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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Diwali decorations at Bhagyalakshmi Mata Temple objected by Muslims of Hyderabad. Why Muslims do not tolerate Temple Bells & Diwali Illuminations?

Incomplete Diwali decoration at Bhagyalakshmi Mata Temple at Charminar due to Islamic objections.

Upananda Brahmachari from Bhagya Nagar (Hyderabad) || 10-11-12 (10th Nov. 2012) :: This Diwali is not so delightful for the Hindus in Hyderabad. Islamic maroon in MIM ( Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen) have taken the vow to hamper the Diwali Celebration at Historical Bhagyalakshmi Temple at Charminar in the city at any cost. So they are not ready to allow any makeshift pandal decoration for the yearly Diwali Celebration at Bhagyalakshmi Mata Temple, in the same style of the Kashmiri agitators, how they were not allowing the use 99 acres of land for Amarnath Pilgrimage in 2008. Then the Kashmiri subversive elements saw a bogey of demographic change of J&K due to Amarnath pilgrimage and for the temporary transfer of that lands to Amarnath Shrine Board. Now, the Hyderabadi maroons just feel the disturbance and embarrassment for Allah due to the temple bells of Bahyalakshi Mata Mandir and illuminations of Diwali. Actually those creatures are the dwellers of darkness and can’t bear any ray of light.
Protest Maharati by Bajrang Dal & Sri Ram Sena Activist for the demand of Diwali Decoration at Bhagyalakshmi Temple at Charminar, Hyderabad.
Tensions prevail again in old city Sunday following rumours that the management of Bhagyalakshmi Temple had taken up its expansion work near the Charminar. Actually, the Temple committee is only trying to set a temporary shed adjacent to it for accommodating the devotees to attend the yearly Diwali Celebration in the Temple as a long drawn traditions. Due to the status quo order passed by the Hon’ble Andhra Pradesh High Court on 5th November, the MIM idiots spread various types of rumours so that the Diwali decoration in the Baghyalakshmi Mata Temple cannot be done properly, as reports came in.
Hindu Retaliation in Bhagyanagar (Hyderabad) is taking a new dimension.
‘As tension mounted in some parts of old city over the rumours, the area was cordoned off and some leaders of MIM party were prevented from trying to proceed towards Charminar, violating prohibitory orders banning assembly of five or more persons, police said.

“Six MIM legislators and its two councillors were taken into custody as a precautionary measure for not allowing police to maintain status quo orders of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, a senior police officer said.

The MIM leaders alleged that despite the state High Court ordering status quo, some groups were carrying out the expansion work.

However, Bhagyalaxmi Devalaya Parirakshana Samithi convener Bhagavanth Rao refuted the charges saying that they have been maintaining court’s orders and merely took up works to decorate temple on the occasion of Diwali.

Meanwhile, city Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma appealed to people to maintain peace and not to believe the rumours.

The usually busy roads leading to the 400-year-old Charminar monument were deserted with police sealing off all the routes by erecting barricades and barbed fencing.

Police intensified patrolling in the sensitive areas of the old city that witnessed communal clashes last week.

Prohibitory orders banning assembly of five or more people remained in force in areas falling under five police station limits of South Zone in old city from November 8.

A large number of policemen including the Rapid Action Force (RAF) were deployed in communally sensitive areas.
BJP’s Protest for Diwali Cause at Bhagyalakshmi temple at Charminar, Hyderabad.
BJP on Saturday took out a rally in protest against the state government for not allowing to undertake decoration work at century old temple adjacent to Charminar, on the occasion of Diwali festival.

On a petition filed by MIM, the state High Court recently gave a direction to maintain status quo as on October 30.’ ['-' from Hindu].

For the hardness from both the communities, the normal life of the peace loving people are grossly hampered.

The prominent Hindu leader of Sri Ram Yuba Sena and Telgu Desham councillor, Thakur Raja Singh alleged the softness of the ruling party towards MIM perpetrators. In his facebook page Raja Singh remarked: “T. Raja Singh ko Bhagyalaxmi Mata Mandir jaane se pehle he roka gaya aur ACP dwara arrest kiya gaya. DCP ko Raja Bhai ne kal tak ka time diya hai. Agar mandir ka kaam shuru nahi hua toh iske anjaam k liye taiyaar rahe. Aao Hindu bhaiyo kal ek naya itihaas likhe. Jai Sri Ram”

However, the decoration of Diwali is still pending at Bhagyalakshmi Mata Temple, even in the day of ‘Dhanteras’ – the eve of Diwali. From Amarnath to Hyderabad, Kolkata to Dwaraka, Muslims of India are repeatedly challenging the festivals of Hindus. Numbers of Hindu Pujas and Festivals are decreasing due to the Islamic resistance. But, while Hindus will start a real resistance to save their Dharma, these anti-Hindus will find no place in Hindustan.
Justice for Hindus?

Updates from Hyderabad: 12-11-2012 : 1. Police Commissioner Anurag Shrama said that he followed “COURT ORDERS” which were implemented after reports from ASI and other AUTHORITIES who were served the COURT ORDERS by the HIGH COURT.
According to police. In Yesterday violence 4 (four) RTC buses were pelted with stones, 2 (two) private vehicles were damaged and one ATM was damaged, police booked cases related to incidents of violence. Apparently “City is peaceful.”.

2. Heavy restrictions and deployment are seen around Charminar and Sri Mata Bhagyalakshmi Temple. Temple priest preparing for Special Puja of Deepwali in the Temple without any special festive decoration of the Temple.

3. Pujyasri Paripoornananda Saraswati Swamiji was arrested and was taken to Gandi Nagar Police Station when Swamiji was Going towards Bhagya Lakshmi Temple In Hyderabad to visit.

4. MIM (All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen) withdrawn support from Congress Govt. of Andhra Pradesh. And perhaps MIM perpetrators are planning a ‘direct action’ against Hindus of Hyderabad.

5. Hindus of Hyderabad are ready to face any challenge of Anti National Force ith the Blessings of Ma Bhavani and under the Leadership of Thakur Raja Singh and other Hindu prominents.

"Canada will burn praise Allah"

Coronation Park Victory Peace memorial

 TORONTO - A vandal defaced a west-end war memorial shortly after Remembrance Day ceremonies wrapped on Sunday.

"Canada will burn praise Allah," was written with permanent marker across the monument in Coronation Park, police said.

A passerby alerted cops about the damage.

City of Toronto workers were on scene Sunday night cleaning the memorial.

Police are investigating.

Son reports mom to UAE cops for torturing help

Woman, on trial for murder, confesses to beating maid

An Emirati woman accused of torturing her housemaid to death is standing trail at the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court. She allegedly poured boiling water over the victim and beat her up with an electrical wire.
The incident was reported at the police station by the woman’s son. The cops discovered the body ridden with injuries and burn marks and emitted a foul smell. Forensic reports confirmed the death was a result of multiple injuries sustained by the victim which was at least 10 days old.

The accused’s daughter testified that she had seen her mother pour boiling water on the maid and throw pepper powder into her eyes.

The accused, meanwhile, confirmed she had beaten her up with a wire for disobedience. However, she did not mention how she died.

Prosecutors said the suspect upon realizing the house help had succumbed to her torture called her daughters and ordered them to sport gloves and change the deceased’s clothes.

The court is adjourned until December 31.

Singapore education minister: Sex blogger’s conduct ‘reprehensible’

The couple used the now-defunct blog to chronicle their sexual exploits.

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 12 ― Singapore Education Minister Heng Swee Keat has described the behaviour of Malaysian sex blogger Alvin Tan, who is a scholarship student in the republic, as “reprehensible and unbecoming of a scholar”, the island state’s Straits Times newspaper reported today.

Heng was responding in Singapore’s Parliament to MPs who demanded to know what punishment had been meted out by the National University of Singapore (NUS) to Tan.

NUS has drawn public ire for its refusal to disclose how it is punishing the sex-blogging Malaysian scholar whom it found guilty of damaging its reputation.

Tan, the 24-year-old Asean scholar studying law at NUS, is at the centre of a controversy after he and his girlfriend posted in a joint blog photographs and videos of themselves having sex. He had been hauled up for disciplinary action last month.

Both sides have kept their lips tightly zipped over Tan’s punishment, with the university saying matters relating to disciplinary proceedings are confidential.

Singapore citizens, however, feel otherwise; nine out of 10 university students polled by the Straits Times newspaper saying NUS should be upfront about punishment.

Speaking in Parliament today, Heng was responding to questions from four MPs stood to ask if the Singapore Education Ministry would be asking the school to make public the punishment that it has decided on, the newspaper reported.

The MPs ― Lim Biow Chuan, Intan Azura Mokhtar, Yee Jenn Jong and Pritam Singh ― all argued that the punishments should be made known in the name of transparency.

The minister stopped short of saying what the punishment was or if the student had his scholarship terminated, the newspaper reported.

However, he said he was confident NUS took the matter seriously and would do the right thing.

Tan, a final-year law student, had apologised to NUS for “bringing disrepute” to the school but has insisted that what he did was done in his “own personal time as a private individual and not an NUS student”.

He also maintained that his action was a “victimless crime” and did not harm anyone.

The NUS student had said explicit photos and videos of himself and his girlfriend, Vivian Lee, going viral were “exciting”, according to Yahoo! Singapore.

On the site “Sumptuous Erotica”, Tan and Lee said they loved posting details of their sex life on the web “for everyone to enjoy” and that they uploaded only self-made content.

The blog has since been taken down.

Tan went to Singapore under an ASEAN scholarship in 2004 and attended Xinmin Secondary School and Raffles Junior College before he went to NUS.

He is based in Kuala Lumpur, where he has an online business. His mother helps to run a family business, while his father works in sales.

The couple also faces the possibility of criminal prosecution and jail time if convicted for exhibiting obscene material after they posted photographs and videos of themselves having sex on their blog.

Malaysian Police Commercial Crimes chief Datuk Syed Ismail Syed Azizan said recently that the authorities were considering taking action against the duo for violation of obscenity laws.

Under Section 292 of the Penal Code, the couple could be prosecuted for exhibiting obscene material.

The punishment under the law is imprisonment for a term of up to three years or a fine.

10 reasons for Indians to drop BN

Here are 10 reasons why the Indian community should not vote for Barisan Nasional in the next general election, according to Kota Alam Shah state rep M Manoharan.

By M Manoharan

Umno’s ‘Malay Supremacy’ agenda

I would be echoing the sentiments of the great majority of Indians in Malaysia when I say they are effectively second class citizens under Umno’s rule. Umno and BN can be used interchangeably because Umno is not only the dominant party but the de facto ruling party as well.

The much entrenched ‘Ketuanan Melayu ’ or Malay Supremacy is the unwritten code of Umno’s rule. The ruling party has perfected this philosophy to the extent of rivalling the notorious racist agenda of apartheid South Africa. Basically, Ketuanan Melayu aims to contain the progress and prosperity of the non-Malays.

The Indians have traditionally looked to the civil service for employment but in the last few decades they have seen their share of public sector jobs severely curtailed. Too many Indians have to eke out a harsh living outside the comfort of the government service and the GLCs. Many resort to low paying jobs which in turn locks them in a vicious cycle of poverty. Also, the high crime rate among Indians is a direct result of the lack of access to good, high- income jobs for Indians.

NEP’s lopsided implementation

The NEP introduced in 1970 and which has set the direction of the nation ever since was designed to:

a) restructure society so that race is no longer identified with occupation, and

b) eradicate poverty irrespective of race/ ethnicity.

However, none of these noble intentions ever reached the Indian community. The implementation of the NEP has bypassed the Indians. In the past, Indians were identified with the civil service, professions and the plantations. Today, they are increasingly associated with low pay jobs and hard, physical labour.

Many flagship projects of the NEP offered little to the Indian community. Felda which transformed the landless and the poor among the Malays to proud land owners had little impact on the Indians. It was the same story with Felcra, Risda and the numerous other schemes designed to uplift the rural poor.

Somehow, the Indian poor, a large proportion of whom were in the plantations were invisible to the formulators and the implementers of the NEP. There were no quotas assigned to the Indian community for jobs in the GLCs or the private sector. If the BN government could do it for the poor Malays, why did it overlook the poor Indians?

Was not the NEP designed for all Malaysians? Why the lop-sided implementation? Today, we have an Indian community that has high endemic poverty, the highest violent crime rate and a decreasing proportion in the top professions.

The pathetic state of the Tamil schools

Any responsible government would look into the education needs of its entire people. But then, BN has never been a responsible government. The BN government has systematically marginalised vernacular education. Fortunately, the economic and philanthropic strength of the Chinese community has mitigated the many challenges facing Chinese schools. There are 523 Tamil schools in the country, but up to 79% or some 379 of these schools are still occupying dilapidated, termite infested, semi-permanent buildings built on private land before Merdeka. The bigger majority of these schools are in a pathetic state – undersized classrooms, leaking roofs and some even without water or electricity.

Almost all face teacher shortage of some kind, some more acute than others. Promises are made from time to time by the government to improve trainee teacher intake, training temporary teachers and offering them permanent positions but the reality is the opposite. Some 40% of all Tamil school teachers are contract or temporary teachers.

This potent combination of poor infrastructure and teacher shortage is a definite recipe for the high failure rate of Tamil school students. Tamil schools are a neglected lot and the BN must be held responsible by all Indian voters.

Limited opportunities in the civil service and GLCs

Prior to the implementation of the NEP in 1970, Indians were well represented in the civil service. The lop-sided implementation of the NEP has decimated the Indian numbers in the civil service.

Indians and other non-Bumiputeras are severely discriminated both in the intake as well as in subsequent promotions.

For instance, there is not a single Indian judge in the Federal Court. The BN government must look into an Equal Opportunity Commission & an Equal Opportunity Act to redress the gross imbalance among the races in the Government service.

Citizens denied citizenship

Almost 300,000 Indians who are eligible for citizenship do not have MyKads. They are children born to citizen parents whose births were not registered for one reason or another. In a nutshell, they have been denied citizenship due to a government bureaucracy that is callous to their plight. Many dreams have been shattered, jobs and careers foregone and households mired in poverty due to citizenship denied.

Almost all are deserving cases because most were born in Malaysia or have lived here all their lives. Of late, the MIC has organised citizenship for about 4,000 cases but this hardly scratches the surface of the problem. It is more of a publicity stunt for the BN to dupe the Indian electorate as many of the cases publicised in the media are senior citizens in their twilight years and well past their prime.

Sadly, it is a case of political gimmicking taking precedence over resolution of people’s grievances.

Highest unemployment rate

Indians have the highest unemployment rate among the major races in the country. The neglect of the Tamil schools means it ill-prepares the students for secondary school and beyond. Many Indian students lack the linguistic and numerical skills needed for today’s job market.

Moreover, Indians do not have access to skills training institutes like GiatMara, polytechnics, Mara Training Institutes, vocational schools and numerous other training institutes’ set-up with public money at the state and national levels. Certainly, there is a lack of concerted action by the BN government to train and equip Indian youths with the necessary job skills.

The typical response by BN leaders is that Indians do not apply for these opportunities. How can Indians apply for these places when it is not made known to them?

As a result, the majority resort to the private sector. With low levels of education and absence of marketable skills, they are forced to work as lorry drivers, road sweepers, dishwashers, free-lance house maids, cleaners, despatch clerks, personal drivers, etc. These jobs are shunned by the other races because of the low pay, long working hours and physical risks involved.

The situation has got so bad that Indians are forced to compete with foreigners for these very jobs.

Extremely high crime rate/custodial deaths

The poor state of the Tamil schools which contributes in large part to the high school drop-out rate and school leavers with limited skills for the demanding modern job market means that crime is an attractive option.

BN government initiatives are focussed on the symptoms and not the causes. Therefore, we have a high violent crime rate that contributes to a disproportionate high number of detainees in the detention centres and remand prisoners in the police stations. Racial profiling and a very reactive, single race monopolised police force keen on violent interrogation procedures has led to an astronomical high number of unaccounted deaths in police custody.

The way BN chooses to put up a charade that all is well and often providing the most ridiculous of answers to custodian deaths points to a police force that belongs to the bottom tier of the 3rd world.

The politicisation of Batu Caves Sri Subramaniam Temple

For some time now, the BN has used the Batu Caves Sri Subramaniam Swamy Temple for political capital. The temple committee played a pivotal role in the arrest of the Nov 25, 2007 Hindraf rally supporters who had gathered at the temple grounds on the eve of the historic event.

The presence of PM Najib Tun Razak on Thaipusam Day to endear himself to the Hindu electorate is an affront to the Hindus performing the sacred duty of fulfilling their spiritual vows. And most recently, we have the issue of the 29 storey condominium.

Vedic teachings tell us that a temple is a sacred place where one goes for peace of mind and to commune with the Almighty. But MIC and its cohorts have reduced Batu Caves to a political pawn to wage war against its political rivals. We must stop them from this sacrilege.

The labelling of Hindraf as a terrorist organisation

Until today, the police chief and the police force as well as the Home Ministry have yet to apologise to Hindraf, especially the five leaders detained under the ISA, for wrongfully and maliciously labelling Hindraf as a terrorist organisation detrimental to the security of our beloved nation.

Racist agenda against Indian leaders

We see a racist agenda in demonising Indian leaders who choose to stand out and fight for our rights. S Ambiga, Dr Xavier Jeyakumar and P Uthayakumar have all been labelled unilaterally as enemies of the nation by Umno and the BN. This is done surreptitiously by pro-Umno blogs and the mainstream media as well as other radical organisations which are funded by Umno and enjoy the tacit approval of the top BN leadership.MIC, the BN designated representative of the Indians chooses to play mute, so as not to offend its political master.

Lawyer M Manoharan is DAP’s Kota Alam Shah state representative. He was arrested under the Internal Security Act for his involvement with Hindraf.

Hospital plays safe over ‘Virgin Mary’ sighting

Sime Darby Medical Centre has remained mum over the appearance of an image of 'Virgin Mary' in religiously sensitive Malaysia.

SUBANG: A “Virgin Mary” sighting at a private hospital here has drawn hundreds of Catholics to gather and pray.

But Sime Darby Medical Centre (SDMC) itself has chosen to tread carefully over the incident, due to Malaysia’s religious sensitivities, by officially remaining mum.

“Our official position is no comment, [because] when we deal with religion, it is very delicate,” said a senior Sime Darby official, who declined to be named.

The official said that the hospital’s administration was trying to manage the situation “as best as we can”.

“We are operating a hospital and our main concern is our patients. We also expect people to behave like in any other hospitals,” he said.

It is learnt that both Rela (People’s Volunteer Corps) and traffic police have been roped in to manage the crowd, which is expected to swell in coming days if the image continues to be present at the hospital’s seventh-floor glass windows.

Religious matters are considered sensitive in Malaysia. In January 2010, a court decision over the use of the word “Allah” in Malay-language bibles sparked a series of arson attacks on churches, and other places of worship, all over the country.

More recently, a statement by PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar over freedom of religion has also drawn controversy, with the police opening up investigations under the Sedition Act.

Meanwhile, Rev Father Lawrence Andrew, editor of The Herald, said that he does not foresee any issues arising from the image; instead he said that it should be regarded as a call to peace.

“When there is an apparition, it is always a call to prayer and repentance, a call to look at our lives and make them better and more virtuous. It is a call to go away from sin, and to peace,” said Lawrence.

“People are going there to pray and it is the faith of the people being expressed. It is something they have not seen before. And you can see that it is not painted or pasted on. It is something that has come out on its own. It is a remarkable thing, an extraordinary phenomenon,” he said.

However, when asked if he believed it was a true miracle, Lawrence said that he and the Catholic Church would only be issuing a press statement after further studies.

(Normally, a local bishop must conduct a “serious investigation” to ascertain whether the Marian apparition really took place.)

“At the moment, we have to wait and see how this develops. I wouldn’t commit to anything on this, and I will not jump the gun. It is not subject to feelings, and there is a process of verification,” he said.

Since Friday afternoon, the “holy image” has drawn many to the hospital. It was reported that a cleaner discovered it, claiming it could not be wiped away.

Will indelible ink mess up the polls?

Bersih takes issue with recent statements from EC.

PETALING JAYA: Bersih today criticised recent statements from the Election Commission (EC) regarding the use of indelible ink in the 13th general election, saying they raised concerns that the voting process might turn out to be a mess.

Referring to an EC poster outlining the steps a voter has to take to cast his ballot, the watchdog group indicated it disagreed that the ink be applied on a voter before he votes because he could smudge the ballot paper and thus make it invalid.

It urged the commission to follow the practice of such countries as Iraq, Egypt and Afghanistan and apply the ink after the casting of a vote.

Bersih also disagrees that the inking be done inside voting stations, saying this could result in long queues.

“While the EC states that the process is very quick (‘less than one minute’) and also says it can handle up to 800 voters per voting channel from 8am to 5pm, has it factored in the potential queue factor which may lead to overcrowding in the voting station?” a Bersih press release said.

It urged the commission to conduct demonstrations with the public to ensure that the timing would be adequate and suggested a minimum allocation of one minute per voter.

It also urged the commission to review its proposal to supply voters with tissue paper to wipe off excess ink from their fingers.

The statement asked EC to publicise the costs involved in the purchase and use of the ink.

“The EC should also ensure that the quality and type of ink purchased is suitable for the election to avoid any last-minute withdrawal such as in the previous election.”

Bersih urged the commission not to delay resolving the concerns it was raising as well as those that had been raised by other civic groups with regard to the use of indelible ink.

These should be resolved before the coming election, it added.

Apostasy, compulsion, and Nurul’s point

The PKR vice-president said last week that religious freedom is for everyone, even Muslims and Malays. Well, here are the facts to prove she has a point.

Yet again, Umno as well as the likes of Ibrahim Ali and Nasharudin Mat Isa have resorted to misusing Islam to discredit a member of the opposition bloc.

According to a transcript provided by Malaysiakini, Nurul Izzah Anwar said at a forum last weekend that “…there is no compulsion in religion… How can anyone really say, ‘sorry, this only applies to non-Malays.’ It has to apply equally.”

Hishammuddin Hussein, the home minister, described Nurul’s statements as insensitive and causing public anger.

Nasharudin, the former PAS vice-president, said that she must repent and what she said goes against Islam.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the former prime minister, said her statement was stupid.

Now, putting aside the fact that nearly every time good ol’ Hisham, Nasha and Mahathir open their mouths, they say something stupid and insensitive that anger the public, Nurul, on the other hand, did not say anything “radical”, “liberal”, “dangerous to the faith” or even new.

On the contrary, what she said has been discussed among Islamic scholars across the globe for years.

It’s just that no one seems to have clued the Powers That Be on this.

A blanket rule for all

Nurul said that there is no compulsion in religion, whether for Muslims or non-Muslims.

And she has a point.

Islam is all about an individual’s own voluntary submission to Allah; there can be no coercion because faith cannot be forced upon anyone, even on those Malays who are born Muslims.

I mean, if I asked you, at gunpoint, to believe in Islam, would you? Unless you’re already a believer, then of course not. You’d probably blubber a bit about how being at the brink of death has opened your eyes to Islam, but your convictions would remain the same.

So compulsion is not the answer – education is, just as Nurul mentioned in a later statement.

In fact, even in the Quran, Surah Al-Nahl, verse 126 states:

“Invite [all] to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.” (16:126 – translated by Yusuf Ali)

Now, for those of you who are going to say that I’m no scholar and should just keep my mouth shut and let the experts talk it out, allow me to produce a quote from the former Chief Judge of Pakistan, SA Rahman.

“Man is free to choose between truth and falsehood and the Prophet’s function is to convey the message, exemplify it in his own life and to leave the rest to God – he is no warder over men to compel them to adopt particular beliefs,” he wrote.

This is further fortified in several Islamic verses, including Surah Ali Imran, verse 20 and Al-Ma’idah, verse 92, which state if individuals turn away from the message of Islam, then the Prophet Muhammad’s duty is only to educate – not force nor coerce.

Freedom to choose still exists

Unfortunately, we still have the likes of Nasharudin who argue that the “no compulsion in religion” verse (2:256) only applies to non-Muslims in the issue of converting to Islam.

In other words, once one becomes Muslim, let the coercion begin!

Now, I challenge him and other like-minded individuals to point out any verse in the Quran which states that that sort of double standard exists.

Nasharudin did mention Surah al-Ahzab verse 36 as “proof” that there is no freedom in religion for Muslims.

“It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger, to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.” (33:36 – translation by Yusuf Ali)

But, as you can see, this verse just states that when Allah has commanded something, it is not fitting for a believer to have any choice in their matter – the freedom to choose still exists, as mentioned several times in the Quran.

But while freedom exists, the Quran still states what is right and wrong.

And if one chooses what has been forbidden, then one will face the consequences of that decision, whether in this life or the hereafter.

Islam and apostasy

Now, by virtue of the fact that freedom of religion exists in Islam, does that mean Muslims, and Malays, have the freedom to renounce their religion and should not be coerced or punished into remaining as Muslims?

Since I’d rather not have 15 policemen raid FMT’s office over this article, I’ll refrain from stating my stand, but just share the views of several revered scholars in Islam who are not Malaysians, not Malays, and do not have any vested political interest in the issue.

The former chief judge of Pakistan, SA Rahman, wrote in his book “Punishment of apostasy in Islam” that:

“There is absolutely no mention in the Quran of mundane punishment for defection from the faith by a believer, except in the shape of deprivation of the spiritual benefits of Islam or of the civil status and advantages that accrue to an individual as a member of the well-knit fraternity of Muslims.

“He should, however, be free to profess and propagate the faith of his choice, so long as he keeps within the bounds of law and morality, and to enjoy all other rights as a peaceful citizen of the State, in common with his Muslim co-citizens.”

He also added that apostasy is an offence in the realm of the rights of God, rather than the rights of mankind, thus there would be no pressing necessity to punish a peaceful change of faith.

Meanwhile, Dr Ahmad Ar-Raysouni, a professor of principles of Islamic jurisprudence, wrote:

“…if Allah did not coerce His creation towards belief in Him, nor did He permit his Prophet [pbuh] to do so instructing him, then how could He allow, or order, the leaders of the Muslims to force one to remain as a Muslim or return to it under the threat of death?”

Another Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, wrote:

“…all of the moral teachings of the Quran are based on the notion of moral responsibility, which entails the freedom of choice. Therefore, to state that one must be put to death for choosing to disbelieve would only undermine the entire moral edifice of the Quran.”

Controversy over nothing

In the end, it’s clear that what Nurul said on that fateful day has its basis – both in the Quran and in the viewpoints of certain scholars.

And while some people, including Siti Kassim, may view her later statement as a “retraction”, I don’t – just because Nurul doesn’t condone nor support apostasy, doesn’t mean she is denying that freedom in religion exists. She is just not supportive of fellow Muslims making the wrong decision.

So, really, the fact that Umno is latching onto this issue and fanning the flames of religious sentiments is just another sign of its desperation to stay in power.

But in this case, Umno is signing its own death warrant because misusing religion for political mileage does not go down well with (thinking) Malays and Muslims.

As for Nurul? Kudos to you for answering Siti Kassim’s question honestly and risking your own political standing to do so. A Muslim should never hide the truth from another just to save his/her own ass.

So I suggest the best thing for you to do from here on out is to stick to your stand, and the facts that support it. Because we Muslims are behind you all the way on this.

Censuring the confused in their erroneous reading of verse (2:256) in the Holy Qurʾān

Wan Ahmad Fayhsal bin Wan Ahmad Kamal
It is important to note that the true scholars of Islām (ʿulamāʾ, sing. ʿalīm) who are experts in the exegesis (tafsīr) of Qurʿān are ever consistent in their interpretation and understanding on the meaning “there is no compulsion in religion” (Q2: 256). One must be aware that such command by God in His Own Words in the Qurʾān does not apply with regard to the Muslims who are already in the state of submission (hence the very meaning of the name Muslim is total and willing submission based on the correct way as decreed by Him through His Last Messenger – Prophet Muhammad) in the religion of Islām. Instead the verse is informing the Muslims not to coerce people from other religions to be submitted into Islām and becoming Muslim unwillingly.
To make it clearer, this particular verse is intended to uphold the sanctity of Islamic missionary (daʿwah: literally means “making an invitation) and has proven to be imbued in the central tenets of Muslim ethics in conducting their missionary works for ages till present times – unlike, in contrast to the notorious Spanish Inquisition of the medieval time. The myth of Islam spread by the sword has long been dispelled even by the respected Orientalist – Sir Thomas Arnold (1864-1930) in his work “The Preaching of Islam: A History of the Propagation of the Muslim faith” (1896). Any attempt to invoke the notion of “intolerant” has no relevance whatsoever with regard to the verse above.
From the authoritative exegesis attributed to Prophet Muhammad’s Companion – Abdullāh b. Ibn ʿAbbās, who is considered to be the most knowledgeable of the Companions in tafsīr, as narrated by al-Fīrūzabādī (1329–1414) in Tanwīr al-Miqbās min Tafsīr Ibn ʿAbbās in which the phrase “there is no compulsion in religion” (Q2: 256) is understood to be referring upon the People of the Book (Christians and Jews) and the Magians after the Arabs submitted themselves into Islām. The scholars of tafsīr clearly indicated that it is addressed to the Muslims with regard to their treatment upon the non-Muslims in matters of conversion to Islām. These views are resonated in many authoritative tafāsīr (plural of tafsīr – exegeses of Qurʾān). And it has never ever being rendered in the opposite direction as pandered by certain quarters of confused Muslims – the likes of Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) and Sisters in Islam (SIS) – that merely bantering upon uncouth slogans of enlightenment and reason in providing so-called alternative reading and understanding of the verse mentioned.
Furthermore many confused Muslims have distorted the established understanding of this verse as explained by authoritative exegetes of Qurʾān (mufassirūn, sing. mufassir) by reading it in piecemeal basis without having a recourse of reading the verse in its totality and organic whole via linking the verse with its precedents verses and the following verses which carrying the same theme of “truth and falsehood is clearly manifested.”
They tend to essentialise the command of God as rendered in Qurʾān – meaning to divorce the Qurʾānic injunctions and exhortations from its existential realities. This is wrong, as Islām is a religion that comprises both ideals and realities in which both are harmoniously linked in projecting the true image of the religion of Islam as perfectly exemplified in the living tradition of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him!) and the heirs of Prophetic knowledge and duties - the true scholars of Islam. This worthy heir of Prophets (peace be upon them all) has been guaranteed by himself in his saying: al-ʿulamāʾ warith al-ānbiyāʾ - “Scholars (of Islām) are heir of Prophets”. Such endeavor of interpreting and rendering the best meaning of religious injunctions was first completed by the Prophet Muhmmad himself and followed through now by his apparent heir – the competent scholars of Islamic sciences who always ensure their efforts, to the best of their abilities, are complying to the basics of epistemology in Islām. It is not and can never be based upon mere personal speculations and conjectures that sprung out from the whims and fancy of its learned adherents i.e. Muslim scholars, what more from the laity Muslims like the confused lot of IRF and SIS.
True Muslims – that is true to its namesake of ‘being a Muslim’ – are conscious enough, furthermore willingly submit themselves under the established religious injunctions and will know his or her limits in negotiating the boundaries without ever transgressing the extremities or coming up short in fulfilling their religious obligations as what have been delineated by the Muslim scholars which have been deduced from and originally based on the established knowledge and perfect practices of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him!)
Such religious rulings and injunctions (aḥkām, sing. ḥukm) could only be derived by the able and eligible scholars that have fulfilled the fundamental and necessary requirements to perform what technically is termed as ijtihād (deriving the injunctions from established sources of knowledge in Islam) – or issuing legal opinions (fatwā), as outlined in the pristine tradition of religious sciences in Islām.
Qurʾān is not a book of quotations that simply can be cherry-picked by any Muslims to form their own personal interpretation on religious rulings and injunctions. Laymen that have not possessed the right knowledge, mental and spiritual aptitude are not adept to put forth their views (in truth it is just their personal conjecture) without having recourse to the previous scholarships on the exegeses of Qurʿān.
To the inept – especially current politicians and poser-Muslim scholars who have not endured rigorous and specialized training of issuing Islamic legal opinions and interpretations – the depth and systematic intricacies of Quran will never be manifested upon them as God the Almighty have said in the the Qurʾān: “But none knows its true interpretation, save only God and those who are firmly rooted in knowledge (rāsikhūn fī’l-ʿilm)." (Q3:7)
Of course such exhortations above are not binding upon non-Muslims and they have total freedom in relation to the general precepts of the established Muslim scholarship with regard to the verse discussed here but it is a different case altogether for Muslims, as they must have recourse upon proper authorities in knowledge pertaining to it. One of the authorities that have untangled this confusion was Shāykh Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī (1904-1997), the celebrated author of Tadabbur-e-Qurʾān (“Pondering over the Qurʾān”), which made use of his late teacher Mawlānā Ḥamīduddīn Farāhī’s (1863-1930) scholarship on the idea of thematic and structural coherence in Qurʾān.
Referring to the verse 256 in chapter 2 of the Qurʾān, Iṣlāḥī is fully aware of the tendency for confused Muslims throughout the ages of using the notion of “there is no compulsion in religion” in making the religion of Islām conform to their fancy, whims and desires:
“Some people unfortunately take this verse away from this sense and try to use it for rejecting all legal constraints. They argue that since there is no compulsion in Islām, any attempts to invoke punishments for certain acts are invalid in Islām and are, moreover, mere fabrications on the part of ‘mullahs’ (note: Muslim scholar title that is widely used in India and Pakistan). If this line of argument is accepted as valid, it would mean that the Islamic Sharīʿah (i.e. Law) is without any prescribed punishments and penalties and that it allows people to behave and act as they please without imposing any restrains on them.” (pg. 601-602. Iṣlāḥī, Amīn Aḥsan, Tadabbur-e-Qurʾān, “Pondering over the Qurʾān”, trans. Mohammad Saleem Kayani, Kuala Lumpur: IBT, 2007)
Iṣlāḥī further explains such understanding is totally unfounded in Islamic tradition:
“This is a fallacious argument, because we all know that Islām has a whole system and a penal code of its own, the implementation of which is a most important and basic Islamic obligation. An Islamic government can punish a Muslim if he fails to observe Prayer (note: especially the obligatory communal Friday prayer for men) or fasting. And this does not at all contravene the principle that “there is no compulsion in religion”. Undoubtedly, Islām does not sanction the use of any compulsion to convert others. At the same time, however, it does not allow anyone entering its fold to behave in any manner they fancy without being questioned or held accountable for their conduct.” (pg. 602. Iṣlāḥī, Amīn Aḥsan, Tadabbur-e-Qurʾān, “Pondering over the Qurʾān”, trans. Mohammad Saleem Kayani, Kuala Lumpur: IBT, 2007)
This observation by Iṣlāḥī is not a mere theoretical exegesis but can be further corroborated with ample historical evidences on the real practices of the Muslim throughout the ages – especially in the past where Islamic government was firmly established. This legal injunction of delivering and maintaining religious practices falls under the rubric of maintaining public duties in Islām or technically called “Ḥisba”.
Such acts that falls under the rubric of ḥisba has strong Qurʿānic bases (Q3:104, Q3:110, Q3:114, Q7:157, Q9:71, Q9:112, Q22:41, Q31:17) and is considered to be one of the most important tenets after the Five Pillars of Islām (arkān al-Islām) and Six Pillars of Faith (arkān al-Imān) in Islām which is called “enjoining good and forbidding evil” (al-amr bi’l-maʿrūf wa’l-nahy ʿan al-munkar).
It is safer for us not to digress from our real discussion above on the issue of “there is no compulsion in religion”. For thorough reading on ḥisba, please refer to Muhtar Holland’s “Public Duties in Islam” (Leicester: Islamic Foundation, 1982) a translation of a legal treatise entitled al-Ḥisba fī al-Islām by the famed Muslim jurist of 13th century – Taqī al-Dīn Ibn Taymīyah.
Alas suffice here for us to be really aware that interpretations made on the discussed verse “there is no compulsion in religion” by certain quarters of the confused Muslim is not as simple as they think, especially when it comes to really grasping the understanding of a particular verse in relation to other preceding and posterior verses, what more reading that particular verse in the light of the gestalt of Qurʾān where the dictum “the whole is larger than the sum of its part” rings louder than any kind of book ever existed in the history of man – be it religious or secular.
If we want to understand Qur’ān correctly, one must resort to various other analytical tools not just limiting it to plain-dry modern notions of “analysis” that dicing things out beforehand in order to examine and arrive at the crux of the matter. Some of the analytical tools that are firmly established since day immemorial of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him!) resided in the science of interpretation (tafsīr) of Qurʾān. Such analytical and exegetical devices, the likes of the reasons of revelation (asbāb al-nuzūl) and abrogations (nasikh wa al-mansūkh) are strictly unique in the religion of Islām.
Those devices (some became science of itself, e.g. ʿilm al-rijāl - knowledge on evaluating the credibility of narrators of the hadīth) have been laboriously refined by Muslim scholars via countless numbers of commentaries (shurūh, sing. sharḥ), super-commentaries and glosses (ḥawāshī, sing. ḥāshīah) and the findings have been infused into many other Islamic sciences notably jurisprudence (fiqh).
That is why the learned scholar of Islām, Professor Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas keeps emphasizing that the science of tafsīr is based on established knowledge not conjecture and it is not the same as hermeneutics; which means only the competent – not just among the lay Muslims but moreover among the Learned Muslim (ʿulamāʾ) whom themselves have mastered various branches of Islamic sciences – have the rights to deliver their interpretation upon such verses, especially on the subject of this discussion that falls under one of the most basic tenets of faith (imān) and deemed to be unclear to many especially in these modern times.
It is best for all Muslims especially the confused lot to pay heed to Prophet Muhammad's (peace be upon him!) saying (ḥadīth) – which is the second most important source of knowledge in Islamic sciences after Qur'ān – as narrated by al-Bayhaqī: “This knowledge (the religious) will be held in every generation by those who are just (meaning – the Learned [ʿulamāʾ]) and they shall protect it against the falsification of the extremists (taḥrīf al-ghālīn), the fabrication of the deceivers (intiḥāl al-mubṭilīn) and the misinterpretation of the ignorant (taʾwīl al-jāhilīn).
If the confused Muslims keep railing about this despite umpteenth times being censured by authoritative Muslim scholars on their reckless and half-truths (which is more dangerous than plain error!) interpretations, then they are no better than the extremists who took the verse: “kill the idolaters wherever you find them” (Q9:5) by decontextualizing and accepting it based on mere face value in order to justify their anger and the continuance of their act of manslaughter in the name of religion (God forbid!).
Indeed, if they continue to affirm and latch upon errors without having any thought to relinquish them and seeking the truth of the matter through proper ways and means – as explained above – they will go astray from the consensus (ijmāʿ) of the Muslim scholars in matters of creed (ʿaqīdah) where there has never been disagreement and indulgence whatsoever in matters of distinguishing and affirming the truth from the error. Verily Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him!) has stated, as narrated by Ibn Majāh: “My Community shall never agree upon misguidance, therefore, if you see divergences, you must follow the overwhelming majority of Believers (al-sawwād al-āʿẓam)
The writer is a research fellow at Himpunan Keilmuan Muslim (HAKIM). He currently reads Islamic Thought and Civilization at Centre for Advanced Studies on Islam, Science and Civilization (CASIS-UTM) as well a lecturer at Kolej Universiti Islam Selangor (KUIS).

Stemming the incoherence of misguided Muslim pundits’: my response

Truth, error, good, bad, etc. are not absolutes. There are no ‘facts’ when we talk about truth, error, good, bad, etc., in religion. They are all relative and subject to time and place. And what is good/bad in religion may not be good/bad from society’s point of view. And what is good/bad from society’s point of view, yesterday, may not be good/bad from society’s point of view today.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

It is truly shameful that the affairs of Muslims were being discussed without the guidance of scholars of Islām possessing true and correct knowledge of the religion.

How can one even be sure that they are speaking earnestly and truthfully on behalf of Islām?

Furthermore, a non-Muslim making ignorant statements about Islām may be excused on the basis of not himself being a Muslim and of being obstinate. Yet, a greater cause for concern is when a ignorant Muslim makes ambivalent declarations about the nature of Islām as a religion.

In fact, this betrays a categorical confusion on her part because from the Muslim understanding, Islām is the true revealed religion, and the affirmation of this fact has consequences both in this world and in the hereafter.

The religion of Islām requires both belief (imān) and submission (islām) from its believers. Both are not identical, but they are mutually inseparable and indispensable, which means that one cannot do without the other.

Those who argue along the lines of half-baked understanding of the Qur’ānic verse often do not even bother to read the second part of the verse that makes clear the distinction between Truth and error. There is no sense in holding on to that verse if this distinction is only mentioned in briefly or outrightly dismissed without equally serious consideration. The religion of Islām makes clear its claim to Truth, and this is why its content is cognitive to the human mind.

A person who is presented with a choice between what is good and what is bad and proceeds to choose the bad is not exercising real freedom. In truth, the person is trapped within his own ignorance, thus unable to make the right choice in choosing for the better, and in doing so, has committed a grave injustice to his or her own self and others.

If we allow the promissory note for such literal interpretation of the verse devoid of scholarly consensus and right guidance, then there would be nothing left to prevent the likes of fanatics, demagogues and even militant extremists from appropriating Islām in order to justify atrocities and perpetuate even further injustices.



Those are some of the extracts from the letter that Muhammad Husni Mohd Amin, Wan Mohd Aimran Wan Mohd Kamil, Muhammad Syukri Rosli and Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal sent to Malaysia Today, and which we published today.

I suspect many of you were quite lost by the language used and could not quite make out what the authors were trying to say -- other than that only Muslim scholars should talk about Islam and that Islam is the true religion while all others are false.

Nevertheless, maybe I can respond to some of the salient points raised in that letter. And I am addressing my response to Muhammad Husni Mohd Amin, Wan Mohd Aimran Wan Mohd Kamil, Muhammad Syukri Rosli and Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal.

When we debate an issue or argue a point, we must be very clear in our mind as to the intended audience. The audience, on the other hand, must be very clear as to what ‘platform’ we are standing on in presenting our arguments.

From your arguments, it is clear that you are speaking as Islamists and your audience is meant to be fellow Muslims. You do not care about the views of the non-Muslims. You are giving your views on Islam from the perspective of a Muslim and meant for the ears of Muslims.

In that case, those not of the Islamic faith will never accept what you say. What you say has nothing to do with the non-Muslims. You, a Muslim, talks about Islam, from the perspective of Islam, meant for a Muslim audience.

You have crafted your letter as if you are presenting facts. No doubt, to Muslims, you are definitely presenting facts. To the non-Muslims, however, what you say are not facts. These are merely opinions. And non-Muslims, for sure, will have a different opinion to you.

For example, to the Christians, Jesus is the Son of God, humankind was born with sins, and Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Hence if we accept Jesus we would be saved.

This is an indisputable fact to most Christians.

To Muslims, however, this is not a fact. In fact, Muslims may even consider this a lie. Hence non-Muslims would not regard this Christian doctrine as fact but merely an opinion (and a misguided one at that, too, Muslims will argue). Therefore, being an opinion, and an opinion that Muslims do not agree with, the Christian doctrine could be right or could be wrong (and certainly wrong from the Islamic perspective).

Hence, when you talk to a multi-cultural audience, you need to understand the proper way in doing so. For example, instead of stating ‘facts’, it would help if you say things like ‘according to the Muslim belief’, etc. Then we would be implying that this is what I, as a Muslim, believe, but I am not suggesting that you, too, believe what I believe.

Now, in that letter, are you discussing a matter of theology, philosophy, a legal issue, the Federal Constitution, issue of human rights and civil liberties, or what? From my reading of the letter, you are discussing theology, and Islamic theology in particular.

Would Muslims be interested in hearing someone talk about Hinduism or Christianity from the theological aspect? And would Muslims be convinced by these arguments and accept them as the truth?

This is the flaw in most arguments presented by Muslims. You have your beliefs and you present your beliefs as facts and you expect others to also accept them as facts. And when they cannot, you get upset and start screaming that these people have insulted Islam and therefore action should be taken against these people.

Maybe we can look at this issue not from the perspective of theology, in particular Islamic theology. Then, and only then, can we talk to a multi-cultural audience, which I suspect is what you are trying to do since you sent your letter to Malaysia Today.

You spoke about truth and error. You also spoke about good and bad. Now, I am going to address my comments not just to Muslims but also to religionists in general.

Truth, error, good, bad, etc. are not absolutes. There are no ‘facts’ when we talk about truth, error, good, bad, etc., in religion. They are all relative and subject to time and place. And what is good/bad in religion may not be good/bad from society’s point of view. And what is good/bad from society’s point of view, yesterday, may not be good/bad from society’s point of view today.

In other words, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ constantly changes. It changes according to the period. It changes according to the region. And it changes according to the society you live in.

For example, 100 years or so ago, any woman wearing a miniskirt in England would be vilified and maybe even accosted. Today, a woman can walk around town practically in her panties and nothing will happen. So what was bad 100 years ago in England is no longer bad.

Now, if a woman walks around town in a miniskirt in Saudia Arabia, she would be arrested and flogged. In Malaysia, she will not be arrested and flogged. However, if she walks around Kota Bharu in her panties she will, for sure, be in trouble.

Hence is wearing a miniskirt (or just your panties) good or bad? It depends on what period you live in and where you live.

So how can good and bad be taken as absolutes? Good and bad will change across time and across borders. Hence, when you argue about what you consider as good and bad, that is merely your opinion and that does not make it a fact or mean you are right.

Let me give you another example. Marrying off your daughter who already has her period (say at age 11) to a boy who has reached puberty (say age 12) is allowed in Islam. Since it is allowed in Islam then it must be good. But would society also regard that as ‘good’ just because Islam does not forbid it and therefore it is considered good?

Would you marry off your 11-year-old daughter to a man of, say, 45 (a millionaire Datuk)? There is nothing wrong with that. And since it is not wrong then it is good. However, you would probably not consider it ‘good’ although it is allowed in religion.

Let me take another example, this time regarding slavery.

Islam has never outlawed slavery. Muslims are allowed to own slaves and you can even have sex with your slaves. This is perfectly legal in Islam. But if I were to offer you some slaves to buy -- and pretty ones who have been ‘well-trained’ in how to please their master in bed on top of that -- would you consider that ‘good’? How can it not be good when Islam allows it?

The slave trade saw about 11 million Africans captured and sold. And many of these slavers were actually Muslim Arabs. The Arabs were still trading in slaves long after the west had outlawed slavery. Society had by then considered slavery as bad when the Arab Muslims slavers were still doing a roaring business in selling captured Africans.

To have an intelligent and intellectual discourse with decorum and civility is not easy in Malaysia Today. Many of the readers are crude and brash and do not understand how to be polite. Malaysia Today readers regard name-calling and mocking as debating. That is the problem we face in trying to build bridges between the different communities in Malaysia.

I have given up trying to civilise Malaysia Today readers. So now I talk exactly like how they talk. And, of course, they do not like it one bit. What they fail to realise is that when they talk like that others do not like it as well. But I will continue to give them a taste of their own medicine until they ‘vomit blood’.

Nevertheless, I welcome such letters and I hope you will continue sending them to Malaysia Today. The only thing is do not expect intelligent or intellectual responses to such letters. But in the spirit or dakwah do not let that discourage you

Keluarga kami sudah lali difitnah – Wan Azizah

KUALA LUMPUR 12 November: Presiden KEADILAN, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail berkata, beliau sudah lali dengan tuduhan dan serangan yang dilakukan terhadap keluarga, terutama suami, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim dan terbaru, ke atas anaknya.

Ini kerana katanya, serangan tersebut tidak berhenti, sejak dari dulu hingga sekarang dan hanya berserah kepada Allah S.W.T supaya diberi kekuatan.

“Pelbagai tuduhan dibuat ke atas kami terutamanya ke atas Anwar. Kami sudah lali dengan tuduhan dan serangan-serangan begini.

“Kami cuma boleh minta bantuan Allah dan minta kami boleh atasinya,” kata Wan Azizah dipetik Sinar Harian.

Anak sulungnya, Nurul Izzah Anwar menjadi mangsa serangan terbaru Umno BN apabila difitnah berhubung kenyataan beliau pada sebuah forum awal bulan ini.

Utusan Malaysia pada muka depannya minggu lalu memanipulasi kenyataan Ahli Parlimen Lembah Pantai itu dalam forum ‘Negara Islam: Versi Mana; Siapa Bertanggungjawab’.

Semalam, Menteri Dalam Negeri, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein mendakwa, kenyataan Izzah tentang kebebasan beragama disifatkan beliau sebagai mempolitikkan akidah dan menjadikan agama sebagai gadaian.

Bekas Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad pula menyifatkan kenyataan Naib Presiden KEADILAN itu melampau.

Presiden PAS, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang dalam kenyataannya sebelum ini berkata, sebarang laporan perlu diteliti dan diperjelas 100 peratus sebelum menyatakan pandangan, apatah lagi ia dilapor Utusan.

Pandangan Hadi disokong Pengerusi Sekretariat Himpunan Ulama Rantau Asia (Shura), Abdul Ghani Shamsudin yang menjelaskan, semakin dekat pilihan raya ini, tahap kesiuman media Umno semakin rendah.

Senada dalam isu ini, juara program realiti Imam Muda musim pertama, Muhammad Asyraf Ridzuan berkata, ada pihak sengaja memperbesarkan isu murtad dan kebebasan beragama supaya nampak teruk dan dijadikan topik hangat sebagai platform untuk menyerang Pakatan Rakyat.

Penang police will thoroughly probe raped-in-station allegation

The Star

BUTTERWORTH: The police will not be biased when investigating the three policemen who allegedly gang-raped a 25-year-old Indonesian at a police station in Prai.

Penang police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi said he would not “leave any stone unturned” .

“We will not tolerate any act that may jeopardise the sanctity of the police force.

“We will be firm and take the appropriate action,” he added.

On Saturday, DCP Abdul Rahim said the three policemen were arrested on Friday after the woman lodged a report at the Central Seberang Prai district police headquarters in Bandar Perda, Bukit Mertajam.

They have been remanded until Nov 16 to facilitate investigations.

The woman, a restaurant worker, had approached Bukit Mertajam Barisan Nasional coordinator Lau Chiek Tuan for help on Saturday.

She claimed during a press conference that she was in a taxi near the Pacific shopping mall at about 6.20am on Friday when she was stopped by a police patrol car.

Because she had only a photocopy of her passport, she said the policemen then brought her to the station, where they allegedly gang-raped her in a room.

DCP Abdul Rahim said police recorded statements from the woman and the taxi driver yesterday.

He stressed that investigations would be carried out according to the police's standard operating procedures.

The taxi driver, identified only as Tan, was also present at the press conference at Lau's service centre in Taman Usahaniaga, Bukit Mertajam.

Lau said he was flooded with phone calls after the case was highlighted in the media.

He said many of the callers expressed concern over the incident.

Government Does Not Ignore Religious Importance - Maglin

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 13 (Bernama) -- The government has never ignored the importance of religion in the development of the country as it is the core to producing responsible, caring and successful citizens.

Deputy Minister of Information Communicationa and Culture Datuk Maglin Dennis D'Cruz said the religious aspect, as enshrined in the constitution and the first Principle 'Belief in God' in the Rukun Negara, proved that the government took religion very seriously.

"The government has assisted religious institutions through financial start-ups, providing prayer house sites and so on, because such places can also encourage unity and solidarity among the respective communities through their activities," he said at a fund raising dinner for the Wah Kong Temple at Taman Desa Ayer Hitam, Puchong here Monday.

Maglin also presented a RM20,000 contribution from the ministry for the fund.

1MOCC, One-stop Public Service Solution Centre Launched

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 12 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Monday launched the 1Malaysia Call Centre (1MOCC), a one-stop solution centre for people to ask questions, complaint or make suggestions on public service.

The prime minister said the centre would operate around the clock, seven days a week, including on public holidays in line with the principle of the people first and he believed that it could help improve the public service delivery system.

"I believe the 1MOCC can really make the public proud of the public service and the government.

"I sincerely hope that the 1MOCC is supported by all government departments and agencies through the spirit of being one entity," he said when launching 1MOCC here Monday.

Present were Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Dr Ali Hamsa, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri G. Palanivel, and Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (Mampu) director-general Datuk Mohamad Zabidi Zainal.

The 1MOCC is a national flagship project under the National Blue Ocean Strategy as a conduit for the public to make enquiries, complaints or recommendations by calling 03 8000 8000, faxing 03 8000 8001, surfing, e-mailing, or sending posts to, and

The prime minister said the initiative would ease the people in dealing with government departments and agencies for they need to remember only one number while the government could achieve its objectives at minimal cost.

"In this way, we have a revolutionary service that is unrivalled by other countries. We have achieved something out of the ordinary which we might not have thought possible and today it become a reality," he said.

At the same time, the prime minister called on civil servants to provide a better and effective service collectively to live up to the expectation and aspirations of the people.

He said civil servants should not do common things, instead they should use their ability to think creatively and innovatively to inspire cutting edge ideas.

"If we do not make significant changes and improvements, then we will be left behind in terms of global competition because what distinguish whether a country is successful or not is the ability to be competitive," he said.

Expressing pride in the latest World Bank Doing Business report that shows Malaysia is currently ranked 12th among 185 countries, Najib hoped the country would be in top 10 in the near future.

Do you have licence from God to lord over us, Nash?

By Haris Ibrahim,
“And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet” – The Book of Exodus, Chapter 7, verse 1, The Holy Bible.

Now, you can read this verse in many ways.

Literally, too, if you wished, and no one could fault you if you imagined Moses walking up to Pharaoh and saying, “I am your Lord. Do as I bid you do”.

I had wanted to stay away from this whole apostasy controversy sparked off by Nurul’s statements at a recent forum as we have bigger and more important battles to fight, but Malaysiakini’s report today really pissed me off.

This UMNO wolf in PAS sheepskin contends that what Nurul said about there being ‘ “no compulsion in religion” was tantamount to giving religious freedom to Malay Muslims as the verse which she quoted can only be applied to non-Muslims’.

The verse can only be applied to non-Muslims?
Let’s look at the verse again.

“There shall be no compulsion in religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in idols and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And God is Hearing and Knowing” – Chapter 2 verse 256, Holy Qur’an.

Now. like the verse in Exodus, you can read this in many ways, too, but if you’re not going to do a literal read, Nash, and read into it something that’s not there, you, oh scholarly one, ought to be mindful of this verse.

“So woe to those who write with their own hands, then say, “This is from God ,” in order to exchange it for a small price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn” – Chapter 2 verse 79, Holy Qur’an.

Whilst we’re on the scriptures, oh scholarly one, since you say Muslims have no choice, pray tell us, who was God addressing in the following verses, marked in red?

“And whoever desires other than Islam as religion, never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers. How shall God guide a people who disbelieved after their belief and had witnessed that the Messenger is true and clear signs had come to them? And God does not guide the wrongdoing people. For those, their recompense will be that upon them is the curse of God and the angels and the people, all together, abiding eternally therein. The punishment will not be lightened for them, nor will they be reprieved. Except for those who repent after that and correct themselves. For indeed, God is Forgiving and Merciful. Indeed, those who reject the message after their belief and then increase in disbelief – never will their feigned repentance be accepted, and they are the ones astray” – Chapter 3, verses 85 to 90, Holy Qur’an.
Who, oh scholarly one, is God addressing in the words marked in red?

Seems to me that God was addressing those who had believed and bore witness to the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and then were now professing unbelief.

And seems to me God was saying He would take back those who sincerely repented but not the others.
And that means they had a choice, no?
Oh, scholarly one?

Now, oh scholarly one, you don’t have to answer this if you can produce a licence such as was given to Moses way back in the days of Exodus, in which event I’ll give you a Hi-5, prostrate before you and do a 2 : 131. ( For the non-scholars like me, the Qur’an narrates that God asked Abraham if the latter would submit to the former. In Chapter 2, verse 131 [ hence 2:131], Abraham is said to have replied : “I submit to the Lord of the Worlds” ).

If you cant produce that licence, and refuse to say who is referred to in the words marked out in red above, I am commanded by God in Chapter 6 verse 148, Holy Qur’an to say to you :

“Do you have any knowledge that you can produce for us? You follow not except assumption, and you are not but falsifying”.

Blogs: Pak Lah said Muslims can leave religion

Several Pro-Pakatan Rakyat blogs are now circulating a purported news clipping quoting former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as saying that those wanting to leave Islam should be allowed to do so.

The article was published by Channel News Asia on July 10, 2007. It reads, “Asked about the growing number of religious disputes dominating news headlines, he (Abdullah) clarified that Muslims can leave the religion but they must first bring the matter to the state religious authorities.

“Mr Abdullah says: ‘This is not something that cannot be done. It has happened before. Those who have decided to leave the religion for some reason, they don't want to be Muslims any more, what can you do? If they want to leave the religion, what are you going to do?

“But he stressed that religious officers must offer counselling and find out what was behind the intention to renounce Islam.”

NONEThe reproduction of the article takes place amid a media storm where predominately BN politicians have criticised PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar (right) for allegedly encouraging apostasy (murtad), and accuses them of hypocrisy.

“Don’t Pak Lah’s (Abdullah’s nickname) actions also encourage Muslims to be apostates as claimed by Umno lackeys when Utusan Malaysia reported that Nurul is opening opportunities to murtad?

“Pak Lah’s statements were not published in any Umno/BN-controlled press, but only a few foreign print and online media...

“Is it that when it is voiced by Umno itself, then it is not detrimental to Islam?” read the pro-Pakatan Rakyat blog Anak Sungai Derhaka, which reproduced the news clipping yesterday.

The issue started on Nov 3 when Nurul was asked at a forum whether Malays have religious freedom?
She replied in the affirmative, with the caveat “I am, of course, tied to the prevailing views.”

When her statement as construed as encouraging apostasy, the Lembah Pantai MP denied this, saying, “I do not accept nor encourage apostasy at all.”

“I stand by the general stance that after embracing Islam, a Muslim is subjected to syariah, just as a citizen is subjected to the federal constitution.”