Monday, July 9, 2007

Rape, theft, religion....

About 10 teenage rapes a month ( 52 Jan-May, 906 in 2006), 33 cars stolen a day (4907 Jan-May), kidnapping and child killing,incest, "murtad" ( Muslims leaving Islam which had reached 250,000 according to one source) - these are some of the major stories in the daily paper, aside from robberies, corruption and road accidents.

There will always be crimes in society, anywhere in the world. But the increase in in rape cases and "murtad" in Malaysia is most distrurbing.

These cases involve the Muslims. On the subject of Muslims who wnated to leave Islam,the Prime Minister said at the opening of the 18th Conference of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy, "I have always told our religious authorities that they should be ready to listen to (their) grouses and solve (their) problem," (NST July 10, p.2). I have a feeling that cases of rapes and incests among the Muslims are also related to the way our religious authorities are handling the religious issues. "We must walk away from senseless polemics in minor matters and instead focus on the priorities of the ummah," the PM added.

Yeah.....there's nothing wrong with Islam. There are now 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide.But the way Islam is interpreted by the authorities and enforced through the Syariah laws, especially in some muslim countries, may be rather disturbing.

Many people say Islam is too rigorous - pray 5 times a day, fasting, cover up the body, no mixing around between men and women etc. But then, the way Islam is enforced in Malaysia is nothing compared to how things are in Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and even Saudi Arabia. Of course we're not as liberal as Egypt or Turkey! But.... many things that would enrage a pious Miuslim, are tolerated.

I think that Islam must be given a new perspective - not just the "hadari" concept but more on the "dharuri" line. Afterall Islam is under severe criticisms and attack by the west, especially the superpowers that are not playing a fair game. It has reached a crisis situation in the Middle East with Muslims fightiing and killing each other.

Islam cannot be just preaching meticulous conduct, purity of the soul and a selfless approach to life anymore. The basic issue now is how to live a clean life in a dirty, messy, and unjust world. In a world where material wealth and brute power will determine who wins. The Ulamas sometime try to show the young Muslims the way to heaven, whereas they have not even known what real life is on earth as yet. Little wonder that they rebel.

Islam does allow a Muslim to 'break the rule' in times of emergency. I suppose if 'survival', ensuring your wellbeing and progress and not being shortchanged are the concern, the ''dharuri" rule can be applied. What is most important is that your
"iman" and "subjugation" to the will of Allah should never be compromised. The Ulamas who make life difficult for the Muslims must remmember that the Prophet (pbuh) chided his friends who made prayers unnecessarily difficult and that Islam
advocates what is easy and simple ( yusra wala 'usra).

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