Monday, 26 September 2011

OMG .... The "Hudud" debate- yet, Again!!

"I say the wiser non-Muslim stance would be to hold that 
if syariah is what Kelantan Muslims want 
and if we are given a cast-iron guarantee 
that it will not be implemented on us, 
we would not object to Muslims wanting it,”
-Bishop Paul Tan
In response to my post commending Bishop Paul Tan on his comments wrt Hudud, I got a comment, as follows:-

" The implication for ALL MALAYSIANS is grave and disastrous.
It's the initial inroad into "instituting a creeping, historically regressive and anti-democratic clericalism" which will eventually affect us all regardless of creed. The Bishop is at best naive if he thinks that it will only apply to Muslims."

First of all- let's see this debate/rhetoric for what it truly is ...
PAS is UMNO's greatest adversary- not PKR or DAP.
For PAS, "Islam" is at the same time, their strength and their Achilles Heel - unfortunately, PAS doesn't see the latter.

This is a conflict which Mahathir manufactured, to play the "politics of fear" (much like the old "May13" rhetoric) on the electorate & split the vote bank to UMNO's benefit and PAS's loss.
It is also a potent diversion from all that ails the Najib administration.
Sadly- the PAS Ulamas in their usual defensive political naivete/ stupidity, has fallen for it (and yes- OMG .. yet again!!)- hook, line & sinker!!
It really reveals the lack of political sophistication in PAS, thus revealing their weakness- and not "strength", as these PAS stalwarts believe- in their chest-thumping bravado!!
One wonders at times if they're that stupid ... while they seek to champion Islam.
They really need to brush up ...

Now wrt Paul Tan's comment-
He is I presume, well aware of the repercussions of Hudud, just as he is of being perceived as an opponent/enemy of Islam. If you noticed, he never discussed the "wisdom" of Hudud.
He's responding to the rhetoric in the best possible way to "douse the embers", lest they flare up- which could be what some "grand ol' man's" "politics of fear", to distract the people from the issues of the day and benefit Umno at the coming polls.

He makes it quite clear that while they (Non-muslims) are entitled to their opinions, it is vital that non-Muslims are not to be seen to be "interfering" in Islamic affairs, lest they're accused of being "enemies of Islam" by some myopic individuals (who are into pixelated armpits or obnoxious kafirs on television).
The "no-objection" he expressed, came with a caveat - "if we're given cast-iron guarantees that it will not be implemented on us"- and that is the most important part, which many would tend to overlook.

He merely said that the Muslims are entitled to what they want.
It is a debate to be had among the Muslims- on the nature of Islam.
So now, the Muslims have to decide for themselves, on what the nature of the religion they practice is.
Is it one of brutal retribution for "sins"?
Or is is one of compassion and respect for the sanctity of life?
Is it virtuous to deprive a man of of the free will which God himself has given? Does it really address the "evils" they presume is perpetuated by other systems, or does it actually make things go "underground"?
Would we be seeing greater frustrations and violent actions from the people exposed to violent actions in public?

These are probably questions the two schools of thought Paul Tan mentions, might consider - and makes quite clear his hopes in “I pray the Mutazilites win the debate....", - meaning that hopes that TGNA sees the facts of the matter with "reason", as "this is not a question that is going to go away but it is not a question that will continue to be framed in the same terms as it is today in Malaysia”.
As for me personally, I agree- in that Hudud isn't going to do us (Muslims & Non-Muslims alike, any good. I think these guys who talk about wanting Hudud, have lost the big picture, and are mind-bogglingly naive to actually want it for themselves

However, if Muslims insist on such brutal punishment on their own brothers is the most virtuous thing they can do as Muslims, who am I to say otherwise. Who knows - maybe Malaysia can one day be a hub for Plastic Surgery, Orthopaedic Hand/foot surgery.
Maybe we can even capitalize on it in our Tourism Malaysia calendar ... for fetishists as a blood sport and put public humiliation/ stoning high on the list................

Yup- the implications are "grave & disastrous".

If you think of yourselves as helpless and ineffectual,
it is certain that you will create a despotic government to be your master.
The wise despot, therefore, maintains among his subjects
a popular sense that they are helpless and ineffectual.

- Frank Herbert
I've written about this issue long ago .... and many times too.
While I may not have addressed this issue too directly in many cases, they're there if you read through it carefully.

You may find some of what I wrote, if you were to click the "Religion" label on the sidebar. You may also read what I wrote replying to RPK back in 2008, in "Ignorance + Freedom = Chaos" to get the gist of what I try to say .....