Archive for category Islam
June 17, 2014
Militants from Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, are being lured by ISIS’s hard-line Sunni extremism
Men in balaclavas are cradling Kalashnikovs as they look into a camera, somewhere in Syria. They are university students, businessmen, former soldiers and even teenagers. One by one, they urge their fellow countrymen to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the jihadist group so extreme that it has been denounced by al-Qaeda. But these aren’t Syrians, or Uzbeks, or Chechens. They are Indonesian.
“Let us fight in the path of Allah because it is our duty to do jihad in the path of Allah … especially here in Sham [the Syrian region] … and because, God willing, it will be to this country that our families will do the holy migration,” says one in Bahasa Indonesia peppered with Arabic phrases. “Brothers in Indonesia, don’t be afraid because fear is the temptation of Satan.”
A fellow jihadist, a former Indonesian soldier, calls on those in the police and armed forces to repent and abandon the defense of their country and its “idolatrous” state ideology, Pancasila.
The video of the Indonesian men in Syria emerged shortly before ISIS seized the Iraqi cities of Mosul and Tikrit, in landmark victories on June 10 and 11. It reflects the growing attraction that the Sunni extremist group holds for the most militant jihadists from Indonesia — the country with the world’s biggest Muslim population, and one that has long battled threats of terrorism. Read the rest of this entry »
COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
25 June 2014
Thank you, Datuk Mohamed Adzib Mohd Isa. Thank you for confirming what commentators and lawyers have been saying since the Federal Court decided not to give leave to the Catholic Church to appeal to the apex court to overturn an order stopping it from using the word Allah in its weekly newspaper.
A few hours after the court decision, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement saying that the court decision would only impact the Catholic Herald.
At the same time, Putrajaya assured Christians that they could use Allah in their worship services and proudly proclaimed that the infamous 10-point solution put together in April 2011, just before the last Sarawak elections, was still in place.
Among other things, the 10-pointer allows the import of Malay-language bibles. Read the rest of this entry »
By Faisal Irshaid
24 June 2014
The crisis in Iraq has highlighted the fact that English-speaking governments and media organisations cannot settle on what to call the al-Qaeda breakaway that has led the offensive by Sunni militants and tribesmen in the north and east of the country.
When referring to the jihadist group, UN and US officials have been using the acronym “Isil” or “I-S-I-L”, which they say stands for “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant”.
The BBC News website uses the same translation, but a different acronym. It has instead opted for a more common one – “Isis” – based on the other widely used translations “Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham” or “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria”.
Some have also started referring to the group as “Da’ish” or “Daesh” a seemingly pejorative term that is based on an acronym formed from the letters of the name in Arabic, “al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Iraq wa al-Sham”. Read the rest of this entry »
Malaysians, ASEAN and international community digesting the implications of Najib’s dubious distinction of being the first advocate of Wasatiyyah and the first ASEAN leader to glorify terrorism of ISIS which is regarded as too extremist even by al-Qaida
Not only Malaysians, but our ASEAN neighbours and the international community are still digesting the implications of the Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s dubious distinction of being the first advocate of Wasatiyyah and the first ASEAN leader to glorify the terrorism of ISIS which is regarded as too extremist even by al-Qaida.
When speaking at the 20th anniversary of the Cheras UMNO Branch on Monday night, Najib surprised not only Malaysians but our ASEAN neighbours and the international community when he said UMNO members could emulate the exploits of the Middle Eastern terrorist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) which defeated an Iraqi force outnumbering it.
It is a measure of the success and charisma of the leader of ISIS, known by his nom de guerre Abu-Bakar Al-Baghdadi, that the Sunni jihadist group which started as an al-Qaida affiliate, has become the group of choice of thousands of foreign would-be fighters who have flocked to his banner which disavowed notions of statehood and national boundaries.
ISIS, which is so hardline that it has been disavowed by al-Qaida, now present itself as an ideologically superior alternative to al-Qaida within the jihadi community and has increasingly become a transnational movement to set up an Islamic caliphate with immediate objectives far beyond Iraq and Syria.
Najib’s glorification of the exploits of the ISIS terrorists is not only a matter of great concern for local Malaysian politics but for ASEAN relations and international affairs. Read the rest of this entry »
Recent revival of hudud controversy another deep UMNO plot to cause dissension and break-up of Pakatan Rakyat
PAS Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad has accused UMNO behind the controversial raid and seizure of Malay and Iban Bibles by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) and the disruption of the Hindu wedding of Zarinah Abdul Majid to regain power through the backdoor after losing the Selangor state government in two successive general elections.
This was in fact not the only mischief UMNO was up to, as the recent revival of the hudud controversy was another deep UMNO plot to cause dissension and break-up of Pakatan Rakyat.
A study of the recent revival of the hudud controversy will show that it was all initiated by UMNO when the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom made the surprise announcement in Parliament during the winding up of the Royal Debate on March 27 declaring that the Barisan Nasional Federal Government was prepared to help the Kelantan State Government to implement hudud law, even suggesting that PAS move a private member’s bill in Parliament on the matter.
That started off what is to become a three-month-long revival of the hudud controversy, plunging the three Pakatan Rakyat component parties of DAP, PAS and PKR to the second crisis to engulf Pakatan Rakyat in the six-year history of the alternative coalition.
The first crisis faced by Pakatan Rakyat was in September 2011 which nearly led to its break-up and was also over the hudud controversy. It was only when Pakatan Rakyat leaders from PAS, PKR and DAP finally reaffirmed the common policy programme proclaimed earlier by PKR, PAS and DAP leaders in the formation of PR as PR’s common priority agenda that PR was saved from an early demise.
If PR had broken up over the hudud controversy in September 2011, then the historic result of the 13th General Elections last May which saw PR winning 52 per cent of electoral vote and reducing the Najib federal administration into a minority government, with PR winning 89 Parliamentary seats and 229 state assembly seats (excluding Sarawak) would not have been achieved. Read the rest of this entry »
MCA and Gerakan cannot dismiss Jamil Khir’s “Malaysia is not secular state” statement in Parliament as a personal view but must demand a retraction and a clear Cabinet and BN Supreme Council pronouncement that Malaysia is a secular state with Islam as official religion
After more than a week, both the MCA and Gerakan Presidents have finally come out with a position today on the parliamentary statement by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom that Malaysia is not a secular state, but both have tried to evade the issue by dismissing it as merely Jamil’s “personal view”.
The excuse that a Minister is giving his “personal opinion” might be used if the Minister is speaking outside Parliament, but it is completely unacceptable when a Minister makes a speech or a statement in Parliament.
There is no such thing as a “personal view” when a Minister speaks in Parliament, whether in speeches or in replies to parliamentary questions, as whatever the Minister speaks in Parliament is in an official capacity on behalf of the Barisan Nasional Cabinet which binds all Ministers under the doctrine of collective Ministerial responsibility. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
20 June 2014
Pada 2011, bulan Disember, semasa menyampaikan ucapan di Oxford, sempena 400 Bible King James, Perdana Menteri UK David Cameron menyebut: “UK is a Christian country and we should not be afraid to say so”.
Sekalipun dalam penghayatan politik UK, elemen agama Kristian kelihatan amat lemah sehingga David Cameron itu sendiri turut menyokong hak berkahwin golongan gay yang ternyata bercanggah dengan pegangan agama Kristian, namun beliau tetap mengakui nilai agama bagi negara UK.
Semasa masih kecil, saya masih ingat bagaimana kami di sekolah agama sering dibawa berbincang apakah Malaysia sebuah negara Islam ataupun negara kafir sekular? Pada umumnya kami semua difahamkan bahawa negara Malaysia ini sebuah negara sekular. Itulah sifat Malaysia berdasarkan ceramah-ceramah politik yang kami dengar.
Kepercayaan seperti itu masih dianuti oleh ramai golongan yang dikatakan ‘beragama’ dalam negara ini. Mereka melebelkan negara ini sebagai negara kafir ataupun sekular. Dulu ia berlegar dalam kalangan mereka yang minat agama Islam.
Hari ini keadaan berubah apabila non-Muslim juga mendakwa hal yang sama, cuma dengan tujuan yang berbeza. Jika dahulu dakwaan itu bertujuan membangkit semangat agar Islam itu lebih ditekankan pelaksanaannya di Malaysia, kini tujuannya agar elemen Islam itu tidak patut ditekankan dalam pentadbiran Malaysia kerana itu bercanggah dengan sifat negara ini. Read the rest of this entry »
Another fatal defect in Speaker Pandikar’s ruling that Malaysia is not a secular state was his sole reliance on Jamil Khir’s explanation and failure to canvass all views in Parliament on the controversial subject, including those from non-UMNO Ministers/MPs from BN
Yesterday I said that Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia had exceeded his powers and functions as Speaker of Parliament when he passed judgment on the Malaysian Constitution ruling that Malaysia is not a secular state.
This is because it is not the role or function of the Speaker of Parliament to interpret the Constitution and make a Constitutional ruling which becomes an authority quoted by all and sundry as the law of the land.
Although Pandikar has limited his interpretation to “merely for the purposes of this House” and not an opinion to be “an authority” in the country, there is no doubt that it would be quoted by various quarters as an “authority” both inside and outside Parliament to justify the arbitrary, dubious and controversial stand that Malaysia is not a secular state.
Another fatal defect in Pandikar’s ruling that Malaysia is not a secular state was his sole reliance on the explanation by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom and his failure to canvass all views in Parliament on the controversial subject, including those from non-UMNO Ministers and MPs from Barisan Nasional.
As the DAP MP for Bandar Kuching, Chong Chieng Jen had tried to point out in Parliament after Pandikar’s ruling yesterday, as far as Sarawak and Sabah were concerned with regard to the formation of Malaysia in 1963, Jamil was very wrong to say that Malaysia is not a secular state “berdasarkan kepada fakta sejarah yang menunjukkan bahawa Malaysia telah ditubuhkan berasaskan Kerajaan Islam Kesultanan Melayu dan Raja Raja Melayu merupakan Ketua Agama bagi negeri masing masing” – as both Sarawak and Sabah (and Singapore, which was a party to the Malaysia Agreement 1963) did not have a history of Malay Rulers. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
20 June 2014
Malaysians are wondering whether Putrajaya’s unspoken political strategy is to divide the predominantly Muslim-Malay country along racial lines in a bid to hold on to power following sharpening racial and religious tensions, the Edge Review reported today.
This follows incidents that have rocked Malaysia’s delicate racial and religious relations – acts by Muslim authorities, who snatched a body at a funeral and disrupted a Hindu wedding ceremony on suspicion that the deceased and the bride respectively might be Muslims.
The weekly said there were also signs of a campaign by the country’s civil service to push a religious-inspired agenda.
The report cited other similar incidents, such as the threat by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) to destroy the 301 Bibles it seized from the Bible Society of Malaysia and the refusal of Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar to follow a court ruling in a highly publicised custody battle that ordered a Muslim convert father to return the children to the mother, who was a Hindu.
The weekly took Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to task for “not helping the deepening discord”. Read the rest of this entry »
By Justin Ong
The Malay Mail Online
June 20, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 — Malaysia professes to be a multi-racial and multi-cultural federation with Islam as its religion, but there is a mounting movement to turn it simply into an Islamic state.
While defenders of the status quo insist that it is a secular state and Islam’s position is largely decorative, it appears they are fighting a losing battle against the tide of growing Islamisation in the country.
Slowly, but surely, Malaysia is headed down the path where religion permeates not just houses of worship, but all aspects of life.
Here are the three things we learned about the growing Islamisation of Malaysia.
1. The minister of Islamic affairs is more powerful than any other
Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom’s official portfolio is minister in charge of Islamic affairs, but it appears that his purview extends far beyond religion. Read the rest of this entry »
Pandikar exceeded his powers and functions when he passed judgment on the Malaysian Constitution ruling that Malaysia is not a secular state
Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia exceeded his powers and functions as Speaker of Parliament when he passed judgment on the Malaysian Constitution ruling that Malaysia is not a secular state.
Can the Speaker of Parliament interpret the Constitution and make a Constitutional ruling which becomes an authority quoted by all and sundry as the law of the land?
Of course not, and to be fair to Pandikar, he is fully aware of this, which is why he qualified what he said in Parliament as only his interpretation “merely for the purposes of this House” and not an opinion to be “an authority” in the country.
However, such caveat by Pandikar will not prevent his “ruling” from being quoted by various quarters as an “authority” or even used by Ministers in future parliamentary meetings to justify their arbitrary, dubious and controversial stand that Malaysia is not a secular state.
Furthermore, it is not within the province of the powers and functions for a Speaker to give his interpretation or ruling on a “hot potato” issue as to whether Malaysia is (i) secular; (ii) not secular; or (iii) Islamic state.
Pandikar should have decided on the issue before him, whether to refer the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom to the Committee of Privileges without wading into this political minefield. Read the rest of this entry »
UMNO Selangor motion on hudud implementation withdrawn as Selangor PR State Assembly members from DAP, PKR and PAS fully united and had decided to vote against UMNO motion in keeping with the PR Common Policy Framework that justice, freedom and good governance and not hudud are the common PR agenda priorities
With 74 days to go to celebrate the 57th Merdeka Day Anniversary and 90 days to celebrate the 51st Malaysia Day Anniversary, the nation’s greatest strengths – our ethnic, religious and cultural diversities – seemed to have become our greatest weaknesses.
Voices of intolerance, hatred, conflict and extremism filled the public spaces and are trying to drown out the voices of tolerance, peace, harmony and moderation, finding surprise ally in the authorities who have abdicated their responsibilities to uphold the law and keep the peace in the country.
Suddenly, Malaysia has become an even more abnormal country – symbolized by the continuing mystery of the 102-day missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370 tragedy/disaster with 239 passengers/crew on board and the 13-month disappearance of the Malaysian Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak from major national issues after the 13th General Elections in May last year.
There are so many laws in the country, but Malaysia has never been more lawless in recent weeks.
The Inspector-General of Police should be the Chief Custodian of Law in the country but he has become the No. 1 Law-breaker in refusing to enforce the supreme law of land – the Malaysian Constitution.
There is even a quiet coup d’etat in the Cabinet, with the hitherto third-tier Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Islamic affairs usurping the powers of second-tier and even first-tier Ministers in the Cabinet when the Minister concerned, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom shunted aside both the Prime Minister and the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of law and the constitution, Nancy Shukri to give the unilateral, arbitrary and unconstitutional statement in Parliament that Malaysia is not a secular state.
This is the first time in the nation’s 57-year history that a Minister said in Parliament that Malaysia is not a secular state – in total contradiction to the statement by Bapa Malaysia and the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman who said in Parliament more than half a century ago on May 1. 1958: “I will like to make it clear that this country is not an Islamic state as it is generally understood; we merely provided that Islam shall be the official religion of the state”. Read the rest of this entry »
by Elizabeth Zachariah
The Malaysian Insider
17 June 2014
DAP wants Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom to be referred to the Rights and Privileges Committee for his claim in Parliament yesterday that Malaysia was not a secular state.
Oscar Ling Chai Yew (DAP-Sibu) filed a motion under Standing Order 36(12) to refer Jamil to the committee for allegedly confusing the House.
Speaking to reporters later, Ling said Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia has agreed to call Jamil Khir for an explanation.
In his written reply to Ling, Jamil said the formation of Malaysia was based on the Islamic administration of the Malay sultanates and that the Malay sultans were heads of Islam in their respective states.
“This was reinforced by Article 3 of the Federal Constitution which places Islam as the religion of the federation, though other religions can be practised peacefully anywhere within the federation,” he said in the reply.
DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, who was also present today, said the first three prime ministers – Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak and Tun Hussein Onn – would have been “horrified” with Jamil’s answer.
“They would have been completely horrified by the answer as it is completely against their understanding of the foundation of the country. Read the rest of this entry »
Jun 17, 2014
YOURSAY ‘Position of Sabah and S’wak, where there is no official religion, is clear.’
Malaysia not secular state, gov’t says
Aries46: The Federal Court has in no uncertain terms declared that we are a secular nation and this has been reaffirmed even in a High Court decision last month.
Even a layperson is aware that we are a constitutional monarchy and our constitution is based on secular and democratic principles under parliamentary supremacy.
Even Muslims are subject to the civil courts notwithstanding the fact that the Syariah Court has jurisdiction over their religious and customary family matters.
While the civil court may not have purview over matters related to the syariah court, the latter is also not empowered to trample on the constitutional rights and provisions under civil law that is legally binding and exclusive to non-Muslims, under the guise of conversion.
This is an injustice universally under any law, Islamic or otherwise. Read the rest of this entry »
COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
16 June 2014
Here we go again. A Malaysian minister is insisting that Malaysia is not a secular state, and that is anchored in Islamist roots because there are the Malay rulers and state Islamic laws exist for Muslims.
That argument might have worked if it was just Malaya that Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datul Seri Jamil Khir Baharom was referring to in a written reply in Parliament to Oscar Ling Chai Yew (DAP-Sibu) today.
But you know what, Mr Minister, we are now in Malaysia and perhaps you should go read your history books.
This country was formed in 1963, and brings together Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak. Singapore was told to leave in 1965.
Jamil Khir is not the first minister to believe that Malaysia is not a secular state and is possibly an Islamic nation because Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said as much years ago. Read the rest of this entry »
Instead of just mechanically re-launching the MCA School of Political Studies and the forum on the Thoughts of Tun Tan Cheng Lock with empty words, it would be more worthwhile if the MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai remembers the spirit and struggle of the MCA founder and used the occasion to demonstrate that he is a worthy successor to Cheng Lock.
In 1957 under Cheng Lock’s leadership as MCA President, together with other Alliance leaders Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun V T Sambanthan, the Alliance leadership submitted a memorandum to the Reid Constitution Commission stating clearly and unequivocally that the religion the country shall be Islam with the assurance: “The observation of this principle shall not impose any disability on non-Muslim nationals professing and practising their own religions and shall not imply the State is not a secular state”.
What has Liow and the present MCA leadership done to uphold Cheng Lock’s uncompromising principle during the Merdeka days that Malaya and now Malaysia will forever be a secular state? Read the rest of this entry »
COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
15 June 2014
In the past week or so, Malaysians were reminded once again that the country is a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarchy. That the Federal constitution is supreme.
So why are elected governments appear to fear appointed religious officials who are now thumbing their noses at the government, the country’s top lawyer and the supreme law?
Why aren’t they standing up to these religious authorities and put them in their place? The government of the day, be it in Putrajaya or any of the state capital, was voted by all Malaysians and not just one particular group.
The government represents all, not just one particular group. So do the police and all branches of the government. Instead they now appear to just consider the views of religious authorities rather than following the law of the land. Read the rest of this entry »
– Hamri Ibrahim and Daniel Iqram
The Malaysian Insider
15 June 2014
Muhammad Abduh, a prominent Muslim scholar, once said, “I went to the West and saw Islam, but no Muslims; I got back to the East and saw Muslims, but not Islam.”
A recent study was carried out by Hossein Askari, Professor of International Business and International Affairs at George Washington University in the United States. The analysis, which was conducted with his colleague Scheherazade S. Rehman, concluded Ireland to be the country that is most faithful to the Qur’an.
One cannot help but wonder if Askari and Rehman reflected upon Abduh’s words when they stumbled upon their findings, and whether it brought a smile to their faces.
To measure prosperity, the two academics used such tools as the Economic Islamicity Index and Overall Islamicity Index, emphasising on legislature, governance, human rights, politics, and international relations as well.
Aspects, such as corruption of leaders, lopsidedness before the law, and discrepancy between the rich and the poor were all taken into account. Read the rest of this entry »
Liow Tiong Lai should not try to bargain for more MCA posts in the impending Cabinet reshuffle by telling blatant lies without batting an eyelid about DAP leaders
I want to advise the MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai not to bargain for more MCA posts in the impending Cabinet reshuffle by telling blatant lies without batting an eyelid about DAP leaders.
MCA have been boasting that it would be getting three Ministerial and five deputy ministerial posts in a Cabinet reshuffle, but there are speculation that MCA may finally be allotted with a miserable allocation of one ministerial and two deputy ministerial posts.
Liow should not try to up the ante hoping to get better ministerial and deputy ministerial allocations for the MCA from the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak by making baseless attacks on DAP leaders through lies and falsehoods.
For instance, Liow yesterday alleged that when I met the Murshidul Am Datuk Nik Aziz Abdul Nik Mat during a courtesy call on him in Kota Baru last Thursday together with the DAP Teluk Intan parliamentary by-election candidate Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud, I was “so weak and cowardly” as dared not mention that the hudud issue was one of the reasons for the DAP’s defeat in the by-election. (Sin Chew) Read the rest of this entry »
Selangor UMNO motion on hudud is the third time MCA/UMNO played with fire over hudud issue in the last three months
(Media statement in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, 14 June 2014)
MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai has finally said today that the MCA would oppose any motion or bill on hudud, even if initiated by UMNO.
Liow said this after MCA/UMNO were caught playing with fire over the hudud issue third time in three months after the UMNO Selangor Sg Air Tawar Assemblyman stirred up a hornet’s nest and had to withdraw his motion on the implementation of hudud for the Selangor State Assembly next week.
The first two incidents when MCA/UMNO played with fire over the hudud issue were:
• The Parliament speech by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Jamil Khir Baharom on March 27 that the federal government was ready to work with the PAS Kelantan state government to implement the hudud law in Kelantan.
• The speech by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Alor Setar on April 24 that the Barisan Nasional Federal Government had never rejected hudud. Read the rest of this entry »