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Friday, April 6, 2007

"Islam-as I say-tion"

I have been struggling to give expression to the anxiety I have been experiencing at the way in which Islam is being articulated and implemented in this country. It is a process which stands out more for its emphasis on form over substance, its rigidity and repressiveness, rather than its emphasis on values and truths.

This afternoon, I was privileged to have read a very moving account of a man’s search for his religion and his commitment to it once he found it. In an article entitled ‘Islam-as I say-tion’: The Slide Into Tyranny?’, Haris Ibrahim has given voice to my concerns in a way far superior to any effort of mine would have ever been.

Haris Ibrahim is a friend and colleague. He was the first amongst those of us who now fight under the banner of Article 11 to see the extent of the difficulties that were soon to engulf this nation. He has been steadfast and unwavering in his belief that it is a slavish adherence to the rule of law that will allow all of us, Muslims and persons of other faiths, to fulfill our religious aspirations. He has followed through in deed and action and has been at the forefront of efforts to promote constitutionalism and the rule of law, in court and outside it. His strength has been an inspiration and his friendship a guiding light. It is through Haris and the work that he brought me into that I began to discover the Islam that I now fight for; an Islam that emphasises justice and truth, compassion and mercy, and above all, a true submission to God.


I am not a scholar of Islam. I can neither read nor write Arabic. I have never received any formal training in the exegesis of the Holy Qur’an.

However, over a period of some twenty years, the last ten of them with the aid of dictionaries, concordances, lexicons and transliterations, I have ploughed through over 21 different translations of the Holy Qur’an.

I am now firm in my conviction that the Holy Qur’an is truly the inerrant Word of God.

In the last nine years to this date, I have tried to live the Islam of the Holy Qur’an.

As I understand it.

There are laws in this country, though, that prohibit me from trying to live the Islam that I have come to understand, if my understanding does not conform with the decrees issued by councils of men, known as the ‘Fatwa Committee’ or ‘Fatwa Council’. These laws, and these councils of men, are part of a process that has gradually begun to impact on the lives of all Malaysians. Those steering this process would have us believe that the ‘Islamisation’ of Malaysia is their goal.

In a Malaysiakini report dated 24th July, 2006 entitled ‘10,000 Muslims attend forum centred on apostasy’, Azmi Abdul Hamid of Teras is reported to have said:

“We have every right to seek the continuation of this process of Islamisation”.

Azmi’s quoted statement, for me, raises the following questions:

1.what does Azmi mean by this ‘process of Islamisation’?

2.Azmi speaks of the continuation of this process. When did it start?

3.Who are the ‘we’ that Azmi speaks of?;

I have grave reservations about this ‘process of Islamisation’ that Azmi speaks of. I am very concerned about this ‘Islamisation’ that we see unfolding in our country...."

(Read more here)



Milky Tea said...

I fear that you are presumptious to have already reserved a burial plot for our much beloved 'process of Islamisation'. But if it does happen, I would be more than happy to fork up for the gravestone.

Ah, Islam! I would worry if I did not believe that its integrity is not in the hands of some vote-grabbing politicians and populists. In any event, I believe that Karl Marx's words ring too true these days, that indeed religion has become an opium (or is opiate?) of the masses. A form of escapism from the grubby and gloomy reality of our world, and a means to extol how virtuous we are, to the exclusion of all others.
Good on ya, my friend. Let's bury this fascimile of Islam.

Anonymous said...

Dear MIS,

I am unable to connect to the (Read more here) in your "Islam-as I say-tion", may I have the address to the link for a manual link.

Thank you.

P.S. Thank God for Malaysia when there are still people like you and Haris Ibrahim.

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said...

You can find Haris' article at

Anonymous said...

Haris Ibrahim's article is so great that it needs to be posted prominently at Malaysia Today so that more people can have access to it.

Anonymous said...

60% of Malaysian population are Muslims thus by rule of common sense, we should be running on Islamic law from the 1st day of independence. However, we are running on British Common Law, but the British people do not make even 1% of the population. Common Sense anyone?

If religion is indeed opium of the masses, then Muslim scholars should be millionaires by making money from the 'opium'.

If Islamisation can bring fear towards the criminals and reduce crime, then it is better than Islam Hadhari that makes the public to be fearful of criminals. Look forward for public execution of robbers and snatch thieves at Stadium Merdeka so that senior citizen can walk peacefully and I can own luxurious cars with good sport rim without fear of theft.

Anonymous said...


Your approach to the problem is exactly the problem that MIS is trying to curb.

By your 60%-majority-therefore-have-islamic-laws mentality will be the downfall of the beautiful religion. A religion that preaches tolerance sir. Tolerance. Perhaps it never dawned on you that if the whites were to think like you, we wouldn't have a country now that houses scum like you. Perhaps they should have converted you against your will to what they believe in. How would you like that now?

Your "common sense" of intolerance as a deviation of Islam itself. The same God that created you created the many different people on earth. Ever thought that the plan of God is larger than what your puny intellect is capable of deciphering?

"Sedarlah saudara, sebelum anda disedarkan".