some interesting articles on islam

NOTE: this is suppose to be posted 2 days ago. forgot about it.

here are some interesting articles i took from here and there that flows from the JAIS raid on DUMC,   i highlighted some points which i agreed to very much, and also make comments if any in italics. later on, when i find similair articles like this, i will add them in here for my own reference.


Zaid untuk Rakyat blog

KITA and religious freedom

Aug 10, 2011

TESTING if save sitll got

KITA is the only political party in the country that will fearlessly defend Article 11 of the Federal Constitution, which safeguards religious freedom. We believe that this freedom belongs to everyone – Muslims and non-Muslims – and is a fundamental right of every human being. We believe it is cruel for anyone to be forced to accept a religious belief or faith that he or she in all good conscience has renounced or refuses to believe in.

yes, so very true. as i and many others had said religion should be a personal matter – between god and the individual but here only in malaysia, we have the authorities acting on muslim who decide to renounce their faith. what a shame! why force them to believe in what they choose not to believe anymore – yes, that is cruel, as zaid said.

In Malaysia today, religious freedom is available to non-Muslims, but unfortunately and for all practical purposes, it is not available to Muslims. Federal Court decisions have made it almost impossible for a Muslim to renounce his faith; not only that, he would be subject to punishment for apostasy. Lina Joy‘s case effectively amended Article 11 by implying that a Muslim’s right to religious freedom is limited or circumscribed.

malaysia boleh! using constitutions, laws, courts, authorities, what-have-you to stop muslim from renouncing their faith and to punish them. only in malaysia!!

That is why in this country, there will be more and more confusion and an escalating war of attrition among religious communities. State laws will continue to empower officers to make arrests and raid premises so that they can make sure Muslims are not in the company of evangelical Christians. JAIS clearly feels duty-bound to ensure Muslims cannot exercise their right to convert. JAIS doesn’t really care what lies inside the heart of Muslims. They are simply happy to punish and imprison someone like Kamariah Ali and regard her as a deviant Muslim. It does not matter what her true beliefs are, just as it does not matter if she is happy with the faith.

Other parts of the country will experience similar JAIS raids in future, and increasing numbers of Muslims will be punished for exercising their freedom to believe. PAS, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and DAP will not support the true meaning of Article 11 for different reasons. PAS will not because they feel that as goods Muslims, they must not allow the freedom to choose as “lesser” Muslims may take the opportunity to do so. Anwar will not support it because it may affect his chances of becoming Prime Minister. DAP will not support it because they don’t want to lose votes, and they want to keep Penang. That explains why the great defenders of freedom in Pakatan Rakyat had to issue a gag order over the JAIS matter. Don’t address sensitive issues, is what they seem to be saying… get to Putrajaya first.

If KITA were to run the Government, the issue would be dealt with differently. We would refer Article 11 to a properly constituted Constitutional Court. If the court were to hold that Article 11 applies to Muslims as well, then they would not need to hide in church premises to exercise their beliefs and agencies such as JAIS would not need the power to trespass and ransack private properties to look for possibleconverts. Our motto would be, “To each his own.”

If, however, the Constitutional Court rules that the intent of Article 11 is not to accord religious freedom to Muslims as well, and that Malaysia is in fact an Islamic State, then we would need to amend the Federal Constitution to insert an all empowering Article (such as in Iran) that states that all laws must conform to the Qur’an, and that laws contravening Islamic tenets and practices would be void. Islamic tenets and Islamic practices, in this case, would be those that are approvedby the Conference of Rulers.

The problem today is that we live in a Jekyll and Hyde situation. We have a secular Federal Constitution but politically, we want Muslim laws to be our primary governing instrument. We want to be a member of the family of the UN Conventions and ostensibly support human rights, but we also want Islamic laws and morality to prevail.

hmm… i like this. think i will try to remember this by heart and quote it to people during our kopi-tiam chat. 

Our politicians will not touch this crucial issue as they believe it will jeopardise their popularity. Some will continue to express anger and frustration, but nothing will change. KITA is the only party that is truly ready and capable of making that change happen.


ARTiculations blog

Friday, August 12, 2011

JAIS missing the point

JAIS issued a statement yesterday concerning the so-called “raid” on Damansara Utama Methodist Church’s Dream Centre in Petaling Jaya on 3rd August 2011.

In its statement, JAIS clarified that it was not a raid as reported. Nor was there any force used during the walk about by JAIS in the Church’s premises. In its own word, it was just an “inspection”. Kinda like what PUSPAKON (sic) is doing on all vehicles which are sold second hand.

It could then be gathered from JAIS’ statement that it was a friendly thingy. You know, the kind of visit by strangers to our house unannounced just after we have dinner with some guests where our guests were questioned why they were in our house; what did we, as hosts, say before, during and after dinner; did we, as hosts, try to proselytise (did I get the spelling correct? Sorry, I have to confirm this because before the raid, I never knew this word existed, let alone know its meaning) them yada yada yada.

JAIS director, Encik Marzuki Hussin said, among others:

Jais officers did not interrupt the event and only inspected the venue after the dinner had ended.
Accusations that Jais raided, used force and trespassed are wild accusations.
The 12 Muslims who had attended the event were only asked to provide their details and directed to attend counselling sessions.
I find this really amazing, really.

Our Honourable Prime Minister flew all the way to the Vatican to meet the Pope; shook his hand; gave the Pope a book and established a diplomatic relationship with the Vatican. Then he came back to Kuala Lumpur cutting short his family holiday because he would rather be with us, the people.

And what did some little Caliphs, defenders of the faith do? Yes. Together with the police, they “inspected” a private dinner hosted, not by the church, but by an AIDS organisation to say thank you for all the hard works and efforts put into the organisations by some people.

The point is not whether it was a raid or inspection, JAIS. Nor was it whether you entered before, during or after the dinner. Nor also whether there was any interruption. Nor whether you all were as nice as cupcakes. That is NOT the point.

The point is you had the nerve to gate-crash a private dinner on the pretext of investigating a report the details of which you were unable to give when requested. And please tell me under what authority and for what reason are the 12 Muslim guests were asked to attend counselling session with you.

What counselling? Counselling for what? For having dinner with some Christians? Judging from your rationale, the Prime Minister and his whole entourage to the Vatican might have to attend counselling to ya? Sometime ago I attended a funeral of the son of a dear friend of mine in a church. I stood up when they were singing hymns and sat in silence when prayers were being said. Do I have to be counselled too?

This is the kind of thing which is making Malaysia a laughing capital of the world nowadays. Some years ago I remember, there was a text message sent out by none other a mufti alleging that a number of kids were about to be proselytised (is my spelling correct?) at a church. It caused an uproar. But of course the good mufti was not hauled up for anything although recently a certain Penang lady was hauled up by the police for allegedly urging Christians to walk for whatever reason.

The thing which I would like to ask is this. Is there any necessity at all to do this kind of thing?

Muslims in Malaysia seem to be very weak indeed. We cannot listen to certain music group. Cannot watch MTV. Cannot go to concerts, even to concerts by the completely fagotty Michael Learns to Rock, for God’s sake!!! These guys rhymes the word “car” with “star” for God’s sake! Cannot watch certain films. Cannot tahan seeing women’s ketiak in public. Cannot tahan seeing non-Muslims eating or drinking during puasa month.

We need to be protected all the time. Otherwise our aqidah would be gone. And we would become kafir. And of course we would then all go to hell.

One question struck me. If Muslims in Malaysia are so easily persuaded to leave Islam, there must be something wrong with the state of Islam in Malaysia, isn’t it? I mean, why would the Muslims in Malaysia so easily persuaded to do so then? Perhaps then, JAIS and the all the mullahs should look into this aspect rather than blaming everything on other faiths.

A word of advise to JAIS. We are a multi-cultural-faiths society. We need to be respectful to others. It doesn’t matter whether Islam is the official religion of the country or whether it is the faith of the majority of the people in our country.

Islam teaches us moderation. And Islam teaches us to be respectful of others.

Now, article 11 of the Federal Constitution does guarantee freedom of religion to every person in Malaysia (even though that person is not a citizen of Malaysia). Admittedly, paragraph 4 of the said article also permits laws to be made to “control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam.”

I do not know whether there is any such law in Selangor. But for argument’s sake, let’s assume that it has.

Nowhere in the law it is stated that Muslims cannot eat or attend a dinner with Christians, be it in a church compound or at the zoo or anywhere else. That is why even our Honourable Prime Minister attended a dinner with the Christian sometime ago (remember the hoo-haas about removing crucifixes and stuffs?).

If there are reasonable suspicion (I repeat, reasonable suspicion – which means not any kind of grandmother suspicion) that some groups are trying to propagate whatever religious doctrine to Muslims, then by all means please take the appropriate action. Please note, I said, appropriate action, not any grandmother action.

Now what is appropriate and what is not? Well, again, we live in a multi-cultural-faiths society. Our actions must not be one which would or could give rise to disharmony. That is all.

By all means, JAIS may investigate the allegation quietly. How to do that? Well, our special branch is one of the best in the world. Recently they even managed to sniff out a plot to wage war against the King; a plot to turn this country into a communist state; and they, according to the Deputy IGP and Home Minister also managed to avoid a riot like the London riot in Kuala Lumpur. Yes. They are that good.

So JAIS, how to investigate? Ask assistance from our special branch. They will know how to sniff this kinda thing within seconds.

When all or sufficient evidence are gathered of such activities, then JAIS can go on and exercise its powers lah. Call people for statements. Arrests the people involved. Charge them in Courts. Habis cerita kan?

Better still, to be civilised, it would be better for JAIS, in the name of 1Malaysia, under those circumstances, to call up the church or group in question and confront them with the evidence which JAIS has collected. Let’s hear what they have to say. If there is not reasonable or acceptable explanation, JAIS can proceed to charge them.

That’s it. No drama. No raid. No inspection. Nothing at all.

Before I end this, one more point. Religion is a state matter. Selangor is governed by Pakatan Rakyat. I then presume JAIS is a state agency. The Menteri Besar apparently did not agree with the action. Question – why wasn’t he briefed on the “inspection”, knowing how sensitive this issue is?

As a political party, PAS, which is part of Pakatan Rakyat, also apparently disagree with JAIS’ inspection. But Hassan Ali, a state EXCO member, defended JAIS. The MB then imposed a blanket gag order.

May I ask bluntly, what the hell? Do you know what you are doing or not? If so, are you opposed or are you in favour of it? Which is bloody which?

If the MB doesn’t agree and one lone EXCO member is against that, what should be the natural consequence to that? My question is simple. What is the official position of the Selangor State Government about this whole episode. Never mind Hassan Ali. Never mind Tan Sri Khalid. Never mind PAS or DAP.


That many of us would like to know.

I would like to end this post with this verse. May we all get His wisdom and mercy.

??? ???????? ???????? ?????? ????????????? ???? ?????? ?????????? ??????????????? ???????? ??????????? ????????????? ? ????? ???????????? ?????? ??????? ??????????? ? ????? ??????? ??????? ???????

O you men! surely We have created you of a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other; surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty); surely Allah is Knowing, Aware. (translation : Shakir)

O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware. (translation: Pickthal)


Malaysian Insider Opinion

The real lesson from the Jais-Damansara Utama Methodist Church controversy
August 11, 2011

AUG 11 — The recent controversy over the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) raid on the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) reminded me of a visit I made to a shelter for Muslim HIV patients in Subang Jaya a few years back.

One of the members of my PKR division was active in a mosque in that area. She introduced me to the shelter, which was being run by the local Muslim community.

Such institutions are important for, as we all know, the stigma against people living with HIV and AIDS is still rampant in our society and hence many of them have a tough time re-integrating with their families and communities upon leaving hospital.

The fact is some Muslim HIV and AIDS patients who are so ostracised are given a lifeline by the charitable works run by the Christian churches. This of course doesn’t reflect well on Malaysia’s Islamic religious authorities who are supposed to be looking out for the welfare of all Muslims with their hundreds of millions of ringgit of resources.

In Islam, it’s considered a very sad, pitiful thing for a Muslim to die cut off or isolated from his or her fellow believers. I’m sure this is the case with any other faith. So whenever churches engage in charitable work that involves Muslims, their kindness is viewed with suspicion.

Interestingly enough, the church involved in this episode was conscious of this fact, and so worked with the Muslims to repatriate any Muslim HIV patient they had back to the care of their community. Unfortunately, some of their friends and family refused to have anything to do with them, and so there was no other option but for them to remain under the care of the church.

From an Islamic perspective, the blame for a Muslim dying outside the faith community should rest not only on the individual but on his or her community who did not come to their aid during their hour of need as well. Muslims have duties that are obligatory for them individually (fardu ain) and duties that are obligatory for them collectively (fardu kifayyah). This is clearly the latter, where if no one in society takes up this duty the entire society is to be blamed.

Yes, these people may have intentionally cut themselves off from their kith and kin. Yes, some of them might have been involved in drugs or illicit sex (although it’s a conveniently ignored fact that many HIV infections in Malaysia are from partners, parents or through blood transfusions). But that does not mean that they deserve to not be treated with dignity, as human beings or to die outside Islam.

Islam’s emphasis is always on the mercy of God. Whatever someone’s past may be, his or her salvation ultimately lies in repentance and through God’s mercy and forgiveness.

By starting their own shelter, the group of Muslims from Subang Jaya fulfilled their fardu kifayyah and deserve credit for this.

When I visited the shelter to present a small donation to them, I was amazed at the good work they had done. They had converted a terrace house into a discreet shelter that can accommodate about 12-15 patients at one time. They were probably flouting planning laws as the shelter was in a residential area. Furthermore, running such a place isn’t cheap and they had to sustain their efforts through massive, constant fundraising efforts. But at least they were doing something.

During my visit, I realised that the shelter was teeming with other visitors. There were not only officers from the Prison Department and hospital (many of the shelter’s inmates are handed over from prisons and hospitals) but also the church leader mentioned above, who was transferring his Muslims charges to the shelter.

Compared to those who write sensational articles about conspiracies against Islam or complain about why Christians are engaged in charitable works among Muslims, these were exemplary Muslims who chose the path of action instead of just empty talk.

I asked them if they had approached the religious authorities to get funding. They told me they had, but were informed that the religious authorities had their own plans instead and so did not receive a single sen. One wonders why this noble project was not given support from the get-go, especially since the “official” HIV shelter was still in the “planning stage”?

I therefore share the view that we should be questioning how the zakat money is being spent in Malaysia. In spite of the hundreds of millions of ringgit collected for zakat and similar levels of state government grants for Islam, many deserving Muslims are unable to get assistance due to outdated policies and bureaucratic inertia. With the huge resources at our disposal, this is simply wrong.

The zakat money can certainly be better managed. For instance, I was privately shocked at being given a souvenir after attending an event to present zakat to the poor! Although one must assume in good faith that the money for the gift wasn’t taken out of the zakat, it was still sending the wrong message. VIPs are given too many “souvenirs” that we don’t really need — it’s a nice gesture but at the end of the day the money could have been put to better use.

This reminds me of a story involving my great-grandfather, Haji Wan Musa Abdul Samad, who was the mufti of Kelantan from 1908 to 1916. When the Sultan and the authorities wanted to build a concrete version of Masjid Muhammadi (Kelantan’s state mosque) to replace the previous wooden structure, he resigned in protest as he believed that the zakat fitrah (which is paid by Muslims at the end of Ramadan) — which they wanted to use to fund the new mosque — must be only given to the poor and not used for development.

My point is that the Umno-owned newspapers are missing the point by trying to pin the blame on the Christians (for engaging in charitable works among Muslims) and poor Muslims (for being recipients of the charity). Malaysian Muslims should rather be asking why some of our fellow ummah are falling through the cracks despite the many resources at our disposal to help them.

Recently, a constituent of mine told me the story of the blind Jewish beggar. At the market, the beggar would curse Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. as a lunatic or a sorcerer. When the Prophet learned about this, he decided not to get angry but instead would visit the beggar every day to feed him without saying a word. The beggar would eat contentedly without realising that it was the same person he was cursing every day who was feeding him.

When the Prophet passed away, Caliph Abu Bakar as-Siddiq took over the responsibility. But when Abu Bakar first fed the beggar, the beggar became angry and shouted that this was not the same man who used to feed him all this while.

Abu Bakar immediately cried and revealed to the beggar that the person who has been feeding him all this while was the Prophet himself. The beggar could not believe it, remembering how cruel he was to the man who showed him only kindness.

Is our response reflective of the Prophet’s exemplary personality?

We should be concentrating on helping poor Muslims (and non-Muslims), rather than intimidating religious or ethnic minorities.

* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.


Malaysiakini letter

Raid by Jais an 'uncivilised' act
Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa
Aug 10, 11

We, from the Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) read the news regarding the proposed Faith Crime Act by the deputy education minister yesterday with trepidation.

The proposal came about as a response to Jais' unwarranted raid of Damansara Utama Methodist Church last week.

The raid conducted by Jais was purely based on suspicion that the Methodist Church was involved in an act of proselytisation. The Malaysian Aids Council however reiterated that the dinner was actually a fund-raiser for HIV/AIDS support programmes.

The whole issue boils down to one main issue. The so-called defenders of the faith believed that their action was espoused by the religion of Islam in preventing the believers from apostasy.

This uncivilised act of storming into a sacred place accompanied by the Mafia-like police was endorsed by none others than the insular and xenophobic NGOs like Perkasa and Pembela.

We believe that such an act of storming into a church without any warrant and based on mere suspicion was a travesty of justice and democratic principles. Freedom of assembly is enshrined in Article 10 of our constitution. Any act that violates this freedom is reprehensible.

We realise that this conflict stems from the static and stagnant approach to understanding Islamic law. The codified law in Islamic jurisprudence derived through the exercise of juristic reasoning of the latter years was considered sacred and beyond reproach. Hence the most rigid and literalist interpretations tend to prevail.

The defenders of faith failed to look at ample evidence in the Quran that gives the liberty to the people to freely follow their conviction.

Any individuals are given the right to accept or reject a particular faith based on his personal conviction.

"There shall be no coercion in matters of faith" [Qur'an, 2:256]

“And [thus it is] had thy Sustainer so willed, all those who live on earth would surely have attained to faith, all of them: dost thou, then, think that thou couldst compel people to believe” [Qur'an, 10:99]

This message of freedom of belief and the call to religious tolerance is reiterated time and time again in the Quran and through various Prophets. This has been the call of all the Prophets even before Prophet Muhammad. Refer the Quran [7:85-87, 39:39-40, 17:84].

Faith is a personal conviction. The state has no authority to interfere in one's choice of faith. One is answerable to God for the decision he or she makes in her life. Hitherto it is very perturbing that a lawmaker proposed for Faith Crime Act to be enacted by the government.

This act infringes on God given right for us to believe on our free will. No one has the authority to take this right from us. We are answerable to God alone in the life to come. We must ensure that our community embraces this freedom of religion and we will not succumb to any threat to remove this freedom away from us.

The principle of reciprocity is to be upheld since it gives a meaning to the concept of justice. In a modern multiracial society like us, where different faiths lives together, we have to respect the right of an individual to choose and convert to a faith that he or she believes in.

There should not be undue pressure or coercion for a person to believe in a faith he or she has no belief anymore. It would be a real tragedy and disaster when a state started imposing its authority in matters of faith.

The writer is chairman and director of Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF).

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