Thursday, November 06, 2014

Dr Chandra, you presume?

NST published an indirect defense of SIS is Sesat today with an article by Dr Chandra Muazaffar. Can read here or at the end of this posting.

One can naturally expect an intellectual like him to plead for SIS but his only request is to hear out and open up to new ideas such as Liberal or Plural Islam. He would ask that we should make the effort to understand liberalism and pluralism in many different context and not just the context MAIS has decided upon.

Typical of intellectuals, he will get definitive and insist on the accuracy in the terms. Naturally, he will give a wholesome societal outlook in sync with his discipline as sociologist.

Our point remain and on that basis, we will disagree.

Not an authority

It is not about closing our mind to new ideas, thought and pursuit of progressive or justice or knowledge.

The intellectual can continue to talk and talk. The can continue to attend and discuss at endless seminars, forum, convention, colloqium, and whatever terms they described their gathering.

Usually they will not come to any sort of agreement and any progress to a common agreement will take time, years and not surprisingly forever. 

For the common folks that need immediate answers and guidance, they cannot afford to attend such gathering of the learned and wait for them to progress from definition to the next many steps before they deal with the problems in hand.

There has to be an authority that provide them the consistency in at least the rules, procedures and dos and don'ts of the religion they profess.The adoption of new ideas or ways have to undergo the time honoured process.

As far as Dr Chandra, he is not equipped with the discipline, and training to question those with the authority on religious matter.

Nevertheless, he can continue to talk and express his vision of the utopian society he aspire in closed doors and among his peers.

For the common folks, live has to go on and their spiritual life cannot be left in a state of confusion and indecision by revolutionary new and logical ideas but essentially sesat.

Lastly, the Mufti and experts in the Majlis Fatwa and religious authority is where lies the responsibility as the custodian of the religion.

Preserving the faith

Custodianship applies to all religion; be it within the church hierarchy, Buddhist hierarchy, and other men of cloth in other religion. It cannot be left with a bunch of people without the decisiveness and authority to decide on religion matters.

Most important, they are responsible to preserve the faith of the believers. That responsibility is something the exploratory intellectual has none.

The importance to preserve the masses cannot be taken for granted.

In the classic story of a sufi wali Sheih Siti Jenar of the Wali Songo fame (our roots), he offered himself to beheaded for his difference in view from the rest of his wali brothers.

It is not because his view is heretic but it is too esoteric that it could confuse and misled the simplistic masses. Don't say we are not open to new ideas. This is pluralism with responsibility at work.

He subject himself to a punishment to preserve the faith of the masses. It is the Nusantara version of Annal Haq (I am Allah). Read here.

Do our intellectual dare to put their neck on the chopping board to take responsibility for the faith of many. One complain from their research or foundation contributor and they can be compromised.

Western human rights leaning SIS will be the last to be willing to be responsible.

As far as Islam Liberal, it has long been explored and studied. The religous authorities are not dumb and stupid as the perception and negative remark cast by some anti hadith commentary against them.

It does not matter what the exact definition for liberal to Dr Chandra but Islam Liberal is the branding for that line of thinking and it is deviant. Read the National Fatwa Council here. because it was discussed since 2006!

There is no two way about it.

Dr Chandra is being presumptous to assume the authority do not know what they are talking about.


His article below:
Understanding liberalism, religious pluralism

By Dr Chandra Muzaffar - 6 November 2014 @ 8:13 AM

THE fatwa issued by the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) and gazetted on July 31 declaring any person or group “professing liberalism or religious pluralism” as “deviants”, raises some troubling questions. The group, Sisters in Islam, was specifically named in the fatwa.

To establish that one has become a deviant through alleged adherence to “liberalism” or “religious pluralism”, the authority concerned has to show convincingly how these two ideas contravene the essence of Islam. To start with, Mais must be aware that the term “liberal” appears in the fourth goal of the Rukun Negara, our National Charter. It says that the goal is to ensure “a liberal approach to her (Malaysia’s) rich and diverse cultural traditions”. In its description of this goal, the Rukunegara speaks of a society that is “free to choose religion, custom and culture of their own in line with the interests of national unity”.

It is obvious from the Rukun Negara that it regards “freedom” and the “right to choose” as essential to a liberal approach.  Freedom and the right to choose as values are in line with Islam as long as their exercise does not contravene the essence of faith. Indeed, the Rukunegara as a whole, both its goals and its principles — as pointed by the late Islamic scholar, Ustaz Abu Bakar Hamzah — reflects the spirit of Islam.

There are other values associated with “liberalism”, such as freedom of expression, free and fair elections and the right to private property, which are also integral to Islam. True, extreme individualism and the untrammelled accumulation of wealth, which are also sometimes defended in the name of liberalism, have no place in Islamic thought. If these aspects of liberalism are the reasons for Mais’ unhappiness with certain groups and individuals, it should say so and provide evidence to show that they have been propagating such ideas. Mais should enter into a dialogue with them and convince such advocates of liberalism that their views create more harm than good to society. That is the solution, not branding them as “deviants” and banning their writings and activities.

Turning to religious pluralism, the concept has different meanings. Many Islamic scholars equate religious pluralism with religious diversity. For them the harmonious coexistence of the followers of different religions within a specific setting would be an example of religious pluralism at work. They also recognise that while conceptions of the Transcendent or God differ from religion to religion and are unique and distinctive practices associated with the various faith communities, there are also certain values and principles that they share in common. Living in harmony with nature and the environment, protecting the integrity of the family as the basic unit of society, respecting one’s elders, ensuring that leadership is virtuous and adhering to moral precepts in economic activities would be some of the values and principles that are embodied in all religious philosophies. Accepting similarities at one level while acknowledging differences in other spheres is what defines religious pluralism.

These notions of religious pluralism are more than compatible with Islamic teachings. That there are different religions and moral codes is a reality that the Quran accepts (109:6). Knowing one another in the midst of this diversity is also a Quranic principle (49:13). Indeed, Allah had deliberately created such a diverse human family to see how we would treat one another, which the Quran regards as a test of our spirituality (5:48).

Why then is Mais uneasy about religious pluralism? Perhaps Mais does not view religious pluralism through the same lens as many of us. From past pronouncements, Mais, like a number of other Islamic groups and individuals in Malaysia, tends to highlight a particular interpretation of religious pluralism that regards mutually exclusive ultimate truth claims in different religions as equally valid. Of course, for the overwhelming majority of Muslims, this is not acceptable.

Tawhid (The Oneness of God) in Islam and the Trinity in Christianity cannot both be “equally valid”. Likewise, reward and punishment on the Day of Judgment in Christianity and Karma in Hinduism cannot both be equally valid.  If religious pluralism means accepting the exclusive truth claim contained in each and every religion as valid, most people would reject religious pluralism.

There is no reason why Mais should equate religious pluralism with an interpretation that has so little support among religious adherents of whatever hue. Mais should not use this minority interpretation of religious pluralism to label any group or individual as “deviant”.

It is not just Mais. Some of the highest officeholders in Malaysia have also been equating religious pluralism with this interpretation, forgetting that there are other more popularly accepted interpretations of religious pluralism compatible with Islam and all other religions. By rejecting religious pluralism because of this interpretation, they have unwittingly given the impression to people everywhere that Malaysia does not accept religious diversity. This has tarnished our image and sullied our reputation as a nation when in reality, Malaysia celebrates religious diversity as few other nations do. This is why it is imperative that religious authorities and political personalities cease to interpret religious pluralism as the acceptance of the truth claim in every religion and instead view it as the acknowledgement of religious diversity — which is what Malaysia is all about.
Just wondering the motive of NST's defense of SIS in the light Tan Sri Johan Jaafar's son's vocal demand to remove the Sedition Act.

* Edited 7/11/2014 8:AM 


Madah berhelah said...

When people get their knickers in a twist over semantics, you know shit just left the intestines. Semantics is awesome dont get me wrong but when it is applied to something that is clear as daylight due to one being over imaginative, then it should take the backseat. Like one prominent blogger who believed that the "as" at the beginning of the salam is deviant to true islam since in the quran it starts with salam and not as-salam. So a "the" at the beginning instead of "peace" is a real issue. People with too much time to think are a threat. Thinking is not wrong but when you think you know everything and you think only you are enlighten than we have problems. I see a lot of intellectuals go down this road and im in the field of academia.

Anonymous said...

So, there's no freedom of thought in organised religion?

That's interesting.

Surely, The Creator must have known what He was doing when he gave humankind free will?

Free will includes being able to think for oneself and not to be spoonfed or force fed with someone else's opinions, oftentimes disguised under the appearance of dogma.

And if you think that the religious establishment can't be questioned, then welcome back to the Dark Ages.

I would think that The Creator would have expected much more from those He created....

A Voice said...


Dont put words into people's mouth. It is you saying there is no freedom of thought in religion.

Say what you wanna say but don't my opinion out of context. Dont even argue by taking quotes.

Read in full!

Anonymous said...

Please whoever has bee n criticizing SIS, remember this, as bad as you all think they are, they tak many out there even berhijab ones, are always visiting bomohs and menduakan Allah.Unfortunately, the authorities just close their eyes on this issue.

Anonymous said...

There is always 2 sides to a coin.
There will always be at least 2 schools of thought.
Prejudice will always keep us in disagreement.
Today there are too many ulamas and people who think they are smarter than the rest but they forgot that religion is to be wholly accepted definitely not making choices.

Anonymous said...

The point about SIS is that there is nothing about intellectualism. They are just a bunch of ladies who think they know and wanted to define Islam according to their own understanding.

They are like a bunch of Raja Bomoh who think that all the qualified medical practitioners are wrong about the medical practice and wanted it to be redefined to include what the Raja Bomoh think it is right.

So it is just a waste of time to entertain Raja Bomoh under the par-text of medical professionalism. So it is the same as wasting our intellectualism to entertain the ranting of some foolish lady who thought they know about Islam.

Anonymous said...

4.14 or 4.18?

Anonymous said...

The overriding principle in all other religions is that there shall be no compulsion. But at the same time we should not be cynical about religion because once some unexplained good happens you tend to become more religious and try to keep within set path. Most of us are influenced by this and in the end they because of their faith in religion coming from within make a greater contribution.

Anonymous said...

You sound exactly like the religiious establishment. Do engage isis first, its not as if the head of isis is claiming to be the new nabi or telling people not to trasparent la a proper hearing for them to defend themselves..they have done a lot for the community especially helping out abandoned wives etc..etc..that is the islamic way.


Anonymous said...

You sound more like apostate shalelalela,you want to bring Islam convert Aminah Wadud as new Rasul?

Nak komen tu solat tak? said...

Yang nak komen pasal islam tak progressive ni, depa sembahyang jaga ke tidak?

Kuat ke ibadah?

Hayati ke Islam? Adakah mereka menjiwai Islam?

Adakah mereka berbbudi bahasa dan adab macam orang Islam atau orang putih?

Yang defend SIS adalah Anwar Ibrahim... peliwat. Mana credibility?

Yang kata semua boleh adalah group sesat yang kata dalam quran kata sembahyang cuma 3 kali satu hari.

Minum arak yang dah jelas hukumnya haram.

Dahlah itu, mereka nak persoalkan semua hukum hakam dalam Islam. Yang haram nak dihalalkan.

Tak buat sudahlah, tapi tak perlu nak bbersungguh2 utk halalkan yang haram.

Setakat pandai dan berilmu tapi tak menjjiwai Islam, takyahlah ... Tak mahu aku dengar.

Anonymous said...

All religions have a hierarchy and empower the learned elders. Mana ada democrasy?

These idiot ex bankers, ex reporters, ex lawyers, ex sociology professor and student, so on pride themselves as though they know the theology better than theologians.

Actually, they know nuts and hardly embody the religion in their life and soul. So perasan....

Suggest that they establish their own religion but do not call it islam. Call it the open and ever changing religion where anything goes.

In.fact, there is one already called christians. They can create their own christian sect as long as they can come up with their own fatwa to justify use of crucifix.

Anonymous said...

Shalalela is confused lah. She's talking about ISIS and not SIS. Hahahaha.

Anonymous said...

This argument reminded of someone who once told me, "So far, no dead people have ever came back from the dead and told me which sect or mazhab is the correct one and accepted by Allah swt.".

Discuss with rationality even if your opinions differ and don't attack the person but argue about the points of the idea that the person brings to you. This is the difference that I have noticed in other 'western' forums. Even if their opinions differ greatly, they almost never go down to personal attacks.

My Say