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Hijrah From A Sick Muslim Country…to a better place

Multatuli says that the problem is not Islam but those who politicise Islam to further their own ends be it PAS, UMNO or others.

Zaid Ibrahim advised young Malays to run away from the “sick Muslim country” called Malaysia. To escape to U.K. where they can grow spiritually and intelletually, a place where they can develop professional skills to serve them better in life.

To escape from the persecution of a religious establishment that is so consumed by beer festivals, appropriate attire, gays and liberals instead of debating the bigger  issues of corruption  and the injustices of the system.

Our Islamic scholars should be debating matters like the concept of tawhid, reconciling reason and revelation that has challenged relgious scholars  like the jurists and theologians of the Abbasiyah period instead of making life miserable for others.

I agree with Zaid on everything he said about Malaysia being a sick Muslim country but I disagree with his advice to flee to U.K. (or anywhere).

Running away is never a solution be it from political or religious persecution. How far can we run and how many times, supposing the next place is just as “sick”.

Anyway why should we run away from our own country and let these unscrupulous rascals take over.

I think young Malays must stay and fight. Stand your ground. The government can jail a few or a few hundred but it cannot jail thousands. Unity is strength.

Engage the religious establishment in debate. Challenge Hadi Awang’s rationalisation of corruption – that if there is a willing giver and a willing taker no one is hurt and so there is no corruption. This is a strange kind of morality and logic. In any case Awang forgets the third party – the rakyat who is not a willing giver and who is hurt by the corrupt deed.

What about‘no force in religion’ (Baqara 2:56). We want to talk about the freedom of worship as guaranteed in our constitution. Does this “freedom” apply only to Non Malays?

Ask those who advocate voting for a Muslim even if he is a crook rather than a kaffir to explain themselves.

Challenge the government who insists that Islam can only be interpreted as the government dictates; that only Wahabism is allowed.

Demand to be allowed to choose the interpretation of Islam that best suits you – not them. Ask for open debates as the early Arab scholars did.

Anything but allow them to make decisions on religion on your behalf without your consent.

Zaid called Malaysia a “sick Muslim country” and not for no reason.

Ministers and petty politicians, heads of departments and minor officials are in the habit of reciting verses from the Koran on corruption and service to the public. But they see nothing wrong in enriching themselves through their positions of power.

Government departments have Koranic verses written in beautiful Arabic calligraphy hanging from walls but most cannot read or understand them.

Chapter 63 (Al Munafiqun) which talks of hypocrites who pretend to follow the ways of Islam should be framed and hung in all government departments – written in Malay so everyone can understand. This will be Allah’s warning to those who use Islam to benefit themselves.

Instead of running away, young Malays should engage the religious establishment on a whole host of issues. For a start to explain the loss of local festivals and culture just because they (the religious body) deem these cultures unIslamic even though they have been practised by Malays for centuries. How much of Malay culture has been lost in this way. Many have commented how Arabised we Malays have become. This is worrying. 

There are those extremists who think that if Malays remove all traces of their past – their culture and festivals etc and embrace their brand of Islam then everything will be hunkydory.

This thinking is no different from Boko Haram’s wiping out all Western teachings and cultures.

We will be forbidding our female children from going to school if Hadi Awang’s embrace of the Taliban is anything to go by.

Our leaders have a lot of answering to do; Surah Al Anaam which clearly states that service is not about materialism or rewards because the true rewards come from Allah. Yet all of them pay themselves fat salaries and perks at the expense of the rakyat who they are supposed to serve. Despite all that, they are also corrupt.

Our young Malays should be challenging the religious establishment to explain their double standards concerning what appears to be a symbiotic relationship between them and the politicians.

The only hijrah I would advocate is seeking refuge within yourself . Trust yourself; trust your own judgement and not those munafiqs who quote the Koran chapter and verse to further their own ends.

We cannot talk about Islam in Malaysia without talking about how it infringes the rights of the non-Muslims.

It is one thing to demand Shariah compliance for Muslims or impose rules on the Believers. But we are not the only Malaysians.

The impositions we put on the non-Muslims I must confess we Malays would not have accepted if done to us. This brings to mind the teaching “do not do unto others what you do not want done to yourself”. But then Malaysia has been a country of double standards – has been for a long time.

How do you answer a petty trader in the pasar malam who is required to shut his stall during the maghrib prayers. He is not a Muslim why should he comply?Would we comply with the rules of another religion? The proprietor of a shop where women in ‘unIslamic’ attire advertises a product and he is required to remove it. Why? If it offends you avoid the shop. This is no different from demanding that crosses be removed from buildings because it offends the Muslim eyes.  How do you justify not allowing a Beer Festival when only the kaffirs are participants? Are we not infringing on their rights? Imposing Islam on on non Muslims? Why the rules about the height of non Muslim places of worship? Are we so small minded to think that buildings taller than the nearby mosque is belittling Islam. I am sure Mohammed did not preach in splendid mosques. Allah does not reside in mosques He does not care about how big the building is, only how big is your heart.

Hadi Awang says only a Muslim can rule this country; did the constitution say that? Is he not taking away the rights of non-Muslims.

Some Christians have disappeared and Suhakam has pointed a finger at the Special Branch. These are some of the injustices heaped on the non-Muslims.

Islam is not supposed to be like that – not an enlightened Islam. This lot has given our religion a bad name.

Non Muslims have belatedly spoken up for their religious rights. Muslims too must do the same and not accept the growing religious facismin our country.

The problem is not Islam; but those who politicise Islam to further their own ends be it PAS, UMNO or others.

Will the last liberal Malay to hijrah turn off the lights please, a ‘sick  Muslim country’ deserves to be in medevial darkness.

(The views expressed are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rebuilding Malaysia.)

By Multatuli Murtadi, Kelantan

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