Fraudulent Defenders of Our Faith

By M. Bakri Musa

With Ramadan soon upon us, Muslims everywhere are caught up in a heightened sense of spirituality. That is the good news.

Take last Thursday evening, for example. The San Jose, California, masjid was inundated with believers staying late into the night. It was the 15th of Shaaban, an especially blessed time in the Muslim calendar. Shaaban is the month before Ramadan, and serves as a ‘warm-up’ to it. As my Imam Ilyas noted wryly in his Friday khutba, what struck him was that many that evening had never before set foot on the premises. That is the bad news.

Malays too are struck by this wave of religious fervor with the impending arrival of Ramadan. Thus the recent local governmental agency raid on a 7-Eleven store in Selangor, stripping the store of its beer inventory. Never mind that the store had been selling that beverage for decades without any harassment from the authorities.

Then there was UMNO Youth leader Khairy Jamaluddin calling on his PAS counterpart to ‘unite’ against DAP (and thus Pakatan) for allegedly ‘insulting’ Islam. Not to be outdone, Khir Toyo, a fellow ‘fighter’ in UMNO Youth, chided PAS for not standing up to the Pakatan state government’s ‘insulting’ Islam by ordering the beer loot be returned to the store.

It turned out that the local agency had no authority to conduct such a raid. Alas, observing the niceties of the law has never been a strong point with these Malaysian jihadist wannabes.

Our Malaysian jihadists may consider themselves ‘modern’ and of a different breed. After all Khairy has been to Oxford while Khir is a trained dentist. Alas they are ‘modern’ only in their outward appearances, what with their fancy suits and palatial bungalows. In mindset and attitude however, they are no different from those madrasah-educated, disheveled bearded Talibans dwelling high in the caves of Afghanistan.

More to the point, I am not all assured that these overzealous ‘defenders’ of Islam are doing our faith any favor. On the contrary, these fraudulent defenders of our faith are smearing the image of Islam.

As my Imam Ilyas rightly pointed out on noting the large crowd at the masjid on the evening of 15th Shaaban, while he was pleased with the turnout he gently reminded us that it is far more important to do the many little “good” gestures required of us by our faith all the time than be focused on doing the spectacular ultra religious deeds during Ramadan.

For example, it is much more important to be generous throughout the year rather than making a highly publicized generous donation during Ramadan. On another level, there is no point for us to live a life of vice and corruption and then once a year undertake a Hajj or umrah in an attempt to ‘cleanse’ ourselves.

If the average citizen could see through the hollowness of such ‘pious’ gestures, rest assured that Almighty Allah would have minimal difficulty figuring out the hoax.

The late Zakaria Mat Deros, a former railway guard turned fabulously wealthy politician with the obscenely ostentatious bungalow squatting amidst the squalor of the Malay kampong in Port Kelang, was a prime example. He was accompanied on one of his frequent umrahs by no less than the head of Islam Hadhari, then Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi.

I wish that characters like Mat Deros were the exception; unfortunately they are the norm. Consider that self-admitted adulterer Razak Baginda. Not only did he try to cleanse himself religiously by visiting (yes, ‘visiting’ is the appropriate term) Mecca, he went on to ‘purify’ himself by going to Oxford. Presumably he thinks that a doctorate from that august institution would purify him in the eyes of the secular crowd.

I wonder how Razak Baginda felt when he undertook his umrah knowing that a young girl his daughter’s age was blown up to smithereens as a consequence of his philandering. Did he offer any prayers for the soul of his former lover and for her still grieving family? Charity and generosity after all are one of the pillars of our faith.

These Malays should heed the advice of my young but wise Imam. They should instead focus on being ‘good’ in their every day existence instead of trying to display their piety in dramatic ways during special occasions.

The central injunction of our Quran – Amal makruf, Nahi mungkar (Command good, forbid evil) – should be our daily creed. Frequent trips to Mecca, glamorous iftar parties during Ramadan, and having a surau as part of your palatial mansion will not make up for your ignoring this elemental and recurring Quranic refrain.

I wish that Khairy Jamaluddin and Khir Toyo, being young and the future leaders of UMNO, as well as others would address the gross injustices perpetrated on our citizens, the corruption that is infesting our society, and the poverty that blights far too many Malaysians, instead of being unnecessarily obsessed with 7-Eleven stores selling beer. In the same vein I do not see Khairy, Khir and others of their ilk being outraged at UMNO stalwarts serving on the boards of Carlsberg and the Genting casino company.

The pair’s selective outrage baffles me. Or stated differently, I, like others, readily see through their hoax.

There is nothing Islamic about a society infested with corruption, dehumanized by poverty, and riddled with injustices. It would be the height of hypocrisy, and mock our great faith to boot, for Khairy and Khir Toyo to claim the mantle of Islamic leadership if they are a part of the state apparatus that allows these evils to continue.

  1. #1 by ekompute on Monday, 10 August 2009 - 9:54 am

    Islam teaches religious tolerance, not intolerance. I wonder whether these UMNO goons know much about their own religion. Do remember that when Prophet Muhammad fled to Medina, Medina was dominated by “three Jewish tribes and the non-Muslim members of Aws and the Khazraj.” If they had acted like the Meccans and attacked the Prophet, Islam may not have existed today. But they allowed the Prophet to reside there in peaceful coexistence. What a shame, these UMNO gundus. If people in other Muslim minority countries were to oppress their Muslims there, what will UMNO hypocrites do? They jump like a toad, right?

  2. #2 by ekompute on Monday, 10 August 2009 - 10:10 am

    UMNO should take a good look at themselves. The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. But UMNO is such a hypocrite. They practise inequality in the name of equality. They can do whatever they like while others have to follow the so-called laws. And even by following the laws, you never know whether you will be charge in court because you never know whether you have a kangaroo as a judge. ISA, a preventive law to detain suspected criminals, becomes a protective law to protect victims. UMNO leaders live in mansions while, like what Mahathir says, most Malays still in squatter houses and Mahathir himself lives in a palace. Black becomes white, and white becomes black. UMNO pulls down temples and other non-Muslim places of worship. Assuming, if every country practises what UMNO is doing in Malaysia… the Christians and Hindus pull down mosques, confiscate beef in Hindu areas, we can start preparing for World War III. Is this what Islam is all about? Go look at the mirror and say whether you are practising Islam, you UMNO gundus.

  3. #3 by Jeffrey on Monday, 10 August 2009 - 10:12 am

    Khairy & Khir calling on his PAS counterpart to ‘unite’ against DAP (and thus Pakatan) for allegedly ‘insulting’ Islam and chiding PAS for not standing up to the Pakatan state government’s ‘insulting’ Islam by ordering the beer loot be returned to the store are NOT, as Bakri Musa says, “no different from those madrasah-educated, disheveled bearded Talibans dwelling high in the caves of Afghanistan”.

    The true situtation is that these so called “modern jihadists” in modern suits palatial bungalows are highly sophisticated in their strategies (“political jihad”) to drive a wedge between those “madrasah-educated, disheveled bearded Talibans” of PAS (instead) and the secular champions in DAP and exploit their different incompatible ideologies regarding religion in order to flounder the Pakatan Rakyat.

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Monday, 10 August 2009 - 10:25 am

    Oops typo error “…true situation…”

    Regarding ” It would be the height of hypocrisy, and mock our great faith to boot, for Khairy and Khir Toyo to claim the mantle of Islamic leadership if they are a part of the state apparatus that allows these evils to continue” – hypocrisy is as old a trait amongst politicians of all political complexions – difference is more in degree – as prostitition is as old a profession in history of Mankind!

    This indictment of politics as a profession was delivered by ex US president Ronald Reagan whom I am reminded of having elucidated to the magazine “Observer” in an interview on 9 Jan 1983 that “I used to say that politics was the second lowest profession and I have come to know that it bears a great similarity to the first….”, an observation that our YB Kit will, of course, vehemently demur and object but then again he is more an exception to the general rule, the generality of which is difficult to refute.

  5. #5 by SpeakUp on Monday, 10 August 2009 - 10:38 am

    I am non Muslim but I really respect the articles by IKIM … they will not tolerate this nonsense. The DG of IKIM speaks of Islam with basis, with verses from the Quran. Unlike that PAS scumbag.

    I think they all need to be sent to IKIM for indoctrination course as to the TRUE path of Islam!

  6. #6 by sheriff singh on Monday, 10 August 2009 - 11:19 am

    “..The late Zakaria Mat Deros, a former railway guard turned fabulously wealthy politician with the obscenely ostentatious bungalow squatting amidst the squalor of the Malay kampong in Port Kelang..”.

    There are many, many others besides Deros who have gotten rich, very rich, but there has never been any serious enquiry as to how they got to be so rich in the first place.

    Musa Aman is one. Khir Toyo is another. Razak Baginda? How can these people exist with clear consciences if their wealth is subsequently proven to be ill-gotten and therefore dirty money? Wealth accumulated legally but through dubious manoeuvrings is still tainted money.

  7. #7 by Godfather on Monday, 10 August 2009 - 11:54 am

    Stealing has never been a crime for UMNOputras. Mamakthir made sure that the government gave a basis for certain UMNOputras to get rich through public funding – and as long as there is a transaction involved, never mind how overpriced that transaction is, then it does not constitute “stealing”.

    How come the new palace now has a price tag of RM 1.5 billion ? Who is Maya Construction ? Ask KJ. Who is Ombak Laut who sits on RM 500 million of fees on the submarine deal ? Ask ARB.

    These are hypocrites of the highest order. They drink beer when they are out of country. They go to our local nightclubs to grope females. They do everything wrong in the name of their religion, and they have the balls to preach others on what is right in the name of their religion.

  8. #8 by a g on Monday, 10 August 2009 - 11:55 am

    But Jeffrey, YB Kit is not merely a politician; he is also a statesman.
    While many definitions of “politician” and “statesman” are available to us, I personally like this one the most:
    “while a politician thinks about the next election, a statesman thinks about the next generations.”
    I think, presently, we Malaysians are ‘endowed’ with an oversupply of politicians and yet deprived of statespersons; and, this fact alone is probably the single, biggest challenge our nation is now facing.

  9. #9 by Godfather on Monday, 10 August 2009 - 12:03 pm

    We all think that the Port Klang Free Trade Zone scandal is an MCA-inspired scheme. Far from it. It is a Barisan-inspired scheme where UMNO has the lion’s share of the spoils. Ask Kuala Dimensi to show us a list of their subcontractors. Ask UMNO Selangor where the RM 2 billion of land proceeds to the fishermen’s cooperative ultimately ended up. Like I said, stealing is not a crime in Bolehland – you’d be stupid not to steal if you are in BN – but selling beer to non-Muslims is.

  10. #10 by Jaswant on Monday, 10 August 2009 - 12:19 pm

    It is all about the Satanic Verses.

  11. #11 by BoycottLocalPapers on Monday, 10 August 2009 - 12:43 pm

    Wikipedia’s definition of “Toyol” fits someone you mentioned in your article. Probably they went to Saudi Arabia to buy Toyol instead of Umrah.

    A Toyol or Toyo is a mythical spirit in the Malay mythology of South-East Asia (notably Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore). It is a small child spirit invoked by a bomoh (Malay witch doctor) from a dead human foetus using black magic. It is possible to buy a toyol from such a bomoh.

    A person who owns a toyol uses it mainly to steal things from other people, or to do mischief. According to a well-known superstition, if money or jewellery keeps disappearing mysteriously from your house, a toyol might be responsible…

    Some say that toyol has its origins from Mecca near the Kaaba (the belief refers to the Pre-Islamic Era where the Arabs used to kill their children and bury them all around Mecca…

    People keep toyols for selfish but petty gains. They use such spirits for theft, sabotage and other minor crimes. Serious crimes, like murder, are usually beyond the capability of these toyols. A person who suddenly becomes wealthy without explanation might be suspected of keeping a toyol. The toyol is kept in a jar or an urn, and hidden away in a dark place until needed.

  12. #12 by talaksombong on Monday, 10 August 2009 - 1:05 pm

    Quote , BoycottLocalPapers

    Some say that toyol has its origins from Mecca near the Kaaba (the belief refers to the Pre-Islamic Era where the Arabs used to kill their children and bury them all around Mecca…

    Smart comments from DAP supporter… I’m sure muslims,Arabs & Malays will be impressed & happy with your in-dept knowledge & facts . Cina bukit rules.

  13. #13 by frankyapp on Monday, 10 August 2009 - 1:13 pm

    Why do malays still support Umno ,though most know that Umno is using them to enrich some numbers of umnoputras and warlords ?.Marjority of malays are being marginalised and are poor,many are jobless,many are frustrated and some turned drug addicts. Why do many young malays turn Mat Rempit ?.If you ask ten malays,young and middle age,7 would answer or tell you that they are frustrated with Umno who promised them,low cost housing,etc but most still remain undelivered.On the contrary,umnoputras wealth gains by leap and bounce.Is umno’s strategy by using Islam to buy malays support still works ?. I think so. Hence umno especially KJ and KT are manupulating Islam to lure more malays support through such action against 7 eleven stores,spreading lies about DAP being anti islam.How come good malays could not see the truth that KJ,KT and umno are in fact the true anti Islam ?.On one hand Umno says PAS has betrayed the malays and could not be trusted by joining with PKR and DAP in PR and on the other hand now offer to talk about unity.Is this’s not umno total hypocricy.Don’t good malays see this bad side of umno ?.Now if selling beer to non-muslim is haram,then what about umnoputras stealing almost all your shares in the wealth of the country earmarked for you guys malays ? Do you think that is not haram ?. Why do you good malays only see the small dots in the paper and not seeing the true big picture ?.More than 50 years,you guys are being cheated by Umno through disguising being a good political party for malays and Islam.I think it’s time now for all good loving malays/muslim to re-examine Umno and its top leaders to see for themselves the true colors of everyone of them.You be surprise most would not be what you think they are.

  14. #14 by SpeakUp on Monday, 10 August 2009 - 1:39 pm

    Fankyapp … why? Because Malaysia is made up of racially/religiously based politicial parties. Its entrenched.

    Then you have people like PKR that cannot get their act together. We are pretty doomed to be frank.

  15. #15 by Joshua on Monday, 10 August 2009 - 2:26 pm

    Since this article started with ramadan, i do not know how many ones since 1963, ramadan – the holy month in islam stradles over merdeka day and malalysia day making official celebrations to be delayed meaningless. If the people can be at work in this month, why delay the important functions according to the calendar?

    So something is more important than our normal daily lives.

    Like Justice delayed is justice denied and so such official celebration delayed means something unusual in 2009 when 1Malaysia – never had been and never to be – is just for show of one man in tears.

    pw: freitag ertsen

  16. #16 by wanderer on Monday, 10 August 2009 - 4:16 pm

    The composition of Malaysian muslims can be categorized in 3 sections. The muslim pretenders
    which are found in great numbers in the UMNO den, followed by religious fanatics in PAS…leaving yje true believers, Allah fearing muslims in a class of their, silently practicing the their faith and in peace with their Maker….. like humble human beings harming no one but, sharing their goodness.

  17. #17 by Joshua on Monday, 10 August 2009 - 8:16 pm

    Now must postpone the 31 Aug celebrations and also the 16 Sept Malaysia day, but we can have by elections for Permatang Pasir on 25 Aug.

    Who can explain this?

    pw:wife’s ratchets

  18. #18 by Onlooker Politics on Monday, 10 August 2009 - 9:28 pm

    About two thousands years’ ago, Jesus was killed by a group of hypocritical Pharisees who insisted upon the legalism of religion.

    Things have not changed much after two thousands years. We still find a lot of Pharisees trying to preach the false theology of “Total Beer Ban” in Selangor. Pharisees can be found not only in Umno. They also reside in PAS.

    It is not likely that we will find another Jesus who will carry the cross for us the sinners who live in Malaysia nowadays. It is advisable for us to beware of the false indictment on us by the modern Pharisees in Malaysia. Many a time Pharisees will tend to adopt a moral standard which is much more stringent than God requires, simply for the reason of showing off that Pharisees are morally much cleaner than the others who believe that God does permit a nominal consumption of Alcohol for health reason, such as stomach cleansing as suggested by Apostle Paul to one of his disciple!

  19. #19 by GreenBug on Tuesday, 11 August 2009 - 12:32 am

    I am very disturbed by all the actions of these ‘false defenders’ of Islam or any other religion for that matter.

    Are they not ashamed that people can see through so easily their pretence and hypocrisy?

    Are they not afraid of God the Almighty, whatever name we might address Him by?

  20. #20 by cemerlang on Tuesday, 11 August 2009 - 12:47 am

    First of all, we must understand that they think theirs is the only correct way to heaven ( and to hell ). They have been living in this religious atmosphere, environment, situation since their birth. They have been doing all the rituals and it comes natural to them. They have memorised all the words and automatically, the words will just come out from their mouths. In Malaysia, once a Muslim, forever a Muslim and the government sees to it that they play the part of Allah’s ambassador. What choice do they have ? They do not understand the true meaning of fasting. If they do, then they would not be asking for less work in the month of Ramadan. On the contrary, if they believe in trials, temptations and repentance, than all the more, they should ask for more work in the month of Ramadan. If humans can see through this, what more for God Almighty. God is great all the time.

  21. #21 by ttc on Tuesday, 11 August 2009 - 2:44 am

    :) BoycottLocalPapers, howdee.

    Tom says :| apprehensively that he once saw a verily scary movie where there was a bad man in it who kept a very :( ugly little goblin-like toyol creature to do very many naughtily bad things for him.

    In return, the villainous baddie would let the very ugly goblin-like toyol creature greedily :( suck his blood from and between the smelly toes of his two feet everyday with the toyol-critter’s two sharp little fangs.

    So there, y’all beware now, okay, of any such devilishly bad and ugly toyol-creatures there, perchance lurking out there somewhere in Selangor’s blue yonder or who knows where else exactly, :| ‘cos going by what Tom says here, the uglishly baddy toyols are not only nasty little scary critters it seems, but also :( incessantly greedy little bloodsuckers, every single one of ‘em Tom says, knowingly and surely warningly. Hmm.


    2009 Resolution: Seek out all garbage and recycle or dispose post haste for a healthier life and planet!

    ADDENDUM: Protect coral reefs and save all the good fishies in the seas!

  22. #22 by frankyapp on Tuesday, 11 August 2009 - 12:17 pm

    Hi Greenbug,these guys have no religion,they only disguised themselves as devoted muslim in order to rob the faithful and honest muslim.

  23. #23 by johnnypok on Friday, 14 August 2009 - 2:01 pm

    Malays seem to be very “faithful” to their own religion. I am sure Jesus Christ would love to see them becoming Christians.

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