Friday, April 04, 2008

Religious overstepping of boundaries

Ikim, the Institute of Islamic Understanding, is in deep damage control.

On Tuesday, the Star had published an article "Proposal to prosecute non-muslims for khalwat".

In Malaysiakini today, Ikim director-general Dr Syed Ali Tawfik Al-Attas denied the Star’s allegation, stating that the seminar it organised in collaboration with the Syariah Judiciary Department was about reviewing existing syariah laws and to propose solutions to problems pertaining to the Malaysian syariah system.

He said no proposal had been made to prosecute non-muslims for khalwat, be it under the syariah or civil court.

He claimed: “No such proposal was made, and therefore if what is reported in the Star as being comments allegedly made by Syariah Court of Appeal Judge (Mohd Asri Abdullah), are also in error.”

However, he balls-ed it up by adding: "If indeed the learned judge made those statements, we strongly advise that it would behove the judge to be more circumspect in future," implying he couldn’t say for sure whether the Syariah Court of Appeal Judge had threatened to prosecute non-Muslims for playing hank panky with Muslims.

There has been a long history of resentment among Muslims (especially the men) about only the Muslim partners of a khalwat case getting the legal raw end. Many of my Muslim friends said jokingly (with one or two not joking at all) that the non-Muslim partner who is tangkap basah (caught red-handed) in a ‘close proximity’ situation should start sharing the shame and fine.

Hey kawan, I didn’t make the law. Besides I have no shame in such matters ;-), though I must confess the fine won’t be welcome at all – will screw up my beer money.

Anyway, I am more inclined to believe the truth of the Star’s article because Dr Syed himself hasn't been sure whether the 'learned' syriah judge had uttered the proselytising words or not.

By the by, as I blogged in The 'Bumiputera' in the Malay identity, Dr Syed Ali Tawfik Al-Attas was the bloke who once told us:

“The Melayu is defined as first being a Muslim and because he’s a Muslim, he follows the customs and traditions of the Malays which are derived from Islam, followed by the language of the Malays which (also) derives from Islam.”

Malay language was derived from Islam? ;-) ke ke ke ke ke!

Then he committed a greater error in letting us know of his abysmal lack of knowledge about Buddhism.

He had once recklessly ascribed roadside shrines to Buddhist practice, stating: “Look at every other corner or tree and you’ll see a little red Buddhist shrine. People don’t disturb it, they respect it. We don’t go and break it, for heaven’s sakes!”.

He even had the temerity (of ignorance) to chide the Buddhists with “I think sometimes these people are also stepping over their boundaries, the ones who demand too much. There already is freedom of worship, you’re free to worship anywhere.”

Man, he knows diddly f*-all squat about Buddhism. To voice his opinion in public that 'there is a red little Buddhist shrine at every corner or tree' indicated an irresponsibility reflecting unworthily on his stature as director general of the Institute of Islamic Understanding.

As I blogged before in
Sneaky Buddhists, Scary Buddhists!, Buddhists don’t give two hoots about the mercy or goodwill of god or gods. Unlike the Abrahamic religions, Buddhism does not subscribe to belief, faith or obedience in an Almighty God. It's virtually a godless religion.

In fact I would say his remarks were insulting to Buddhists

Thus in that incident, Dr Syed had demonstrated his abysmal ignorance on Buddhism in exactly the same way he had condemned non-Muslims as people ignorant of Islam who ought not to interfere with matters Islamic.

Anyway, back to the threat by Syariah Court of Appeal Judge, Mohd Asri Abdullah, if the Star had been spot on in its reporting, it’s worrying that a Judge could make the unforgiveable error of suggesting non-Muslims could be charged in a civil court for khalwat. I worry about the standard of the syariah courts.

And may I borrow the quote of Dr Syed to describe such a statement: “I think sometimes these people are also stepping over their boundaries, the ones who demand too much."

There is a noticeable and very lamentable denominator among some of Malaysia’s Islamic learned in that they seemed to focus only on the superficial aspects of moral policing, mainly of the females (Zuok nightclub, peeping top squad, khalwat, lipstick, headgear, perfume, etc) rather than the nobler aspects of Islam, for example, anti-corruption, compassion (especially for those afflicted with HIV-AIDS or drugs), justice.

Would these puerile focusing be reflections of the misogynistic nature of their individual mentality?


  1. "...resentment among Muslims (especially the men) about only the Muslim partners of a khalwat case getting the legal raw end..."

    no resentment? senang aje solution: allow a Muslim to choose his religion freely !!

  2. Why bother proposing something not do-able when the basic tenets of the law of this country is Non Muslims NOT subjected to Syariah Law?

    I think better spend more time proposing law reviews which discriminate the Muslim females lah ...

  3. I as a Muslim oppose the new measured whether they are true or misunderstood. Totally oppose. They have no Islamic or otherwise argument whatsoever. It only shames us and some people are doing it or proposing for political expediency.

  4. Methinks this is an UMNO trap.
    Get DAP worked up on one side, get PAS worked up on the other side.
    Push a wedge into the fledgling PR.

    I hope they don't take the bait..and fall into the trap.
    Karpal Singh especially...

  5. Kittykat, it's possible this it may be one, an UMNO blame-trap, but there have been other incidences which shows that UMNO islamists are indeed the ones responsible for creating unrest like in the case of the clear demagoguery of the Mufti Harussani Zakaria of Perak who has never been held accountable for his part in hate speech shown so vividly in the well known uTube video, "At The Crossroad - Malaysia (ending portion)" :

  6. These new rules require a constitutional amendment, something that UMNO cannot do as their BN no longer has the 2/3rds majority. But perhaps, like someone said, its partly a trap to create tension between PAS & DAP by using the Islamic State issue.

    Perhaps The Star might have misattributed some of the comments to IKIM, knowing how well Wong Chun Wai's paper likes to distort statements by people. But having read some IKIMs past columns in The Star, I have the impression that they're a bunch of arrogant Saudi-wannabe supremacists.

  7. r these people trying to INSULT THE INTELLIGENCE of non-muslims???

    Datuk Mohd Asri Abdullah, Syariah Court of Appeal Judge, said:
    “The Muslims can be sentenced in Syariah courts, and the non-Muslim partners can probably be sentenced in the civil courts, *****to be fair to both parties.*****”


    to b FAIR mah, of course!!! how could u infidels resist such an argument?! after all, u DHIMMIS r the ones who always complained that we discriminated against u lot, treating u like 2nd class citizens, rite?!!
    we're all for FAIRNESS & EQUALITY wut!!!??!!

    dear datuk, how about "to be fair to both parties", NOBODY should b punished for khalwat?!?!!

    'fair' n 'equal' works BOTH WAYS, in case they din teach u LOGIC in your syariah law school, datuk.


    it is precisely THIS kind of intelligence-insulting that makes non-muslims worry about 'islam'. to these so-called 'syariah' scholars, it is as if all non-muslims r brain dead, or kindergarten kids, like themselves.

    (1 example of intelligence insulting:
    Monday, July 09, 2007
    No Self-Incrimination?
    old habit dies hard...)

    using "to be fair" as an excuse to MIRROR the punishments for non-believers is to subject non-muslims to syariah law THROUGH THE BACKDOOR. (maksudnya, melalui BONTOT, datuk!)

    like others have said,
    “It is an implied way of imposing Syariah law on the non-Muslim communities in Malaysia,” he said.

    Punishing non-Muslims for khalwat against Constitution

    please lah, treat us with some RESPECT, dont insult our intelligence anymore.

  8. I recall reading some articles last year written by that SYed Tawfik. I could only conclude that this chap is on the fanatical sde but politically savvy enough to turn when the public opinion is against him. Nevertheless, leopards do not change their spots, not chameleons top being able to camouflage themselves.

    He is another case of bad appoitnments that is causing UMNO to continue to lose public support for the party. I hope some one in the new cabinet is reading this.