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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Making Selangor more Islamic than other states – Ravinder Singh



The Federal Court has pronounced its verdict – “Allah” cannot be used by the Catholic Church for its publication, the Herald.
Arrogant Mais that refuses to take orders from human beings, albeit its superiors, has given tight slaps to the Attorney-General (A-G) and the Chief Minister who advocated that the seized Bibles be returned to the Bible Society since the A-G has studied the case and decided there is no case for him to prosecute.
Isma lauded the raids on the Hindu wedding and the Chinese funeral, and Minister Datuk Seri Jamil Khir supported the action by the religious department as it was “based on their good judgement”.
The PM by his silence consents to all these and keeps playing his political game of trying not to lose anymore votes by not offending anyone. Thus, though the Federal Court has made a ruling, he makes another ruling to say "Allah" can be used in prayer and also that the court ruling does not apply to Sabah and Sarawak. This could mean “I’ll restrain its application in these States so long as the votes keep coming, but will lose the reins if the fixed deposit dwindles”.   
The undertone to all this seems to be that some bigoted quarters are dreaming of (berkhayal) making Selangor an example of a “true Muslim state”, where God’s orders are implemented by Mais and Jais who believe they are answerable only to God though God did not give them any appointment letters. Obviously, they have unilaterally elevated their appointments to being God’s appointments much to the chagrin of their earthly masters. It is like the case of certain pets that when they outgrow their infancy, can turn onto their masters.      
All those who really want to see or make Selangor more Islamic, or truly Islamic, must make a tough decision. They have only one choice - Hobson’s choice. They must repeal the Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation among Muslims) Enactment 1988 in Selangor.
Four PAS Selangor state assemblymen have said that Mais’s and Jais’s wings should be clipped. This will not do, for necessity is the mother of invention and they will just find other ways of moving around and creating mischief. The ground under their feet must be completely removed so they will fall into a pit out of which they cannot come back to create more mischief.
Before Perkasa comes for my head for saying this, they should calm down, look around and compare the Islamic-ness of countries with hudud and without hudud. I read this piece of news a few days ago: 
“A recent report claims that Ireland is the world’s most faithful when it comes to living the word of the Quran. While one would reasonably expect a majority-Muslim country such as Malaysia or Saudi Arabia to top such a list, Ireland, Denmark and Luxembourg are all rated higher at following the Muslim holy text.
Hossein Askari, a Professor of International Business and International Affairs at George Washington University in the US was one of the two authors of the Islamicity index along with Scheherazade S. Rehman, who explained to the BBC how the paper tracked the way in which countries applied the lessons of the Quran to societal life.
“We looked at whether or not the countries did what they were supposed to do. We looked at governance, political and human rights and international relations.”
The findings of the report showed that Ireland, the UK and the US all scored higher than every single member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
In fact, the OIC’s highest-ranked member was Malaysia at 33, while Saudi Arabia and Qatar are at 93 and 111, respectively. Professot Askari says the reason for the Islamic countries’ low ranking could be found in their governance.
He explained that there are those who use religion as a tool of power and legitimacy yet did not care about the Muslim people.
The teachings of the Quran say that economic prosperity is good for society, but Askari’s report found that prosperity in Islamic countries rarely trickled down to those in true need of it.”
It is not Islam that is at fault, but the bigots who for reasons best known to themselves, chose to act like little prophets in their own right ignoring what the Prophet himself said and did.
Nowhere did the Prophet command his followers to treat peaceful fellow citizens as enemies. Nowhere did He say that Muslims must not allow anyone else to use the word "Allah". Nowhere did He order that the holy scriptures of the other faiths be confiscated and destroyed. Nowhere did He say that non-Muslims do not have a right to live peacefully among Muslims. Nowhere did He say that everyone on this earth must profess only one religion – Islam.
So why is the government of the day allowing a small group of people out of their minds to destroy the multiracial peace and harmony that Malaysia has been looked upon by the world as a model until lately, i.e. until the monopoly of ruling the country by the BN came under threat through the ballot box in 2008, despite all the gerrymandering?
Selangor could be more Islamic by emulating Ireland which the research found to be “the world’s most faithful when it comes to living the word of the Quran.”
Selangor with a very comfortable majority can and should take immediate steps to repeal the Enactment which is being abused and which abuse it is unable to control.
It should send its assemblymen to Ireland for a lawatan sambil belajar (study tour), or even to stay there for the period between assembly sittings, to learn firsthand how and why the people in Ireland are “most faithful when it comes to living the word of the Qur’an” although the majority are non-Muslims. This is not meant as a joke, but proposed in all seriousness.

The Prophet himself said that people should seek knowledge. The first word of the Quran is “read”. So, in humbleness, those who want Malaysia to be more Islamic than it is today, should go and seek knowledge as to how and why non-hudud countries are more faithful when it comes to living the word of the Quran.
*Ravinder Singh reads The Malaysian Insider.

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