Archive for category Islam

Call on Chinese Chambers of Commerce, Chinese Assembly Halls, Chinese Guilds and Association to ask MCA and Gerakan to requisition emergency meeting of BN Supreme Council meeting before June 18 to resolve controversy over Hadi’s hudud bill instead of falling into MCA/Gerakan trap of postponing resolution until end of the year

MCA and Gerakan have been calling on Chinese Chambers of Commerce, Chinese Assembly Halls, Chinese Guilds and Associations to oppose Hadi’s hudud bill in Parliament at the end of the year.

This is a very subtle and sophisticated trap which Chinese Chambers of Commerce, Chinese Assembly Halls, Chinese Guilds and Associations should be vigilant and not fall into, as it would allow MCA and Gerakan Ministers and leaders to have the best of both worlds – “to have the cake and eat it”!

I call on Chinese Chambers of Commerce, Chinese Assembly Halls, Chinese Guilds and Association in Malaysia to ask MCA and Gerakan Ministers and leaders to requisition an emergency meeting of BN Supreme Council meeting before the two by-elections in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar on June 18 to resolve the controversy over Hadi’s hudud bill instead of falling into MCA/Gerakan trap of postponing resolution until end of the year.

The threats by MCA and Gerakan Ministers that they will resign from Cabinet if Hadi’s hudud bill is passed in Parliament at the end of the year is now empty and meaningless as the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said has revealed that it was the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Zahid Hamidi who gave her the order to move the Ministerial motion in Parliament on May 26 to fast-track Hadi’s hudud bill.

The persons the MCA and Gerakan Ministers should confront are Najib and Zahid and no more Azalina. Read the rest of this entry »

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Now I understand why Liow and Mah dare not accept my advice that they requisition an emergency meeting of BN Supreme Council to reaffirm BN policy opposing Hadi’s hudud bill

Now I understand why the MCA President Liow Tiong Lai and the Gerakan President Mah Siew Keong dare not accept my advice, made freely and publicly over a half dozen times since May 26, that MCA and Gerakan should requisition an emergency meeting of Barisan Nasional Supreme Council to resolve once-and-for-all the Barisan Nasional spat caused by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Azalina Said Othman for her Ministerial motion in Parliament on May 26 to fast-track Hadi’s hudud bill.

Liow and Mah’s reluctance had been all the more astounding as such a Barisan Nasional Supreme Council emergency meeting would be able to reaffirm the Barisan Nasional policy opposing Hadi’s hudud bill as it was the unanimous consensus of all the Barisan Nasional leaders on this issue in March 2015 which was reiterated in the Cabinet meeting of May 20, 2016.

Clearly, Liow and the other two MCA Ministers have not learnt from the lesson of MCA’s 2013 General Election debacle which reduced MCA from the second biggest Barisan Nasional party to a puny “7/11 party” (as compared to winning 28 MPs and 68 SAs in 1999 GE) – because MCA Ministers and leaders make fierce and ferocious statements and even threats all over the coutnry but behave like mice in Cabinet and Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meetings.

Hadi’s hudud bill is a classic case study of the cowardice, hypocrisy and opportunism of MCA Ministers and leaders. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Chinese Assembly Hall and Federation of Chinese Guilds and Associations to put pressure on MCA Ministers to explain why they dare not requisition an emergency BN Supreme Council meeting to end “once and for all” the problem caused by Azalina’s Ministerial motion in Parliament to fast-track Hadi’s hudud bill?

The response of the MCA leadership to my challenge whether MCA had learnt from the lesson of its 201 3 General Election debacle which reduced MCA from the second biggest Barisan Nasional party to a puny “7/11 party” (as compared to winning 28 MPs and 68 SAs in 1999 GE) is so predictable and characteristic that it could have been guessed in advance:

“All three MCA Ministers run for cover from the challenge, avoiding any response as the facts used are undeniable and incontrovertible – that at most only some 30 per cent of MCA’s million-strong card-carrying members voted for the MCA candidates in the 13th general election on May 5, 2013, as even the ordinary MCA members have lost confidence in the sincerity and trustworthiness of MCA Ministers and leaders. The task of responding to the challenge that the MCA leadership should requisition an emergency Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meeting to resolve one-and-for-all the problem caused by Azalina’s Ministerial motion in Parliament to fast-track Hadi’s hudud bill left to low-level MCA officials, who could make ferocious and even extreme statements which MCA Ministers and leaders can claim ignorance.”

This is exactly what happened in the past 24 hours – thunderous silence from the three MCA Ministers but ferocious and even irrelevant outbursts by some inferior MCA underlings, which can be completely ignored as even MCA Ministers dare not endorse them. Read the rest of this entry »

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MCA has not learnt the lesson of the 2013GE debacle which reduced it from second biggest BN party to a puny 7/11 party – MCA Ministers saying one thing outside but doing the very opposite inside Cabinet!

It is very clear that the MCA leadership has not learnt the lesson of its 2013 General Election electoral debacle which reduced the MCA from the second biggest Barisan Nasional party to a puny “7/11 party” – MCA Ministers saying one thing outside but doing the very opposite inside the Cabinet.

Just go back to the 1999 General Election – when MCA won 29 Parliamentary seats which is more than the total number of 28 Barisan Nasional parliamentary seats from Sarawak and the 2013 General Election where MCA won a miserable seven parliamentary seats, edged out as the second largest BN party with MPs by PBB which had 14 MPs and only one seat more than PRS which won six Parliamentary seats!

In 1999 GE, MCA had more MPs than all Sarawak BN parties combined, but in the 2013 GE, Sarawak BN MPs is more than three-and-a-half times that of MCA, with Sarawak BN MPs number 25 compared to MCA’s 7.

MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai recently revealed that MCA had over a million members, when maverick columnist Ridhuan Tee Abdullah announced that he was quitting as a MCA life member.

This would mean that only some 30 per cent MCA members had voted for MCA candidates in the 2013 GE. The total number of votes polled by MCA parliamentary candidates in the 2013 GE came to 867,851. Assuming that some two-thirds of these votes are UMNO votes, this would mean that MCA had only 280,000 to 300,000 MCA members voting for MCA candidates – which is 30 per cent or even less of the total MCA membership. Read the rest of this entry »

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Islamic law bill splits Malaysian cabinet

Jeevan Vasagar in Singapore
Financial Times
June 2, 2016

Ethnic Chinese ministers have threatened to quit the Malaysian government if a bill giving Islamic courts powers to impose tougher penalties is passed into law.

Critics of Najib Razak, the prime minister, say the bill is an attempt to distract attention from the 1MDB state investment fund scandal ahead of by-elections this month and a general election that must be held by 2018.

The bill, proposed by the Islamist opposition but fast-tracked last week by a government minister, will be debated in parliament in October. It comes at a time of concern over rising intolerance in Southeast Asia, a region once regarded as a model of religious coexistence. Read the rest of this entry »

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48-hour ultimatum to Liew and Mah to requisition for emergency BN Supreme Council meeting to resolve week-long spat over Azalina’s Ministerial motion in Parliament to fast-track Hadi’s bill or Malaysians have to conclude that the MCA and Gerakan Presidents were privy to Najib-Hadi plot

I am giving the MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and the Gerakan President Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong a 48-hour ultimatum to requisition for an emergency Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meeting to resolve the week-long spat caused by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Azalina Said Othman for her Ministerial motion in Parliament last Thursday to fast-track the Hadi’s Hudud Bill or Malaysians have to conclude that both the MCA and Gerakan Presidents were privy to the Najib-Hadi plot.

There can be no other reason for Liow or Mak not to requisition for an emergency BN Supreme Council meeting to resolve the BN spat over Azalina’s Ministerial motion, when Azalina had acted in violation of the consensus reached by all Barisan Nasional leaders on the same issue in March 2015 as well as the reaffirmation by Cabinet at its meeting on 20th May 2015 of a fundamental Barisan Nasional stand, whether through formal or informal discussion by Cabinet Ministers.

Furthermore, a BN Supreme Council meeting emergency meeting to reaffirm the Barisan Nasional stand not only of the BN leaders in March 15 last year, but of all UMNO Prime Ministers in Malaysia since Merdeka on the secular basis of the Malaysian Constitution, would have ended the BN spat on the Hadi bill without creating any artificial national crisis in polarizing Malaysians into Muslims and non-Muslims and distract the country from the real national issues in the country – whether Malaysia’s social and economic crisis over the nation’s first global financial crisis like the RM55 billion 1MDB and Najib’s RM4.2 billion “donation” twin mega crisis, losing economic competitiveness, fall in educational excellence in our educational institutions or growing economic inequality and injustices in the country.

If the agenda is not to resolve the Barisan Nasional spat over Azalina’s Ministerial motion but to allow the artificial national crisis over Hadi’s hudud bill to fester and ferment in particular during the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections, seeking in the process to make hudud the main issue in the two by-elections, then I can understand Liow and Mak’s refusal to requisition an emergency meeting of Barisan Nasional Supreme Council to end the controversy. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Myth of The Islamic State

by Bakri Musa
2nd June 2016

Emory University’s Professor Abdullahi An-Naim was recently in Malaysia and commented on the current hudud controversy triggered by PAS leader Abdul Hadi’s private member’s bill in Parliament. I re-post my earlier book review of An-Naim’s “The Myth of the Islamic State” that appeared in October 19, 2008:

The Myth of The Islamic State

Book Review: Islam And The Secular State: Negotiating The Future of Shari’a, by Abdullahi Ahmed An-Naim
Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA
324 pp, Indexed, US $35.00, 2008.

Every so often I would read a book that would profoundly affect me. I have yet however, to get two such books written by the same author, that is, until now.

In 1990 I came across a paperback, Toward an Islamic Reformation: Civil Liberties, Human Rights, and International Law, by Abdullahi A. An-Naim. I do not remember what prompted me to browse through let alone buy the book. Its cover design was nondescript, and neither its author nor publisher (University of Syracuse Press) was exactly well known. But bought the book I did, after scanning only a few pages.

Despite being only 255 pages, it took me awhile to finish it. I have read it over many times since. It is not that An-Naim’s prose is dense (far from it!) rather that the ideas he expounds are breathtakingly refreshing. They also appeal to my intellectual understanding of my faith.

That book resurrected my faith in Islam. Brought up under the traditional teachings of my village Imam, I had difficulty reconciling that with the worldview inculcated in me through my Western liberal education. The certitudes that had comforted me as a youngster were becoming increasingly less so as an adult. Read the rest of this entry »

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Reject Hadi’s Bill as it opens doors to hudud implementation

G25
1st June 2016

COMMENT In an unprecedented move last Thursday, the government had tabled a motion to suspend its business in the Dewan Rakyat in order to fast-track a Private Member’s Bill brought forth by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang (MP for Marang).

The motion to prioritise the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Bill 2016 (‘Hadi’s Bill’) was moved by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Azalina Othman.

The prime minister in a press statement had denied that Hadi’s Bill was meant to implement Islamic criminal laws, that is to say, hudud. He was reported to have said:

“I would like to clarify to our friends in BN that there was a misunderstanding…I would like to state that it is not for the implementation of hudud. It is just to give Syariah Courts enhanced punishments. From six-strokes of the cane, to more depending on the offences.”

We, members of G25, are not convinced by Najib’s assertion in his press interview on Friday that the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Bill 2016, is not about implementing hudud. Read the rest of this entry »

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If Liow and Mah do not know how to requisition for an emergency Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meeting to repudiate Azalina’s Ministerial motion in Parliament and uphold Barisan Nasional consensus of March 2015, I am prepared to show them how

I am most surprised that apart from making empty and meaningless threats of resigning as Ministers, both the MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and the Gerakan President Datuk Seri Mak Siew Keong had done nothing to undo the unilateral and arbitrary Ministerial motion by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Said Othman to fast-track the Hadi hudud bill in Parliament last Thursday.

It is now almost a whole week since Azalina stood up in Parliament to fast-track Hadi’s hudud bill, and Liow and Mak should explain why none of them is requisitioning for an emergency Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meeting to uphold the consensus reached by all the Barisan Nasional leaders in March 2015 on this issue and to repudiate Azalina’s Ministerial motion as not representing the collective decision of the Barisan Nasional Cabinet?

Or is there an unwritten rule somewhere which is unknown outside the Barisan Nasional that forbids any Barisan Nasional component party from requisitioning for an emergency Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meeting to undo what happened in Parliament last Thursday?

In fact, I would believe that if Liow or Mah or both take the initiative to get the support of the other Barisan Nasional component parties, they should have no problem in getting three-quarters of the 14 BN component parties from supporting the requisition for an emergency meeting of the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council to undo Azalina’s unilateral and arbitrary Ministerial motion last Thursday.

So why are Liow and Mah impotent, unable to requisition for an emergency meeting of the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council? Read the rest of this entry »

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Liow Tiong Tai and Mah Siew Keong should stop being pawns of UMNO-PAS political plot to polarize Malaysians into Muslims and non-Muslims and make “hudud” the primary issue in the two upcoming Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections

Although MCA president Liow Tiong Lai and Gerakan president Mah Siew Keong have threatened to resign from the Cabinet if PAS President, Hadi Awang’s hudud bill is passed in Parliament, both of them made it very clear that MCA and Gerakan would remain in the Barisan Nasional coalition.

It is quite unfathomable why two highly-educated persons like Liow and Mah, who have risen to become Cabinet Ministers in the land cannot see the gross contradiction in their positions.

Be that as it may, Liow and Mah should stop being pawns of a deep UMNO-PAS political plot to polarize Malaysians into Muslims and non-Muslims and make “hudud” the primary issue in the two upcoming Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections next month.

There is clearly a concerted attempt to create a “hothouse” political atmosphere and an artificial “national crisis” in the country by polarizing Malaysians into Muslims and non-Muslims over the “hudud” issue, after the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, moved an unprecedented Ministerial motion in Parliament after lunch last Thursday to give priority to Hadi’s private member’s bill motion. Read the rest of this entry »

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Expert: No ‘Islamic state’ in Quran

Sheith Khidhir Bin Abu Bakar | May 30, 2016
Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: There is no such thing as an Islamic state and no obligation to create one, according to Law Professor Abdullah Ahmed An-Na’im from Emory University, Atlanta, United States.

Speaking at a lecture entitled “Islam and the Secular State” at the Sunway University here today, Ahmed said that the term “Islamic state” was not mentioned in the Quran or the sunnah (sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad), nor was it known in any of the languages until the 20th century.

“We do not have this obligation in the Quran or sunnah,” he said. “Islam does not have a prescribed order for a political state.”

In fact, he added, an Islamic state was an “impossibility” as there was no criteria to measure what an Islamic state was.

There were differing views in classic Islamic knowledge on jurisprudence and there was no independent authority that could verify an Islamic state.

“Arabia and Iran both claim to be Islamic states, but to each of them they are heretics,” he quipped. Read the rest of this entry »

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Liow should meet Najib on three-point agenda: Cabinet meeting on 20th May rejecting Hadi’s private member’s bill, whether Hadi’s private member’s bill was about hudud and to restore status quo ante by sacking Azalina and Rosnah

There is a chorus of MCA, Gerakan and MIC Ministers threatening to resign from the Cabinet over Hadi’s hudud private member’s motion which was given priority in Parliament on Thursaday as a result of the Minister’s motion moved by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Azalina Othman Said and seconded by the Deputy Works Minister, Datuk Rosnah Abdul Raashid Shirlin.

This chorus was started by the MCA President and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and followed up by the Gerakan President and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong, MIC President and Health Minister Datuk S. Subramaniam, MCA Deputy President and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Wee Ka Siong.

Liow has said that he will meet Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to convey MCA members’ concerns over Hadi’s private member’s bill.

What Liow should do is to meet the Prime Minister on a three-point agenda and inform the Malaysian public the outcome of his meeting with Najib.

The three-point agenda are: Read the rest of this entry »

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Liow and Mah should demand Prime Minister to restore status quo ante, sack Azalina and Rosnah as Minister and Deputy Minister for unilaterally prioritizing Hadi’s bill and Cabinet repudiation of their motion in Parliament on Thursday

MCA president Liow Tiong Lai and Gerakan president Mah Siew Keong have threatened to resign from the Cabinet if PAS President, Hadi Awang’s hudud bill is passed.

Liow is the Transport Minister while Mah is Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.

Liow said: “I’m trying to stop it, I’m trying to get all the (BN) component parties to stop it.

“I am urging both sides of the political divide to come together and stop this Bill.”

Instead of making meaningless statements after the horses had bolted, Liow and Mah should restore the status quo ante before the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, stood up in Parliament after Thursday’s lunch break to propose the Ministerial motion to give priority to Hadi’s hudud motion, which was listed as Item 15 in the Order Paper, leapfrogging 14 other items including five items of official business.

Azalina’s motion was seconded by the Deputy Works Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Raashid Shirlin.

Two actions must be taken to restore the status quo ante – firstly, the sacking of Azalina as Minister and Rosnah as Deputy Minister for unilaterally proposing and seconding the motion in Parliament, which had violated both the spirit and commitment of Barisan Nasional that such a motion would not be supported by BN MPs and secondly, the Cabinet repudiation of the Ministerial motion by the Azalina and Rosnah on Thursday. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tunisian Islamists Al Nahda move to separate politics, religion

Gulf News
Reuters
May 23, 2016

Unlike the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Al Nahda was able to survive in Tunisia despite initial conflict with secularists

Tunis: Tunisia’s Islamist party Al Nahda will separate its political and religious work, its chief said on Friday, moving away from its tradition of political Islam.

Al Nahda was the first Islamist party to come to power in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring revolutions and it took part in the first government coalition after the overthrow of Tunisia’s autocratic leader Zine Al Abedin Bin Ali.

It won the first post-uprising election by appealing to many Tunisians who saw its Islamist identity as an antidote to the years of corruption and repression under the Bin Ali government in one of the region’s most secular nations.

Free elections, a new constitution and a compromise politics between secular and Islamist parties have helped Tunisia avoid the turmoil seen in several other Arab nations.

“Al Nahda has changed from an ideological movement engaged in the struggle for identity, to a protest movement against the authoritarian regime, and now to a national democratic party,” Ghannouchi told supporters at a rally. “We must keep religion far from political struggles.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Tunisia’s Nahda party ditches Islamist tag

Heba Saleh in Cairo
Financial Times
May 22, 2016

Tunisia’s Nahda party, a member of the governing coalition and the biggest force in parliament, has ditched its ‘Islamist’ label, saying it would end its religious activities and devote itself solely to politics.

The change, adopted in a vote by an overwhelming majority of delegates at a weekend party conference, is unprecedented in the region for an Islamist group. It also marks another milestone in the evolution of a once-repressed movement persecuted under the secular dictatorship of Zein al-Abidine Ben Ali but which staged a strong come back after the 2011 revolution.

Under the leadership of its founder, Rachid Ghannouchi, Nahda has demonstrated political flexibility by striking a historic bargain with influential secular groups. This prevented the democratic transition from unraveling and helped make Tunisia the only success story among Arab countries which staged uprisings in 2011.

Addressing the Nahda conference, held in a stadium and attended by 1,300 delegates, Mr Ghannouchi said: “Nahda has evolved from defending identity to ensuring the democratic transition, and today moves on to focus on the economic transition.”

He also said that religion would be kept apart from “political struggles” and mosques should be completely neutral and play no role in politics. Read the rest of this entry »

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Learning Islam From Muslims, and Muslims Learning Islam

Bakri Musa
16th May 2016

A Review of Shahab Ahmed’s What Is Islam. The Importance of Being Islamic

Second of Two Parts

In the first part of my essay I recalled Shahab Ahmed’s elegant albeit oxymoronic phrase “coherent contradictions” to describe the dizzying diversity and puzzling perplexities that are the norms in Islam, then and now.

As for “reforming” Islam, the current fetish among Muslims and non-Muslims alike, Ahmed did not have much praise or hope for these reformers, ancient or modern. This was not out of any Islam-does-not-need-reforming sentiment, rather that those reformers limited themselves to reading only the Text (Koran) and then were consumed with their arcane legalistic and hermeneutical interpretations. They ignored the “Pre-Text” and “Con-Text,” or more crucially, how Islam is believed, practiced, and contributed to by Muslims past and present, scholars and ordinary believers alike.

Or in Shahab Ahmed’s words, “how Islam makes Muslims as Muslims make Islam.” Much can be learned about Islam, and about Muslims, from just that. Read the rest of this entry »

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Islam Is Diversity and Contradictions

M. Bakri Musa
10th May 2016

Review of Shahab Ahmed’s What Is Islam. The Importance of Being Islamic

First of Two Parts

While holidaying on an island in the Indonesian Riau Province I came upon a communal graveyard. I was surprised that while the graves had markers, there were no individual identifications, no names or even dates of death. On enquiring, the villagers told me that this was to discourage ancestor worship. In Islam we worship Allah, and only Him. Any deviation would be shirk, a blasphemy.

Yet only a few islands away on Pulau Penyengat, there is an elaborate mausoleum to honor the great poet Raja Ali Haji of Gurindam XII fame. On religious days and special occasions, villagers throng the site; at other times they come to pray for their children’s success at school.

The inhabitants on both islands are devout Muslims. While we could readily comprehend and accept variations in Islam (or any faith for that matter) in different geographic areas and with different cultures, the people on both islands are all Malays. What gives? Read the rest of this entry »

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How Muslim Governments Impose Ignorance

Mustafa Akyol
New York Times
MARCH 16, 2016

ISTANBUL — I recently spent a few days in Malaysia, where I was promoting the publication of the Malay edition of my book, “Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty.” The publisher, a progressive Muslim organization called the Islamic Renaissance Front, had set up several talks for me in Kuala Lumpur. As any author would be, I was happy to learn that the team was enthusiastic about my book and had been getting good feedback from audiences and readers. But I was troubled by something else that I suspect many Muslim authors have experienced: My publisher was worried about censorship.

The risk, I was told, was that the Department of Islamic Development, a government body that “was formed to protect the purity of faith,” could ban the book if it was viewed as violating traditional Islamic doctrine.

So far, the Malaysian government has not banned my book. But if it did I wouldn’t be surprised. The department has already outlawed more than a thousand books translated into Malay. Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” was banned because, according to the home minister, it “goes against Islamic teachings,” and even “endangers public harmony” — whatever that means. “Islam: A Short History,” a fairly sympathetic study by the best-selling author Karen Armstrong, was similarly banned for being “incompatible with peace and social harmony.” Read the rest of this entry »

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PAS, oppose a corrupt and oppressive gov’t, not DAP

by Syerleena Abdul Rashid
Malaysiakini
24th March 2016

COMMENT It is most unsettling that PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang would continue to demonise DAP in such an uncouth manner by using religion and race to push through his party’s far right wing agenda.

Given the present stream of hateful rhetoric out there, it is only inevitable and expected that some politicians much like Hadi would exploit the conservative political agenda that only reinforces Umno’s ‘divide and rule’ tactic.

Recently, through Utusan Malaysia, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang had called for the unification of Malays to oppose opposition party DAP, whom according to him, “has bigger plans, more than just controlling the economy” – insinuating that the Muslim Malays in this country will suffer great oppression in the hands of a ‘Chinese chauvinist’ party.

As slanderous as it sounds, remarks like this verify the intricacies of fear mongering by unscrupulous political leaders and this is extremely harmful.

Malaysians must understand that proponents of conservative views necessitate rational discourse based on facts that are absolutely free from emotions and pious fervor. Malaysia is in fact a multicultural country where Islam and Malay rights are protected in our federal constitution. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysians can contribute to the international dialogue among Muslim and social democrats to draw on the values and principles of Islam and social democracy to establish a common core agenda for a free, just and good society

DAP’s contribution in the beginning of this series of dialogues among Muslim and social democrats have its genesis in the fact-finding visit by DAP MPs to Jordan and Egypt in April, followed by a visit to Tunisia and Turkey in October, last year.

It stems from the belief that Malaysians can contribute to the international dialogue among among Muslim and social democrats to draw on the values and principles of Islam and social democracy to establish a common core agenda for a free, just and good society.

It is recorded that during Prophet Mohammad’s time, there were about 5,000 people in pre-Islam Mecca and the first batch of Muslims numbered 60 – 70 people.

In pre-islam Medina, there were about 15,000 people. The ratio during the War of Badr in 623 AD had been given as 313 Muslims and 1,100 non-Muslims.

Today, over 1,400 years later, Islam is the second largest religion in the world with some 1.6 billion adherents, and is set to become the world’s largest religion by 2070, ending two millenniums of Christian dominance.

The question which must challenge mankind down the ages is how they could contribute to the development of knowledge and wisdom when Muslims could grow from a few thousand followers to 1.6 billion adherents in 1,400 years. Read the rest of this entry »

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