Articles, Opinions & Views: What is Harapan’s Islamic agenda? - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Death or Glory
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“When you're left wounded on

Afganistan's plains and

the women come out to cut up what remains,

Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,

And go to your God like a soldier”

“We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace,

for he must suffer and be the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

“May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't .”
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

“Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.

“Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

The Soldier stood and faced God

Which must always come to pass

He hoped his shoes were shining

Just as bright as his brass

"Step forward you Soldier,

How shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?

To My Church have you been true?"

"No, Lord, I guess I ain't

Because those of us who carry guns

Can't always be a saint."

I've had to work on Sundays

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I've been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny

That wasn't mine to keep.

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills got just too steep,

The Soldier squared his shoulders and said

And I never passed a cry for help

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place

Among the people here.

They never wanted me around

Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here,

Lord, It needn't be so grand,

I never expected or had too much,

But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was silence all around the throne

Where the saints had often trod

As the Soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you Soldier,

You've borne your burden well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in Hell."

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What is Harapan’s Islamic agenda? - By Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Malaysiakini : “Man and fascism cannot co-exist. If fascism conquers, man will cease to exist and there will remain only man-like creatures that have undergone an internal transformation. But if man, man who is endowed with reason and kindness, should conquer, then fascism must perish, and those who have submitted to it will once again become people.” ― Vasily Grossman, ‘Life and Fate’
COMMENT | What does the Malay ruling establishment and the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) think about Perlis mufti Asri Zainul Abidin’s comment that the loser of the debate between Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy and Indian Muslim preacher Zakir Naik, “dihantar pulang ke India seperti yang menjadi hasrat mereka”?
Well, I know for a fact that Zakir Naik does not want to be sent home to India and Ramasamy is a citizen of this country, so what is the establishment stand on the racist remarks of the Perlis mufti towards a Malaysian citizen? Does this challenge our value system?
Also, who judges this stupid debate? How would we know who “won” the debate? And why even talk about the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)?Wouldn’t it be easier for Asri to point to comments made by Ramasamy about his religion (Islam) which could be deemed “extremist”? Would it be easier to point to Ramasamy's long career and public record of his comments to demonstrate that he is a hate monger? I mean that is what people are accusing Zakir Naik of, right?
But that’s not all of it. Where is the outrage in the Malay/Muslim establishment on the death threats and worse, threats legitimising the murder of a Malaysian politician? If this happened before the election, the opposition would have been up in arms. Indeed, we would have the “true Muslim” members of Pakatan Harapan coming to the aid of their comrade and talking about how unIslamic these types of threats were.
These days, it would seem when it comes to these types of provocations, the ruling establishment is silent. Since Harapan took over, we have had provocateurs at Kampung Manjoi, a prime minister hopeful telling us not to spook the Malays, a mufti telling a deputy chief minister of a state to leave the country if he loses a rigged debate and of course, a Malay politician threatened with death because of the fake news that she wants to destroy an Islamic institution.
We are supposed to believe that this is a normal situation? We are supposed to not draw attention to this because the hard work of saving Malaysia means we have to put up with this horse manure?
You know what I really cannot understand about this whole Zakir Naik tension? Okay, you put forward a legal argument as to why he cannot be extradited. It is a poor argument and easily rebutted, but you put it out there for whatever reason. But what people are forgetting that the words of Zakir Naik and his interpretation of Islam are anathema to the supposed ideals of Harapan. You could make the legal argument that he has a right to be here, but what you cannot make is that his ideas are accepted by the religious establishment in this country. Or does it?
The fact that the Harapan religious establishment and by this, I mean the religious bureaucracy has not condemned his ideas, says a lot about the religious imperatives of this new administration. The fact that the religious bureaucracy did not come out and condemn the death threats against the Sri Delima assemblyperson should tell you something about how Islam is propagated in this country.
Where is the minister in charge of Islamic affairs in the Prime Minister’s Department when it comes to these issues? That is right. He is too busy telling the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community to hide in the closet and not challenge our value system.
If this is our value system, where Zakir Naik roams about without challenge, death threats in the name of Islam are made against a politician goes unchallenged by the religious establishment and we are constantly reminded not to spook the Malays, they should be challenged. I did it with the Umno regime, I will definitely do it for a coalition I urged people to vote for.
Real targets
I have often been accused of being anti-Islam and anti-Malay. Nothing is further from the truth. In fact, I have publicly disagreed with the “true Muslim” meme propagated by the then opposition. I have written that there should be a plurality of Islamic voices in this country, even going so far as to state that any kind of perceived Islamic views should not be silenced but rather open to rebuttal in the public discourse.
What I have always maintained is that the state interpretation of Islam should be inclusive but reject any and all extremist statements or actions that threaten the stability of the state and the security of the citizens of Malaysia. I am on record of advocating that the beliefs of people should not be the concern of the state – however they choose to define it – and the state should not sanction behaviour deemed unIslamic.
Always remember the real targets of these types of extremist provocation – “Do not make the mistake of thinking that the main targets of these religious extremists were the non-Malay community. No, the real targets of those extremists are the Malay-Muslim community. What they are attempting to do is control the narrative of Islam in this country. They are aided and abetted by the political apparatus as demonstrated by the soft warning of the Perak MB and the silence of the federal government, including the normally boisterous non-Muslim politicians.”
Jakim director-general Mohamad Nordin Ibrahim claimed that his department’s new approach – tolerance – was brought upon by a conversation he had with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. But what does this really mean? It seems to me - and maybe it does to you - that all Jakim does is harass people who have “slipped” from the path. Have they ever attacked religious extremism which is a more of threat to this country? Have they sanctioned hate speech? Have they warned Muslims that there are external forces out there which are attempting to subvert the democratic institutions of this country or enemies who would destroy democracy from within? Instead, what they have done is target Shia adherents, labelled dissenting Muslims as “liberal”, selectively enforced their edicts, estranged the Malay community from the non-Malay community, but most importantly, decried excessive laughter.
If you think that these are unimportant in the larger scheme of things, then you are sorely mistaken. Islam and race are not mutually exclusive in this country. What happens to Muslims eventually has a direct effect on non-Muslims. Why hasn’t this administration made firm commitments to resolve the issue of unilateral conversions? Why have they not condemned hate speech against non-Muslims?
The reality of "do not spook the Malays" is because Harapan does not have a firm Malay base. Statistics emerging from the last general election reflects this. The solution is not to retreat to the old ways of doing things but ensure that the Malay base you have grows. While some Malays did not vote to change the Islamic system, reforming the Islamic system - making it more about welfare and not about religious enforcement - is the way how you change mindsets.
When the Malay community understands that these religious bodies are there to ensure there is welfare in terms of access to education and healthcare and not to enforce morality, then they will slowly understand that there is more to religion than just dogma. For the Umno regime, it was taken for granted that this is the tactics they engage in. However, in the new Harapan order, non-Muslims have silenced themselves when it comes to holding their representatives accountable. Encouraging a plurality of Islamic voices in this country and the state bureaucracy rejecting Islamic extremism will create a greater democracy for this country.
If we do not speak with one voice with this, we will always be at the mercy of those who wish to subvert our democracy in favour of religious fascism.
posted by D Swami Gwekanandam @ 10:26 AM  

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