Posted in Malaysia Today (31/8/10)
After the whole Siti Inshah incident which insulted our friends of the other faiths, nothing surprises me anymore. The racism and religious bigotry practiced by some of our Malay Muslims have reached a crescendo. Things will only get worse with time if we fail to reverse this mental condition. We will simply be unable to do dig ourselves out of that hole if that happens and our nation will fall to ruin. Why? All because we choose to be political over the lowest discriminating factor: race.
The latest incident is about the Serdang MP’s visit to Surau Al-Huda. We must take YB Teo Nie Ching’s visit in good faith. She went to the surau with a donation and gave a talk about higher education loans. There was nothing political about her visit. Regrettably even the most sincere intentions can be played upon to stoke the most heinous sentiments. One can expect no less from Ibrahim Ali who seized upon this opportunity faster than a cobra strikes its victim.
Ibrahim Ali’s language about the issue reflects a horrible bigotry. He used the word ‘desecrate’ and the phrase ‘unclean DAP politician’. He also rhetorically claims that this is a lesson from God showing how PAS has ‘sold out’ Islam and that this is visit is ‘shaitan confusing the Muslims’.
The former Perlis Mufti, Dato’ Asri had already given evidence on why YB Teo’s visit wasn’t against Islamic laws but his evidence was historical. I hope to refute Ibrahim’s claims from a Quranic perspective and to show how the Quran completely rejects his point of view. Worse still, it considers Ibrahim’s own views as the views which run contrary to the Quran.
For a start, the Quran does not bar anyone from entering a masjid. The Quran actually tells children of Adam , that is to say anyone at all, to enter every masjid with their best clothing and to eat and drink yet not be wasteful (7/31). This shows that anyone can go and participate in any of the mosque activities and even participate in their festivities.
Secondly, the Quran equates the establishment of social justice as the cornerstone of every masjid (7/29). This verse is also addressed to the children of Adam, thus not restricting people according to faith. What was YB Teo doing if not helping the members of the surau’s congregation, thus establishing social justice? It seems Ibrahim Ali is in a muddle! YB Teo was in no way desecrating the surau at all. Indeed she was honouring it.
Ibrahim also said that YB Teo is ‘unclean’. This is a favourite insult Islamofascists use against our friends of other faiths. It builds upon a false notion of purity exclusive to Muslims. This notion is absolutely against the Quran and furthermore ironic (as we shall see below) considering Ibrahim’s own vitriolic politics.
The term ‘unclean’(najas) is used in the Quran (in 9/28) for one particular people: those who renege on peace treaties. (9/1-12) These people are considered to be those who associate partners with God, an act which is of the highest wrong. There is nothing in the Quran to insinuate that non-Muslims are ‘unclean’. What’s even more ironic is that in the Malaysian context, the people who renege on our peace treaty (i.e. our constitution) are those people who harp on race issues and stir up emotions. Who is then closer to being ‘unclean’, YB Teo or Ibrahim himself?
Lastly, Ibrahim says that PAS’s support of this visit is ‘shaitan confusing the Muslims’. Well the Muslims have nothing to be confused about. A cursory look at the Quran will show the reader that it is people like Ibrahim whom Muslims need to look out for, not YB Teo who is doing (knowingly or otherwise) exactly what the Quran wants. The biggest irony is perhaps this: The Quran does tell the believers never to stop into one kind of masjid – the masjid where division is being preached (9/107-108)! Sounds familiar, Ibrahim Ali?