Apparently in Malaysia, no political assembly could be completed — and probably regarded as meaningful — without the usual mega important gimmick or resolution. In Malaysian politics, perhaps the two are even one and the same. Hence the unsheathing of the keris and the subsequent kissing of it during the Umno general assembly. That was the gimmick. That was to be followed by the usual we-are-the-Malays-and-we-have-our-rights-and-don’t-challenge-us-or-else-we-would-run-amok rants. That was the resolution. After that, everybody had tea and curry puffs and went home.
The PAS assembly this year will be remembered for exactly two things. And no. It won’t be remembered for some blueprint on how the Malaysian economy would be brought out from the global economic doldrums or the likes. Not for any grand plan for the promotion of Islam as a peaceful and total way of life too. Rather it will be remembered for the “unity government” debate (this I suppose, is Hadi’s equivalent to Najib’s 1 Malaysia thingy) and the call for the banning of Sisters In Islam (this I think is PAS’s answer to the unofficial banning of black T-shirts and the act of holding candles by the Home Ministry).
Apparently, what PAS had actually demanded was not the banning of SIS. PAS was asking that SIS should not be named as such because SIS is not very Islamic. The PAS Youth wing is reported by a Malaysiakini report to have said that SIS should be changed to Sisters in Malaysia if it wishes to pursue “universal rights which are subjective” and at the same time questioning Islamic principles as stated in the Quran and hadiths.
That of course begs the question whether Islam’s concept of “universal rights” are different from the “universal rights which are subjective”. And is there such a thing as universal rights which are subjective in the first place? I mean, I had always thought that universal rights are rights which are universal to every human being, regardless of creed, breed or religion. And if Islam is to be accepted as God’s answer to a good life, how could Islam’s concept of universal rights be any different from the Christian’s concept of the same?
Zulkifli Noordin of course had to join in on this issue. He is, after all — according to him — destined to defend Islam. He said SIS is not very Islamic. Its officers don’t wear the “tudung” and are unmarried. And perhaps SIS should change its name to IWK — a pun of the name of the sewerage services company, quite obviously — which according to him stands for Ikatan Wanita Kosmopolitan. Well Zul, why don’t you quit PKR and join PAS instead? And change your name to ICT, short for Irrelevant Little Twerp (I know, it does not run, but hell, just do it please).
PAS, as I understand it, stands for Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party). In 1981, Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang, its current president, said this:
“My brothers, believe me. We oppose Umno not because its name is Umno, we oppose the Barisan Nasional not because its name is Barisan Nasional. We oppose them because they continue with the constitution of the colonial, continue with the regulations of the infidel, continue with the regulations of the ignorant. Because of that we struggle to fight them. Believe me brothers, our struggle is a divine struggle (jihad). Our speech is jihad, our donation is jihad and because we struggle against these groups, if we die in our fights, our death is martyrdom, our death is an Islamic death. We do not have to join the Jews, we do not have to profess Christianity, we do not have to profess Hinduism, we do not have to profess Buddhism, but we will be infidels if we say politics is a quarter and religion is a quarter.”
And now he is propounding the concept of a unity government with Umno and the BN. He even went against what Tuan Guru Nik Aziz say on that issue. To him now, it is about the people being united. It is about saving the country. Saving the country from what? And he claimed that PAS’s partners in the Pakatan Rakyat know about all these talks with the BN and Umno. PKR and DAP said they never knew about it. And yet he refused to let that issue go away.
The thing is he used to think, and preach, that Umno and the BN are the agents for the infidels. And anybody who struggles against them would die in a state of martyrdom. Now PAS, under his leadership, wants to work with these very same people. That is not very Islamic. Therefore, PAS should drop the “Islam” from its name.
Oh, one more thing. PAS had a pact with its PR partners. Now it is going against its PR partners by pursuing a unity government. That is a breach of trust. A breach of a partnership agreement too. That too is not very Islamic. In fact, it is not Islamic at all.
So please. I hope JAIS or whatever will look into this matter. I would echo Zulkifli Noordin’s call for the National Fatwa Council to have a “muzakarah” and demand an explanation from PAS about this. If PAS is found to be unIslamic, perhaps it should not use the word “Islam” in its name.
Or perhaps, PAS should be banned!