Articles, Opinions & Views: What is "compassionate Islam"? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy

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No Atheists
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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What is "compassionate Islam"? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, May 20, 2019
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | “The point of modern propaganda isn't only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.” ― Garry Kasparov
I am not trying to be snarky when it comes to Mujahid Yusof Rawa (above), because I think he is desperately attempting to come up with a counter-narrative to the right-wing Islamo-fascist narrative of the likes of Isma.
Here is the thing though. Is “compassionate Islam” something like the rebranding George W Bush attempted to do with mainstream conservatism when his spin-doctors dug up some old conservative literature, of a time when there was intelligent discourse in the conservative intelligentsia in America? The American president attempted (fairly successfully, I might add) to project the conservative ideology as "people friendly" as opposed to the religious nuttery it has become now and was sliding into when he was POTUS.
Why does Islam need a “compassionate” makeover, when its adherents always tell non-believers that their religion is the religion of peace and their god is all compassionate? This is the same contra-indication when they claim there is no compulsion in religion, but a religious bureaucracy enforces dogma in every facet of their lives.
Whom exactly is compassionate Islam supposed to be compassionate towards? For folks who subscribe to the kind of Islam that Isma propagates, the idea of compassion is meaningless. Islam is political power. Nowhere is this more evident in Isma's “Malaysia is an Islamic state” campaign they carried out last year.
As the press duly noted: “A thread on Isma’s Twitter account listed eight items on its agenda, most notably the rejection of Malaysia as a secular country, and to stress that Malaysia is 'Tanah Melayu' or 'land of the Malays' with the Malays its native citizens. In addition, it called for a stronger role for Islamic jurisprudence in the national justice system. Currently, Syariah jurisprudence is under state jurisdiction instead of federal. The campaign urged Malaysians to fight in implementing Islamic obligations in the national context. It also wishes to promote the assimilation of Islam into the Malay culture, among others, in its language, tradition, clothing and food.”

Isma president Aminuddin Yahaya (above), said: “We see these evil attempts still continue, and more dangerously when those who believe in that are among the country’s leadership,” which, considering what he has said about our non-Malay/Muslim attorney-general, is fairly tame.
That is one narrative. What is Mujahid’s counter-narrative? While Isma may take potshots at Harapan as betraying the Islamic cause, it lists the numerous ways in which the Harapan government has been buttressing the Islamic bureaucracy . Here are just two examples. Isma’s homepage carried reports of Mujahid Rawa creating a special bureau to confront the issue of people insulting Islam.
Isma also carried a news report of how Jakim was grateful its budget had been increased.
As far as incorporating Islamic values into mainstream Malaysian policy (a major preoccupation of Isma) is concerned, in the beginning of the year Mujahid Rawa visited Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad (below) with an agenda to further incorporate Islamic values into public policy related to healthcare.

“This meeting, among others, discussed issues related to the implementation of the ‘Maqasid Syariah’ agenda in the national administration, particularly in the context and scope of collaboration between MoH (Health Ministry) and PMD (Prime Minister’s Department),” Dzulkefly wrote on Instagram. “Maqasid Syariah” refers to the real purposes of Syariah.”
Does anyone see a counter-narrative here? Isma, on the one hand, is part of the Harapan government's religious initiatives, and on the other, claims the Harapan government is not doing enough to Islamise this country. Meanwhile, the religious czar is talking about creating a counter-narrative, but in terms of policy he is doing exactly what the Islamic right wing wants him to do.
If you are confused, spare a thought for the poor Muslims. What do they make of Mujahid telling them that the Harapan government has stood up against “orthodox” ideas, when he spiels against advocacy rights groups and liberals (who he considers as dangerous as “extremists) and displays the kind of orthodoxy that folks like Isma propagate?
Mujahid claims he wants Muslims to abandon “rigid” thinking, but then why is the Harapan government collaborating with folks like Isma, allowing their ideas to propagate through government programmes? Mujahid claims he wants to stop the backwardness of Muslims in Malaysia, but he offers no evidence that the Harapan regime is committed to enacting progressive policies in Malaysia.
Mujahid claims that people like the Isma president, whose “ideas” run contrary to what Islam is all about, should be dealt with with debates and dialogue. There has been no such dialogue in the mainstream media organs. Indeed, progressive voices have been shut out from the Islamic discourse and numerous state- sanctioned investigations have been carried out because their ideas run contrary to the ideas of the far right .
You can only hold debates or dialogues if there are competing ideas. Having closed-door sessions and coming out smiling and shaking hands does not demonstrate any kind of consensus building, but is an acknowledgement that the Establishment and pressure groups are on the same page.
I have discussed the problem with Mujahid's moderation: “Therein lies the rub. Mujahid wants an Islam that is convivial and not confrontational. However, when a religion – any religion – is made the religion of the state, it is, by very definition, potentially confrontational. Non-Muslims have to understand then when it comes to Islam in this country, secular rules of engagement do not apply.”
Some people think that I want Mujahid to fail. I sincerely do not want him to fail. My instinct for self-preservation trumps any kind of egotistical desire to be proven right.
People talk of certain ministries being the most important for the betterment of this country. I believe the position Mujahid has of leading the Islamic bureaucracy is the most important position in the government’s portfolio. Everything else is dependent on how Mujahid defines the Islamic discourse in this country.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 8:25 AM  
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