Thursday, October 6, 2016

Behind Hadi Awang's Islamic state

S Thayaparan     Published     Updated

“In a well-functioning democracy, the state constitution is considered more important than God's holy book, whichever holy book that may be, and God matters only in your private life.”
- Ayaan Hirsi Ali, ‘The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam’

"Let's not place religion and politics in separate corners,” says PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang. It is probably the most honest thing this leader of this religious cult has said.

However, religion and politics should be kept as far apart as humanely possible. Indeed, anyone who believes in democracy should make it their jihad to separate religion and politics. Those Christian political operatives who babble on about how God chose them to lead or whatever nonsense they believe led them to their political careers belong in the same boat as the PAS president.

Hadi’s rejoinder that only "Islam has to be the leader and ruler, those who are not of Islam must be followers (pak turut)” is the kind of bigoted rhetoric that characterises mainstream Malay politics and is the overt ideology that maintains the system of privileges and systemic inequalities that impedes any sort of egalitarians goals in this country.

Of course, this latest Islamic bluster from Hadi was aimed at former comrades the DAP and is the fallout from the acrimonious split and the exodus of the so-called progressives of PAS.  Hadi’s rhetoric, like most from the Abrahamic religions - Judaism and Christianity - revolves around the concepts of control and subservience.

Like most theocrats, Hadi is obsessed with control and subservience. He wants hudud because it conforms to some sort of Islamic ideal and would allow this Islamic cult to exercise greater authority over everyone. He is arrogant enough to warn Muslims not to resist his plan, quoting religious dogma and divine wrath as the consequences for not supporting him, a mortal doing God’s work.

His language is that of a ruler in waiting. Brazenly claiming that one day, the breakaway Amanah will kneel before PAS. As we know, PAS is Hadi Awang and Hadi Awang is PAS.  While various minions in PAS claim that there will be no alliance with Umno, nobody seriously believes that PAS is an independent operative in the political landscape.

Since disavowing Pakatan Rakyat, PAS has spent an awful lot of time acting as apologist for the Najib regime and Hadi has been extremely comfortable with consorting with those in Umno, who the religious cult as often labelled as un-Islamic and corrupt. Indeed, Hadi has publicly stated that Najib should serve his full term, and has said that the 1MDB robbery is a closed case.

Meanwhile Umno has been doing its part by reminding Muslims that they are in peril and that the only solution is Muslim unity. Muslim unity everywhere in the world has always been based on the wrong reasons and ultimately as a means for separating Muslims from their non-Muslim brethren.

Forgiving malfeasances

The only reason why Hadi is the belle of the ball is the continued reliance of Malay power groups on Umno’s stratagems and collusion of non-Malay/Muslim power groups in rejecting a secular state in substance, but paying lip service to the concept for the urban demographic.

An example of the latter would be - “What the DAP is doing is merely enabling their Islamic counterparts to carry on this sub rosa process in lieu of Umno. The DAP's upping of the religious affairs coffers from RM12.5 million in 2008 to RM64 million in 2012, as evidence of how the Malay community is not marginalised, is extremely shallow thinking but not surprising in the quest for the Malay/Muslim vote.”

Hadi claimed, “Only Islam can correct people's (behaviour). PAS can only cooperate with those who are willing to uphold Islam only." As I wrote in the mendacity of Hadi, “The civil service, the security service, the education system, nearly every state apparatus, is a reminder of the influence of Islam on every Malaysian citizen. The Arabisation process favoured by Umno and slavishly followed by PAS is a triumph of form over substance and the rail on which the gravy train runs on.”

Forget about hudud, even the Islamic education has proven ineffective, never mind the incoherent ramblings of a deputy prime minister who is proud to have been a product of such schools. As I highlighted in another article, “Also let us not forget that so-called Islamic education has proven to be ineffective in ‘elevating’ the Muslim community especially the sekolah agama rakyat which suffered a blow because the federal government decided to cut funding and transfer students and teachers in 2003 ‘due to dismal academic performance and anti-government activities’.”

[For further reference on the state of the religious Muslim polity, refer to my article ‘Of donations, Islam and real Malays’ - “As recently as 2013, a Unicef surveyed showed Sabah and Kelantan recorded the highest number of children living in poverty and undernourishment. The survey also found of the dire need for doctors in Kelantan.

“Furthermore, Kelantan and Labuan also recorded the highest numbers in child mortality rate. The report stated: “The risk of a new-born child in Kelantan to die before reaching the age of five years old is twice higher than the risk of a newborn in Kuala Lumpur.”]

So the question is, if only Islam can correct people’s behaviour why is that that a system that based on so many Islamic preoccupations, where the majority Muslim population is indoctrinated by the Islam imported from the House of Saud, that gold standard when it comes to Islam as advocated by Muslim Malaysians, people are corrupt and despotic.

Even better, why is it that a Muslim like Hadi is willing to forgive such malfeasances, play hide and seek with other Malay/Muslim opposition groups, hiding behind that peculiar Malay double speak, of “having our own way of opposing Umno”. Why is that that luminary from PAS have no problem accepting invitations from Perkasa and legitimising an Umno hate group?

Why is it that so many establishment figures are stepping up and pleading for a second National Consultative Council?

The answer should be obvious. They would not publicly admit it, of course. They would hide their answer behind secular sounding rhetoric. They would attempt to make this out to be a complex problem that needs delicate handling. But the answer is obvious and simple. 

Islam cannot rule.

S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy.

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