Monday, December 16, 2013

Mat Sabu and Shia? Distractions? Remember they are also Malaysians, and Malaysians are open and not 'racist'

The recent issue involving Mat Sabu and his alleged friendship/links with Shia followers is disturbing because are they also not Muslims, Malaysians and human persons? Are Muslims in Malaysia supposed to ostracize Shias and other alleged deviants in Islam? Well, is that totally un-Malaysian and against the spirit of 1Malaysia?

One remembers the time the Catholic Church was out there prosecuting the 'protestants' - deviation from the true religion. Such 'deviants' were hunted down, persecuted and even killed. Is a similar thing happening in Islam in Malaysia?

Whose religion is the true religion? When it comes to matters of God and faith, we find that adherents always believe that their religion, sect, ways & practices, etc is the true one. Hence the need to respect(not tolerate) different believe systems and cultures that exist, and so says our Federal Constitution.

Like Christianity and many other major religions, Islam too is not homogenous, there are various different sects/schools/etc.. From Wikipedia, the following chart is instructive

* Other than this, there are the Ahmadiyyas ( an Islamic reform movement (with Sunni roots), and other groups, many of which majority Muslims consider not to be Islam.

The majority of Malaysian Muslims are  Sunni Islam of the Shafi'i school of thought. There are however Malaysians who are Sunni who follow different school. Shias and others.

Although the Federal Constitution makes no distinction, and just says Islam generally, State and Federal Acts governing Islam may have provided a narrower definition of Muslims.

Being a non-Muslim Malaysians, I am indeed confused for is not our Federal Constitution that says that in Article 3(1) that states that :-

(1) Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation.
There has been some Fatwas that discus this.

Apa Itu Fatwa?

Definisi Fatwa
Pada bahasa ia diambil daripada afta-ifta'an yang memberi maksud menjelas dan menghuraikan hukum permasalahan.
Dari Segi Istilah
Pada istilahnya pula, fatwa mempunyai pelbagai definisi antaranya:
  1. Fatwa adalah sebagai jawapan yang dibuat oleh mufti pada perkara yang berlaku apabila diajukan soalan kepadanya.
  2. Fatwa ialah mengkhabarkan hukum Allah SWT sama ada pada yang mesti atau harus. Source:- e-
Definition Fatwa
In English it is derived from the AFTA-ifta'an that clarify and explain the purpose of the law concerns.
In terms of term
During the term, the fatwa has many definitions including:
  1. A fatwa is a response made by the mufti in the things that happen when posed a question to him.
  2. Fatwa is preach the law of God either must or should.
On 15/1/1997, the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur had a fatwa which was gazetted  on 30/1/1997 entitled 'Curbing the influence of Shia in Malaysia'  (Membendung Pengaruh Syiah Di Malaysia), and this amongst others revoked the earlier decision that Shia sects were permissible in Malaysia [(a) Memansuhkan keputusan muzakarah Jawatankuasa Fatwa pada 24 dan 25 September 1984 yang menyatakan ' bahawa hanya mazhab syiah dari golongan Al-Zaidiah dan Ja"fariah yang diterima untuk di "amalkan di Malaysia ']

Theafter, the gazette said that the only permitted Islam is "Establish that Muslims in Malaysia should only follow the teachings of Islam which is based on holding the Sunnah Wal-Jamaah in terms of "faith, syari" ah and morality."{b) Menetapkan bahawa umat Islam di Malaysia hendaklah hanya mengikut ajaran Islam yang berasaskan pegangan Ahli Sunnah Wal-Jamaah dari segi "aqidah, syari"ah dan akhlaq]

What is  Sunnah Wal-Jamaah? Pengertian Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah ialah kumpulan orang Islam yang berpegang kepada al-Quran, al-Sunnah dan pendapat para Sahabat yang bersepakat di atas kebenaran yang nyata dari Kitab Allah dan Sunnah Rasulullah s.a.w. (Meaning of Sunnah Wal Jamaah is a group of Muslims who adhere to the Qur'an, the Sunnah and the consensus opinion of the Companions on the plain truth from Allah and His Messenger)

When it comes to Islamic law in Malaysia, section 2 of the Administration of the Religion of Islam(State of Selangor) Enactment 2003 seem to imply that the authorities to be followed in Malaysia are the Sunni schools of Shafie or Hanafi, Maliki or Hanbali 
"Hukum Syarak" means Hukum Syarak according to Mazhab Shafie or any one of Mazhab Hanafi, Maliki or Hanbali;
Now, that we have a little understanding of the Islam that the Malaysian government wants to advocate, to the detriment of all other branches/schools and sects, we ask again the fundamental questions...

* Are the Shia and adherents of other forms of Islam in Malaysia Malaysians? If they are, are they also not entitled to claim of right of freedom of religion under out Federal Constitution.

* Noting that the Federal Constitution does not define Islam - then these adherents to other 'forms' would also be followers of Islam. Remember to be Malay, you must be Muslim - so, if Islam is defined as only Sunni of the schools of Syafie, Hanafi, Maliki or Hambali, then all others would maybe lose their status as Muslims - hence no more considered Malay? 

* UMNO-led Barisan Government seem to have made their position clear, what is the position of Pakatan Rakyat and the other opposition parties? We know that the majority of Muslims in Malaysia are Sunni Shafie, and as such it may be politically wise to take this UMNO and current Federal Government position, or maybe take a principled position irrespective of the majority Muslim view.

* Recently some have asked the question of if the Malaysian government is against Shias and other forms/derivatives of Islam, maybe it should also question its relationship with Shia nations - maybe even make an issue of the composition of even the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Countries), maybe even have a policy of admittance into Malaysia of persons who are Shia and from the other forms/derivatives of Islam, stop sending Malaysian students to such countries, etc - Well, Malaysia by way of policy/practice is not seem to be doing any such things, and as such the motive of targeting of PAS, in particular Mat Sabu, are questionable.

There are so many problems in Malaysia and sometimes race or religious based issues are raised to distract us from the other issues, or to create divisions. Some anti-union employers, when it comes to trade unions have been known to try to propagate beliefs that it not right that non-Muslims lead trade unions, etc - but Malaysian workers would not be 'distracted' by such perspectives, and choose to choose the best person to lead their trade unions and movements.

Do not support him because he is a Shia. Do not support him because he is a non-Muslim. Do not support him because he is a non-Chinese or a non-Indian. All these have been used but Malaysians have generally rose above such narrowness and would choose the best person for the job or leadership role. 

Sadly, UMNO, MIC and MCA started of as race-based (or ethnic-based parties) and still continue as such without considering 'transformation' into truly Malaysian parties, where the differences would be political ideology and strategies of governing Malaysia in political, economical and socio-cultural issues.

When Malay support for UMNO declined, UMNO open its doors to other Muslims. Indian Muslims previously in MIC, for example, finds themselves in UMNO today (A friend of mine, whose father was an MIC Senator is himself now an UMNO member). But, interestingly the BN coalition is suffering and the representation of Malaysian Chinese and Indians, for example, have been dropping. To regain Malay support, UMNO now seem to be the 'religious' factor, i.e. that it is more 'Islam' than PAS, PKR and even DAP. Hence moral bullets have been used against opposition - we had the Sodomy trials, and now we have the new Sabu and Shia issue...

The Shia issue also raises concerns - are we now moving to classifications of Muslims in Malaysia? But as I mentioned, let us not be distracted from the real concerns that must be addressed - poverty in Malaysia (yes, so much so this BN government has now to hand out alms to us like beggars in the form of BR1M to help Malaysians survive - see 21 million poor Malaysians in need of government financial aid? Poverty line income should be increased to RM3,000 in line with BR1M), worker issues (minimum wage, employment security i.e. regular employment until retirement, 'union busting', etc)

What is also disturbing is the involvement of the executive like the Home Minister. Why is the Minister spending so much time gathering evidence and utilizing resources of the Ministry - should it not be left to bodies like JAKIM and the relevant department concerned with the administration of Islam?

Syiah issue: Mat Sabu faces Grade A evidence

BAGAN DATOH: The Home Ministry will present strong evidence linking PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu (pic) to the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) for further action.

Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said this was because the case had entered the enforcement stage.

“All evidence, including the Grade A evidence, will be presented to Jakim because we are involved in security issues, while Jakim’s duty is to look into issues pertaining to akidah (Islamic faith).

“Hence, it is crucial to present the evidence to the department,” he told reporters after visiting the Watersports Carnival 2013 at the jetty here yesterday.

Dr Ahmad Zahid said any action on Syiah-related cases would also be taken by Jakim and state religious councils.

Prior to this, the ministry had announced 10 Grade B evidence on Mohamad’s involvement in Syiah activity, while more concrete evidence, deemed Grade A, had yet to be made public.

It was reported that the Home Ministry had listed 10 points, which were categorised as Grade-B Evidence, to show Mohamad Sabu’s involvement with Syiah.

Mohamad, who is popularly known as Mat Sabu, has denied the accusations.

Dr Ahmad Zahid said it was up to Jakim whether they wanted to reveal the Grade-A evidence to the public.

Grade-A evidence refers to statements recorded from more than 20 people, some of whom shared the same political views as Mat Sabu.

Meanwhile, Dr Ahmad Zahid said he would stop making further statements on the Syiah issue.

“I am confident that the department would take action to curb the dissemination of the Syiah ideology,” he said. - Star, 16/12/2013, Syiah issue: Mat Sabu faces Grade A evidence
By the way, there is no need to reveal the evidence now - let it be revealed in court, and let the court make a determination.

Will they charge Sabu? Or is this all to just cast doubts about Sabu utilizing government resources. If yes, it is so unfair...

What is Grade A Evidence? Evidence is not like eggs where there is Grade A, B or C. Evidence is evidence, and when and if presented in court, the courts will decide whether it is credible evidence or not


No comments: