The frivolous politicisation of Islam must be banned

“DO not do to others what you do not want others to do unto you”, goes one universal adage.

Yet in spite of the total clarity of this saying which can transcend all cultures and civilisations, there are ultra-elements living and operating in Malaysia who are totally against this basic ethic.

Their arrogance verges on the dark forces that challenge God’s very order to bow to Adam purely because the latter was made of clay.

It has been a perennial challenge of the Diabolical One ever since: to prove to God that Adam and Eve – and consequently all the progenies – that come after the pair would be constantly led astray.

Short of stooping to the level of a certain political party (PAS, that has organised a jingoistic event as mindless as HIMPIT 2023, or Himpunan Parti Islam Terengganu) one cannot help but call a spade a spade.

Yet there is nothing contemptuous let alone heinous in calling it such as the symbols on display behind their pick-up truck was a large double-edged sword of metallic silver, adorned with Arabic scripts, that was nothing but a wild attempt to intimidate others.

Such a practice must immediately cease and desist as it invites a tit-for-tat in a multi-ethnic society that cannot afford the extreme fringes of the society to come to the fore.

Now, beyond the obvious that this can trigger an orgy of ethnic racial unrest, why must one call for its total prohibition?

First and foremost, Islam is not only a religion of peace but one that encourages all believers to be humble.

While this quality is personified by Prophet Muhammad SAAS throughout his life in Mecca and Medina, there were two incidents that were worth recalling to underscore the essence of Islam.

When Prophet Muhammad SAAS emerged triumphant in his decade-long war against the tribe of Qurasyh, the Messenger of God rode into Mecca on a camel’s back. There was no gallant display of any martial elements at all.

All his friends, family members and followers from Medina entered the gate of Mecca with total devotion to serve God: not to put on any show to demonstrate their prowess. None.

If the above recollection is not compelling enough, let us consider another. One day when Prophet Muhammad SAAS realised that an old woman who had been sweeping the mosque had not appeared, the Messenger of God immediately asked for her whereabouts.

The companions of the Prophet Muhammad SAAS answered: “Oh Messenger of God. The woman had passed away the night before” to which Prophet Muhammad SAAS lamented: “She passed away yet no one told me? Show me where has she been buried then!”

Upon arriving at her freshly-garlanded grave, the Messenger of God raised his hands aloft to make a contrite prayer for her.

It was exactly that moment where the companions of Prophet Muhammad SAAS realised the error of their own way, that those who go about their tasks quietly and thoughtfully, without seeking any vainglorious compliments, let alone unctuous praises, were considered those worthy of the attention and affection of the Messenger of God.

Secondly, boorish behaviour has always been scorned by Prophet Muhammad SAAS. Once when the Messenger of God passed by a crowd who were boisterous and outlandish in their behaviour, he affirmed while walking away with such words: Come the Day of Judgment, these are the kind of people who would cry and shed their tears of regrets. Once again, the genteel demand of Islam, indeed all its followers across any spatial temporal constraints, was perfectly amplified.

To be sure, Islam is not a religion or a systematic set of beliefs that insist on everyone being austere at all times. There is nothing to ban or prohibit any simple celebration of the end of Ramadhan, the month of the fast.

But Islam is definitely against any form of behaviour that reeks of the sights and sounds of Mat Rempit and consequently, HIMPIT 2023 too.

As things stand, the vulgar nature of the dark forces has surfaced in Malaysia. If the vile and venomous display of HIMPIT 2023 is anything to go by, the politicisation of race – a pseudo-ultra-Malay one that has nothing to do with the classic qualities of a Malay majority – has begun with sheer earnestness.

It is nevertheless thoughtful on the part of the Minister of Religious Affairs Datuk Mohd Na’im Mokhtar to remind all Muslims that while Islam is not against any form of festivities that harbour the best of intentions, those who have the patina and appearance of challenging the modesty of oneself and others are downright abjured by the tradition of the Prophets and Quran.

Meanwhile, those who are against the grotesque and distasteful nature of HIMPIT 2023 should demand an outright apology from the organisers without which the Sedition Act 1948 can and should be used against the perpetrators of all forms of religious disquiet that seek to perpetually rock the boat of inter-racial harmony. – Feb 21, 2023


Dr. Rais Hussin is President and Chief Executive Officer at EMIR Research, an independent think tank focused on strategic policy recommendations based on rigorous research.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.


Main pic credit: MalaysiaGazette

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE