Dhummies wishing upon the moon

By Peter Masry

Also by Peter: Understanding why DAP is so dhimmi

A commentator calling himself Fabian Sim replies to my write-up above, saying: “Having Islamic principles would not mean bad governance. If we were to adhere to what is in the Constitution, we ALL have our rights…”

My response to Fabian, as below.

Several comments here allude to the notion of “waiting for a perfect party” to take hold in Malaysia. I don’t think anybody anywhere is deluded in thinking there is a perfect party.

That is NOT the same as saying one has to settle for second or third best, however one individually defines it. There is political space between the spectral ends of extreme altruism and extreme utilitarianism.

It is not that Malaysian politics lacks room for manoeuvre; it is rather that Malaysian politicians have used that political space for ill intent (for the most part).

Fabian, you are free to espouse the right of Malaysians to choose Islamic institutions if they arise out of political processes. I think you are wrong, but to paraphrase the great French philosopher Voltaire, I will defend your right to be wrong.

We have a model of failed Islamic institutions in the guise of secularism; it’s called present-day Turkey, where the Islamic Party of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is steadily and surely Islamicising previously secular Turkish public and private institutions (it is debatable whether most Turks support this; we will have to await the next election in Turkey).

Civil institutions, previously secular and civilian, in Lebanon have been bastardised by Hizbullah which has turned Lebanon, once again, into a Syrian and Iranian client state. So much so that, ironically, we hear talk again among some Lebanese Maronites that Israel should go into Lebanon again to save some of the Christians and dethrone Hizbullah (probably unwise whatever the political merits in the short run).

Secularism an anathema to PAS

Many fellow Malaysians assume, wrongly in my view, that political Islam and Democracy (with a big ‘D’) are compatible, in Malaysia, at least, if not in the Middle-East and South Asia.

Since PAS, like any Islamic party, is beholden to Quranic precepts (no practicing Muslim can have it any other way) and the literal and absolute interpretations of Salih al-Bukhari and other Hadiths (and, of course, all the Surahs), there is no possible way – short of interpreting the Quran as a doctrinal smorgasbord from which to selectively choose and interpret – that any Malaysian or other Muslim voting for any Islamic party anywhere can accept democratic and secular precepts and institutions.

If, and when, such an Islamic party comes to power, there is no way it can accept democratic and secular precepts, let alone attempt to implement them at the societal and national levels. I invite any individual to provide an actual example to contradict this statement.

There is absolutely nothing (as has already been discussed by many local columnists) in the Malaysian federal constitution about Islamic principles.

I state openly that I contest that Islamic principles can lead to any good governance anywhere on planet Earth but not because such Islamic principles are mentioned or not mentioned (as I said above, they aren’t) in Malaysia’s constitution.

I state the inability of Islamic principles to lead to good governance because they didn’t lead to good governance in 7th Century Medina (Yathrib) and Makah in Arabia when they were formulated by the Prophet Muhammad.

No escape from emulating the Prophet

The goal of any Islamic party is to emulate the Nabi and his precepts, none of which involved concepts of democracy.

Naturally anticipating the rebuttal from some readers, “Well, Judaism and Christianity” were not democratic either 1400-2000 years ago. Indeed they weren’t, but a large portion of the adherents of Christianity and Judaism has accepted the various religious reformations that have taken place since 2,000 years ago.

Islam has undergone few reformations that have been sustained. Whatever changes instituted by the Abassids, Moghuls or Ottomans did not involve rejecting Islamic precepts but codifying them under local ethnic and cultural interpretations (whether Arab, Indic, Turkic or Persian).

In the current ‘revolutions’ in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Morocco, Algeria, Libya and elsewhere (Iran is an open question at this stage), very, very few of the protesters are calling for secular institutions; the secular Muslim elite in the Arab, Persian and South Asian world are in hiding, quiet, or have moved overseas to the EU, Australia and USA for greener pastures.

When the day comes – to use a simple example – when Salman Rushdie can put in print whatever he chooses, whether we agree with it or not, without a fatwa being put out to lop off his head, Islam will be headed in the direction towards reform.

I do not expect this reform to happen anytime soon.


Hartal note: While the write-up is Peter’s (that he submitted as a comment but which we felt deserved airing as a posting), the headline is ours.

Related posting: Salute to Norman Fernandez, deputy chairman DAP Johor

9 Responses to “Dhummies wishing upon the moon”
  1. Katharina Sri (ex Noor Aza) says:

    Spot on, as usual, Mr. Masry! This is my comment to US-based Jihad watch at http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010/12/malaysia-islamic-agency-vows-to-enforce-islamic-apostasy-law.html:

    Thanks Robert for highlighting this – as a Malaysian convert from Islam to Christianity myself. Malay ethnic groups who are born Muslims (Islam is considered as in their blood) are prohibited absolutely and forever, from converting to any religion whereas new converts like from the Chinese/Indian/non-Malay communities might get a chance to re-convert to being non-Muslim if there is a lot of publicity; thus is why sometimes outsiders get confused and think Malaysia is Islamic ‘moderate-ruled’. Shame on all those Western leaders based in Embassies, except previous US Govt reports (no chance under the Islam-loving/bowing Hussein Obama and great buddy of the M’sian PM!) in Malaysia – many are too busy doing diving, fine dining and clubbing in the luxuriously seductive Malaysian Tropical islands or the capital city Kuala Lumpur, I suspect, thus their silence!
    Malaysian Islamic “Rehabilitation camps” which are actually prisons where it is off-limit to journalists, visiting families (unless the inmates are ‘rehabilitated’) and medical treatments are suspected used forcefully to ‘rehabilitate’ the prisoners brains! And prisoners, any Muslims (usually only the ordinary people, not the rich ones) who rebel against Islamic-Sharia law, including dancing with sexy clothes, drinking alcohol or hugging between unmarried couples anywhere including in clubs, discos, private houses (neighbors are encouraged to simply call the Islamic religious dept (even if only based on mere suspicion), or hotels, were first usually hauled in a truck like cattle. But this religious enforcement power or religious policing is open to great uncontrollable abuse since unlike in normal cases, where detainees or prisoners do not have rights to have immediate access to lawyers or can be detained for more than twenty-four hours without trial up to minimum six-months, including being sent immediately to the Islamic “Rehabilitation camps” – at Islam Watch: http://www.islam-watch.org/AdrianMorgan/Totalitarian-Aspects-Moderate-Mu…; also US Department of State Report; http://www.state.gov/g/drls/irf/2008/108413.htm. Malaysia’s Islamic-Sharia Court has its own religious enforcement officers, called “religious/Sharia police”, that has absolute power and have been abusing such power in over-zealous manner given powers like normal police force, to enter, investigate and make arrest towards any Muslims – at AsiaNews; http://www.asianews.it/view4print.php?l=en&art=7660.

    So, where’s the voices of non-Msulim leaders especially by DAP on this injustice to ‘deviant’ Muslims?

    • texedo says:

      you worth nothing , you only fit for rubbish,your view,your though

      Hartal MSM:
      Might we lend you a mirror, texedo?

  2. Fabian Sim says:

    Thank you for your reply, Peter 🙂 I was rather surprised to read this article. I hope that as you have taken the time (long or short) to write this article, my somewhat naive notions must be a rather common thing in Malaysia. A really catchy title, too.

    Yes. Looking at the history of Islam, all the way from the prophet Muhammad’s death, even from the first 4 caliphs, there has been conflict, deceit, greed and tyranny. They were not democracies, regardless of what Syura councils there might have been. Political power and economic gains are what drives wars. Not religion. Even the Crusades were a front.

    However, if you look at almost all nations, whether in the West or here in the Orient, or even in the Middle East, you’ll find that religion does play a part, and does add a certain flavour to the local democracy (and I use this term loosely). France, Spain, and the Philippines are predominantly Catholic, and while the actual participation of these Catholics are a matter of debate, the Church does remain a largely influential institution. In matters of abortion, for instance.

    Similarly, Malaysia as a country with a Muslim majority would be bound to have its Islamic influences.

    I do not support a theocracy, and I support the separation of church and state. And while we have to be careful in the path we tread lest we end up like Iran, whose revolution was “hijacked” by the ayatollahs, we must not shy away from that path thinking “what if”.

    PAS may have stated their religious agenda, and the DAP their stated secular agenda, and SNAP-UBF their Borneo Agenda, and MCLM their human rights agenda. But they’re all working towards bringing down the corrupted BN government, which is a step forward. What happens after that is anyone’s guess. But it’s a start, isn’t it?

    Yes, the day when Salman Rushdies can produce their Satanic Verses without threat of losing their heads may not come any day soon. But is that a reason to stop trying to make it happen? Is the only way to make it happen condoning the corruption, prejudice and injustice in the present administration? Better the devil I know than the devil I don’t know? Then we should keep tabs on these devils, with the alternative media like Hartal MSM, so we do know the devils they are.

    Keep up the good work, Dhummy.

  3. Maz says:

    However, if you look at almost all nations, whether in the West or here in the Orient, or even in the Middle East, you’ll find that religion does play a part, and does add a certain flavour to the local democracy (and I use this term loosely). France, Spain, and the Philippines are predominantly Catholic, and while the actual participation of these Catholics are a matter of debate, the Church does remain a largely influential institution. In matters of abortion, for instance.

    Hello Fabian,
    I would like to comment. For the most part, European institutions have been totally
    secularised, even in Catholic nations like Austria, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Italy.
    All but the most extreme rightwing parties in the EU support liberal social policy,
    with respect to abortion and capital punishment. In particular, the status quo conservative
    (or Gaullist in the French version) and Christian Democratic parties in UK, France,
    Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal support separation of church and state, as well
    as state-subsidised abortion on demand (though inndividual politicians in conservative
    parties may oppose abortion personally as immoral), not to say this is right or wrong.
    Some like former Spanish PM Jose Maria Aznar oppose abortion and are to the right
    of most establishment conservative parties. Almost of the leftwing parties, from Socialists
    to Communists to Greens, support liberal social policies, and some radicals who do
    away with the church alltogether of they had their way. Only the neo-fascist parties
    like the Austrian People’s Party or the German NDP (National Democratic Party),
    the successor to the Nazi Party, or Marine Le Pen’s Front National in France,
    are anti-abortion and pro-capital punishment and advocate stronger church
    involvement in domestic national affairs in the EU. Limited abortion exists in
    Bosnia, Albania, Turkey, Lebanon, Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as Iran, where
    Shi’a Islam forbids abortion generally, yet many Iranian women can obtain underground
    abortions (and the Iranian Mullahs know this full well). In the rest of the Islamic
    world, abortion is illegal and abortion laws are enforced. Libya is one exception
    due to the BS nonsensical pseudo-Islamosocialism of Qaddafi. Given the
    upheavel in Libya, it remains to be seen whether Qaddafi’s secular national
    policies will be reversed by those who will surely replace him anyday now.
    President Noynoy Aquino comes from a liberation Catholic theology tradition
    of radical Catholicism and would appear to support abortion rights and other
    liberal social policies, but as you point out Fabian, still needs the support of
    the Catholic Church in Manila to maintain a broad social and political mandate.
    Abortion, though still illegal in the Philippines, is widespread in poorer
    urban areas.

    Much of Asia (China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore)
    abortion is readily available and, like contraception, is widely utilised
    by active women. This is not to say that the influential Catholic Church
    in Singapore (probably the only country in the list above where the
    Church has some influence) approves of state policy; they do not
    and say so, but unlike the Catholic Philippines, where the Church
    has long played a social and political activist role, the Catholic Church
    in Singapore (and Thailand, where there are some Chinese-Thai
    Catholics) acts at the private level to influence social policy throughout
    the nation. China, Japan and Korea instituted abortion policies as
    a matter of population regulation and Confucian and semi-secular Buddhist
    traditions and dogmas (separate from private networks of temples, monks
    and devotees who might oppose Abortion ) do not inhibit abortion laws.
    Same in India, where all the major religions adamantly oppose abortion:
    Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism and Catholicism, yet abortion is
    widespread in India, probably the sum total of abortions in India equalling
    the total from all of the EU and North America in any given year.
    PAS may have stated their religious agenda, and the DAP their stated secular agenda, and SNAP-UBF their Borneo Agenda, and MCLM their human rights agenda. But they’re all working towards bringing down the corrupted BN government, which is a step forward. What happens after that is anyone’s guess. But it’s a start, isn’t it?
    Joe DiMaggio, famous centre fielder and later manager of the New York Yankees used to say, “If
    your gameplan for winning is only to defeat the opposing team, you might as well quit now.”
    What he meant was that it is not enough to just simply outscore the opposition, you have to
    have a longterm plan for producing a winning team that will win the penant time after time
    (which probably explains the Yankees winning success rate-hard for me to admit as a Boston
    Red Sox fan). Beating UMNO is not enough. Far far too many Malaysians think that they
    should set their sights short; somehow, once UMNO is gone, manna will from heavan,
    PKR will take over (more likely PAS, as I have stated elsewhere), and all will be right under
    the stars in Malaysia. PKR’s mistake (and DAP’s and PAS’) is to advocate a political
    program for removing UMNO (as the standardbearer anti-UMNO parties)
    while failing to lay out cohesive and intelligible political and social programs
    to run the nation that would or should warrant their support.

    • Fabian Sim says:

      Heya Maz,

      Thanks for your comments.

      Your elaboration on the support or opposition of abortions in Europe paints the following picture – that while it is accepted, there are some who don’t. Even with the largely secular administration, you do find the far right in any political environment. That, I think, isn’t much different from how things could be. Let’s be realistic (not pessimistic): I pick a quote from someone in the previous “Dhimmie” article, that these sentiments do not disappear in total, but are diluted over time.

      And to make these changes, you need to have a platform. With all this criticism about the dangers of religious overzealousness, I have yet to read an article on how to prevent, moderate, or contain it. A systematic method, that is. I’m an engineer, and I need it spelt out. These are part of our nation’s (and some other nation’s) policies. How better to change this than through changing the administration as a start? Why just keep whining, complaining and “raising issues” when it’s obvious that the present government doesn’t give two hoots about it, and get to chuck you into gaol while they’re at it? Ideas may be bulletproof, but people are not. And without people, they don’t bear fruit.

      I’m not a fan of any sports team, but I think any gameplan needs to start somewhere. For the manager, he’d have to know that in detail, and have a way of managing it. Likewise the alternative media. But for normal, dhummy citizens like me, we’d be like the players, won’t we? We’d focus on what’s right in front of us, while keeping the game plan in mind, but we focus our energies on the bloke right in front of us.

      I believe that any changes to our culture must begin in the elementary schools. But there is NO MORE independence from politics, even in our education system. Or our sports, for that matter. So if these webs stem mainly the current government, which method is more effective than to crush that spider first?

      I do not trust political parties, and I put more weight into a man’s (or woman’s) actions as an individual. Politics, after all, is the pursuit of power. But before you want to bring power to the people, short of hunger and unemployment, you need enlightenment.

  4. Serious Shepherd says:

    Just in case if you miss the Sitting Buddha, Sleeping Buddha and Standing Buddha, all located in Kelantan, and the construction works were done while the state is under PAS’ rule.

    • Maz says:

      Just in case if you miss the Sitting Buddha, Sleeping Buddha and Standing Buddha, all located in Kelantan, and the construction works were done while the state is under PAS’ rule.
      PAS might know a good revenue stream when it sees one. To equate the construction of the
      Sitting Buddha with supposed PAS’ tolerance (which you seem to be doing) is nonsense.
      The Sky Kingdom cult (clearly an abomination to your average practicing Sunni Muslim
      in Malaysia) managed to grow and become self-sufficient for so long under Hadi Awang’s nose.
      Until a few years ago they went unmolested. Then, about 4-5 years ago, Ayah Pin became
      a sudden threat to Terengganu’s and Malaysia’s national security. BOTH UMNO and PAS
      called for Ayah Pin’s detention under the ISA and the dismantling of the Sky Kingdom.
      PAS has never been consistent in their practices. Their support for Islam is unequivocal,
      even if their implementation is haphazard. Many many Malaysians make the mistake of
      equating PAS’ haphazardness and inconsistency in implementing Syariah in Kelantan with
      tolerance towards non-Muslims. That Kelantanese Chinese are mostly left to their own
      devices (for know) reflects PAS’ political calculations as much as any supposed tolerance.
      This conflation of PAS’ occasional laid-back approach to affairs in Kelantan with tolerance
      towards non-Muslims is manifestly incorrect.

  5. gsk says:

    why no mention of despotic regime of CCCP, China Communist are equally guilty of prospering regimes like in Burma, Nort Korea and useless juntas around africa for their minerals….

    I never seen this blog condemning CHINA…..only ARABIE…..

    I have to state here that I dont like Arabs as well…. i have worked here from time to time……

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