MIC should not normalise PAS' radicalism - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, July 29, 2019
Malaysiakini : COMMENT | "Islam has to be the leader and ruler, those who are not of Islam must be followers (pak turut). – Hadi Awang
have no idea what the state of the MIC is now, but I guess it is bleak.
If MCA is struggling in the wilderness and they had a better record of
accomplishment with their demographic, MIC is certainly in the dumps.
MIC is akin to kicking a dead horse, but what they are doing by hooking
up with PAS is dangerous and their normalizing of PAS’s history of
stirring up racial and religious resentments is harmful to the
demographic they claim to want to “uplift”. Unfortunately, this is a non-Muslim political narrative which is promulgated by many non-Muslim politicians in BN and Harapan.
now, the PAS strategy is to sow discord in Harapan by demonizing the
Harapan non-Malay/Muslim politicians and playing a shadow game with
Harapan Malay politicians by “supporting” the current prime minister
because he leads the racist – Mahathir’s own words – Bersatu, which is
the sole Malay/Muslim party in Harapan. Even when PAS was in the
then Pakatan Rakyat, I was sceptical of their motives. Not in the sense
that they were not upfront about their radicalism, but rather, they
managed to play a religious shell game with their non-Muslim colleagues
who did the work of advancing Islamism under the guise of Bangsa
effective was this stratagem that even when PAS left the coalition, we
had Lim Kit Siang claim the DAP supported the “Islamization process” if
it was done through the constitution.
For those of us
advocating that the constitution was a secular document, this was
anathema. What Kit Siang describes as “Islamization” is divorced from
reality and is about as conducive to nation building as Harapan’s
religious czar Mujahid Rawa’s ”compassionate Islam”.
late Tok Guru, PAS had a modicum of “moderation” and managed to coast on
the feel good rhetoric in the service of getting rid of a kleptocrat.
These days though, under Hadi Awang, all the niceties of working with
non-Malay power brokers is antithetical to a new Islamic project.
Awang has said it would not work with non-Malay power structures that
do not prioritize the advancement of Islam. In others words, any
non-Malay power structures which PAS views favorably are advancing the
cause of Islam.
At this moment, PAS is either in deep denial or
denying working with people who are keeping Indira Gandhi’s daughter
from her. The Hindu community has a problem when it comes to unilateral
conversions and Islam. Now what the MIC does by working with PAS is
legitimize the denials of PAS when it comes to the serious issue of
religion trumping civil or secular rights.
Lim Kit Siang got
himself into a bit of a muddle because he decided to play a game in
which non-Muslims will always lose. Kit Siang, in commenting on
political Islam, said, “It is not possible to make Islamic civilisation
great again based on klepto-theocracy - the political doctrine which
misuses Islam to peddle lies, falsehoods, distrust, suspicion, hatred
and which supports thievery and corruption.”
Kit Siang makes the
same mistake as the MIC does when it assures its members that PAS is not
radical. Both make the mistake of thinking that the klepto-theocracy
dogma and the dogma that the far right, the deep Islamic state and some
members of Harapan/Umno peddle are anathema to mainstream Muslim
Alleged money launderer and extremist provocateur Zakir Naik (above)
peddles the same thing. The Harapan government protects him even though
he has advocated that a klepto-theocracy is a better choice – what
Muslims should choose – over a non-Muslim regime which is not corrupt.
caught some flack from the DAP for ridiculing Lim Guan Eng’s attempt at
some sort of “meeting” with the Perlis Mufti when Asri claimed that the
Harapan government was sidelining Muslims. Here is a recap:
said that everyone should be “careful” about making allegations: “We
punish what is manifest. God knows all.” In other words, all those DAP
political operatives, including the Malay power structures of Harapan
that make allegations against Hadi, should be careful, lest they invite
divine retribution. How would it look, the DAP demonising the MCA for
working with PAS, but having no problem when the mufti of Perlis backs
Does anyone really think that Asri is unaware of the
things the Harapan regime has done for Muslims in this country? Does
anyone think that Asri was unaware of the looting of Islamic funds that was going on when the Najib regime was in power?”
when Lim Kit Siang talks about Islamic civilization in any context –
which he should not be doing, in my opinion – he is going up against a
groupthink that propagates ideas that have no place in a secular
society. The idea that certain Islamic leaders are “pious” men and
people should not be throwing around allegations, and divine judgement
would be delivered without the need of mortal intervention, is more than
just political rhetoric. It is religious dogma for some Muslims. Asri
said exactly this.
This groupthink is what non-Muslims politicians
dismiss for some bizarre, but I suspect politically expedient reason.
What they are doing is feeding into this narrative because they think it
is red meat to the base, and advances the propaganda that religion
could be used as a means to nation building, if only it is used in the
"correct" way .
This is why I am always advocating a strict
separation of church/mosque/temple and state for politicians who believe
secularism is the answer to the religious extremism that is slowly but
surely taking over this country.
What does the MIC do? They take
it a step further. They do the work of those who believe – like Hadi
does – that non-Muslims should be “pak turut”. They do the work of prioritizing Islam over other issues that the Hindu/Indian community needs to address. Ultimately,
this is not about the MIC. This is about non-Malay politicians who
believe they can play the rigged religious game in this country. None of
us should be normalizing the radicalism of PAS.
We should be aware that the radicalism of PAS is not mutually exclusive from mainstream Islamic dogma.