Articles, Opinions & Views: It's a mistake to disregard Abdul Hadi Awang - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy

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In A Foxhole
“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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It's a mistake to disregard Abdul Hadi Awang - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Malaysiakini : “Modern fanaticism thrives in proportion to the quantity of contradictions and nonsense it pours down the throats of the gaping multitude, and the jargon and mysticism it offers to their wonder and credulity.” ― William Hazlitt
COMMENT | As someone who has led men and women of various faiths, I have to tell you, nobody has ever come up to me and said that they fear they are going to hell because they were led by a Hindu. I do not know what the situation is like now. Has anyone from the state security apparatus come up to Abdul Hadi Awang and confided that they fear going to hell because they were led by non-Muslims? What is the position of the friends of PAS camp?
Some people consider Hadi a joke. I am not one of those people. Ever since May 9, there has been a consistent move by religious extremists, the crypto Islamists within Harapan, the Malay far right and the religious bureaucracy to undermine the secular values in this country.
The call for mosque activities to move beyond the environs of the mosque, extremists preachers like Zakir Naik being allowed to roam our countryside, and various “nanny state” policies intended to hoodwink a gullible public point to a renewed process of Islamisation.
Hadi, as I have argued, is merely the politically incorrect face of Islam. When people mock the current PAS leadership for making deals with kleptocrats, they forget that this is exactly how religious extremists in so-called Islamic states turn national tragedy into political gain, by making deals with corrupt regimes and slowly but surely, establishing themselves as the power behind the throne.
When Hadi says that Muslims who are led by non-Muslims are going to hell, what about non-Muslims who are led by Muslims? This would mean that all non-Muslims here in Malaysia who are led by Muslims are going to heaven, right? Unless, of course, there is a precondition that anyone entering heaven must be a Muslim.
Hadi claims that even if the Muslim leadership were cruel, Muslims would still go to heaven because of the faith-based system of governance under these “cruel” Muslim leaders. But supposing those Muslim leaders were cruel but did not impose religious laws, would Muslims still go to hell?
By Hadi’s reasoning, all Muslims in the West are going to hell. Every Muslim who voted for a non-Muslim candidate is going to hell? Muslims living in China are going to hell, so are Muslims in certain African countries, Muslims in South America, Australia and any other country led by non-Muslims, but who have Muslim communities.
The only Muslims who are going to heaven are the ones in Middle East dictatorships and yes, Malaysia because our federal government is led by Muslims. But this is still not good enough, because the federal government has not declared that syariah laws apply to all, but more importantly that Quranic law does not supersede secular law.
Which brings us to the Muslims in Penang. Are they going to heaven or hell? Penang is led by a Chinese chief minister and a party which PAS routinely demonises with speeches that should be considered seditious, but apparently is not. I say “seditious” because if a non-Muslim used the rhetoric coming out from PAS and other zealots, he or she would be charged with sedition.
Anyway, even though the federal bureaucracy is Muslim-led, does this save the poor Muslim souls in Penang? Look, non-Muslim leadership in this country have always acknowledged what is “halal” and “haram” in the Muslim community. But is this enough? The Muslims in Penang, for instance, who voted for a non-Muslim political party, did not vote for a party which did not acknowledge the importance of what is kosher or not in the Muslim community.
They voted for a political party which they believed would improve their standard of living and not engage in the corrupt practices of the ruling federal government. They did not vote – or at least, I think – they did not vote with the belief that their choice would lead them to heaven or hell.
Political power through religion
Penang, of course, is an interesting example, because of its rich tradition of Muslim culture which was not separate from Indian culture, which is what the House of Saud acolytes would have you believe. 
It is also an interesting observation of the way how various hegemonic powers have attempted to use Islam to subvert the Muslim community and keep them enthralled to political power through religion.

Last year in May, the New Straits Times carried an interesting piece by Alan Teh Leam Seng – whose work I have been following sporadically - about the origins of Penang’s oldest mosque. The history, of course, is complex enough which means it subverts commonly held perceptions of Islam in this country.
What I found extremely interesting beyond the kind of tribal politics between two mosques vying for interpretive control, was the narrative of what happened during the Japanese occupation of Malaya and how the colonialist attempted to use religion as a basis for fidelity to the Japanese empire. From the piece, quoting a Penang Shimbun article:
“The article continues with a rather vivid description of the previous year’s Hari Raya Puasa celebrations which fell on Oct 12, 1942. It said that about 5,000 Muslims assembled at the Chinese Recreation Club field at around 9.30am to perform their traditional Aidil Fitri prayers.
"The ceremony started in earnest half an hour later with the arrival of General S Katayama, the Lieutenant Governor of Penang. "I rub my eyes in disbelief when I reach the final part of the text. Once the prayers and sermon were over, the entire congregation got on their feet and changed their position from the Masjid al-Haram, the Grand Mosque in Mecca, and began facing the direction of the Tenno Heika or Imperial Palace in Tokyo.
"After the people had finished paying their respects to the Japanese Emperor, the ceremony ended with representatives from the various Muslim communities swearing allegiance and loyalty to the Imperial Japanese Army. They promised to uphold the peace and obey the laws in Penang.”
By Hadi’ reasoning would those Muslims go to hell? What of those Muslims who fought the imperialists, but were communist? Would they go to hell too? Here’s the thing. If you look at the history of Islam in Malaysia, all it has been about is political operatives in cahoots with religious zealots to subvert religion, to further agendas which are anathema to democratic principles.
The enemy has always been within.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 12:10 PM  
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