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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Terrorism at a Thai brothel

In Asia's bloodiest Islamist insurgency, jihadis target a lesser known breed of sex tourist

BANGKOK, Thailand -- There are no battlefield guarantees in Asia's bloodiest Islamic insurgency, a jihad in Thailand's tropical south that has ended nearly 5,000 lives.

Global PostBut there are a few rules of thumb. In their self-proclaimed "holy war" to carve out the world's newest Muslim state on the Thai-Malaysia border, jihadis consider soldiers, cops, Buddhist monks, government teachers and their Muslim collaborators as fair game. Backpackers partying just a short distance up the coast are left alone.

But less mercy is offered to a different sort of tourist: Malaysian men, many fellow Muslims, border-hopping into insurgents' turf for paid sex. Now, after a bloody Sunday night bombing spree in their favored brothel town, Malaysia's government is warning its men to stay away.

Shortly after sunset on Sept. 18, in the gritty Thai border town of Su-Ngai Golok, a series of explosions erupted on a busy lane lined with hotels, food stalls and karaoke joints.

Televised mobile-phone footage shows pyres raging in front of a bar fitted with Christmas lights, Thai code signaling the availability of cheap beer and hands-on female hostesses. A half-naked man, his clothes singed and shredded, is seen sprawled nearby in the street.

Five were killed in the bombings, four of them Malaysian. Roughly 110 were wounded, some severely. If Islamic insurgents aimed only for men on the prowl, they failed: A 3-year-old Malaysian boy was among the dead.

The attack is surprising, even for insurgents known for beheading Buddhist monks and torching village headmen in the street. Though Malaysian tourists have been targeted before, such strikes are rare and have never caused so many foreign deaths in one night.

Worse yet, the attacks signal jihadis' heightened brazenness and stomp out any flickering promise of peace talks.

Just months ago, Thailand's military acknowledged secret meetings with separatists, whose ultimate goal is restoring a Connecticut-sized sultanate called "Patani." At the turn of the 20th century, Thailand (than called Siam) seized the tiny kingdom and claimed dominion over its Muslim, ethnically Malay inhabitants.

More than 100 years later, armed resistance to Thai rule has hit its stride. Since a 2004 declaration of renewed jihad, more than 4,700 have died and insurgents have evolved into Taliban-worthy bombers. In 2007, a particularly bloody year, jihadis in Thailand managed 91 bomb deaths -- 13 more than that year's bombing death toll against U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan.

As a younger wave of Islamic militants grows more agile and lethal, they appear more distant from an old-guard of separatists willing to negotiate with the Thai military.

Quasi-secret peace talks, which seemed to offer a twinkle of hope just months ago, have collapsed. "It's closed. It's finished," said Kasturi Mahkota, a senior member of the separatist group Patani United Liberation Organization.

"Now, at this point, there is no cease-fire agreement," Kasturi said over the phone from Scandinavia, his home-in-exile. "We're not going to surrender. We're not going to give goodwill to them."

But perhaps the separatists willing to negotiate have nothing to surrender in the first place.

Kasturi and other old-guard leaders have proclaimed an alliance with the insurgency's backbone militia, BRN-C, and claimed joint responsibility for roughly 80 percent of attacks. In reality, he and his ilk are "pretenders to the cause" according to insurgency expert Zach Abuza in an Institute for National Security Studies report released this week.

They consist of "a few exiles in Malaysia and Europe who command no forces and do not have the loyalty of men on the ground," according to the report.

The real killers abhor the thought of negotiation. They're also more radical than ever, said Sunai Phasuk, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch, who has documented the insurgency for more than a decade.

"It's a liberation war," he said. "They do not believe in coexistence with the Thai population. They aim to win the war by wiping Thailand clean of non-Malay Muslims."

Muslims from Malaysia, who share customs and language with Malay-speaking natives in the insurgents' territory, are seldom attacked in Thailand -- unless they're loitering around spots deemed decadent by jihadi hardliners.

"They feel an ideological justification to target vice: brothels, karaoke joints, nightclubs," Sunai said. "They want to send a message that, as a Muslim, you shouldn't get involved in dirty activities."

Thai authorities, however, seem to hate acknowledging insurgents' ideological motives. Police are apt to cast them as rudderless bandits and smugglers. Within hours of the Su-Ngai Golok attacks, a senior officer announced, with little proof, that the bombings were retaliation for cops seizing 100,000 meth pills earlier that week.

Dismissing the rebels as mere criminals diminishes an unpleasant thought for Buddhist Thai authorities: that an estimated 8,000 armed separatists believe Allah condones their killing. Calling them drug runners also strikes at the jihadis' proclaimed piety; a Muslim can only boast of so much righteousness if his living comes from smuggling bundles of meth.

But just as the Taliban is believed to fund attacks with Afghani heroin, proclaiming its jihadi credentials all the while, many experts believe Thailand's insurgency is similarly tied to the drug trade.

"Some are funded by underground business like contract killings, drug smuggling and human trafficking," Sunai said. "That doesn't mean they don't also have political motives. They can be paid to attack by drug lords who are unhappy with law enforcement ... killing two birds with one stone."

With peace talks appearing futile, and jihadis growing more bold, hopes of settling Thailand's insurgency appear bleak. In the estimation of Abuza, the terror expert, the rebels aren't winning "but they are also not losing, which, in an insurgency, is often enough."

Many of the remaining ethnic Thais, roughly 15 percent of the population, have stockpiled guns and assembled all-Buddhist militias. The rest have simply fled the region.

A turn in the road appeared several months ago when Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, then on the campaign trail, traveled to the region in a red hijab and promised a semi-autonomous zone to give local Muslims greater political power.

But after her July election victory, the new premier's cabinet dismissed her pledges as mere ideas. Prominent academics and non-separatist Muslim groups have pressured her to honor her campaign commitment. "I think it's finished," Kasturi said. "That was just for the election. Now they don't dare talk about it."

Given doubts that aging rebels in exile can reign in young militants, it's unclear whether any action by the Thai state would soothe the insurgency. The new breed does not appear willing to sit down for tea with the Thai military or even issue public declarations. They prefer to speak through violence and the occasional handwritten threat scattered around their victims' corpses.

"There will be no negotiation with our enemy. We will not accept any compromise. We will not debate in the parliament," says one written screed acquired by Human Rights Watch.

"We will purge all Siamese infidels out of our territory to purify our religion and culture ... we will establish our country as a Muslim country to be recognized internationally."

Ravi Shankar still making magic sitar music at 91

LOS ANGELES, Sept 24 — Baby boomers may remember classical sitar player Ravi Shankar from his legendary appearances at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock, or his influence on popular music culture at the time.

But what the 91-year-old musical icon remembers most about Monterey was hearing live rock ‘n’ roll for the first time. It was loud, he recalls, and he walked out on Jimi Hendrix burning his guitar.

File photo of Shankar in performance in Kolkata on February 7, 2009. — Reuters pic
The three-time Grammy winner appears for one night, September 29, in Los Angeles at the Disney Concert Hall, and ahead of the show he spoke to Reuters about his music, his memories of the ‘60s and his friendship with late Beatle George Harrison.
Q: You collaborated with many high-profile Western artists in the past. In what direction are you taking your music now?

A: “Mostly I’m playing concerts. I just finished five concerts in Europe, in London, Birmingham and the Edinburgh Festival, then I went to Oslo, Norway. I finished those and now I’m looking forward to playing San Francisco and Escondido.”

Q: What’s on the programme for the Disney Hall show?

A: “I always decide what I will play at the last moment, but I can tell you the format. I always start with very traditional classical music. The first I think will be very traditional almost dating back to 16th century. The second is a more later development known as contemporary-classical music. Another raga, an Indian raga. It’s more popular, not in the pop sense, but it’s a more popular second song. Of course the form we play is known as raga. Popular music with a lot of rhythmic variations.”

Q: Can I take you back to the Monterey Pop Festival? It was a landmark concert and introduced you to your largest American audience. What are your memories of that show?

A: “I’ll tell you very frankly, I went to see the whole night show with people like Jimi Hendrix and The Who, Simon and Garfunkel, Otis Redding, the Mamas and the Papas, all these people were performing. This was my first orientation to listening in person to live performances of rock ‘n’ roll. It was very loud for me. I’m not used to such loud music.

“But when The Who started breaking their instruments after the songs, and they are kicking them and breaking all the instruments — and Jimi Hendrix, after a wonderful performance, which I was so impressed with, then he took off his guitar and then he put benzene on the guitar and burned it. That I could not take. I just walked out and said, ‘I won’t be here’.”

Q: But two years later at Woodstock, you did it all again.

A: “It was a horrible experience because it was raining. We went by helicopter, which landed behind the stage. There were a half a million people, it was raining, drizzling, there was mud everywhere and everybody was, most of them, high on drugs, y’know. And this was very difficult for my instrument, and I was not happy because of the whole environment.”

Q: Still, you gained fame in the West from those events

A: “There was one issue that always bothered me. They mixed my music with drugs and all that type of free love and everything. That’s what I objected to. I wanted to bring them consciousness of our music to relate to like Bach, Beethoven, Mozart — you don’t go to hear a concert being on grass or misbehaving like that.”

Q: Did you ever express that to an audience?

A: “I said, ‘I don’t want to be treated — or my music — to be treated like that.’ So I, many a times, would walk out of my concerts until they stopped smoking and behaved properly. I didn’t want to reach them on drugs, but I did want to play them our music, our Indian classical music which connected more with — not religion but a more spiritual energy.”

Q: Your introduction to the rock world came through George Harrison. What brought the two of you together for the 1971 benefit concert for Bangladesh?

A: “I was in Los Angeles at that time and I was thinking of giving a concert or two, raising as much as I could, and help them. George came to my house and said, ‘Let’s do it in a bigger way and raise as much as we can.’ He phoned Bob Dylan and all his friends, and the show happened. One show sold out immediately, so they had another show in the afternoon. The crisis became known around the world within 24 hours.”

Q: Harrison studied sitar under you before composing “Norwegian Wood” and “Within You Without You,” both of which used the instrument. Was George a good student?

A: “He was a wonderful student, he was like my family, my friend and we had a wonderful time. He flew into Mumbai in 1974 and 1975 where I had a festival for 45 minutes with my musicians, and after intermission he had his group and he helped promote the concert all over the United States. He was a wonderful friend.” — Reuters

Drop Interlok, re-write history books

A Gerakan leader says the Interlok novel and slanted history textbooks have no room in the prime minister's reform and transformation agenda.

GEORGE TOWN: The government should immediately remove the controversial Interlok novel from school syllabus in line with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s reform and transformation agenda.

In making this call, Gerakan local leader Baljit Singh said the government should also review and revamp contents of school history text books to reflect the real history of Malaysia.

He also said the Education Ministry should allow school students an option to learn Mathematics and Science subjects in either English, Bahasa Malaysia or in their respective mother tongues.

He stressed that it would be embarrassingly hypocritical if on one hand Najib announced the abolishment of certain draconian laws while on the other, his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin were to retain Interlok in schools. Muhyiddin is also the education minister.

Acknowledge contributions of all races

Baljit, who heads the Penang Gerakan’s legal and human rights bureau, said the government had to be consistent, uniformed, sincere and honest in carrying out real reforms and transformations.

He pointed out that the novel was against the spirit and concept of Najib’s 1Malaysia aspiration.

“Interlok is perceived as containing disparaging remarks about non-Malays. It should not be taught in schools. All Malaysians should be made to feel at home in Malaysia,” he told FMT.

Baljit was also disenchanted that the new secondary school history books contained overwhelming propagation of one particular ethnic group and religion.

He could not understand the reasons behind the Education Ministry’s over-emphasis on the Islamic religion, Arabic civilisation and Malay contributions to the nation, while conveniently ignoring contributions from other sources.

He pointed out that Najib had claimed that the Internal Security Act would be repealed because the federal government had listened to the people’s call for greater democracy.

He said under a greater democracy concept, all contributions by other ethnic groups, religions, civilizations and languages should not be overlooked and concealed from history books.

“Our history books today definitely contradict the 1Malaysia concept, propagating a particular ethnic politics and religious views.

“History books shall contain only truthful historical facts, not distorted facts and lies. School textbooks should never be politicised or racially bias,” he said.

Similarly, he said in a greater democracy, the government must uphold the rights to freedom of education by allowing school children to choose the language of instruction for Mathematics and Science.

Isu keluar pembangkang, Karpal Singh tegur Nik Aziz

"Saya berpendapat isu berhubung negara Islam telah pun diketepikan dengan resolusi yang diterima pakai pada muktamar PAS yang diadakan tahun ini," katanya dalam satu kenyataan.

KUALA LUMPUR:  Pengerusi DAP Kebangsaan Karpal Singh berkata beliau terkejut dengan kenyataan Mursyidul Am PAS, Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat yang menyatakan DAP boleh memilih untuk keluar daripada pakatan pembangkang sekiranya membantah rancangan PAS menubuhkan sebuah negara Islam.

“Ia adalah sukar untuk memahami kenapa Nik Aziz memberi ruang kepada Barisan Nasional (BN) menjelang pilihan raya umum tidak lama lagi.

“Saya berpendapat isu berhubung negara Islam telah pun diketepikan dengan resolusi yang diterima pakai pada muktamar PAS yang diadakan tahun ini,” katanya dalam satu kenyataan.

Karpal menyebut resolusi PAS bahawa parti itu tidak akan meneruskan matlamatnya untuk mewujudkan sebuah negara Islam di Malaysia sebaliknya berusaha ke arah penubuhan negara kebajikan.

“Adalah sukar untuk memahami kenapa Nik Aziz dalam tempoh yang singkat telah lupa berhubung resolusi itu,” katanya.

Pemimpin Pakatan Rakyat tidak bersetuju hasrat kerajaan PAS Kelantan untuk melaksanakan hukum Hudud dan hasrat parti itu menubuhkan negara Islam.

Top 10 Reasons why Hudud is good

By John Doe

So much talk about the Hudud. Why question Allah? Any good Muslim would know, and should know what the Quran says. Here is my top ten list. And who says that the Hudud does not affect non-Muslims? Tell those who say that to shut up and cower in shame for their ignorance !!
You want progress? Then follow the words of Allah to the "T". Otherwise, leave Islam. There is NO VERSE in the Quran which prescribes stoning in Islam for Apostasy. Again, have ANYONE show you a single verse in the Quran which prescribes "Death by Stoning" from the Quran. GIVE ME ONE VERSE !!!

In no particular order, I'll list the top 10 reasons why Hudud should be implemented in Malaysia. The following 10 are from the Quran. I will leave out COMPLETELY any reference to the Hadiths for now, for there will be far toi many arguments about which Hadith is true, untrue, real, false, fake and so on. 
Call the following list, The Quranic Ten Commandments if you wish.

1. The Obedient Wive's Club is almost correct. They forgot to tell you that in Surah 4:34 and I quote:
"Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great."

In other words, wives must comply with every single demand by their husbands. Be it a blow-job on demand, or any other requests made whether it is "better than a prostitute or not". Similarly, if a husband demands that a wife have plastic surgery to look more like Megan Fox, she also cannot refuse, or else, she should be punished by beating, and perhaps repeated beatings if necessary. This is obedience. Failure to do so is disobedience, and deserves a beating. For this is precisely written by Allah, and must be followed.

2. Who dares to say that Allah is a sexist? Allah is NOT prejudiced against gender at all !! Read Surah 5:38, and I quote:

"As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands. It is the reward of their own deeds, an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is Mighty, Wise."

If Allah was a sexist, he would have only said cut the hands off a particular gender. Allah did not. Therefore, Allah is NOT a sexist. If you persist to go against the will of Allah, then apply Surah 5:33, and I quote:
"The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter;"

Now you cannot say that you do not know. It is however unclear if the person who wages war against Allah has the option to choose between leaving the country vs execution or crucifixion, but regardless, Allah is great.

3. This has to do with orphans. And perhaps more to do with widows, as written in Surah 4:3 and I quote:
"If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice."

I am strongly suggesting that this verse has everything to do with the fact that the second wife either MUST be an orphan or a widow. (The waiting period for a widow is 3 months.) If it is indeed so, then why not? Personally, it means 3 less mother-in-laws to deal with. And that is not necessarily a bad thing.

4. Islam allows you to marry underaged girls. Be they your first, second, third or fourth wife. Only the uneducated have not read Surah 65:4, and I quote:

"Such of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the prescribed period, if ye have any doubts, is three months, and for those who have no courses (it is the same): for those who carry (life within their wombs), their period is until they deliver their burdens: and for those who fear Allah, He will make their path easy."

The Arabic version is here:
واللائي يئسن من المحيض من نسائكم ان ارتبتم فعدتهن ثلاثة اشهر واللائي لم يحضن واولات الاحمال اجلهن ان يضعن حملهن ومن يتق الله يجعل له من امره يسرا

and the phonetic way to pronounce it is as follows:
"Waalla-ee ya-isna mina almaheedi min nisa-ikum ini irtabtum faAAiddatuhunna thalathatu ashhurin waalla-ee lam yahidna waolatu al-ahmali ajaluhunna an yadaAAna hamlahunna waman yattaqi Allaha yajAAal lahu min amrihi yusran"

“Wallaee Lam yahidhna” which means “those who have not menstruated yet” This group of females are pre-pubescent girls who have not yet menstruated. Anyone who opposes this is violation of Allah's will, and is subject to number 2 stated above.

5. Should a declaration of war occur, like how Anwar Ibrahim declared War in Nov of 2009, then he can take any of the women or children as his future wives. It comes from Surah 33:50, and I quote:

"O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to thee; and daughters of thy paternal uncles and aunts, and daughters of thy maternal uncles and aunts, who migrated (from Makka) with thee; and any believing woman who dedicates her soul to the Prophet if the Prophet wishes to wed her;- this only for thee, and not for the Believers (at large); We know what We have appointed for them as to their wives and the captives whom their right hands possess;- in order that there should be no difficulty for thee. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."

Ibrahim Ali has declared Jihad recently. He is not living up to his promise. He should be punished severely. SImilarly, why hasn't Hishamuddin nor Najib bathed any Keris in Chinese blood yet? Are they really that incompetent? They too should be punished severely !!

6. Those who do not observe the mandatory rest day called the Sabbath shall experience reverse-evolution, and become themselves monkeys, or as KJ puts it, Beruk. It is in Surah 33:4, and I quote:

"And you know well the story of those among you who broke Sabbath. We said to them: "Be apes—despised and hated by all. Thus We made their end a warning to the people of their time and succeeding generation, and an admonition for God-fearing people."

The Sabbath by the way, is NOT on Sunday, but actually on a Friday. (Get your facts straight. And the correct way to pronounce it is similar to pronouncing the word Sabah (one of two Colony-States in East Malaysia)

7. The Quran previously did not allow for the adoption of children, as prescribed in Surah 33:4, and I quote:

"God did not make your adopted son as your own sons. To declare them so is your empty claim. God's word is righteous and constitutes true guidance."

however, three verses later, it allows adoption, as plainly states in Surah 33:37, and I quote:

"After a term of married life with her husband, We permitted you to marry her so that it may hence be legitimate and morally blameless for a believer to marry the wife of his adopted son provided that wife has already been divorced. That is God's commandment which must be fulfilled."

and not only does it allow for adoption, one can now marry his adopted son's ex-wife. I do not make these things up. It is decreed by Allah, and cannot be thus, challenged.

8. Malaysian Courts are unIslamic. They do not follow what is clearly stated in the Quran. Just to prove it, I will make a longer quote this time. Read every bit of Surah 2:82, and I quote:

"O you who believe! when you deal with each other in contracting a debt for a fixed time, then write it down; and let a scribe write it down between you with fairness; and the scribe should not refuse to write as Allah has taught him, so he should write; and let him who owes the debt dictate, and he should be careful of (his duty to) Allah, his Lord, and not diminish anything from it; but if he who owes the debt is unsound in understanding, or weak, or (if) he is not able to dictate himself, let his guardian dictate with fairness; and call in to witness from among your men two witnesses; but if there are not two men, then one man and two women from among those whom you choose to be witnesses, so that if one of the two errs, the second of the two may remind the other; and the witnesses should not refuse when they are summoned; and be not averse to writing it (whether it is) small or large, with the time of its falling due; this is more equitable in the sight of Allah and assures greater accuracy in testimony, and the nearest (way) that you may not entertain doubts (afterwards), except when it is ready merchandise which you give and take among yourselves from hand to hand, then there is no blame on you in not writing it down; and have witnesses when you barter with one another, and let no harm be done to the scribe or to the witness; and if you do (it) then surely it will be a transgression in you, and be careful of (your duty) to Allah, Allah teaches you, and Allah knows all things."

You must have the equivalent of 2 women for every male witness in the event of disparity. Similarly, the Quran speaks nothing of CCTV recordings, and as such, it cannot be allowed in court. However, since Allah is great, you can show the CCTV recordings to the appropriate number of men, which is a minimum of 4, or 8 female witnesses; and then, they in turn, can be eye witnesses to the alleged Crime, and thus testify in Court. CCTV's is Allah's great way of allowing humans to travel back in time.

9. Make no bones about it, female children should not complain about how inheritance is divided. If you do complain, you have obviously not read Surah 9:29, and I quote:

"Allah enjoins you concerning your children: The male shall have the equal of the portion of two females; then if they are more than two females, they shall have two-thirds of what the deceased has left, and if there is one, she shall have the half; and as for his parents, each of them shall have the sixth of what he has left if he has a child, but if he has no child and (only) his two parents inherit him, then his mother shall have the third; but if he has brothers, then his mother shall have the sixth after (the payment of) a bequest he may have bequeathed or a debt; your parents and your children, you know not which of them is the nearer to you in usefulness; this is an ordinance from Allah: Surely Allah is Knowing, Wise."
Lawyers, do take note fo this when writing wills in future.

10. Those lazy or incompetent Muslims have obviously not read Surah 9:29, and I quote:

"Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection."

nor have you read Surah 9:5, and I quote:
"When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way. God is forgiving and merciful."

And just so that people cannot say that I am taking things out of context, I shall reproduce Surah 9:1-8, so that all may be enlightened.

9:1 A declaration of immunity from God and His apostle to the idolaters with whom you have made agreements:

9:2 For four months you shall go unmolested in the land. But know that you shall not escape God’s judgement, and that God will humble the unbelievers.

9:3 A proclamation to the people from God and His apostle on the day of the greater pilgrimage:

God and His apostle are under no obligation to the idolaters. If you repent, it shall be well with you; but if you give no heed, know that you shall not be immune from God’s judgement. 
Proclaim a woeful punishment to the unbelievers, 

9:4 except to those idolaters who have honoured their treaties with you in every detail and aided none against you. With these keep faith, until their treaties have run their term. God loves the righteous.

9:5 When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way. God is forgiving and merciful.

9:6 If an idolater seeks asylum with you, give him protection so that he may hear the Word of God, and then convey him to safety. For the idolaters are ignorant men.

9:7 God and His apostle repose no trust in idolaters, save those with whom you have made treaties at the Sacred Mosque. So long as they keep faith with you, keep faith with them. God loves the righteous.

9:8 How can you trust them? If they prevail against you they will respect neither agreements nor ties of kindred. They flatter you with their tongues, but their hearts reject you. Most of them are evil doers.

This needs to be preached in every Mosque, and every Muslim household shall take note. If you are unhappy with it, then perhaps you can consider leaving Islam, and I quote Surah al-Baqarah, 2:256, Allah explicitly states: "Let there be no compulsion in religion."

Additionally, in Surah Yunus, 10:99, and I quote:

"Had your Lord willed, everyone on earth would have believed. Do you then force people to become believers?"

The above verse also contradicts the Rukunegara, because "the unbelievers" also includes Atheists and Agnostics. 
Hence, "Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan" is flawed, and is justified by Surah Yunus 10:99.
Coming back to the Apostacy issue, let me remind everyone here that it is NEVER prescribed in the Quran where Apostates are to be stoned. Anyone who practises stoning-to-death is NOT FOLLOWING THE QURAN. And I will end with the last verse of  Surah An-Nisa', 4:137, and I quote:

"those who believe, then disbelieve, then believe again, then disbelieve, and then increase in their disbelief - Allah will never forgive them nor guide them to the path."

Read again... "believe, disbelieve, believe, disbelieve, and increase in their disbelief" refers to the wishy-washy. And that only says that Allah will NOT forgive them nor guide them to the path. It says NOTHING about fines, re-education classes nor stoning them to death !! JAKIM, JAIS do take note. It says that "Allah will NOT guide them to the path". In other words, Allah will LEAVE THEM ALONE !!!

So, in conclusion, Hudud vs non-Hudud has nothing to do with who wins the next elections. If you want to be a Muslim, then one must abide by the Hudud, and the Syariah. If not, then leave Islam. One cannot be wishy-washy about this. After all, there is no such thing as a semi-virgin.

If you have not read the Quran, then perhaps it is time to read it. If Allah did not intend for humans to read and understand it, then he would have written it in an Extra-Terrestrial Language. He did not. It was meant for humans to read it.

I rest my case.


The MACC is in direct violation of Surah 2:82, and I quote:
"let no harm be done to the scribe or to the witness; and if you do (it) then surely it will be a transgression in you, and be careful of (your duty) to Allah, Allah teaches you, and Allah knows all things."
So far, 2 witnesses have died under your care. Syariah Courts, do take note of this.

Using hudud card to rally support

The Star 

Realising that Barisan Nasional is making strides with Malay support, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is now openly embracing hudud law in support of PAS' ambition. His move may cost him the votes of non-Malays and moderate Muslims.

AGAINST great risk of losing the support from non-Malay voters, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has come out to endorse hudud law in Kelantan, backing PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat's plan to implement the law and set up an Islamic state in the state.

The Opposition Leader's backing, although he said was in his personal capacity, is hugely different from his earlier commitment to religious pluralism and a multi-ethnic, secular society governed by secular, man-made laws.

The sudden change in attitude is a recognition on the part of PKR and PAS that they are rapidly losing Malay support with their concession to and dalliance with non-Malays, especially the Chinese voters.

This recognition had slowly dawned on them but was accelerated by the “Mat Sabu” incident in which PAS deputy president Mohamed Sabu has come under persistent fire for saying that the 26 policemen and their families who died defending the Bukit Kepong police station in 1950 against a band of communists led by Mat Indera, were not the real heroes.

The real heroes are Mat Indera and his communist band, Mat Sabu had claimed.

The incident has riled up many Malays and over 1,000 police reports were made.

Mat Sabu might have been charged for criminal defamation, but the case has strongly moved the Malay emotion and has become a rallying point against PAS.

No senior PAS leader has come to the defence of Mat Sabu who was left to manage the crisis on his own.

Umno has used the Mat Sabu case as a national rallying point whipping up strong reaction against him and PAS, accusing them as unpatriotic and showing little respect for the nation's founding fathers, Tunku Abdul Rahman and Datuk Onn Jaafar.

Constant reminders in the mainstream media that PAS had abandoned Islam and that it better drop the word “Islam” from its name has begun to rattle the party as well.

It is true that the party had abandoned its Islamic state policy for a welfare state at its last muktamar in July.

It also went on to elect Mat Sabu, a non-ulama who doesn't wear a turban and Arabic clothes, to its second highest elected office.

DAP especially was overjoyed with the way things had turned out at the PAS muktamar. But now that Anwar has sided with Nik Aziz on hudud, it has been left holding a time bomb in its lap.

DAP chairman Karpal Singh has always pointed out that hudud law was unconstitutional and the Federal Constitution would have to be amended to implement it.

That's why although the hudud law was passed in Kelantan and later in Terengganu, they were never implemented without the Federal Government's active support.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said on Thursday that the Federal Government would not implement hudud law as Malaysian society was not ready for it and investors would get worried.

It appears that Anwar, after years of preaching pluralism and Islamic moderation has come out in support of hudud law in Kelantan saying it was clear and would administer justice for their intended purposes.

It is a blow to all Anwarites. Both PAS and PKR are now seeking to win over the Malays with this sudden and fundamental change in policy towards hudud.

After four years, they now realise that only DAP would stand to benefit from their dalliance with the non-Malays.

But it is too late in the day to reverse track and try to appease the fundamentalist Malays with the promise of an Islamic state.

By coming out in support of hudud they are also alienating many Malays who oppose the law and had supported PKR's multi-racialism.

That section of support for PKR is also now in danger with Anwar's readiness to embrace hudud law in Kelantan.

The nation was founded on one set of secular laws and only one.

To introduce another set, no matter if it does not involve non-Muslims, is a radical move without precedent and will significantly impact on every facet of our life.

DAP, which has championed secular law, must come out in the open now and state whether it too supports hudud on the grounds that it does not involved non-Muslims.

What about the moderate Muslims who oppose hudud but support DAP?

The issue is fundamental and sits at the core of the relationship among Pakatan Rakyat parties.

Can they run and carry a theological party like PAS whose only ambition is to create an Islamic state?

Nik Aziz has made himself very clear on the matter. He is all for hudud law in Kelantan and when Pakatan Rakyat captures the country, for all of Malaysia.

That has been the pillar of PAS' struggle since the party's inception in 1951.

Politicians are ruled by political expediency and Anwar is no different. Realising that he is losing crucial Malay support, Anwar is forced to come out to endorse hudud law and support Nik Aziz's plan in Kelantan, leaving DAP out in the cold.

Palestine Submitted Application To Become UN Member State

By Nani Rahayu Yusof

NEW YORK, Sept 24 (Bernama) -- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas submitted an application for Palestine to become a United Nations member state yesterday.

Abbas handed over the application to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the UN Headquarters in New York before addressing the General Assembly. Palestine currently has observer status at the UN.

Under the provisions of the UN Charter, the Secretary-General is tasked with verifying any letter requesting UN membership, after which he sends it to the Security Council and the General Assembly.

The application is considered by the council, which decides whether or not to recommend admission to the 193-member assembly, which has to adopt a resolution for the admission of any new member state.

Abbas told the assembly that Palestine is applying for full membership of the UN on the basis of the June 4 1967 borders.

"Palestine is being reborn. This is my message," he said, adding that he hoped it did not have to wait long for the application to be approved.

"I call upon Mr Secretary-General to expedite transmittal of our request to the Security Council, and I call upon the distinguished members of the Security Council to vote in favour of our full membership. I also appeal to the states that have not yet done so to recognize the State of Palestine.", he told the General Assembly as many delegates gave him a standing ovation.

Some delegates again gave the Palestinian Authority leader a standing ovation, with a few even whistling in support, when Abbas showed a copy of the application submitted to Ban.

Body snatching: There's a thing called compassion

There is doing a job, and there is doing a job properly. There is no need to barge into a funeral at midnight with the grieving mother there.'

Tussle over body takes another strange twist

Lim Chong Leong: The issue is not whether Lawrence Selvanathan converted or not, but the heartless manner in which the so-called authorities came at midnight to serve a Syariah Court order on the grieving family and in front of his mother.

There is doing a job, and there is doing a job properly. There is no need to barge into a funeral at midnight with the grieving mother there. There a thing called compassion.

It is like the Gestapo grabbing the Polish rabbis in the 1930s. The SS of the Nazi fascist regime were also doing their job when they transported several million Jews and gassed them. Doing one's job is not a reason to be a bigot.

Had it been the other way round, would you say they were only doing their job?

Ggg: The police came at midnight to serve a Syariah Court order on the family? So now Syariah Court jurisdiction extends to non-Muslims?

These are unnecessary squabbles. How many more will it take to put this matter to rest? Shouldn't the person who cared for the person when he was alive have more right than anyone else?

Anonymous_417c: It's the majority versus minority The minority community has made a mistake by taking the law into their hands. The implication is that there will be even greater action by the majority in future cases.

Chikadee: I am a Muslim and I don't understand the police and JHEAINS' (Negeri Sembilan Islamic Affairs Department) actions. Our registration and document processes leaves much to be desired.

It is between the deceased and God. The rites is not going to benefit anybody. What good does it do to hurt the family in this time of sorrow. Does it make any difference? This is stupid and very insensitive of the police and JHEAINS.

Tolonglah: Does it mean that all assets and properties of late Lawrence will be confiscated by JHEAINS?

Clean and Clear: I do not think that Islam teaches this. It is the 'Islamic' bodies in Malaysia that teach this.

I don't think they are really interested in the dead body but the properties and money left behind. To ensure they snatch the body is to ensure they take possession of all the properties and money the deceased has so that these go to the 'Islamic' bodies.

This sort of Islam and behaviour of these bodies are bringing a bad name to Islam. They are driving away non-Muslims, instead of converting them.

The Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) is another issue: What kind of human beings serve a Syariah Court order on non-Muslims, and in the middle of the night?

I hope the true Muslims would speak up against this.

Fairness for all: If I recall correctly, the government came up with a ruling that anyone who wants to convert, a letter must be sent to their family members to inform them.

What happened to that ruling? Is it in force? Are the Islamic authorities allowed to just convert anyone they like when the repercussions towards the family is huge?

Are the Islamic authorities after non-Muslims' property? They found this loophole to get it from them, but deprive their wife and children of a decent life?

1Malaysia-sia: When you call the police for an emergency, you'd be lucky if one or two finally show up. But 30 came for this?

Anonymous_5fb: Lawrence's family is now facing legal action initiated by JHEAINS. How can this be? They are non-Muslims - how can the Syariah Court have jurisdiction over non-Muslims?

Yeow: Here are a couple of questions: How come Lawrence, who was all along in another religion, converted three days before his death with no family or friends to witness?

How come Lawrence did not tell his family of his conversion so that he could be given a Muslim burial?

If he was a genuine convert he would have insisted his desire for which rituals he would have wanted for his funeral.

Susah Kes: Where is PM Najib Razak when the country needs him? Oh yeah, I forgot - he's busy playing pranks with radio DJs.

Ferd Tan: Go ahead and charge the family and put them in jail at Umno peril in the coming general election. This may bring back the call of 'makkal sakti' by Indian Malaysians.

For the police to come to Lawrence's family at midnight to serve a Syariah Court order is harassment. We would have thought only evil comes like a thief in the night, certainly not our police.

Gerard Samuel Vijayan: If JHEAINS wants to make an issue out of it, then the family should challenge the constitutionality of the alleged powers that the religious authorities claim to have.

The circumstances surrounding the deceased's alleged conversion are highly suspicious and it is very unlikely that a devout Catholic would just wake up one morning and decide to become a Muslim unless he had some divine revelation which he forgot to tell his family about.

It is only in this country that Islam is all about fighting over a dead body rather than dealing with the huge social and moral problems facing Muslims.

Mohd Azmin Ishak: The Islamic Department is just doing part of their job. The deceased had converted to Islam. So, he was a Muslim.
Let us see whether that Pusat Dakwah Islamiyah can really show proof that Lawrence had converted to Islam. Then, let's see who is right.

Gandhi: There are so many ways in the world where people can show so much enthusiasm and create this world a peaceful place.

The deceased's family is mourning and in this early period of grieving, why does JHEAINS have to make the situation more troublesome?

Tussle over body takes another strange twist

(Malaysiakini) It appears the troubles have just piled up for the family of purported Muslim convert Lawrence Selvananthan, as his friends allegedly took matters into their own hands to cremate his body yesterday afternoon.

It is understood that Lawrence's friends, transporting his body to a church in Seremban for funeral rites, decided on their own to cremate his remains and bury the ashes in Segamat.

The situation has left the Lawrence's family in a fix, as they are now facing legal action initiated by the Negeri Sembilan Islamic Affairs Department (JHEAINS), said Port Dickson state assemblyperson Ravi Munusamy, who is acting as mediator in discussions between the family and religious officials.

Ravi (left) said police officers turned up at the family's home in Lukut around midnight to serve a syariah court order on the family, informing them that action would be taken against them.

"Because of that, the mother suffered some heart problems. She is still a bit sick now, and has not risen from bed yet.

"I advised them (police) not to come at midnight. If they want to discuss anything, they should come in the day," Ravi said when contacted by Malaysiakini.

Lawrence's body was at the centre of a claim by religious officials, who stopped his family from proceeding with his funeral service and burial yesterday on grounds that he had converted to Islam three days earlier.

The situation initially sparked a tense stand-off between family members and at least 30 police officers and JHEAINS officials, though they eventually entered into discussions with Ravi and a local priest representing the family.
'No proof he converted'

Ravi said the family are very unhappy over the incident and the ensuing situation they are now faced with, saying that they have not come across sufficient evidence to back the claim by the religious authorities.

"From what we understand, it takes three weeks to complete a conversion process, as a person needs to go through a course first.

"Here they are saying that he converted just three days ago.

"Secondly, he was never circumcised, and also he never informed his family.

“If he really converted, why is it that it was not shown on his death certificate?

"If he did convert, they should have keyed it in (the national registration database) on the day that he converted. After three days there was still nothing, so he was still not endorsed as a Muslim," Ravi said.

He noted that the family was now discussing their options with their lawyer on how to proceed with the court action by JHEAINS.

Attempts to contact the JHEAINS director have so far been futile. His office said he was in a meeting.

Devout Catholic and willing convert

Lawrence, 33-year-old father of one, was found unconscious in a parked lorry outside his store in KM9.6 Jalan Seremban, and declared dead on arrival at the Port Dickson Hospital sometime on Wednesday night.

Star today reported Pusat Dakwah Islamiyah officer Muhammad Zuwairi Baharudin as saying Lawrence had gone to the centre, with a friend named Shahul Hameed, to convert to Islam.

The officer is quoted as saying he had asked Lawrence, whose Muslim name he said was Zairy Abdullah, several times if he was certain about converting to Islam and that the latter had replied in the affirmative.

Zuwairi said he had recordings and photographs of the session.

The report also said Father Clement Lim of the Immaculate Conception Church had expressed shock at the news of Lawrence's conversion, saying the deceased was a "devout Catholic and an active member of the parish".

Gadhafi palace boasts many luxuries

Malaysian resort forced to scrap Miss Bikini night

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A beach resort in Muslim-majority Malaysia on Friday scrapped a publicity event for an international "Miss Bikini" pageant after officials warned it could promote indecent behavior.

The Pangkor Island Beach Resort had planned to host a preview of the pageant, which is scheduled to take place in Thailand later this year. However, government officials in Malaysia's northern Perak state issued a statement this week insisting the event would "tarnish the country's image."

The resort will proceed with a "Full Moon Beach Party" on Oct. 7 but will cancel the "Miss Bikini" preview that was to be part of the program, resort spokeswoman Doris Chin told The Associated Press.

The preview would have featured an ice sculpture and announcements of pageant details, but no women parading in bikinis, Chin said. The two-day barbecue beach party with a disc jockey music competition is expected to attract 1,500 guests.

Controversy surrounding the event surfaced partly because some Muslim activists in Perak believed the resort was organizing a bikini-wearing contest in Pangkor, a fishing island that authorities often promote for its idyllic seaside and boating activities.

Hamidah Othman, the state government's official in charge of tourism and investment, said authorities would not allow such an event, which she said could "cause a negative impact and shame the nation."

Activists were also concerned because photos on Facebook of a beach party at the resort last year showed several young bikini-clad women, mainly from Malaysia's ethnic Chinese non-Muslim minority. Chin said the resort cannot prevent female guests from wearing bikinis, but it will ensure that no women who do so appear onstage during the party to "respect the government requirements and local culture."

Malaysia is known for conservative policies for issues related to sexual morality. Unmarried Muslim couples caught alone together in hotel rooms and other private places can be jailed for an offense described as "close proximity." Muslim women who become pregnant without getting married can also be imprisoned for up to two years in some states.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Hindraf rally: Last man standing found guilty

The sole person who maintained his plea of innocence in the trial over a charge of illegal assembly during the Hindraf rally in November 2007 was today found guilty by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.

murugan hindraf rally trial 230911M Murugan, 47, was given a 14 days' jail and fined RM2,000 by judge Mohamad Sekeri Mamat.

Murugan is the only one out of more than 100 people, who faced similar charges in courts in Kuala Lumpur and Shah Alam, to maintain his plea of not guilty.

Some of those who pleaded guilty midway through their trials said they did so due to the inconvenience of having to attend court.

They were ordered to pay fines ranging from RM750 to RM1,500.

Judge Sekeri allowed a stay of execution of the jail sentence pending appeal and maintained the bond amount.

However, a stay was not granted for the fine of RM2,000.

Accused: It was worth it

Earlier, DPP Diar Isda pushed for a deterrent sentence, saying a message must be sent to the public that such acts could not be tolerated.

"Over the past few years, there have been several illegal assemblies. An appropriate sentence will be a deterrent," Diar said.

Outside the court, Murugan told Malaysiakini that he was not deterred by the judgment, maintaining that his participation in the Hindraf rally and subsequent three-year trial ordeal was justified.

"In my view, what I did was right. We were figthing for the rights of our community.
"Even though having to attend the hearings caused me financial problems and inconvenience, this is worth it," said Murugan, who works as a security guard and is the sole breadwinner for his family.

His counsel, M Visvanathan, is upbeat about his client's chances on appeal because he believes the trial judged had erred in his judgment.

'Why no towel and toothbrush?'

One contentious point is the judge's ruling that Murugan's testimony that he was present during the rally because he was working at a nearby car park the night before was not proven.

murugan hindraf rally trial 230911"The judge faulted him for not bringing a towel and toothbrush. He was an attendant at the car park for just one night as it was a last minute arrangement," Visvanathan (right) said.

He said that judge had also faulted his client for failing to produce the car park owner to testify.

In addition to this, Visvanathan said, the prosecution had failed to put the investigating officer on the witness stand, which he said was abnormal.

He said the burden was on the prosecution to prove its case but in this case, there appeared to be a higher burden on the accused to prove his innocence.

"Clearly, the absence of the investigating officer shows the burden is on the accused, rather than on the prosecution. This definitely needs to be tested in the High Court," he said.

Flag remark: Six months suspension for Manoharan

(Malaysiakini) Kota Alam Shah assemblyperson M Manoharan has been handed a six months suspension by the DAP disciplinary committee for his controversial remarks over the national flag.

Committee chairperson and DAP vice-chairperson Tan Kok Wai announced this after a marathon session of the disciplinary body at party headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today.
hindraf btn 151209 manoharanWhen contacted, Manoharan (right) said he will appeal the decision and declined further comment.
“He is suspended for six months with immediate effect, for making a statement that is improper and unbecoming of a party standard bearer and an assemblyperson,” said Tan in a press conference after the nearly four-hour meeting.

He said that the committee, which met from 3pm to nearly 7pm, felt that this was the proper punishment for the errant party leader.

While Maoharan had removed his offending remarks and made an open apology, the committee feels that his offence is a grave matter that demands punishment.

The Kota Alam Shah representative was called before the committee to tender his defence today but could not appear as he was in court, leaving it to the wisdom of the party body to judge him.

Manoharan posted a message on his Facebook page prior to Malaysia Day saying that instead of the Jalur Gemilang he will be distributing the DAP flag on the national holiday as he felt that the national flag represents the BN.

This triggered a backlash from Netizens and from politicians across the political divide who chastised him for his comments.

The state assemblyperson has since removed his comments and left a apology on his Facebook page.

He will have 14 days to appeal his sentence to the party central executive committee.

During the suspension, Manoharan will cease to be a DAP member and lose all rights and priveleges accorded to his party station.

However, he will remain Kota Alam Shah assemblyperson and is expected to carry out his duties as per normal in serving his constituency.

His party membership will automatically be reinstated after six months.

Tan added that Manoharan's statements were in no way a reflection of the patriotic spirit that the DAP has always and shall continue to uphold.
Four suspended over misappropriations

In a related development, the committee also slapped Bentayan assemblyperson Gwee Tong Hiang and three others from the party's Bakri division in Johor with a six month suspension, this time for misappropriating party funds.

Gwee and the trio had apparently purchased a second-hand four-wheel-drive Mitsubishi Storm and registered the vehicle under a company he has an interest in, despite the vehicle being bought with party funds.

The matter was brought to the party's attention by two branches from Bakri.

The vehicle has since been transferred to a DAP trust as of yesterday.

The four will also have 14 days to appeal their sentence to the CEC.

Tan stressed that the party does not deserve the trust and support from the rakyat if they are not disciplined and as such require the utmost exemplary behaviour from the members and especially party leaders and elected representatives.

Ayah cari anak hilang

Ambiga conferred France’s top civilian award

Barety appends the award to Ambiga’s (left) dress during the conferment ceremony at the French Residence in Kuala Lumpur, September 23, 2011. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 — Resplendent in a black-and-gold sari, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan was tonight conferred France’s highest honour, the Chevalier de Legion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour).

As he pinned the distinctive five-pointed medal on her sari, France’s ambassador to Malaysia, Marc Barety, said the award was to recognise Ambiga’s dedication to human rights and to boost the rule of law in Malaysia.
Ambiga joins an exclusive club of some 20 to 25 Malaysians conferred the French award. Among them were the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, airline maverick Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and Ipoh-born Hollywood actress Datuk Michelle Yeoh, Barety said.

Yeoh was recognised in 2007 for her contribution to film and the media.

Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Zeti Aziz was another recipient this year, but was unable to attend the award ceremony, Barety said.
“Ambiga is the right person to get it,” Barety told reporters, adding the latest announcements on political transformation by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak after the Bersih 2.0 street rally on July 9 demanding free and fair elections proved the merit of her fight.

He noted the leadership of the then president of the Malaysian Bar in a 2008 forum on Orang Asli issues, jointly organised by the French embassy and the European Union, as having contributed strongly to the nomination of Ambiga.
The order of the Legion of Honour is a merit-based award and there are only 55,000 recipients worldwide at any one time.

“I think it reflects well on Malaysia’s civil society,” Ambiga said in her acceptance speech, with a nod to Najib’s latest pledge to repeal the Internal Security Act and other security laws that allowed for preventive detention.

“It really shows how important civil society is; they are the eyes and ears of the rakyat,” Ambiga said, vowing to continue her charge to improve the rule of law.

Pakatan must come clean on hudud

Barisan Nasional leaders want Pakatan Rakyat to state its stand clearly over the implementation of hudud laws in the country.

PETALING JAYA: A Barisan Nasional minister today mocked Pakatan Rakyat over the proposed implementation of hudud laws, while other BN leaders urged the opposition to make its stand clear.

Minister in the Prime Miniter’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz said PAS should just go ahead and implement hudud laws in Kelantan if it wanted to.

“If PAS wants to do it, if it claims it can implement hudud, then what’s stopping the party (from doing it)? Just do it,” he told FMT.

“If the Quran is the constitution of PAS, then why do you need permission from mere mortals like us?” Nazri asked.

He said for the BN coalition, hudud was never an issue, adding that it was PAS which has been making the most noise about it.

“As far as I’m concerned, they (PAS leaders) are all liars; what they do is they use religion to instil fear into conservative Muslims just to get worldly benefits,” Nazri said.

He, however, declined to comment on Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s comments that hudud law was an intergral part of Islam.

Yesterday, Muhyiddin also said the country was not ready for hudud law.

Joining the fray today, MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek said that his party would withdraw from BN if its partner Umno considered implementing hudud law, while former president Ong Tee Keat said he was also against it.

Ong said the whole debate over hudud was mere “political posturing and rhetoric just to woo voters”.

Real acid test

“Maybe certain quarters may have in mind to really implement it, but when we ask them if that is Pakatan’s stance, there’s no answer from them,” said Ong who is the Pandan MP.

“(Opposition Leader) Anwar (Ibrahim) says he supports (hudud laws), but would he proceed further and make this the policy of Pakatan when it comes to power? That’s the real acid test,” Ong said, adding that he was speaking in his personal capacity and not on behalf of MCA.

Ong said he would “never agree to or accept such a law” being enforced, adding that it was impossible for a state to bypass federal laws.

“The proponents argue that only Muslims who break the law have reason to fear but, in my opinion, this contravenes the Federal Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land,” he said.

Ong said that the Federal Constitution was “quite secular” in nature, although this fact is not popular to the Muslims.

“This has been accepted by all parties since independence. But due to political expediency, calls for hudud laws arose,” Ong said, adding that PAS in the 1970s never asked for it but only raised the issue in the 1980s.

MIC has also called on Pakatan to make its stand clear on the implementation of hudud law.
“It is a fundamental issue and people need to know what they are voting for in the next general election,” MIC secretary-general S Murugesan said.

“Anwar’s statement has exposed a deep chasm in the fundamentals of Pakatan… For far too long, Pakatan leaders have glossed over and side-stepped the issue.

“No longer. They better come clean and declare to their own members and to the public where they stand. Anwar can no longer eat his cake and have it too,” Murugesan said.

‘Don’t be desperate politicians’

A Gerakan Youth leader also made a similar call to Pakatan to come clean on the hudud issue.

“Should Anwar become the prime minister in future… will he implement hudud law for the whole of Malaysia?” asked Kedah Youth chief Tan Keng Liang.

Tan said people in Kedah also wanted to know whether the state would be next if Kelantan went ahead with enforcing hudud law.

Tan, who has long been against hudud law, said existing laws are already in place and hudud law is not needed.

“If there is a law that needs to be refined, then we refine it. We don’t make a total change just because you felt like it and your religion asks you to do it,” Tan said.

He urged the opposition not to be “desperate politicians” trying to make drastic changes just to suit their agenda – which was to get more supporters based on religious sentiments.

He added that Anwar was now supporting hudud as PKR is losing Malay supporters.

“I fully understand that Muslims are bound by their religion, but they must understand that Malaysia is a moderate country. Since independence, we already have a system… why do Anwar and PAS want to change it?”

Tan also urged PAS to state clearly what is the framework of the hudud laws. “You say non-Muslims won’t be affected. Can you tell us if, for example, a non-Muslim raped a Muslim, which law applies?”

Freedom hijacked

Meanwhile, Koo Chin Nam, a former syariah lawyer, said that the debate over hudud laws was all “hot air” as it was clearly against the Federal Constitution.

“If you talk about Merdeka, the freedom we fought for has been hijacked if we are looking at governing Malaysia with different kinds of laws. We are going against what our founding fathers had promised and therefore, the integrity of the state is at stake now,” said Koo, who is also MCA deputy chairman of the national religious bureau.

“No political party should go against the wise words of our founding fathers. So I ask: Where is your Malaysian Malaysia now? Where is your welfare state now? Where?” said Koo.

Yesterday, Anwar said he supported Kelantan’s longstanding plans to implement hudud laws, adding that the law proposed by the PAS government protected the rights of non-Muslims.

Anwar, however, stressed that the opposition pact had not discussed the matter and this was only his “personal opinion”.

Kelantan Menteri Besar Nik Aziz Nik Mat also said he was prepared to see the DAP leave Pakatan if it objected to his views about implementing hudud law.

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had challenged PAS to implement the law as he was no longer prime minister, but Nik Aziz said Mahathir’s prohibition was still valid and only Najib could withdraw the federal government’s objections.

Outside force working to destroy Kita

Kita central executive committee member KS Kottapan says that there is a puppet-master orchestrating the attacks against Zaid Ibrahim.

PETALING JAYA: Certain money-minded leaders are the cause of the rift in Kita, central executive committee member KS Kottapan claimed today.

He said that these leaders, who have been openly criticising party president Zaid Ibrahim in the past two weeks, wanted to drive the party in the wrong direction.

He added that some of these critics have been sacked by the party. He also alleged that these sacked leader were being manipulated by some outside force to destabilise Kita.

“I received a telephone call on Sept 13 midnight from a party leader, inviting me for a meeting. He said he was organising the meeting without Zaid’s knowledge, and aimed at toppling Zaid as the party chief,” he told FMT today.

However, the meeting did not take place as the said leader was sacked from the party the next day.

“I strongly believe someone from behind the screen is the puppet master. He is orchestrating the attacks on Zaid and Kita,” Kottapan said.

He added that the party has started investigating its internal problems involving the so-called “unhappy” leaders.

“We will get rid of all these viruses which are affecting Kita,” he said.

Kita has been rocked by internal turmoil following the sacking of its central executive committee member Muhammad Firdaus Christopher on Sept 14. Firdaus was also in charge of the party’s administration.

Along with Firdous, party secretary-general Abdul Latif Abdul Tambi and former treasurer Rashid Azad Khan were also given the boot for insulting Zaid and working against the party’s interest.

In retaliation, the trio charged that Zaid held a tight grip over the party, often acting as a dictator. They also said that there was no transparency in the nine-month-old party.

In recent days, several state Kita leaders have joined hands with the trio in attacking Zaid. Some have even called for Zaid to step down and hand over the party to younger leaders.

Tiff over salary

Kotappan, however, said that the trio’s anger with Zaid was over the suspension of their monthly salary which they had received since December last year.

“The salary was stopped three months ago as the party was suffering a financial crunch and since then Firdaus and Abd Latif had stopped attending party meetings,” he said.

“They then decided to ‘hijack’ the party as Zaid had expressed his unhappiness with their attitude. This was why they were sacked,” he added.

He also refuted claims by the trio that Zaid had sacked them unilaterally.

“The decision to sack them was made by the political bureau, and not by Zaid,” added Kotappan.

He believed that Kita would overcome its problems soon and be ready for the general election.

What is meant by Hudud?

By Masterwordsmith  

The origins and obligations of Sharia law

Sharia is the body of Islamic religious law based on the Qu'ran and the words and actions of the prophet Mohammed and his followers.

In the West, Sharia has become synonymous with the brutal punishments meted out in Islamic states, but the majority of laws are to do with everyday issues, ranging from personal hygiene to banking.

Hard line Muslim leaders claim that Sharia is eternal and can never be changed, while moderates argue that it is not a strict set of laws but should be open to interpretation.

Sunni and Shia Muslims follow different schools of thought in interpreting the Sharia laws, but all Muslims are required to live according to Sharia wherever they are.

Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran have implemented Sharia as the legal system of the country, but in Britain it has no legal standing, despite the introduction of Sharia-compliant banking and food.

Examples of obligatory laws

• Earnings must be lawfully obtained

• Food must be halal

• Personal hygiene must be of a very high standard

• Couples must have a full bath in flowing water after intercourse

• The body must be covered modestly

• Prayers must be said five times a day

• Believers must fast during Ramadan

By Clare Dwyer Hogg and Jonathan Wynne-Jones, The Telegraph

Sharia is an Arabic word meaning "the right path". The Sharia comes from the Qu'ran, the sacred book of Islam, which Muslims consider the actual word of God. The Sharia also stems from the Prophet Muhammad's teachings and interpretations of those teachings by certain Muslim legal scholars.

Muslims believe that Allah (God) revealed his true will to Muhammad, who then passed on Allah's commands to humans in the Koran.

Since the Sharia originated from Allah, Muslims consider it sacred. Between the seventh century when Muhammad died and the 10th century, many Islamic legal scholars attempted to interpret the Sharia and to adapt it to the expanding Muslim Empire.

The classic Sharia of the 10th century represented an important part of Islam's golden age. From that time, the Sharia has continued to be reinterpreted and adapted to changing circumstances and new issues. In the modern era, the influences of Western colonialism generated efforts to codify it.

Following Muhammad's death in A.D. 632, companions of the Prophet ruled Arabia for about 30 years. These political-religious rulers, called Caliphs, continued to develop Islamic law with their own pronouncements and decisions. The first Caliphs also conquered territories outside Arabia including Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Persia, and Egypt.

As a result, elements of Jewish, Greek, Roman, Persian, and Christian church law also influenced the development of the Sharia.

Islamic law grew along with the expanding Muslim Empire. The Umayyad dynasty Caliphs, who took control of the empire in 661, extended Islam into India, Northwest Africa, and Spain. The Umayyads appointed Islamic judges, kadis, to decide cases involving Muslims. (Non-Muslims kept their own legal system.) Knowledgeable about the Koran and the teachings of Muhammad, kadis decided cases in all areas of the law.

Following a period of revolts and civil war, the Umayyads were overthrown in 750 and replaced by the Abbasid dynasty. During the 500-year rule of the Abbasids, the Sharia reached its full development.

Under their absolute rule, the Abbasids transferred substantial areas of criminal law from the kadis to the government. The kadis continued to handle cases involving religious, family, property, and commercial law.

The Abbasids encouraged legal scholars to debate the Sharia vigorously. One group held that only the divinely inspired Koran and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad should make up the Sharia. A rival group, however, argued that the Sharia should also include the reasoned opinions of qualified legal scholars. Different legal systems began to develop in different provinces.

From this very brief history of the Islamic empire and the development of the Sharia, some scholars argue that the Sharia evolved over time and transformed to meet the needs to society during their respective times. In other words, the Shariah was not static but dynamic.

Other scholars argue that the Sharia was already present during the time of the Prophet and was already fully developed by the time the Prophet died. In other words, this was what was laid down by the Prophet and merely continued after the Prophet died (meaning, the Sharia did not evolve or transform over time). This argument is to support the theory that the Sharia came from God and was not ‘invented’ by man over hundreds of years following the death of the Prophet.

In an attempt to reconcile the rival groups, a brilliant legal scholar named Shafiee systematized and developed what were called the "roots of the law". Shafiee argued that in solving a legal question, the kadi or government judge should first consult the Koran. If the answer were not clear there, the judge should refer to the authentic sayings and decisions of Muhammad. If the answer continued to elude the judge, he should then look to the consensus of Muslim legal scholars on the matter. Still failing to find a solution, the judge could form his own answer by analogy from "the precedent nearest in resemblance and most appropriate" to the case at hand.

This clearly shows that even the scholars themselves could not agree on whether the Sharia is God’s law or man’s creation based on interpretation of the Koran and the teachings (examples) of the Prophet.

There are five laws under the Sharia law. Basically, these are:

1. ibadah (ritual worship)
2. mu'amalat (transactions and contracts)
3. adab (morals and manners),
4. i'tiqadat (beliefs)
5. 'uqubat (punishments).

There are three categories of crimes in Sharia law. These are:

1. qisas
2. hudud
3. tazir.

Qisas involves personal injury and has several categories: intentional murder (first-degree), quasi-intentional murder (second-degree), unintentional murder (manslaughter), intentional battery, and unintentional battery.

A qisas offense is treated as a civil case rather than an actual criminal case. If the accused party is found guilty, the victim (or in death, victim's family) determines the punishment, choosing either retribution (qesas-e-nafs), which means execution in the case of intentional murder, imprisonment, and in some cases of intentional battery, the amputation of the limb that was lost; or compensation (diyya) for the loss of life/limb/injury.

The sharia judge (or, in modern sharia systems like those of Iran or Iraq, the state) can convict for and legally punish only qesas crimes on his own authority. However, the state itself may prosecute for crimes committed alongside the qisas offense. If the victim's family pardons the criminal, in addition to the sharia punishment he would normally receive a tazir prison sentence (such as ten to twenty years in prison) for crimes such as "intentional loss of life", "tazir assault and battery" "disturbance of the peace", and so forth.

The second category of crimes is hudud (or hadd). Hudud crimes are crimes whose penalties were laid down by the Qu'ran and are considered to be "crimes against God". The hudud crimes are:

1. adultery (zina), which includes adultery, fornication, incest/pedophilia, rape, and pimping
2. apostasy/blasphemy
3. defamation (meaning false accusation of any of these things)
4. sodomy/lesbianism (or sodomy rape)
5. theft
6. use of intoxicants (alcohol/drug use)
7. "waging war against God and society" (rebellion)

Hudud, therefore, is merely one part of the very broad laws that come under the Islamic Sharia. However, this appears to be the only focus for debate, in particular in Malaysia.

Thus, the current brouhaha about Hudud is only a small part of a very vast Sharia system. In reality, we already have the Shariah in Malaysia. The only thing we do NOT have yet is the Hudud part of Sharia.

Upon closer inspection, the ISA is worse than Hudud. Under the ISA you can be detained BEFORE you commit a crime. That is why the ISA is called a 'preventive law'. Under the Shariah you CAN'T be punished for a crime you have not committed yet. The Sedition Act, Criminal Defamation, etc. are more draconian than Hudud by far.

If we compare apples to apples, there are many elements of the Sharia which are fairer than common laws, and vice versa of course. So we can't say Hudud is better or common law is better. It all depends on specifics. Maybe the one bone of contention is the punishment for theft (hand cutting). If we resolve that one needling issue then the rest is not that much an issue.

Are we opposed to Hudud because it is 'ISLAMIC LAW" OR BECAUSE IT IS UNJUST?

What if it was not called Hudud or Sharia but called 'Common Law'? Would it be acceptable then? For instance, if the Parliament amends laws that decree the punishment for the crime of corruption is firing squad (like China) but it is not called Shariah/Hudud would that be acceptable?

What if Parliament passed a law that the punishment for rape is castration? But this is NOT Islamic law and the word Hudud would not appear. Would many support it then? I would!

Can we disagree that rapists and murderers should not be punished? In fact, many feel Hudud is not even severe enough and they want it more severe. What many do not realise is that the hand cutting punishment is not an automatic thing. The criminal must first be assessed as to why he or she stole. And if it is because of poverty, then instead of cutting off the thief's hand, he or she has to be put under welfare and be taken care of by the state. In fact, the head of the welfare department instead would be punished for neglecting the poor and destitute that resulted in them having to steal to survive.

The issue is the word ISLAM in that law of Hudud, which, as you can see, is a SMALL part of the Sharia.

So what is really happening in the debate? Is hudud being used again by DSAI to curry favor with PAS and as a leverage against DAP to bargain for seat allocation? He expresses his PERSONAL opinion, and then claims he will consult PKR on it later (read more here).

We cannot afford to be battling on such issues and lose sight of the REAL BATTLE before us - winning the next GE! Politics and religion do not mix. Religion should not be used as a subject for political debates or policy decisions. Nip the problem in the bud before this issue brings about the downfall of PR! Let's keep our focus and fight the real enemy!

I suppose, this is Malaysia for you. Malaysians would debate till the cows come home about the Internal Security Act (ISA) whereas the ISA is just one small part of many things that is wrong with the Malaysian justice system and the Malaysian judiciary.

Written by Raja Petra Kamarudin and Masterwordsmith

*This post was written as a result of a discussion on hudud via Skype chat on 23rd September from 5pm to 7.30pm. Masterwordsmith acknowledges with grateful thanks the guidance and input of RPK on this topic. 

Nepal: Children for sale

With weak law enforcement, can foreigners adopting children from Nepal be sure that they are really orphans?
Orphaned, abandoned or trafficked? That is the question facing foreigners who wish to adopt Nepali children.

International adoption services have provided a lucrative business to poverty-stricken Nepal. But in 2007, Nepal stopped adoptions for two years as it investigated claims of child trafficking.

After adoptions resumed, law enforcement remained weak.

By the end of 2010, many countries including the US, stopped granting visas to children from Nepal. This was in response to unscrupulous agents falsifying children's status as orphans so they could be adopted overseas.

Today, loopholes remain in Nepal's adoption processes and the government has been slow to formulate new policies, creating more problems for children in orphanages.

101 East investigates the scam behind an industry borne from the desire to love a child.

Rosmah Launches 1MINE To Empower Indian Business Community

PETALING JAYA, Sept 23 (Bernama) -- The wife of the Prime Minister, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor launched the 1Malaysian Indian Enterprise Network to empower the business network of the Indian community through the concept of 'Unity Via Business'.

She said the setting up of 1MINE was timely as it could assist more entrepreneurs to promote and introduce their products to other traders.

"Studies found 70 per cent of new businesses expanded through a process of business networking.

"There is also a view that business networking is the way forward to market businesses currently," she said at a charity night held in conjunction with the launch of 1MINE here.

Also present was 1MINE president Datuk S.Gopinath.

Rosmah said business networking between two businesses would eventually benefit both parties.

"Success in business is not achieved overnight, in fact, it takes several years.

"What is important for entrepreneurs is to acquire entrepreneurial knowledge and skills as well as being alert to the business environment," she added.