Friday, March 28, 2008

Who Needs an Islamic State?

Islamic State has been a hot issue over the years in the Malaysia political arena. Mahathir proclaimed that Malaysia was an Islamic State some time ago during his PMship tenure. Abdullah Badawi had moved one step further by introducing Islam Hadhari, though unsucessfully.
PAS does not agree on BN's Islamic state and has its own version which was in the 2004 manifesto with disastrous result and this issue was silent this during last election. Both Malay-based political parties are seen trying hard to outdo each other for the battle of Malay votes.

Anwar who once introduced masyarakat madani does not want an Islamic state for now. DAP opposes anything Islam even to wear songkok is deemed islamic. While other BN parties are toeing whatever the master UMNO says.

I live in an 'Arab Islamic state' since 2000, in the same land Islam was born. There are confusions, differences as well as similarities between UAE and Malaysia. Unlike Malays in Malaysia though, there is no law mentions that an Arab is a Muslim. Yes, there are stark contrasts between being arabs and muslims. But is a different story altogether.

Education is important in any aspects. Over the years my kids were enrolled in an Islamic international school here. Last year, I switched the growing kids to a 'secular' school with cosmopolitant outlooks. However, Islamic and arabic subjects are compulsary for Muslim students.

My wife was from Kolej Islam Klang while my late father was a tok guru. We have good understanding on Islam and of course would like our children to be good Muslims.

We agreed that in facing the real world, the children may have to adjust and adapt to the environment from young. Being parents, we have bigger roles to play as role models to guide them on the best of both worlds. The fundamentals remain the same, we are Muslims and we love being Muslims. At the end of the day, we want to be buried as Muslims.

During last parents-teachers meeting, an ustaz of the school made a friendly remark on our decision to enrol the children in this particular school, which is not an Islamic school. He felt it was a wrong choice. Unlike the previous school with mostly British Muslim teachers, this school has a few Muslim teachers.
However, our kids are excelled in quran, islamic and arabic subjects as best students, even when they were in the Islamic school. So far so good and we may not switch the school again. The eldest two have few years more to go before going to the university.
I had the opportunity to work with great world renowned Muslims like Yusuf Islam and discussed a lot of issues or topics with him along his inner circle of friends such as Dr. Bilal Philips and others from Britain, South Africa and USA. These meetings of minds did give me some alternative perspectives as food for thoughts.

Once I had a chance to meet up with the renowned scholar, Yusuf Al QARADAWI.

Recently, Raja Petra in his 'No Holds Barred' column wrote on "I Oppose An Islamic State".
An interesting view from a prominent netizen and blogger.

I am not trying to say that PAS' Islamic State proposal is pure rhetorical bullshit. I am not even trying to say that an Islamic State is 'safe' and poses no danger to anyone who would rather live the life of a devil's disciple. What I am emphasising here is that Islam has to rise above mere rhetoric. Shouting about Islam will not bring about changes. Legislation and the creation of an Islamic State would also not bring about changes. Changes can only be brought about through education and by the will of the people to live the life of a true Muslim. That, and only that, will bring about changes. And we do not need an Islamic State for that. If the people refuse to change, no Islamic State can change them. Furthermore, screaming about an Islamic State would just alienate and antagonise non-Muslims, who as it is already fear Islam and would run scared from anyone who rants and raves about Islam

And one of my favourite ustazs, Ustaz Hasrizal in his blog wrote recently about Who Needs an Islamic State?

It is about a book of same title published by Malaysia Think Tank London. Click here for the book web site.

One review here for reading. I have not read the book yet. Have your own opinion.

Source: Comment is Free

A new edition of Who needs an Islamic State, by the Sudanese-born thinker
Abdelwahab el-Affendi, has just been published.
The new edition provides a fascinating stock-take on the last two decades of political Islam. The goal of every Islamist group - known as “Islamic movements” in Muslim circles - is to create an “Islamic state”.

Affendi’s book, first published in 1991, explored Islamic movements and their authoritarian ideas of how an Islamic state should funnction; essentially being built around “scholars of knowledge” who would be above the law and hence little more than dictators in reality.
While the ideas in the book were considered by some heretical when first published, the Islamic movements since then appears to have confirmed the book’s basic thesis. Affendi looks at states where Islamic movements had come to power, such as Iran and Sudan, and how far removed from the Islamic ideals of justice and mercy they were. His disillusionment for Islamist rule crystallised after he witnessed firsthand the disastrous and bloody consequences of Islamists coming to power in Sudan, having been close to Hassan al-Turabi, who became Sudan’s leader after the 1989 coup.
More here