Monday, May 27, 2024

What is Muslim-friendly conduct anyway?

S Thayaparan
Published: May 27, 2024 10:00 AM

“And the distinction between violent and non-violent action is that the former is exclusively bent upon the destruction of the old, and the latter is chiefly concerned with the establishment of something new.”

- German-American historian and philosopher Hannah Arendt

COMMENT | Kudos to Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng for getting in the business of the Terengganu government when it issued a fine for a beach party where there were no bikinis, alcohol and apparently no Muslims.

All of which makes the fine by the Terengganu government even more mendacious because this had nothing to do with the Muslim community but they found a way to penalise a non-Muslim enterprise carrying out a party on private property anyway.

State Tourism, Culture, Environment, and Climate Change Committee chairperson Razali Idris claimed that Summer Bay Resorts were found to have breached many regulations including “ethics” and “Muslim-friendly conduct” in the state.

Now this is the first time I have heard about this idea of “Muslim-friendly conduct”. What exactly is Muslim-friendly conduct and how exactly do non-Muslims in Terengganu adhere to it?

Is this Muslim-friendly conduct codified? How exactly would a non-Muslim know if he or she had breached this conduct?

So just to be clear here. Someone posted something on social media about an event which had nothing to do with Muslims and was held on private property and the state decided to intervene and sanction them because it goes against, among other regulations, Muslim-friendly conduct?


Remember when newly minted Permatang Pauh MP Muhammad Fawwaz Mohamad Jan got offended by the promotion of alcohol in a Penang shopping mall? What I want to know is, did this in some way go against the regulation of breaching non-Muslim friendly conduct of the Penang government?

I do not know if Penang even has a non-Muslim friendly conduct regulation but it sure seems like PAS doesn’t care if its conduct is unfriendly towards non-Muslims.

Now keep in mind, that non-Muslims are always told not to interfere in the affairs of the Muslim community when it comes to religion. We are told that this is because religious laws or policies do not apply to non-Muslims.

Well, this of course is blatantly false. Yes, we have unilateral conversion which exposes the lie of this statement but the case in Terengganu is especially egregious because it demonstrates how our rights and liberties as non-Muslims are in danger from the theocratic forces of this country even if it is exercised on private property and does not include any Muslims.

Remember Fawwaz said the reason why he launched his broadside against the shopping mall was because he had received complaints from his constituents. When the shopping mall caved to pressure and decided to hold these promotions in a more “concealed manner “ he said, “to safeguard the sensitivities of Muslims… it is hoped that such a situation does not recur.”

Now here we have a private beach party, which came to light on social media. What does the PAS-controlled state government do? Well, they fined a non-Muslim enterprise who were literally holding an event in a concealed manner, just because it went against, among other issues, Muslim-friendly conduct.

A religious selling point

People don’t support PAS because of their brilliant economic or social programmes; they support PAS because they believe they are the keepers of the faith.

In a political terrain such as this, is it any wonder why some folks could be termed “Islamophobic”?

Mind you, if there was a strict separation between policies which affect Muslims and non-Muslims and there was empirical evidence to support such a position, then non-Malays would not have a fear of Islam.

Instead, the rules that apply to Muslims “only” have always touched non-Muslims and defined our economic, social and political realities.

If people do have a phobia about Islam as a state religion in this country, it is because policies that disenfranchise them are done in the name of Islam. It is not hidden. Political and religious operatives use it as a selling point.

And we non-Muslims cannot fight back because to do so would mean, you guessed it, that we were Islamophobic or worse invite sanctions from the state.

Even Muslims who speak up against fascist dogma are targeted by the state, to make an example of them.

When leaders are silent

Now this takes an even more sinister bent in the era of Madani. When the Federal Court annulled 16 provisions in the Kelantan syariah code, the state assembly predictably decided that they were going to reintroduce those provisions anyway and the religious affairs division of the Prime Minister’s Department decided to review the proposal papers for reintroducing these offences that the highest court in the land declared null and void.

My question is why?

“This is because they want to see all aspects comprehensively so that any subsequent actions will truly adhere to the interpretation of the Constitution and the existing legal framework,” claimed deputy minister Zulkifli Hasan

These subsequent actions are already in breach of the Constitution and existing legal framework, but does anybody truly believe that adhering to the Constitution and existing secular framework is the agenda of the reintroduction of these shariah offences?

Furthermore, this is an economic issue. Here we have a non-Muslim enterprise, conducting business on private property and the state decides to intervene.

What is worse, is that Muslim political operatives from the federal bureaucracy are saying nothing about this. Not a word.

And this is the way PAS wants it. They understand that what Madani actually does is make their theocratic job much easier.

Don’t spook the Malays and Muslim-friendly conduct is the road to a New Malaysia.

S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy. Fīat jūstitia ruat cælum - “Let justice be done though the heavens fall.”

1 comment:

  1. Most of them are brainwashed beyond redemption
    One or two will chide the rest for the stupidity
    But, nothing will change
    At some time , the country will hit the buffers like Pakistan