Feb 27, 2010

Response to the recent article in the Star about the Islamic punishment.

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim. Assalamualaikum wr wbt.
Allahummasalli 'ala saiyidina Muhammad wa 'ala aali saiyidina Muhammad.

Dear friends,

There's one columnist of the Star who wrote something very sensitive about the shariah law regarding the recent canning of 3 adulteress. I try to find his article but I think he already delete it after the uproar from the Muslim community. He should not wrote that article before he seek more knowledge about the shariah law and learn to respect it. Hmm. This is what a friend of mine, a Chinese revert has to say about his articles.

Difference between civil canning (above) and syariah canning (below)

by Aliya, Musings of a Mualaf

Muslims in Malaysia have been called many names by those who aren't. And sometimes, unfortunately, the Muslims and Malays are categorized as one group, conveniently forgetting that there are Indian Muslims, Chinese Muslims and Caucasian Muslims in this country as well.

It's sad enough that some people who profess to be Muslims do not actually live the way the Holy Quran instructs. But when non-Muslims join in with their negative comments and uproar about the way the Muslim authorities punish Muslims who have committed wrongdoings, to me it's just plain rudeness.

And the recent happenings are not helping at all.

So what if the Syariah court punished Muslims according to the Islamic law?

Those who were caned themselves admitted that they have sinned and deserved the punishment. The caning is seen as a chance for them to repent, and move on with their lives. Besides, the canings weren't painful and left no marks, unlike the canings by civil law. They were fully attired and the sentenced was carried out by a woman. Everything was done properly based on the syariah law. And they were not caught, they turned themselves in. And yes, the men who were involved were caned too.

So what gives other people, especially non-Muslims to pass judgement and say that such punishment should be abolished? Islam is not their religion. What Muslims believe in is not the same as what they believe in based on their religions.

Just because their religious authorities don't punish them for having sex out of wedlock, doesn't mean the Islamic syariah courts would follow suit.

Don't they know that the Syariah laws are based according on Islamic teachings [though not as strict], and are not man-made to be debated on and changed according to the public's demands, as civil laws?

What make them think that it's all right to pass negative comments about how we carry out our syariah rulings and then issue an apology a day later? Why publish the article then when they already know it'd insult the Muslim readers?

Freedom of speech? Some think that they're free to say and write anything they want to, citing the freedom of speech. Don't they know that the freedom to speak/write is also a public responsibility? One should not impose one's rights and beliefs on other people's rights and beliefs.

Muslims in Malaysia are a tolerant lot. We keep quiet when others talk behind our backs in their own languages, condemning our religion and our way of life. We tolerate when there's heavy traffic jams along the roads during Thaipusam and other religious festivities. We tolerate when loud music lasted until midnight as funeral rites were carried out in the neighbourhood. We build special areas for pork-sellers to carry out their businesses at the wet markets. We allow lands to be used for pig-rearing although we don't like the animals. We do so because we respect the rights of non Muslim citizens to live according to their religious beliefs.

We never question the way non Muslims live their lives, remembering that they have their own beliefs and so do we. We never ask the Hindu ladies to stop wearing their pottu and to keep their sarees at home. We never tell the Chinese ladies to stop wearing the shorter and shorter skirts, and sleeveless blouses. Yes. We never tell those ladies to cover up like we advise our Muslim sisters [because as Muslims it's our duty to advise], because we respect their rights to wear whatever they want in public. As long as they don't walk about in bikinis or naked on the streets, we keep our mouth shut. Although we may look and look.

Yet, what gives these people the right to say how we should wear and how we should live our lives as Muslims?
Enough of people, including the so-called-modern Muslim women, who say that wearing the hijab is a form of oppression. Stop passing comments and making public judgements condemning how Muslims try to live according to the ways of the Quran and hadith, by focusing on rare cases and increasing more Islamophobia in the country.

I'm fed-up with people who campaign that all syariah laws that are not in accordance to the civil law to be abolished. They seem to take for granted that we will continue to be quiet and compliant, and to be tolerant. Writing negatively about Islam in the English tabloid, in the blogs and postings in the internet, thinking that no Muslim would bother to read is well, looking for trouble.

And they like to cite that Indonesia, being the country with the largest Muslim population, is more open and liberal in Islam than Malaysia. That Indonesia allows mixed-religious marriages. Nobody is forced to embrace Islam in order to marry a Muslim in that country. That Indonesia allows the use of 'Allah' in Christian religious books.

Yeah, right. Quote Indonesia and yet these same people have forgotten one very important thing. There's no freedom of speech and freedom to practise one's culture in Indonesia. The Indonesian Chinese were forced to adopt Indo-Malay names, and have been forbidden from celebrating Chinese cultures until recently. No Chinese-medium schools, no Chinese names, no Chap Goh Mei celebrations as enjoyed by Chinese Malaysians for generations. You won't find any Tan Ah Moi or Wong Ah Fook in Indonesia, but you might bump into a Hartono or Gunawan. That fact, they have conveniently forgotten when they compare Malaysia and Indonesia.

Why are those people so bold these days, to pass judgement on how we carry out our syariah punishments? They're not the ones who would be punished, as we have already explained that non Muslims are exempted from being punished according to syariah laws. They've nothing to fear. Yet, they budge in, with the excuse that they're speaking for the oppressed and victimized Muslim women. How ironic, when there're so many social problems among the non Muslim communities, here and in other countries, that are conveniently swept under the carpet. Oh, do take care of your own backyard first.

Tell me... would you, as a father, welcome strangers who'd tell you how to and how not to punish your naughty children?

Thanks kak aliya because you've written something that should have been understood and respected by others. Enough said, hopefully kak aliya's article can open up our sensitivity and our mind as a Muslim.


Adib said...

MashaAllah, a well written article. jazakAllah for sharing!

C said...

Asalaamu Alaikum

Great article. Good for her for speaking out. The sad thing is that 99% of the malay muslims I've met seem to think dating is halal! I saw unmarried couples together everywhere when I was there. Malaysia is way too westernized. My nieces and nephews always ask my kids if they have boyfriends and girlfriends. Of course not..that is haram! I think the non-muslims get upset because they have a twinge of conscience when they hear this because you know everyone was born on the fitrah and they can't help but to feel an unexpected feeling of uncomfortableness that nags at them.

kakchik said...

Afwan Adib.

kakchik said...

Wa'alaikummussalam C.

It is sad that it has become a trend to have boyfriends/girlfriends nowadays. I am sad to know that you met so many malay muslims like that. Among my circle of friends and my community, I would say that 80% does not agree with dating or haram relationship. IMO, the main reason is some malay muslims forget the true way of life which is Islam.

Anonymous said...

Assalamu alaikum Kakchik,

thank you for posting this article.I saw it already yesterday,but I decided I will read it today with more calm.
It is so true,non-Muslim are always ready to judge Islam.Then I ask myself,on which base?Usually, they do not even juge it on a religious base,but only with pre-built conceptions.Conceptions that come from the media,ignorance and most of all from a closed heart.Yes,because some people do not want to open their heart for other people's customs and needs.
Many times I found myself in a group of people who are
non-Muslims and I know that sometimes the judging towards Muslim can be so harsh.My God,can people not educate themselves?
But,let us be firm and with an open heart...and let us live by setting the best example for Islam.You know,I just started to ignore people who are mean towards anybody else.Really,I just live my life and I think...if you want to be rude and non educated,please do so...I do not have time to deal with you!!!

A hug your way :)!

Hajar said...

Assalamualaikum Kak Chik,

I remembered reading that article and having mixed reactions of it. I deduced the author hadn't gotten a clear understanding of the Syariah courts' of order and is basing his expressions on the principles laid by the Civil courts.

This kind of pre-notion deductions may be caused by a number of reasons i.e. ignorance, personal sentiments, insensitivity etc. For this reason, I harbor no ill feelings towards him and I recalled he did apologize about this issue.

The problem is we tend to 'think' and 'believe' we know so much about other peoples' religion, and beliefs. Only during situations such as this do we realize how far from the truth that really is.

Instead of taking out on the non-Muslims, I am more worried about the Muslims whom are capitalizing on this and other issues.

kakchik said...

Wa'alaikummussalam Jasmina.
I do think so, non-Muslims seldom took a chance to understand the customs and belief of Muslims whereas Muslims tried to respect and understand their customs and beliefs. I don't blame the non-Muslims if they could not understand or become confuse because Muslims themselves do not really portray the true Islam. Insyaallah sis, we will try our best to walk the talk.

kakchik said...

Wa'alaikummussalam Hajar.
What is happening to Muslims and Islam in Malaysia is not the non-Muslims' fault. It's all back to us Muslims. I am worried too because some of us has been manipulating this issue and making it worst. An apology from the writer is enough but Muslims should think act better as a real Muslim after this to avoid more misunderstanding.

Hajar said...

Which brings me back to the previous news brought forth on inter-religion discussions ... whatever happened to that? ...

mawaddah said...

ahhh!! feel like punching them in the face for those who says that islamic law should be abolished becoz it is cruel! it is clearly stated in the quran about the punishments that should be carried out for different wrong-doings and yet these ignorant muslims dared to go against it! even me a 19 year old girl support the hudud law..and i just dont get why the muslims cant get the message right in their head about the islamic law..such a sad thing to know. Allah said in the quran about not to show pity to the victim when carrying out the islamic punishments if we believe in the day of judgement. but here, they see it as cruel and inhumane? naudzubillahiminzalik

Anonymous said...

Assalamualaikum.More than 5 years ago, I spoke up in a majlis ilm and suggested our muslim ummah close ranks (i.e. regroup) and rebuild our tassawur and way of life based completely on Al Quran and sunnah. (and this coming from someone in a mixed marriage and majority expat,non-muslim friends!)
I learnt the hard way-society's negative perception of muslims come from the current secular materialistic way of life of muslims themselves.It is impossible to expect non-muslims to understand Islam and muslims when we are not showing the right examples to them.
I think it's time we do as stated in Al Quran, Surah Al Kafirun,verse 6 "To you be your Way and to me mine."

fakhruddin said...

MashaAllah. Great article.

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