Wednesday, June 27, 2007

What’s Good For The Goose Is Not Good For The Gender (Part 1)

by Abdul Rahman Abdul Talib, Dokki Cairo

Dear Editor,

With reference to the letter Apostasy - what’s good for the goose also good for the gander? especially and many other letters, allow me to present my views in two parts. Below is Part 1 of my response.

I find it strange that Singaporean view Malaysian as “Talibanizing” ourselves. This is because the apostasy law has existed LONG before the Taliban I know Syed Alwi doesn’t speak for all Singaporeans but Dr Syed Alwi needs to get his timeline corrected. If what Dr Syed Alwi claim about the “Singaporean perception” is correct, then, Singaporeans need to get their timeline correct too.

Dr Syed also spoke at length for reinterpretation of Islam. But, he fail to provide any justification for it and keep repeating the same 10th Century excuse. He quotes the Crusades example of Darul Harb vs Darul Islam. The trouble is that Crusade happened at least 200 yrs after the Apostasy law is enacted so it has no connection.

I’d like to remind Dr Syed that just because others look different unto you does not make u wrong, For instance, the Americans clearly supports “Capital Punishment”. It is sanctioned by 38 states as well as the US Federal government and the military. They are criticized by the European for it. However, in the end, scientific proof has shown that Capital Punishment is effective in curbing violent crime much to the embarrassment and dismay of the Europeans.

As for hypocrisy, I guarantee Dr Syed that abolishing laws of apostasy does not deter hypocrisy nor will it curb them. Abolishment of laws of hypocrisy will only breed apostasy more. Hypocrisy, on the other hand, will continue to flourish despite the repeal.

In addition, abolishing laws on apostasy will only render Islam into becoming a mere belief-system. It contradicts the true nature of Islam, which is a complete-way-of-live encompassing every aspect of human’s social and individual domain.

I am still waiting for one definite justification from all the readers as to why Islam need to change it’s policy on apostacy? Just one. The mere utterance of a need “to adhere to modern time’s call and trend” is not an adequate justification seeing that even modern time’s prevalent system is not without it’s imperfections.

That’s why one sees major differences when adopting the secular agenda even among secular countries. For instance, the Capital Punishment is strongly sanctioned by America while Europeans secular states opposed them. In the issue of abortion, the fact remains that secularists have to rely on the US Supreme Court ruling (Roe vs Wade) as no state legislative body would pass a bill to support abortion because of it’s unpopularity. The Europeans, on the other hand, largely allows abortion. And many more.

As a result, I am now hard pressed to find a single viable justification for Islam to change itself to fit the modern world’s demand for such reasons:

a. The current global secular agenda is itself riddled with flaws and confusion for it to warrant others to follow in it’s footsteps.

b. Whatever the challenges of a modern world is adequately handled by Islam’s “Ijtihad” process. And, this is not the first time Islam has to adapt itself to “current changes”.

c. Islam cannot change itself up to a point of self-destruction. For secular liberalists to demand such change is akin to demanding the total destruction of Islam.

d. Islam is a total way of life. The apostasy law is not about “group dynamics” or “herd mentality”. It’s about maintaining the sanctity of Islam as a comprehensive system of life. To allow one to jump in and out of Islam as he/she pleases would entail severe legal and systemic complications within the framework of a comprehensive system of life.

e. Thus, it will render Islam into a mere ridicule and demoted to the status of a belief system open to ridicule and disrespect.

f. There is no need to repeal the apostasy laws as Islam is very clear on the issue of coercing others into adopting Islam. Just as Islam is tough on apostasy, so is Islam is also tough on coercion (into Islam). Islamic government are strictly prohibited in the coercion of others so much so that they are forced to adopt equality in their governmental policies. This is to avoid an economic and social condition whereby adopting Islam would serve as a convenient tool towards government aids and assistance. Such aid is viewed by Islam as a form of coercion.

g. Islam exempts non-muslims from being subjected to Islamic laws and regulations.

h. It’s the secular liberalist who now have to answer for their perceived coercion of Islam to change itself into a secular mould under the pretext of “adapting to modern times”.

(End of Part 1 of my letter)