Saturday, October 25, 2008

Not all Pakatan MPs are aligned with party aspiration?

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 - Pakatan Rakyat MP Zulkifli Nordin accused several parties including his own of disrespecting or insulting Islam in Dewan Rakyat today. [The Malaysian Insider, 23/10/08]

Kulim Badar Baharu MP Zulkifli Nordin (image) made it hard for Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat MPs during the parliamentary session when he implicated that Islam has been insulted or disrespected. He believed that there is currently an inconspicuous attack on his religion, Islam and neither the government nor the Opposition was doing enough to address it.

Zulkifli singled out the Malaysian Bar Council as one of the key players in the alleged "attack" on Islam. He, being a lawyer himself, accused the Bar Council for supporting apostates and demanded for a separate Bar Council for Syariah lawyers to protect Syariah law practitioners.

In August, the Pakatan MP led an angry mob against a forum titled "Conversion to Islam", organised by the Bar Council to discuss matters on religious conversion. His protest ultimately led to the cancellation of the forum - an hour after it started.

Zulkifli recalled the case of Azalina Jailani, who failed in her attempt to convert from Islam to Christianity in May last year. Under Malaysian Law, a Muslim is not allowed to convert out of Islam or denounce the religion. Azalina Jailani or better known as Lina Joy had tried to have the Federal Court intervene to allow her to change her religion but failed.

"In the case of Azalina Jailani, the Bar Council sent a representative to be present in court to ensure she became an apostate," Zulkifli said in the Dewan Rakyat. [The Malaysian Insider, 23/10/08]

"It insults Islam when parties go to court insisting they have the right to use the word Allah like Muslims do," he said in relation to the Catholic weekly, The Herald attempt to get a court order permitting it to use the word 'Allah' in their publications. [The Malaysian Insider, 23/10/08]
Zulkifli's latest outburst may fuel speculation that he is to switch allegiance to perhaps, UMNO in order to forward his ultra-religious cause when clearly the multicultural settings of the Pakatan Rakyat seemed to be holding him back. Nonetheless, Zulkifli has not announced any plans to defect to any sides.

He also moved on to challenged MCA's recent suggestion of appointing a non-Malay as second Deputy Prime Minister; attributing it as another defiance to the position of Islam.

Perhaps Zulkifli Nordin should opt to be an Imam if the simple logic of multiculturalism is incomprehensible to him. Of course, as a Muslim, he is right in defending his religion. But then again, what was he defending Islam against? An imagingary threat is no threat at all.

However, it is true that the issue of a Muslim to converting out of Islam is as sensitive as it is controversial but for Zulkifli to accuse the Bar Council for advocating apostates was definitely uncalled for. Regardless of whatever law there is or was, as long as an individual is seeking a court hearing, the Bar Council has to ensure that the basic rights of individuals are defended.

Whether Azalina Jailani should be allowed to be converted or not was beside the point. But what really mattered was the right for her to be represented in court. How is that an act of apostate-sympathising?

According to Zulkifli, it was an insult to Islam for the use of the word, "Allah" to be disputed in court. With all due respect to Islam, the word "Allah" is neither copyrighted nor it is an intellectual property of someone. Language cannot be copyrighted! The word "Allah" is essentially Arabic and even Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews use the word in their writings and worship.

Hence, if it was insulting for the word "Allah" to be used by Catholics in their publishings, then the word "God" should be disputed in court as well. After all, there are 1.8 billion English speakers in the world and at some point, all would have used the word "God" in reference to the higher power they each believe in. If so, is that an insult to the Christians in England then?

As a Pakatan Rakyat MP, it is utterly disappointing for Zulkifli to scoff at the idea of a non-Malay being appointed as second Deputy Prime Minister. What was even more depressing was for Zulkifli to ludicrously reason that a non-Malay Deputy Prime Minister would "challenge" the position of Islam. Has the appointment of a Malay Deputy Prime Minister challenged the position of other religions in this country? Certainly not! But turn the chess board around and Zulkifli cries foul.

If the Pakatan Rakyat truly practice what they preach, Zulkifli Nordin's ideologies and motives should be questioned once more by his party leaders. Yes, things might get messy especially when it involves religion. But, things will indeed get messy unless narrowminded MPs like Zulkifli are aligned with the same aspirations for a multicultural and multireligious Malaysia.

UPDATE: Many have sent in comments on the nature of this article and there were some who accused it of being anti-Islam. Please be assured that this is NOT an article against the religion of Islam but a commentary on an MP.


  1. Anonymous said...

    He sounds like an attention whore with a dash of persecution complex and paranoia.

    Also to the guys saying the article is anti-Islam... How so??

    This is what you get for being overly "into" your religion, so much that you can't think straight anymore and turns you into a typical fundie.