirates, was attended by the imam of Al-Azhar Grand Mosque in Cairo, advisers to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, influential Yemeni cleric Habib Ali Jifri and the mufti of Syria, among others. Its mission was no less ambitious than determining who qualifies to be a Sunni Muslim. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mahathir-Anwar reconciliation creating waves in Indonesia

The Mahathir-Anwar reconciliation is creating waves in Indonesia, and is the subject of inquiry of the many political leaders and public intellectuals I met during the four-day visit to Jakarta and Yogyakarta.

This is the third overseas visit by DAP leaders to learn and update on the latest political developments with regard to Islam and democracy, particularly in Moslem-majority nations.

The countries first visited were Jordan and Egypt in April last year, followed by visits to Tunisia and Turkey last October. Read the rest of this entry »

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The rise of Aman Abdurrahman, IS master ideologue

Rendi A. Witular
The Jakarta Post
January 25 2016

Unlike his contemporaries, cleric and terrorist convict Aman Abdurrahman has never seen war. He never fights along his fellow jihadists in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria or in any domestic sectarian conflict.

But Aman’€™s preaching is so contagious that Abu Bakar Ba’€™asyir, the elder statesman of the regional terrorism network, has succumbed to his doctrine and authority.

Aman’€™s notoriety was recently extended with the alleged involvement of his followers in an attack targeting police and foreigners in a Central Jakarta district packed with shopping centers, embassies, the UN headquarters and government offices on Jan. 14. The attack killed four civilians and four perpetrators. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Political Divide Over Islamic Law Could Undo Malaysia’s Social Fabric

David Hutt
World Politics Review
Aug. 30, 2016

During my last visit to Malaysia in February, I met the famed film director Chiu Keng Guan to discuss his fourth and latest movie, “Ola Bola.” It had just come out in local cinemas and was already proving to be such a sensation that one newspaper asked if there was an “Ola Bola overload.” A little misty-eyed perhaps, the film is a fictionalized account of the Malaysian national football team’s qualification for the 1980 Olympic Games, arguably one of the country’s finest sporting milestones, made all the more memorable by the fact that it was achieved by a multiracial, multireligious team.

“Ola Bola is a story about Malaysia,” Chiu told me as we sat on the steps of the decaying Stadium Merdeka, where independence from Britain was announced in 1957. “I wanted to talk about team spirit, how a team of young players went through difficulties, trained together, sweated together, and how they worked as a team.”

Being in Malaysia at the time of the film’s release, it wasn’t difficult to notice that, aside from the nostalgia, people were speaking of it as a piece of social commentary in a country where racial and religious tensions are never far from the surface. One critic surmised, “Ola Bola [has] been able to do for Malaysia what many politicians cannot do—to remind us as a nation and as Malaysians, ‘kita menang sama-sama, kita kalah sama-sama’”: We win together; we lose together. One cannot help but feel the critic’s words were even more pertinent months later when politicians forced the country into yet another existential debate.

In May, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (Parti Islam Se-Malaysia, PAS), an opposition party, successfully tabled a bill to introduce strict Islamic criminal codes, known as “hudud,” in the northern state of Kelantan, which has been a PAS stronghold since 1990. Hudud are criminal punishments established by the Quran and Sunnah, the oral teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, which typically cover what are deemed criminal offenses, such as theft, fornication, intoxication, apostasy and slander. Punishments can include the amputation of limbs for theft, flogging for “improper” sexual acts and stoning to death for adultery, although the latter is not always imposed. Read the rest of this entry »

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Saudis and Extremism: ‘Both the Arsonists and the Firefighters’

by Scott Shaneaug,
New York Times
Aug. 25, 2016

Critics see Saudi Arabia’s export of a rigid strain of Islam as contributing to terrorism, but the kingdom’s influence depends greatly on local conditions.

WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump do not agree on much, but Saudi Arabia may be an exception. She has deplored Saudi Arabia’s support for “radical schools and mosques around the world that have set too many young people on a path towards extremism.” He has called the Saudis “the world’s biggest funders of terrorism.”

The first American diplomat to serve as envoy to Muslim communities around the world visited 80 countries and concluded that the Saudi influence was destroying tolerant Islamic traditions. “If the Saudis do not cease what they are doing,” the official, Farah Pandith, wrote last year, “there must be diplomatic, cultural and economic consequences.”

And hardly a week passes without a television pundit or a newspaper columnist blaming Saudi Arabia for jihadist violence. On HBO, Bill Maher calls Saudi teachings “medieval,” adding an epithet. In The Washington Post, Fareed Zakaria writes that the Saudis have “created a monster in the world of Islam.”

The idea has become a commonplace: that Saudi Arabia’s export of the rigid, bigoted, patriarchal, fundamentalist strain of Islam known as Wahhabism has fueled global extremism and contributed to terrorism. As the Islamic State projects its menacing calls for violence into the West, directing or inspiring terrorist attacks in country after country, an old debate over Saudi influence on Islam has taken on new relevance. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dangers of passing a law to impose hudud

Koon Yew Yin
Malaysiakini
04.8.2016

COMMENT In two months from now, Parliament will be sitting again. What is at stake for the nation is nothing less than our way of life and our Malaysian dream.

This is because a Private Member’s Bill to amend the Syariah Court (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 will be tabled and debated at that sitting.

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has been going around to claim that this bill is only to upgrade the Syariah Courts and that it has nothing to do with non-Muslims.

PAS-oriented analysts and ulama leaders have also commented that it is not really a “Hudud Bill” and that it’s passage is only intended to pave the way for PAS to enforce its version of the Islamic penal code in Kelantan. Hence they argue that its effect will be limited.

However, Hadi and his supporters are only trying to fool the public. Read the rest of this entry »

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Analysis: Month of Terror During Ramadan Shows ISIS’s New Phase

by RICHARD ENGEL
NBC News
JUL 6 2016

Comment

ISTANBUL, Turkey — Muslims around the world on Wednesday were celebrating Eid, the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. But this year, the end of the month of fasting brings special relief because ISIS turned Ramadan — a time of prayer, charity and self-restraint — into a month of terror.

The terror group used Ramadan as a rallying cry for violence.

But was the wave of attacks — from Turkey to Bangladesh, Baghdad to Medina — a sign of ISIS strength or weakness? The answer may be a bit of both. Read the rest of this entry »

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Islam as a religion of peace, moderation, justice and harmony

Hari Raya 2016 will be held in a very sombre backdrop, both nationally and internationally.

On the eve of Hari Raya Aildifitri, the Police have confirmed that Malaysia is in the crosshair of Islamic State terrorism, with the attack on Movida nightclub in Puchong last Tuesday the first act of terror by Islamic State (IS) elements in the country and the arrest of 15 IS militants.

Internationally, there has been a wave of unprecedented Islamic State terrorist attacks killing hundreds of innocent lives, ranging from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Iraq, Jordan, Yemen, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Malaysia and the world must stand guard against extremist interpretations of Islam, like turning Ramadan from a month of restraint and reflection into a month of war and conquests or nearer home, the classification of DAP and non-Muslims as “kafir harbi” who could be slain. Read the rest of this entry »

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Does the Najib government accept Merdeka Constitution 1957, Malaysia Agreement 1963 and Rukunegara 1970 that provide that all Malaysians are citizens and not “kafir harbi” or “kafir dhimmi” and what it proposes to do to stop the rhetoric of hate, intolerance and bigotry

The Pahang Mufti Datuk Seri Dr. Abdul Rahman Osman is trying to pull the wool over the people’s eyes, by inventing a new category of “kafir harbi” who need not be slain or put to death, following religiously the Prime Minister’s Office’s statement last Wednesday which “whitewashed” instead of condemning the mufti’s statement by coining a new category of “kafir harbi”.

Does the Najib government accept Merdeka Constitution 1957, Malaysia Agreement 1963 and Rukunegara 1970 that provide that all Malaysians are citizens and not “kafir harbi” or “kafir dhimmi” and what it proposes to do with official religious officers who preach the dangerous message of hate, intolerance and bigotry in plural Malaysia by classifying DAP and non-Muslims who disagree with Hadi’s hudud motion or hudud law as “kafir harbi”?

Three days ago, the Christian Federation of Malaysia chairperson Eu Hong Seng expressed dismay at the “silence over the years as our society is hit by the divisive issues of race and religion” and called for the Prime Minister’s leadership at such an “incendiary” statement by the Pahang mufti by eradicating such rhetoric.

Eu stressed that Malaysians had a constitutional right to question implementation of Islamic laws as “Questioning, doubting, or rejecting any change in laws or policy – such as with establishing hudud – is the fundamental constitutional right of all Malaysians”.

Eu said hudud is a small part of the syariah, not even constantly or consistently applied throughout the history of Islam, so how can such Malaysians be designated as enemies of Islam?

Five days ago, 55 NGOs of the Malaysian’s multi-racial and multi-religious civil society, in a joint declaration, stressed that all Malaysians are citizens, and no more “kafir harbi” or “kafir dhimmi”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Instead of mobilising world moderate opinion against Islamic State (IS) terrorism through GMM, the Najib government has failed to stand up against ISIS-minded official preachers like the “kafir harbi” statement by the Pahang mufti

Yesterday, eight people were injured after a hand grenade was tossed into the porch of a nightspot at the IOI Boulevard in Puchong.

Later, a Facebook page linked to the Islamic State (IS) reportedly claimed responsibility, but the owner of the pub disputed this IS claim.

In the early hours of this morning, 8,300 kilometres away in Istanbul, three suicide bombers opened fire then blew themselves up in Europe’s third-busiest international airport, killing 36 people and wounding close to 150 in what Turkey’s prime minister said appeared to have been an attack by Islamic State militants.

The attack bore similarities to a suicide bombing by Islamic State militants at Brussels airport in March which killed 16 people. A coordinated attack also targeted a rush-hour metro train, killing a further 16 people in the Belgian capital.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said the attack should serve as a turning point in the global fight against militant groups.

He said: “The attack, which took place during the holy month of Ramadan, shows that terrorism strikes with no regard for faith and values.

“The bombs that exploded in Istanbul today could have gone off at any airport in any city around the world.”

Malaysians cannot agree more with Erdogan’s condemnation of the violence and terrorism at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, especially with the increasing foreboding that Malaysia may not be spared from the horrific and senseless acts of terror perpetrated by Islamic State (IS) terrorists, using the name of Islam but actually committing a gross blasphemy of Islam.

This is a real anomaly.

Whether the Islamic State was responsible or not for the hand-grenade incident in Puchong early yesterday, why has Malaysia got caught in the coils of global terrorism of IS? Read the rest of this entry »

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First job of reshuffled Cabinet is to prove that the Ministers of the Najib Cabinet 3.0 after the 13GE is not a “kafir harbi” Cabinet or like the traditional three monkeys, with eyes that see not, ears that hear not and mouths that speak not

The Najib Cabinet 3.0 after the 13th General Election, announced on Monday with the new Ministers and Deputy Ministers taking their oath of office yesterday, will meet for the first time today.

The first job of the reshuffled Cabinet is to prove that the Ministers of the Najib Cabinet 3.0 after the 13GE is not a “kafir harbi” Cabinet or like the traditional three monkeys, with eyes that see not, ears that hear not and mouths that speak not.

The Najib Cabinet 3.0 was a great disappointment for four reasons:

• Failure to end the disastrous combination of the office of Prime Minister and the Finance Minister which catapulted Malaysia to the world’s top nations notorious for global corruption with Najib’s RM55 billion 1MDB and RM4.2 billion “donation” mega financial scandals.

• Failure to trim the jumbo-sized Cabinet of 35 Ministers to a lean, smart and professional team based on the Ministers’ ability to end Malaysia’s decline in all fields of human endeavour and to take the nation to greater heights instead of their sycophancy to the Prime Minister of the day.

• A slap-in-the-face to Sarawak in dropping a Minister despite Sarawak BN’s “landslide” victory in the recent Sarawak state general elections, and the recycling of “half-past six” and “deadwood” Ministerial material.

• The inexplicable resignation of more technocratic and professional Ministers like the Second Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, who must have gone through hell during the few months he was made Cabinet spokesman for the 1MDB scandal, raising the serious question about the moral compass of the present batch of Ministers.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Kafir Harbi dan Mufti Pahang

25 Jun 2016 | MUJAHID YUSOF RAWA
Malaysia Dateline

Mufti Pahang dinasihatkan bercermat dalam mengkategorikan orang bukan Islam dalam negara ini sebagai Kafir Harbi atas dasar mereka menentang Islam. Kenyataan umum demikian amat merbahaya dalam konteks pembinaan negara bangsa yang terdiri dari berbagai agama di Malaysia, apatah lagi diisyaratkan kepada parti politik tertentu.

Apakah yang didefinisikan sebagai alasan ‘menentang Islam’ sebelum Kafir Harbi dikategorikan? Apakah Sohibus Samahah Mufti Pahang mengandaikan memberi pandangan dalam konteks demokrasi dalam soal perundangan negara dan perlembagaan negara dalam hal pentadbiran Islam itu menentang Islam?

Mufti Pahang nampaknya keliru antara mengkritik isu pentadbiran Islam dengan menentang Islam, ia adalah dua perkara yang berbeza, malah kedudukan beliau sebagai mufti juga ditentukan oleh perundangan negara yang boleh dikritik dan dipertikaikan dari segi pentadbiran. Apakah Mufti menganggap dirinya yang ditentukan oleh pentadbiran sebagai ‘suci’ tidak boleh dikritik?

Mufti Pahang juga ketinggalan dalam fatwa terkini yang diterimapakai oleh dunia Islam bahawa pengkategorian hubungan Muslim dan bukan-Muslim dalam konteks kenegaraan atau Muwathanah ditentukan oleh prinsip kewarganegaraan atau kerakyatan yang diikat dengan undang-undang negara dalam memberi hak dan keadilan kepada semua warganya. Artikel 8 Perlembagaan Persekutuan menyatakan hak mendapat keadilan undang-undang untuk semua rakyat Malaysia tanpa mengira kaum, agama, keturunan, bangsa dan tempat lahir. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tuduhan kafir harbi, pandangan ketinggalan zaman

— Muhammad Nur Manuty
Malay Mail Online
27.6.2016

Sesungguhnya, Biro Pemahaman & Pemantapan Agama (BiPPA) Keadilan ingin menyatakan rasa dukacita kami berikutan laporan kenyataan Mufti Pahang, Datuk Seri Abd Rahman Osman di sebuah akhbar perdana yang menyatakan bahawa, penentangan DAP terhadap pelaksanaan hukum hudud dan Rang Undang-undang Persendirian Mahkamah Syariah (Bidang Kuasa Jenayah (Pindaan) 2016 jelas membenci Islam, tergolong sebagai ‘kafir harbi” dan berdosa besar bagi umat Islam bekerjasama dengan mereka.

Kami berpandangan kenyataan ini telah dikeluarkan secara ‘simplistic’, tanpa hujah yang jelas dan tiada fakta yang kukuh untuk membuktikan ketepatan tuduhan dan hukuman yang dikemukakan. Justeru, kenyataan tersebut wajib disanggah, kerana ia amat mengelirukan masyarakat – Islam dan bukan Islam – di negara ini.

Sesungguhnya, kenyataan tersebut boleh mengundang pelbagai implikasi negatif kepada keselamatan negara, menggugat perpaduan umat Islam, memecahbelah keharmonian hubungan kaum, mengundang tingkahlaku keganasan dan mencemar imej agama Islam sebagai agama pembawa risalah ‘alamiyyah’(universal) dan rahmat untuk seluruh insan.

BiPPA kesal dengan kenyataan tersebut yang menampakkan ketinggalan dalam menekuni pelbagai sudut pandang para sarjana dan ilmuan Islam yang bersifat semasa dan kontemporari dan berautoriti seperti Syeikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Syeikh al-Raisuni, Syeikh Wahbah Zuhaili, Syeikh Taha Jabir, al-Ghanoushi, Dr Abdul Hamid Sulaiman, Dr Hassan Turabi, Salim al-Awa, Jaafar Sheikh Idris dan ramai lagi. Read the rest of this entry »

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Who is more dangerous and subversive to the Malaysian nation-building process – ISIS member Mohd Rafi Udin warning Bukit Aman plice personnel they will have “no peace” or a state mufti spouting “kafir harbi” edict implying that non-Muslims Malaysians can be killed regardless of rule of law?

Who is more dangerous and subversive to the Malaysian nation-building process – ISIS member Mohd Rafi Udin warning Bukit Aman plice personnel they will have “no peace” or a state mufti spouting “kafir harbi” edict implying that non-Muslims Malaysians can be killed regardless of rule of law?

Who is more dangerous and subversive to the Malaysian nation-building process – ISIS member Mohd Rafi Udin from Negri Sembilan warning that there would be “no peace” for police personnel in the Bukit Aman headquarters, and urging IS supporters in Malaysia to employ whatever means necessary to kill non-believers – “Kill them wherever you meet them…if you have a car, hit them…Use your weapon and knives to stab them in the chest” – or a state mufti spouting “kafir harbi” edict implying that DAP and non-Muslims can be killed regardless of the rule of law?
I think it is the latter who pose a greater threat to the integrity and success of the Malaysian nation-building process than the former, for there is a Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division whose special responsibility is to be vigilant and prepared for such ISIS threats, but Malaysia seemed to be completely defenceless to ISIS-minded religious officials preaching doctrines no different from ISIS.

Pahang mufti Abdul Rahman Osman yesterday insisted that he would neither retract his statement nor apologise to DAP over his earlier remarks labelling DAP as ‘kafir harbi’. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kafir Harbi atau Warganegara?: Kepelbagaian Dalam Bingkai Kesatuan.

Prof Dato Dr Siddiq Fadzil
Pengerusi Institut Darul Ehsan (IDE)
27.6.2016

Pembinaan bangsa dalam konteks Malaysia harus berasaskan formula kepelbagaian dalam kesatuan. Kita harus dapat bersikap positif, melihat dan menerima kepelbagaian kaum, agama dan budaya bukan sebagai sumber konflik, sebaliknya sebagai aset kekuatan, kekayaan, kreativiti dan dinamika kemajuan. Bangsa tidak dapat dibina menerusi formula melting pot atau kawah besar peleburan. Tidak ada golongan yang rela jati dirinya dilebur. Kebinekaan atau keragaman budaya tidak menjadi masalah, andainya ia diletakkan dalam bingkai keekaan atau kesatuan.

Formula kepelbagaian dalam kesatuan adalah selaras dan serasi dengan fitrah dan sunnatu’Lah. Tema inilah yang dihuraikan dengan cukup menarik oleh Dr.Muhammad `Imarah dalam bukunya, al-Islam wa al-Ta`addudiyyah: al-Ikhtilaf wa al-Tanawwu` fi Itar al-Wihdah (Islam dan Pluralisme: Perbezaan danKepelbagaian dalam Bingkai Kesatuan).

Segala kewujudan yang kita saksikan pada alam dan kehidupan semuanya memancarkan hakikat kepelbagaian dalam kesatuan–keesaan Pencipta dengan kepelbagaian makhluk ciptaan-Nya; kesatuan keinsanan dengan kepelbagaian bangsa, warna dan bahasanya; kesatuan agama Allah dengankepelbagaian syari`atnya; kesatuan syari`at dengan kepelbagaian fiqh, mazhab dan ijtihadnya. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pahang Mufti Abdul Rahman should repent – or let him state specifically whether I am “kafir harbi” who should be killed

The Pahang Mufti Datuk Seri Dr. Abdul Rahman Osman should not twist and turn and should repent or let him state specifically whether I am “kafir harbi” who should be killed or slain.

May be Abdul Ramabn should also state when I became “kafir harbi”?

I have taken the oath as a Member of Parliament 10 times to “faithfully discharge my duties…to the best of my ability” and that “I will bear true faith and allegiance to Malaysia and will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution”.

Can a Malaysian who had subscribed 10 times to the oath as an MP to “bear true faith and allegiance to Malaysia” and to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution” become a “kafir habir” to be killed or slain?

Or did I become a “kafir harbi” when I stood up in Parliament in 1978 to defend PAS to oppose the UMNO-controlled Barisan Nasional government’s declaration of state of emergency in Kelantan to topple to PAS state government?

Or did I become a “kafir harbi” when in 1985 I deplored the government handling of the tragic Memali incident which killed 18 people and called for a Royal Commission of Inquiry?

Or did I become a “kafir harbi” in 1998 when my son, Lim Guan Eng went to jail for defending the honour and dignity of an underaged Malay girl, losing his position as MP for Kota Melaka, his parliamentary pension as well disenfranchised and deprived of right to vote or to stand for elective office for five years from release from Kajang Prison in August 1999?

Or did I become a “kafir harbi” in 2000 when I denounced the Federal Government for hijacking the five per cent oil royalty of Terengganu because PAS had won the Terengganu State Government in the 1999 general election and Hadi Awang had become the state’s Mentri Besar? Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Najib to convene special Parliament meeting before National Day on August 31 to debate the country’s burning issues, including Najib’s twin global scandals, the NSC Act and worsening racial/religious polarisation highlighted by Pahang mufti’s incendiary “kafir harbi” statement

I call on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to convene a special Parliament meeting before National Day on August 31 to debate the burning issues in the country, including Najib’s RM55 billion 1MDB and RM4.2 billion “donation” twin global scandals, the National Security Council (NSC) Act and the worsening racial/religious polarisation in the country highlighted by the Pahang mufti’s incendiary “kafir harbi” statement.

Parliament adjourned on May 26 and is next scheduled to reconvene on Oct. 17 – a recess of some five months.

In an era of fast-changing developments, especially with many burning national issues crying out for answers and solutions, it is the height of irresponsibility for Parliament to adjourn for as long as some five months and this is why Najib should convene a special meeting of Parliament before National Day on August 31, where the two newly-elected MPs from Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar can officially take their oath of office.

There are many national burning issues awaiting answers or resolutions, and I will touch on three of them. Read the rest of this entry »

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Three cries for Malaysia – that in run-up to the 53rd Malaysia Day and 59th National Day celebrations, a state mufti could classify non-Muslim Malaysians as “kafir harbi” who could be slain

I cry for Malaysia – firstly, that in the run-up to the 53rd Malaysia Day on Sept. 16 and 59th National Day celebrations on August 31, a state mufti could classify non-Muslims Malaysians as “kafir harbi” who could be slain.

I further cry for Malaysia that the state mufti’s statement was made a day after the Islamic State IS) released a new propaganda video where a Malaysian identified as Mohd Rafi Udin from Negri Sembilan warned that there would be “no peace” for police personnel in the Bukit Aman headquarters, and urged IS supporters in Malaysia to employ whatever means necessary to kill non-believers – “Kill them wherever you meet them…if you have a car, hit them…Use your weapon and knives to stab them in the chest”.

The state mufti’s statement has prompted the reaction, “Daesh is already in Malaysia”, among many Malaysians.

My third cry for Malaysia is that the mufti’s statement was made as part of a high-level UMNO/BN political conspiracy after the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections to incite hatred and animosity among the diverse races and religions to accummulate political capital, spearheaded by the UMNO propaganda mouthpiece, Utusan Malaysia, as if there is no rule of law in Malaysia and in utter contempt of six decades of nation-building efforts. Read the rest of this entry »

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Political Islam will go the same way as nationalism and communism

Moncef Marzouki
Middle East Eye
15 June 2016

After the demise of nationalism, pan-Arabism and communism, Islamism is now facing its inevitable decline

Over the past half century, throughout which time I have been politically active, I have witnessed the rise and decline of three waves of political thought: nationalism, pan-Arabism and communism. Today, I am about to see the decline of a fourth wave, Islamism, after witnessing its launch in the early 1970s and reaching its peak in the late 1990s.

Some might argue the contrary, pointing to the increasing numbers of bearded men and veiled women visible in streets all over the world. They’d point to news reporting the actions of armed religious groups. Or direct my attention to the Islamic resistance Hamas, charities helping the poor, the uncorrupt ruling party in Turkey, or the Muslim Brotherhood’s standing up to the Egyptian dictatorship.

I am not disputing any of that. But many will remember that when we were young in the 1970s, the Soviet Union was seen as a power that will stay for the next thousand years. That communism will conquer the world and take hold of the future, leaving all other ideologies in the dustbin of history. Some intellectuals might remember the days when you couldn’t appear as politically intelligent or ethical if you weren’t Marxist or at least trying to be. Read the rest of this entry »

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A paradox, but two by-election victories make UMNO/BN leaders more desperate for general election victory and there will be greater demonization campaign against the opposition – such as painting me as anti-Malay, anti-Islam or even anti-Chinese

This is a paradox – but the two by-election victories in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar have made UMNO/BN leaders more desperate for victory in the 14th General Election and I expect a greater demonization campaign against the Opposition – such as painting me as anti-Malay, anti-Islam and even as anti-Chinese.

I will give three examples post twin by-elections:

Firstly, I would place in such a category the statement by the former Chief Justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad who alleged that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s support of opposition parties DAP and Amanah in the recent by-elections were “detrimental to Malays”.

He said that the former prime minister could try and oust Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak from within Umno, but should steer clear of lobbying for support within the Pakatan Harapan opposition alliance as the chances of Malays retaining power once they have lost it is “very slim”.

Could the former Chief Justice answer the two questions which had been posed by the National Laureate Pak Samad:

“How are Malays under threat? How can religion (Islam) and Malays be threatened when those in power have been Malay for over five decades?

“What have they (Malay leaders) been doing for five decades (if Malays can be under threat)?”

Whatever happens in the 14th General Election, whether Najib is toppled as Prime Minister or UMNO loses the Federal Government, the Malays in Malaysia will continue to exercise political power in Malaysia as there is no way they will lose their political power. Read the rest of this entry »

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