Writing of the dead American Christian extremist Reverend Jerry Falwell, Christopher Hitchens who died of cancer some years back, said, “The evil that he did will live after him. This is not just because of the wickedness that he actually preached, but because of the hole that he made in the ‘wall of separation’ that ought to divide religion from politics.”
As that particular type of Muslim Malaysian, Haron Din did not believe in that “wall of separation” between mosque and state. Indeed, he believed that the enemies of Islam - always Islam, never his political adversaries - were those who believed in “the wall”, liberalism, freedom of religion and speech, in “Western” human rights, those things that the spiritual leader told his flock were anathema to Islam.
His weltanschauung was a wall of separation between those who believed in his version of Islam and those who were the enemies of Islam, in other words those who believed in anything else, including different interpretations of Islam.
The apogee of his crusade against the so-called “enemies” of Islam was when he accused former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and de facto leader of the opposition of working with the enemies of Islam, implying the DAP and well, anyone who disagreed with him.
This did not go down well with me and I wrote, “What happens if an IS (Islamic State) sympathiser reads Haron Din’s hate speech and carries out an attack on the DAP or somebody who supports the DAP or a Muslim who supports the DAP or just that unlucky Malaysian who is caught in the cross hairs? What is the difference between Haron Din’s view of Islam and the view of those IS members waiting to murder for their cause?
“I am talking about perspectives here, not methodology. I have no idea if the spiritual adviser supports the methodology of IS. I know that he shares the same views. I know that what he wants to achieve is exactly what they want to achieve but for now, someone like him is comfortable using hate speech in service of a democratic agenda.”
This was what was so frustrating for many others and me. Haron Din was willing to use democracy to legitimately gain power and subvert those very principles once in power. Of course, the fault is in our hands. We legitimised Haron Din and his political party in the hopes that common sense would prevail over religious impulse.
Two observations arose from my reading of Aneh's words:
(1) Like most Islamists Haron Din did NOT believe in the concept of 'separation between church and state' (where I use the word 'church' in a generic sense and not to imply just the Christian church but also the Islamic, Jewish, Hindu. etc, religious organizations) but rather in a total 'separation of his Islam and that of other religious beliefs including other versions of Islamic practice'.
In other words, he was an ultra and truly intolerant of any religious beliefs that did not conform to his version of Islam, hence total separation from anyone else.
His view of Islam was the same as those believed by IS, that anyone who don't share his views would be 'enemies of Islam'.
And you know what an intolerant bloke like Haron Din and any IS member would do to those who did not share their religious views and practices.
(2) The late Haron Din would unscrupulously use or exploit democracy (and alliance with the DAP and non Muslims) to get PAS into power, for to him any action to further Islam would never be unscrupulous, and worse, to then destroy that enabling-PAS-to-power democracy as its politics would be anathema to Islam.
He was far more cunning than the stupid scorpion riding on the back of a frog across the river. He'd only sting the frog after he reached land on the other side. In some ways he was not unlike the late LKY who did away with the communists after he rode on their tiger's back into power in Singapore.
By the by, a last point by Aneh, Haron Din was also a spiritualist, one who truly did believe in the spiritual world in Malaya, but he refused to be called a bomoh because bomohs use semi-Sanskrit and thus un-Islamic words to perform their voodoo rites whilst he used Arabic and pre-Islamic Arabic pagan words to do his, implying anything Arabic would be better than indigenous Malay words.
By the way, if my recall is correct, Haron Din was the man who warned the DAP that if Pakatan won't play ball with PAS on hudud, then PAS (then still in Pakatan) would cooperate with any other coalition (meaning UMNO, unless you can think of any other coalition prior to the formation of Ikatan and Pribumi) to push through parliament the hudud legislations.
Under Haron Din's spiritual guidance, there was no such thing as honour, integrity and secular justice even as a member of Pakatan. He would unhesitatingly betray Pakatan at the drop of a haji cap to join UMNO.
Haron Din was not a man to deserve the epithet of 'amigo', Jeff old boy!