The picture of a group of young Malay Muslims in a warrior garb brandishing fake spears, swords and shields represents the lowest of the low for the future of Islam as a modern, dynamic and progressive force in society.
Its leaders, like Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, could not even manage to provide a decent and well argued reason and rationale for this clear display of militancy that has now become the new branding of Parti Islam SeMalaysia.
Tuan Ibrahim’s rationale and poor explanation was that it is just like the Chinese opera where the characters and actors wield fake swords and kungfu spears.
Aiyaaa Tuan Ibrahim, Chinese opera is an art form called stage acting, and its purpose is purely for entertainment.
The movie Rambo also uses fake guns, bazookas, rocket launchers and knives in the fighting scene. But it is just a movie and its purpose is entertainment!
The display of militancy by the Terengganu PAS Youth is a political event, not a stage opera nor a movie scene. Itu pun tak tau perbezaankah?
If I were a PAS leader and I was asked for a commentary on this scene of young Malays carrying weapons and shields, I would have answered in the following way: “The purpose of the march by the Youth is to show solidarity and discipline in fighting for the cause of Islam in social, political and in militarily conflict. The Qur’an mentions the Muslims as a solid wall of defense against attacks on Islam.
“The brandishing of fake swords shows the symbol that the young would lay their lives for Islam in the tireless pursuit of Islamic justice for all mankind against any form of oppression, intolerance and injustice.
“The march is also a reenactment of the Battle of Badr where Muslims faced a force three times its size but they triumphed because of their faith in Islam.
“I see no reason for others to criticize us on how we wish to inspire our youth using our own religious traditions dating back to the Prophet’s time.”
Macam itulah! I am sure if someone in PAS were to give that kind of explanation, this matter would not be of concern any more. It is a symbolic gesture of struggle and strife for Islam.
However, without any explanation or rationale given that can be accepted by the public at large, how can we fault Malaysians for fearing this scene as an act of Islamic extremism?
Is the message of the march related to fighting for the state elections in a more aggressive and militant manner? Is the march a warning to all Malaysians that PAS is considering street warfare style of election campaigning? Is the brandishing of weapons a symbol of the supremacy of PAS religious scholar-politicians above our Constitution in an Iran-style dictatorship? Are these the correct messages from the march?
For me, there are three messages to this article. The first is for PAS, the other is for Malaysians and the last is for the Malays.
To PAS, my message is: do you believe in a shared Malaysia? If you don’t, then there is no place for you and the likes of you in this country. Please relocate yourself for citizenship in Afghanistan and fight your politics there!
My second message is to Malaysians. If Malaysians doubt the effectiveness and blessedness of the unity government forged by the YDP Agong and led by Anwar Ibrahim, please frame the picture of the PAS Youth brandishing weapon as a possible future for Malaysia.
I am saddened by the many ill comments on the government and on people like Anwar, Nurul, Zahid and on political parties like Umno by well-meaning but kurang beradab Malaysians.
If the state elections swing to PN, the Youth march by PAS in Terengganu is the Future of Malaysia.
Please remember that when you wish to criticize and derail the unity government. As the saying goes, we reap what we sow!
For the Malays, my message is: is this the Islam you want? An Islam of dogma, blood and dictatorship by a group claiming they know better what Allah The Almighty wants for all of us?
We have the Madani Islam of Anwar Ibrahim that encourages compassion for all, innovation of ideas, a sustainable environment of clean living, a professional civil service and a corruption-free leadership.
Apa lagi you mau? Total “Islamic dominance”? Do you not know that absolute power corrupts absolutely? Yes, even those who claim to be close to Allah. These so-called ulamaks or Officers of Islam would be the first to be corrupted because no one can check against them.
I hope that the middle class learn better what Islam stands for in a modern multifaith society and get their their heads out of the surau or masjid mindset and start widening the sources of spiritual knowledge.
Studying from one source is no longer viable. For Institutional Islam that governs the writing of the Khutbah, if the Talibanization of Malaysia takes root by PAS, believe me the first power to go and be eliminated will be Institutional Islam.
We have seen how PAS jostled with Institutional Islam in the Bon Odori issue and others, and they have lost every time.
PAS will not hesitate to place their ulamaks above and beyond the influence of Institutional Islam.
The “Day of Judgement” for Malaysia has come. The question is: where will you stand in this firestorm of hate and mistrust?
(Prof Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi is Professor of Architecture at a local university and his writing reflects his own personal opinion entirely.)