Christians’ Salman Rushdie!

Interview with Reza Aslan

Interview with Reza Aslan

Raja Petra Kamarudin’s Islam!

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The convert-or-die fallacy

Wednesday, 17 July 2013 Super Admin

Raja Petra Kamarudin

img_98841In yesterday’s article, ‘Evolution of the species’, many readers had the impression that I was propagating Darwinism. That happens quite a lot. Readers would just look at the heading of the article or read just the first few paragraphs and then jump to a conclusion as to what I am talking about (and then start posting comments).

In fact, even reading just one article is not enough. Today’s article is number seven since ‘No god but God’ of last week. And even if you read all seven articles, that still would not mean you know what my ‘ideology’ is unless you have followed my ‘thoughts’ since, say, the mid-1990s.

Okay, maybe the word ‘evolution’ made you jump to the conclusion that I am talking about Darwinism and that I am suggesting that humankind evolved from apes. Evolution does not have to mean that humankind evolved from apes. It can also mean that humankind evolved from hunter-gathers to settlers — which is what really happened if you study anthropology, sociology, archaeology, etc.

And why since about 10 days ago have I started writing almost daily about the subject of religion, in particular that of the Abrahamic faiths? Is it not obvious and have I not already explained why? It is because of late the Christians and Muslims in Malaysia have been quarrelling about religion and both sides think they know what their religion is all about.

So I want to show you two things. One is that you don’t really know your own religion, and worse, you do not know the religion of ‘the other side’ that you are condemning. Second is to show you that this whole thing is not really about religion but about politics — and it has always been about politics since the beginning of these religions.

Okay, since Jesus Christ came first, let us talk about Jesus.

The Romans were not too bothered about Jesus preaching his new brand of Judaism. In fact, the Romans quite liked it because Jesus was preaching love and peace and not the more militant form of Judaism that existed around that time. And Judaism was militant, have no doubts about that. They even had a team of assassins to get rid of those who opposed Judaism (and some were even reported to have ‘defected’ to Jesus and were said to be amongst his disciples).

Jesus opposed the institutionalisation of Judaism and its system of priesthood and ‘church’ hierarchy. As far as Jesus was concerned the Jews had deviated from the true teachings of the religion and Jesus wanted to restore Judaism to what it used to be and was supposed to be.

In short, Jesus challenged the powers-that-be and this was a threat to those who walked in the corridors of power. Hence they had to act against Jesus or else suffer a loss of power. And so the Jewish leaders went to meet the Romans and asked the Romans to take action against Jesus. It was the Jews and not the Romans who wanted Jesus brought down.

Was this dispute between the Jewish leaders and Jesus about doctrine? No, it was about political power. Jesus was challenging their political power and they had to retaliate or else suffer a loss of power. Hence, my conclusion is that it was about politics and not about religious dogma — although the church would most likely disagree with my opinion.

In Muhammad’s case it was the same thing. Muhammad, just like Jesus, challenged ‘the system’. Hence Muhammad too was a threat to those who walked in the corridors of power and they too plotted to get rid of Muhammad. However, Muhammad was spared assassination when he escaped to Yathrib together with Abu Bakar the day he was supposed to be killed.

In Yathrib, now called Medina, Muhammad entered into an alliance with the locals, many who were Jews. The pendatang (the ‘outsiders’ from Mekah) had only the clothes on their backs. Hence Muhammad made a deal for the local to ‘adopt’ the immigrants — basically extend food and shelter to these now homeless followers of Muhammad.

Now, Mekah’s strength lay in the fact that it was the centre of religion for the Arabian Peninsular. And that, therefore, also made it the centre of trade. Hence Mekah’s strength depended not only on it being the centre of religion but also on it being the centre of commerce. And this was the first thing that needed to be undermined — Mekah’s domination of economic activity.

Most people view Muhammad as a Prophet or man of religion. However, we must not forget that long before Muhammad became a Man of God he was a successful businessman. Hence he knew the power of commerce. And to defeat Mekah you must first undermine its economy.

And that was the first thing that Muhammad embarked upon — defeat Mekah by first sabotaging its economy (just like what the west does today to its perceived enemies).

Mekah transported goods from all over the Middle East through the trade routes that passed by Yathrib. So Muhammad organised caravan raids that caused a severe dent in Mekah’s economy.

One day, Muhammad received word that one of the largest caravans ever — estimated to be at least 1,000 camels — was making its way from Yemen to Mekah. Muhammad organised a raiding party of 313 soldiers to lie in ambush at Badr. The Jews of Yathrib then sent word to Mekah that Muhammad was going to ambush this caravan with 313 men and Mekah sent a force of 1,000 to intercept them.

This was not the first battle but was certainly the biggest battle so far where Muhammad’s force was outnumbered three-to-one. Nevertheless, Muhammad’s army won and the Mekah force surrendered. My opinion is that this was the turning point for Muhammad who was in the beginning perceived as just a rebel but now suddenly emerged as a military leader.

In short, this battle changed the entire course of history not only for that region but also for the entire world over more than 1,000 years to come. For their treachery the Jews were punished and that started the animosity between the Muslims and the Jews where earlier they had lived peacefully as neighbours.

Thereafter it was time to conquer Mekah and a year before he died Muhammad led an army of 10,000 men into Mekah that surrendered without a fight. So, first came economic sabotage. Then came military action. Finally came the propagation of the new religion called Islam.

Actually, Muhammad did not compel the conquered people to convert to Islam. Even after the death of Muhammad the Caliphs were quite happy to allow the people of the conquered territories to retain their original religion — contrary to what many think.

You see, the non-Muslims have to pay a poll tax, which they would be exempted from paying if they convert to Islam. Hence it was economically viable to allow non-Muslims to remain non-Muslims. The more territories the Muslims conquered, the bigger the territory they had to rule and the larger the army they would need to retain these territories.

Hence it was not of any economic interest to convert all these people to Islam. If everyone became a Muslim then that would hurt the economy because the amount of taxes they would be able to collect would dwindle.

Hence this convert-or-die thing is not quite true.

If the non-Muslims attacked Muslim territories or rebelled, and if the Muslim army defeats them, they would be put to death and their family taken as slaves and their property confiscated. This was actually the ‘Rules of War’ at that time the world over. There was no concept of prisoners of war. You lose a war and the entire community gets massacred and the towns plundered and women folk and children taken as slaves.

This was not just what they did in the Middle East. Everyone did that whether in Europe, India or China. It was the custom of that era.

However, if after suffering defeat the enemy lays down his arms and declares that he is converting to Islam, it is haram (forbidden) to kill the person who surrenders. Hence the Muslims were basically the first to recognise surrender in war.

So the non-Muslims used this ‘escape clause’. Fight the Muslim conquerors and if you win you massacre them. However, if you lose, then drop your sword and scream, “I am converting to Islam!” The Muslims have no choice but to spare your life and treat you as a brother, a fellow Muslim.

And that was why during the time of the Caliphs many went to war with a copy of the Qur’an. When you lose you tie the Qur’an to your spear and surrender. The Muslims would be forced to accept your surrender and spare your life.

Now, you may ask, why in the first place did the Muslim army want to conquer other territories? But that is what they all did at that time. It is called colonisation. Everyone did it. The powerful nations attacked and/or colonised the weaker nations for economic gain. They are still doing that till today.

The Persians did it. The Greeks did it. The Roman did it. The Norwegians did it. And so did the English, French, Germans, Italians, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Americans, and so on. As your population grows you need to feed the people so you need to expand your territory to gain more natural resources. And you do that by colonisation. Hence the Muslims of that era were no better or no worse than the rest of the people all over the world.

The Muslims of that era were not bad. They were just being ‘normal’. And, as I have written so many times before, ‘normal’ is subjective to time and place. – Malaysia Today

The military strategist named Muhammad

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

If you go around telling people that God spoke to you and that you are His messenger and no one listens to you, you are a lunatic. If you go around telling people that God spoke to you and that you are His messenger and millions listen to you, you are a prophet. Hence your credibility would depend on how many people listen to you. If no one listens to you, you are mad. If many listen to you, you are special.

Now, before you jump on me and accuse me of saying that the Prophets were actually lunatics, hold your horses and read on till the end. Many things that were said and done and which people believed back in the old days would appear crazy by today’s standards. But back in the old days they had different value systems and people of those days did what was considered norm back then. Only by today’s standards would you view all these as sheer lunacy.

The early religions of the hunter-gatherers were mainly animated and the belief in spirits. They believed that everything had a spirit — trees, hills, rivers, the sun, the moon, animals, etc. Hence, as a sort of ‘insurance’, they prayed to these spirits.

Before they cut the corn they prayed to the corn spirit for permission to cut the corn lest the spirit in that corn got angry and punished them. Before they climbed a tree they prayed to the spirit of the tree lest they anger the spirit in the tree and they fall down and hurt themselves or die. Before they fished they prayed to the spirit of the lake or river lest they anger the spirit and fall into the water and drown. And so on.

Hence the early concept of religion was that of a bad, mischievous, angry, jealous, vengeful, uncompassionate, possessive, etc., spirit that lived in everything that the eye could see. And you had to please, bribe, pacify, etc., this spirit lest it punishes you for being inconsiderate in not seeking permission before doing something. And you did this with prayer and sacrifice (both animal and human — as well as, for example, burning some corn as sacrifice before eating it).

If you got sick it is because you angered a spirit. If your catch is bad it is because you angered a spirit. Anything bad at all that happens is the revenge of an angry spirit. So you need to appease this spirit.

That was basically what religion was all about in the early days of the hunter-gatherers. There was no concept of morality or of the existence of a Creator. No one worried about morality or contemplated issues such as who created us and why are we here and whatnot. All that came much, much later.

Eventually, people settled down (the evolution from hunter-gatherers to settlers that I was talking about in my earlier articles) and began to live as a community within a community. So now they needed laws to govern the community.

They did not have an elected government or a police force or a set of laws or law courts, etc. So how do they draw up a set of guidelines to govern how people treated each other? How do they enforce peace and ensure security? How are you going to be protected?

Many things that hunter-gatherers did not have to worry about the settlers now needed to address. In the old days you just killed and ate whatever you killed (and sometimes you killed each other and ate them as well). Now there needs to be certain respect shown to each other. For example you can no longer just kill someone and cook him for dinner and take his woman as your mate.

Morality, something that never used to exist, now needed to be clearly defined. What is moral and what is immoral? And to define morality you needed to first define conscience. Your moral compass would need to be defined by what we call conscience. You have to begin drawing the boundary between right and wrong.

But who is going to be the power that determines these new standards? There was no elected government to undertake this task. The community was self-governing. But someone within that community needed to spell out what is right and what is wrong and hence what are the boundaries of morality-immorality.

And this was when religion came in to undertake that task. Basically they had to adopt the concept of the Creator and that this Creator is also the maker and bringer of laws. Hence God’s laws would bind humankind to a certain code of conduct and a set of moral laws. And you breach this code of conduct and moral laws at your own peril. The punishment could be penance or banishment, or worse, death.

So early religions had to be strict. Religion maintained law and order within the community. They maintained the peace and security. They severely punished offenders and transgressors. And that is why religion is all about rules and regulations. It was what kept you safe and alive.

However, to bind people to the dictates of religion you must first bind people to the doctrine of that religion. And that is why religion is steeped in dogma. You must accept and believe that there is a power that created you and that this power can punish and reward you depending on whether you are a good person or bad person. Once you accept that doctrine you can then accept and follow the dictates of that religion. You become good because it is beneficial to be good and you avoid being bad because it is unrewarding to be bad — the carrot and the stick concept.

Eventually, humankind became more sophisticated as it progressed and primitive religions were no longer acceptable. So the prophets of the new religions had to impress a sceptical population that he was truly the prophet of God.

For example, back in the days of the Pharaoh, magic was what awed the people. The Pharaoh declared that he was god and he had a team of magicians who could turn a stick into a snake to prove it. Moses too was forced to use magic to turn his stick into a snake and which swallowed the snakes of the Pharaoh’s magicians. Even the Pharaoh’s magicians were awed.

Moses also parted the Red Sea to allow his people to escape from Egypt. No one would deny that Moses was legitimate with the powerful magic that he performed.

During the time of Jesus, people were awed by miracles. In fact, magic was by then seen as the devil’s work (you would get put to death for performing magic). So Jesus had to perform all sorts of miracles to prove his legitimacy. (And that is why the miracle of the Resurrection of Jesus is so crucial to Christianity).

During the time of Muhammad, the people were awed by poetry plus of people who had a superb memory and could recite poetry from memory. Poets who could memorise and recite poetry were the superstars of that time and much respected (plus women would swoon and fall in love with them).  

So Muhammad had to recite ‘poetry’, so to speak, as his ‘miracle’. And that is why the verses from the Qur’an are all oral (Qur’an derives from the word recite) and not written (until later) and poetic as well. And the most respected people of that time were those who could memorise and recite the Qur’an. And the Qur’an is read with melody and the end of each verse rhymes with the one before it.

It is said that all Muhammad had to do was to recite verses from the Qur’an and even those who had come to kill him fell down in prostration when they heard the verses. Maybe the Arabs were just suckers for a good poetic verse but whatever it was they were awed when they heard the recitals.

And that, Muslims believe, is the miracle of Muhammad.

Now, another very important point about Arabia of that time, other than being awed by poetry and verses, was that the Arabs were warring desert tribes. They attacked one another, killed one another, robbed one another, kidnapped the other tribes’ women and children, and whatnot. It was basically a test of your manhood to raid and fight the other tribes. It was the same culture as the Vikings and many people of that time. It was, in fact, a noble pastime or occupation back in the pre-Crusade era.

One task ahead of Muhammad was to unite these people, an impossible people to unite even up to this present day (as you may all be aware). So how to unite the hundreds of Arab tribes who for centuries had been fighting and killing each other?

The only way would be religion. The Arabs had no respect for anything or anyone except when it comes to religion. They will fight each other and kill each other until they entered the ‘holy land’ of Mekah. Then they will lay down their arms and not harm even a fly. Hence if you can control Mekah you can control the Arabs.

And that, I believe, is why Muhammad needed to conquer Mekah. He would never be able to unite and control the Arabs until he first controlled Mekah. And I believe that was why he needed to invade Mekah with an army of 10,000 a year before he died.

Hence it was a political strategy. First sabotage Mekah’s economy. Then conquer Mekah militarily. Then introduce Islam to Mekah. And then unite the Arabs under the new religion of Mekah.

I would say it was a brilliant strategy — until after Muhammad died and Islam broke up into many sects and which, again, disunited the Arabs until today.

Muhammad must be weeping seeing this Arab-Muslim disunity from wherever he is currently resting. – Malaysia Today

Yes, what does it mean to be a Malaysian Chinese?!

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What does it mean to be Chinese?

byadelyn-yeoh-170x62-120x44

July 16, 2013

I am, by most definitions, a banana. With this implies a number of things: that I do not know Mandarin, and that I am not very Chinese. My ignorance of Mandarin is not something I wear proudly on my sleeve. But unlike calls for me to learn the language for the sake of being more acquainted with my heritage, I will learn the language for communication purposes.

Additionally, there are those who accuse me of being very Westernised, having gone abroad and all, and as such my cultural identity as a Chinese is diluted. Despite having the reverse happen to me, that is I feel my Chinese heritage even more profoundly, is dilution necessarily a bad thing? The Chinese culture that we inherited came from ancestors from generations before. If we compare to what we in Malaysia adopt now and compare it to the culture inherited from China is totally different. Not that this is wrong or bad, but when those who so fiercely defend it do it out of the fear of this culture being diluted fail to see that some things that are being held onto may not be relevant to our present-day context.

Culture is not static; it is ever-changing. Usually, whatever culture brought in from foreign lands gets assimilated to fit into the local context. And in the context of Malaysia it is strange that even after many generations, there is still so much division within the society due to the stark preservation of racial identities. Most of this racial assertion is done on two fronts: directly by the preservation of racial parties and indirectly by insisting on the preservation of vernacular schools.

To what extent are we trying to preserve these racial identities? While I am all for being proud of our own heritage, the cost of this active assertion is that we lose a national identity because within our society race seems to divide us into stark groups. Worse still in Malaysia, these divisions are institutionalised.

Why are we insisting on having these institutions as a way to mark our identity? If we do away with these institutions, and work towards being a more cohesive society, we should not fear losing our identity. After all, can you truly, truly stop being Chinese? Are people like me less Chinese than the next person who attended a vernacular school?

These accusations of not being very Chinese are very perplexing. It is almost as if the assumption is that the Chinese in Malaysia consist of a single monolithic culture, which it is not. Besides the fact that my ancestors came from Fujian, and thus my lineage has very little to do with this "northerner’s language", there is more to being Chinese and to appreciate being Chinese than just speaking Mandarin. The essence of being Chinese extends to living by values that have Confucian roots, being accustomed to a particular lifestyle that includes eating certain foods and practicing certain habits, even being attuned to certain superstitions. I have all these things, and cannot associate myself with any other cultural group. So how am I any less Chinese than other Chinese?

At the end of the day, what does it mean to be Chinese? It only really means that an ancestor of yours decided to leave China but ultimately landed in Malaysia. Hence, should it not be time that as Chinese we really rethink what it means to be in this country?

<em>* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.</em> – The Malaysian Insider

When Politics is of Commotions and Hate!

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When fences are erected

Malaysia was already badly divided between Nationalist Malays and Leftist Malays long before Merdeka. Then, around Merdeka, we were further divided between Secular Malays and Islamist Malays. Now we are being divided between Liberal Malays (mainly urban) and Conservative Malays (mainly rural). To further divide the Malays between Royalist Malays and Republican Malays is just one more divide too many.

NO HOLDS BARRED

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By Raja Petra Kamarudin

Friday, 21 June 2013 Super Admin

The 30-year War of the Roses was fought in England between 1455 and 1485 — a tussle between the houses of Lancaster and York over the throne of England. From 1642 to 1651, the nine-year English Civil War was fought between the Crown and Parliament. Both these wars were wars between brother and brother, cousin and cousin, and sometimes even father and son.

The problem with those two wars was that the combatants and those who died — and there were many who died — were in one way or another related to one another. Yet they had to fight against each other and kill each other just like what happened during the four-year American Civil War from 1861 to 1865.

Of course, all this did not happen only in England and America. All over the world, over thousands of years, wars between ‘brothers’ have been fought. The Indian Civil War (if I may be permitted to call it that) soon after WWII resulted in the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan. Indians of Hindu and Muslim persuasion that had been living as friendly neighbours for more than a thousand years suddenly and mercilessly butchered each other and more than a million Indians died.

In all three examples above (England, America and India) it was a case of politicians fighting for power. And this power struggle eventually led to a war. But it was not the politicians who suffered. It was the people who suffered.

It is easy for politicians like Anwar Ibrahim and Najib Tun Razak to ‘declare war’ on each other. If these two were to go behind the swimming pool and slug it out on a one-on-one (like what we used to do in MCKK) then well and fine. But that is not what they do. What they do is they drag the rakyat into their fight and cause the rakyat to turn on one another, fight one another, and hate ‘the other side’.

Take the example of the War of the Roses or the English Civil War where brother fought brother, cousin fought cousin, and sometimes even father fought son. Do you think these people really hated each other? They did not.

However, they had no choice but to take sides. You either supported the King or you opposed him. And you either supported the King or opposed him not because you love him or hate him but because you happen to live in that particular town that either supported or opposed the King.

In other words, you are a victim of circumstances. Because of the circumstances of where you live you are forced to choose sides or else you will get killed for being a ‘traitor’. Hence you support the side you do not really support and oppose the side you would really like to support…or else…

I am a royalist at heart. Of course, I have criticised the monarchs on many an occasion and for various reasons over the last 30 years or so since the 1980s. But I criticise them because of their conduct or wrongdoings. It is somewhat ‘personal to holder’. But I never show disrespect by calling for the abolishing of the monarchy and to turn Malaysia into a republic.

In fact, I have also been very unkind to the Malays although somehow they do not call me a racist like they do when I also criticise the Chinese or Indians. I suppose these people apply the doctrine that you are a ‘Towering Malay’ when you criticise the Malays but a racist when you criticise the non-Malays.

Nevertheless, I still believe that we need the monarchs to keep the peace between the Malays and the non-Malays. The Malays, however antagonistic and defiant they may be, will always listen to their Raja-Raja Melayu. And in the event of a racial conflict, the Raja-Raja Melayu will be able to issue a titah (royal decree) and the Malays will listen to their monarch and will calm down.

Many are of the opinion that the maintenance of the monarchy is a waste of good money. Would you say that health and safety are a waste of money however much it may cost? I believe that the monarchy serves a purpose. As long as Malaysia has its Raja-Raja Melayu (sovereign) the Malays would feel that their kedaulatan (sovereignty) is intact. That makes up for whatever else the Malays may be lacking.

There are many Malays who feel they have lost out in the economic sphere. Whether it is the fault of the Malays themselves or of Umno — that the failure of the NEP can be blamed on — is not really a matter that I wish to debate here. The point I wish to stress is that in spite of the ‘backwardness’ of the Malays in terms of wealth, the Malays will always find solace in knowing that they still have something that the others do not have — the Raja-Raja Melayu.

People like Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Tun Musa Hitam, Tun Ghafar Baba, Anwar Ibrahim, and many more from Umno (or ex-Umno) are republicans at heart. If given a choice between maintaining the monarchy and turning Malaysia into a republic they will choose the republic option. But even these republicans know that this would be dabbling with the unknown and better you stay with the known than risk the unknown (as they say: better a devil you know than an angel you don’t).

Malaysia was already badly divided between Nationalist Malays and Leftist Malays long before Merdeka. Then, around Merdeka, we were further divided between Secular Malays and Islamist Malays. Now we are being divided between Liberal Malays (mainly urban) and Conservative Malays (mainly rural). To further divide the Malays between Royalist Malays and Republican Malays is just one more divide too many.

I have spoken to many of my non-Malay friends and they feel that a divided-Malay is the best way forward. They quote the example of Bersih and the ‘Black 505’ rallies where there are as many Malays as non-Malays amongst the crowd. Hence this is ‘proof’ that a divided-Malay augurs well for Malaysia’s liberal movement.

Division can never be good. Division can never be better than unity. Although the non-Malays may see a divided-Malay as good for multiculturalism, there will be a price to pay for disunity.

The notion that one person’s loss is another person’s gain does not always apply to all situations. Civil wars create victims. And most times the victims are the ‘innocent bystanders’. Bullets do not pick and choose its targets. The innocent as well as the guilty suffers in a hail of gunfire.

I would urge our politicians to pause and take a long and deep breath. What is the agenda? Have we lost sight of the agenda? Can politics of hate achieve what we are trying to achieve?

slide_23-226_1-540x403I used to be a strong Pakatan Rakyat supporter. In 2009 I even issued a rebuke to His Highness the Sultan of Perak and I refused to publicly apologise for that rebuke even when commanded to do so by my own family from the Selangor Royal Household. When my family gave me an ultimatum to apologise or else get ostracised, I responded publicly that I would rather leave Selangor and never set foot on that state soil ever again than withdraw my rebuke.

So, yes, I too have defied the Palace, and on more than one occasion. But in all that time I still referred to the State Rulers as Their Highnesses and the Agong as His Majesty and addressed them as ‘Tuanku’ and myself as ‘patek’. I never called them dogs and pigs and whatnot like many of you do in your comments on the Internet and in Malaysia Today as well.

But now I am no longer a strong Pakatan Rakyat supporter although my critics translate this as meaning I am now a Barisan Nasional supporter. As I said, I have personally and publicly rebuked the monarchs from time to time. But I never vilify and disparage them like many of you do. And there is a difference in case many of you are too dumb to understand.

How can I support any political grouping that takes political mileage from a hate campaign? Back in the 1980s I became a ‘hard-core’ opposition supporter when Umno (and led by Dr Mahathir, Ghafar and Anwar) declared war on the monarchy. The plan then was to abolish the monarchy and turn Malaysia into a republic.

This, however, was bitterly opposed by PAS and that was when I (openly) became a staunch PAS supporter although I had been a ‘closet supporter’ as early as the 1970s. Hence one of the factors in me ‘coming out of the closet’ and opposing Umno is because of the 1980s Constitutional Crisis. This was also why Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah got support (because he too was opposed to the onslaught on the Rulers) and was the reason why PAS-Semangat 46 won Kelantan in 1990 (because the Sultan of Kelantan openly and defiantly supported the opposition).

As I said earlier, we do not start the wars. The politicians start these wars. We are merely victims of these wars and are compelled to take sides because we are forced by circumstances to do so. Hence Pakatan Rakyat needs to reflect on what will happen if the Malays are further divided than they already are. Do not equate ‘Malay unity’ as merely strengthening Umno. That is a very narrow way of looking at things.

In that case, do you view ‘Malaysian unity’ as a weakening of Umno or as a way to prevent a race war in Malaysia? Hence, if Malaysian unity is good for the country how can Malay unity be bad? We seem to have this view that Malay unity will work in favour of Umno while Malays at war with one another is good for the opposition.

Maybe this is how Israel looks at things. Arab unity is bad for Israel while Arabs at war with one another is good for Israel. How can a Middle East at war be good for the world? Wars breed extremists and killers and soon these extremists and killers go all over the world to kill innocent women and children. Then we blame Islam for this whereas the wars in the Middle East are not about Islam but about politics, power and territory.

And this is where politicians from both sides of the political divide are being very irresponsible. Of course both sides will claim that their cause is noble and they will cite all sorts of reasons as to why they need to fight.

Invariably, at the end of the day, it is all about politics and power. The reasons being cited are the excuses to give them a noble image of why they fight. And the result is we hate each other and wish ill on each other. And the way the monarchy is being vilified and disparaged has turned Royalists like me against the politicians from both sides of the political divide.

I am a Royalist and proud of it and I offer no apologies for being a Royalist.

(By the way, a Royalist does not mean a member of the Royal Family but a person who supports the Monarchy). – Malaysia Today

Emphasis by Alhaj

Fellow Chinese: Cast The Chauvanism Aside, Integrate, Of Course Not At The Expense of Forgetting Your Roots! The Motherland Has Always Respected The Malays Since The Malaccan Sultanate!

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rui5

China Mari

By Tai Zee Kin

My dear Chinese friends,

China MariI find that this article which has been written by a young Chinese Malaysian brings the true sense and feeling of the Chinese Malaysia from the history of those years until now.

It was exactly why we Malaysian Chinese could not be a truly Malaysian first disregard however hard we try and shout to the Nusantara that we are all Malaysians.

We will always be the Chinese first then only Malaysian.

Assimilation by marriage will be a solution in which will bred a new generation of Malaysian of mix blood and culture. Something to ponder by the Chinese in Malaysia . I totally agree with him and below i would like to share his article to all for the benefit to foster a more tolerable and peaceful environment for all.

Ethnic Han (chinese)-Malaysian, please wake up from our ancestors’ grievance and despair!

马来西亚汉裔同胞,从我们祖先哀怨和悔恨的沉睡中醒起来吧-

TunRazakMao(Preface – This article was originally written by me fully in Mandarin. However i have not gathered enough courage to publish the mandarin version, having anticipated attacks from Chinese Chauvinists in Malaysia. I’ve seek many advices from wise people before putting my thoughts together in this issue. In the spirit of Malaysia, I shall put forth this to you. I dedicate this to every Malaysian, especially our brothers and sisters from different races and ethnicity.)

- “I was listening to a song by the name of 黄河怨 (Grievance of the Yellow River). The wordings of the song reflected the grievance and mourning by the widows and children of chinese men who went on to fight the japanese. The wordings of the song was painful. they were saddening, and full of regrets.”

1) The Great Divide – of Northern and Southern Chinese Immigrants

Tun Razak visit China in 1974Being a chinese malaysian/ Han Malaysian, when you know another new Han Malaysian friends by their name, you would then supplement another question that other races wouldn’t common asked : “What is your dialect clan”?

Are you a hokkien? are you a cantonese, are you a hakka, are you a fuchiew, are you a TiewChew, are you a hainamese, or are you a Kwongxi?

many wouldn’t go all the way to ask if you are a kwongxi.

Had it occur to you, that NO ONE ever asked, if you’re a : Shanghainese, SiChuanese, BeiJingnese, Nanjingnese, HeBei, ?

tun_tan_siew_sin[1]During the last Dynasty and the reign of the last Manchurian Emperor Pu-Yi, with the influences and bullying by the 8 foreign-alliances on China (八国联军), as well as persistent civil war lead by Dr Sun-Yat Sen, many Han Chinese, who forms the majority of the Chinese population couldn’t bear it any longer. They were living in absolute poverty and were suffering from impoverishment. Deep inside their guts, they couldn’t swear absolute loyalty to their king, who were of a different ethnicity from north – the ethnic manchuria, who practices distinct culture from the ethnic han from almost every aspect.

Northern Chinese were commonly known as the 官人 (the rich/upper class). If you trace the english word “MANDARIN”, it came from the ancient Sanskrit connotation of “MENTRI/MENTERI”, which means “of the upper class”. Mandarin, was known as the “dialect of the northern upper class”. People who speaks Mandarin dialect, were the beijing officials from north. – I will elaborate further on this later.

Southern Chinese, like the Hokkiens, FUchiew, Hainamese, albeit adhering to the same writing system, spoke it differently. THese are the farmers, petty merchants, or commonly perceived as the “lower class” among the ethnic Hans. They long succumbed to the fate that northerner who speaks the upper class dialect (官语)-which later was known as the “mandarin” dialect are far more superior and richer.

michelleyeohliving through poverty under the last ching dynasty, and severe instablity during the Nationalist Party’s Reign under Yuan Shi Kai, many Chinese decided to leave the country.

Don’t get it wrong here however.

The northern Chinese left China, with the intention of leaving it for good. they are comprised of the the poor, but mostly the rich. These people fearing that their assets would not survive through persistent civil warfare and lateron, the world war two, brought everything along with them to “better places”, such as the USA and Europe.

The southern Chinese however, were “less” affected by the political instability, not being located in the crux of the game of thrones as much as the northerner. They, on the other hand, were those who seeked to “Change” the fate of their family. With that in mind, they went down south, as brought and offered by the British, to the Nusantara. (British was one of the 8 country alliances that dictated alot of china’s politics).

They were brought in as Miner, labourer, and petty merchants to Nusantara countries, in order to work for the colonial masters’ economical favour.

They were clinging on the hope that one day, upon gathering enough wealth, they could bring back their wealth here to China, and change the lifestyle of their Family in China. Some came alone, leaving their wive and children. Many others, bring along their immediate family members.

They suffered through the difficult passages to commute down south through massive ships, squeezing into the cramped little room for 1 month with technically minimal hygene provisions, just to get their way to Malaya.

They, were our ancestors.

2.) Do you know that most of your ancestors do not speak the language you are speaking now?

MY grandgrandmother Chan Seong Lan, who died 3 years ago at the age of 105, was one of the migrants. I had the privileged of hearing 1st hand experience from her regarding her journey. Granny Chan came from TeowChiew.

When i was young, I had terrible communication problem with granny Chan. I spoke mandarin eloquently. but She doesn’t. She speaks perfect Hakka and Teow Chiew, but never mandarin. To be honest, I’ve never heard she uttered a single mandarin phase. (what made me proud was that her MALAY was really good. She always “sembang” with the lady who sell laksa in front of her house, so i was told).

Our ancestors came down to Malaya with their dialect and language. they were very ignorant over the mandarin dialect (common acknowledge as a “language” in modern days). They do not even think that there was a need to learn mandarin. Most of their culutral practices and behavours were defined by their dialects, such as the Hokkiens and Teow Chiews’ “Pai Ti Gong” ceremony on the 9th day of Lunar New Year or the Hakka’s food like “Son Pan Zi”, “Hakka teoh Fu” etc.

They came in with the simple thoughts of gathering Money, and bring it back to China so that it would benefit their relatives and family up in China. If you still have relatives above the age of 85, do ask them if they have siblings in China, and why didn’t they go back to reconcile and reunite with them. we shall explore “why” they didn’t go back in the next discussion.

3.) Our ancestors who wanted to go back to China, did not go back. Why?

As mentioned above, their main reason of coming down to Malaya/other south east asian country, was not to settle down permanently, unlike the northern Chinese who migrated to Europe or the US.

Our Ancestors taught us a thousand year old virtue, of ” Ru Xiang Sui Su 入乡随俗“ ( if you’re in another foreign/alien land, you assimilate or integrate into the culture and practices of that society). “Ru Xiang Sui Su” was the guiding principle of the chinese who wanted to permanently migrate into a new society. You see the American Chinese migrant adapting Christian name, going to US schools, reading their news papers (of course you still have chinese circulation or chinese food in China town, which will be discussed later – as in the comparison between the china town of chinese who wanted to settle down in new society permanently, and the china town of Malaysia, former are likened to be a “remembrance” of their root, later is just a facade). The Chinese in Europe too incorporated into the european culture fairly quickly, where they won’t be satisfied until their english is rich of British Accent. They did not forget their root nontheless of being ethnic chinese/han, but in terms of lifestyle and routine, they’ve assimilated and integrated into the society they’ve migrated to. You see that in places like Japan, Korea, or Thailand too for that matter.

However, this virtue of “Ru Xiang Sui Su” did not apply to southern chinese who’ve migrated to Malaya. This is simply because they never wanted to stay permanently.

Furthermore, the fact that our ancestors started Chinese school in early 1900, (first being Foon Yew High School in Johor) , started of Chinese Press (Kwong Wah Jit Poh, which is much earlier than Utusan) proved the irrebutable fact that our Ancestors WANTED to ensure that their next generation to be “well equipped” with the Chinese language and culture/customs, so that when they are back in China they would be able to adapt into the norms/culture in China easily. Chinese who migrated with the intention to permanently settled down in a foreign country, never started chinese school or chinese press in the scale that our ancestors did. Back then, Chinese school was not unified. You have Penang’s “Fu Jian High School”, which conducts it’s lesson in Hokkien (currently, renamed “Penang Chinese Girl School/ Bin Hwa High School”). The name of the chinese schools also pretty much reflect on our ancestor’s “reminder” of the fact that their presence in Malaya was temporary. you have “中华CHONG HWA”. Chong Hua is the abbreviation of the “Chong hua/ tiong hua” race (not ethnic), which then is another rephase of the term 中土大园的华夏民族 (the Hua Xia (deepest root of the chinese) race from the main land ground). Contrary to popular believe, Chong Hua is not derived from China’s Full Name “中华人民共和国“’s “Zhong hwa”. in fact, both China’s name, and CHinese School’s name in Malaya derived from the first root of Chinese race (again, not ethnic Han), which is the “Main colossal Land’s Hua Xia race 华夏 race).

What was the reason that they then stayed permanently?

If you read my previous blog post of “bumiputra, for non-bumiputra” —-> Link http://www.facebook.com/taizeekin/posts/10151559295110306 you would have realized that they CAN’T go back to China, against their desire.

soon after they came down, the world war two started. japanese invaded China, and there were civil war in CHina between the Communist fraction and the Nationalist fraction. Fact that Dr Sun Yat Sen started off his revolutionism from Penang, before recapturing China from the last manchurian emperor shows how deep an affinity between the CHinese in Malaya and China (of course he got his later funding from alot of oversea chinese in europe and USA as well, but he started in Penang, Malaysia).

Our Ancestors had NO CHOICE to go back to china and reunite with their siblings, family and loved one. As soon as the war ends, Communist party defeated Nationalist party lead by Chiang Kai Sek, and practiced “Close Door Policy”. the Whole china, like North Korea, was sealed. No one was to enter and no one was to leave (technically).

Malaysian ethnic Han/Chinese will have no choice, but to negotiate for a settlement plan. They GRIEVE and MOURNE over the fact that they could no longer go back and reunite with their family in mainland China. But settlement in Malaya, was never meant to be perpetually. That’s why they actually agreed to alot of terms that were seemingly compromising meritocracy on their part, but INSIST on venacular education. (read my previous blog above for an understanding about citizenship en mass). Venacular education, is the ONLY way they can ensure that their descendant like you and me, would be able to converse in our native mother tongue used in China, so that we could adapt the China’s society when we’re back.

The GRIEVANCE and MOURNING were then inscribed in our blood, and as a matter of fact, in the Federal Constitution right to vernacular education was guarenteed as a result of the “great trade off”. the native nusantarian had no problem giving citizenship to assimilated Chinese/Indian/Europeans as long as they do not withhold their loyalty to their country of origin. Much to the malay’s dismay, the chinese back then had almost all loyalty, in my humble opinion to China. Those who choose to assimilate would then be known as “peranakans”, who speaks and behave like native nusantarian. the nusantarian would treat them as part of them. But because of the technical definition of them being “Chinese”, they were bound by the faith of the 1st Generation Chinese Migrant unfortunately. The Seranis (eurasians) were not included in the “CHinese/INdian” package deal in the constitution. they assimiliated into the Nusantarian culture and was accepted. Again if you want to attack on this point, do read my previous blog first (Bumiputra, for non-bumiputra —> http://www.facebook.com/taizeekin/posts/10151559295110306 )

Therefore It’s suffice to say that Our ancestors, who wanted to prepare their next generation to go back in their stead (they couldn’t because of the close door policy and world war two), instilled in our blood the “Legacy” of mandarin, the very gateway language to go back to China.

4.) Chinese School : To protect the 5000 years old culture and knowledge, or its just about the language as our Ancestor’s legacy to become a gateway to go back to China?

I used to ask my friends from Chinese school, independent, UEC, or SMJK, on why would they go to Chinese School INstead of an ordinary National School.

i got 3 kinds of answers.

a.) The Chauvinistic answers

- Chauvinist (沙文主义) would tell me that it’s our duty to protect the 5000 years old wisdom and culture. thats why we have to send our children to chinese school.

what these chauvinists failed to convince me, is how going to chinese school would ensure that they would protect the 5000 years old history, culture and knowledge?

- I asked them, do you know the “Si Shu Wu Jing (四书五经), the four main literature and 5 great mantras of the chinese. They couldn’t even quote me the title of the 9 most important literature work of the chinese literature.

- I asked them, do you know the different school of thoughts between the confusionism 儒家思想, taoism 道家思想,or Mahayanian Buddhism 大乘佛理. they couldn’t even distuingshih religion rituals and philosophical ideology behind the Chinese Culture-based religion

- I asked them, of the 4 great dishes in Chinese Culture, 四大名菜,京菜,粤菜,闽菜,and 川菜 (Beijing culinery culture, Cantonese culinery culture, Fu Jian culniery culture, and sichuan culinery culture) , how many dishes can they name? they couldn’t even name ONE.

- I asked them, do you know the different between our Ethnic Han’s tranditional costume, the HAN FU (汉服) and the Manchurian Bannerman’s CHEONG SAM/ KEI PO (长衫, 旗袍,旗服) ? they thought that our traditional costume was Cheong Sam/ Kei fuk / Kei pou ), which was a disgrace to our ancestors. we were ethnic HAN with HAN surname like Tan, Lim, Chong, Teoh, but we called the Manchurian’s costumes as our traditional costumes. Manchurians have surname like Yehonala, Nurhachi, Aisinjeoro. Not LIm, Tan, Chong. They didn’t even know that.

Having said that, I , who camed from a Malay school, knew more about Chinese Culture, History, Wisdom and knowledge than them.

their defence of chauvinism hence became obsolete, as you DON’T NEED Chinese school to defend the culture/knowledge of the 5000 years old wisdom.

b.) For the language, Economical reason since China is big.

That reason is even worse. Singapore has ZERO Chinese School, but mandated everyone to brush up their mother tongue. Singaporean ethnic chinese ended up speaking better Mandarin than Malaysian ethnic CHinese/Han. THey didn’t even need Chinese school for that?

If Mandarin is there for economical and practical reason, they SHOULD acknowledge that and propogate mandarin’s learning through the right way. Not the chauvinistic way. I went to Malay school, but took up mandarin all the way to SPM, ended up knowing more about mandarin the language, and Chinese culture than many of the Chinese School graduates.

c.) Don’t Know, just follow my parent’s wish

That is the most dangerous part. This is exactly the very reason many chinese are living in our ancestors’ legacy of Grieving and Mourning over the fact that they COULDn”T go BACK to china, and to make sure that their descendant are at least well equipped with the language so that when they eventually go back to CHINA they would be able to adopt at least in terms of language.

Chinese Education, is different from Chinese Education system. I think it is important for people of every ethnic origin to keep trace of their cultural route including language.

But we MUST not create an Education system purely to accomodate that aspect. Our Ancestors had valid reason to create a separate education system for chinese, for the very reason to prepare themselves and their next generation to Go Back and adapt to CHina. but now that we are permanently settled down in Malaysia, we should defend our mother tongue as a “language to trace our root”, but not a SEPARATE SYSTEM altogether that would alienate a racial group from another throughout their growing time.

5.) China Premier Zhou En Lai’s visit

In the 70s, when China ended it’s close door policy and begin to build foreign ties, Zhou En Lai visited Malaysia. He then made a statement, asking Malaysian Chinese to Swear our loyalty to Malaysia, to our King the Yang Dipertuan Agong.

That puts an END to our grievance and despair of our ancestors, in an abrupt way. No more going back to China. CHINA closed it’s door to them.

Instead of moving on and , like every other chinese around the world, to assimilate and integrate, our second generation ancestors were very CONFUSED. their affinity to Chinese school system is now changed, from initially being an affinity to mainland china, to purely the school system. It’s like , I am an Alumni from Chong Hwa school, and i would NOT let it be replaced/closed. There are 1297 Chinese school in Malaysia, and every each of these schools have alumnis who would, for the sake of their affinity to the school per se, defend and justify their existence.

It soon became and issue of “Quality of Education”.

Chinese School was preferred, in the modern context, mostly because of their quality. I have people telling me, Chinese School has better teacher and better quality, thats why we send our kids there.

Therefore it’s imperative that we do not hide under the facade and hypocrisy of “Defending 5000 years old culture”, and admit that the reason they go to chinese school is because of practical/economical/and quality consideration.

6.) Chinese’s ability and willingness to adapt.

The Chinese, in fact, are among those who are most willing to adapt and modify our culture to intergrate with another culture that we look “highly” too. (of course, keeping a trace of our ethnic han route)

How many Chinese couples wear our traditional Han Fu costume during weddings. westernized, no?

Why many Chinese would adopt “Christian” name (NOT western, i am talking about name like Michael, Kelvin, Joseph, which are CHRISTIAN name) despite not being christians, and fact that it’s very foreign to Chinese culture? of course they keep their enthic HAN route by keeping the surname/given name.

Why so many Chinese are willing to modify our offerings to the Deities? instead of candle light, many are now replaced with, hmn… red bulbs?

Talk about food, do you know that many of the SO CALLED Chinese food like Hokkien Mee, Bak Kut Teh, Hainam Chicken rice, can NEVER be found in Hokkien, or Hainam China? it’s a modification and adaptation to the South East Asian CHINESE taste and preference. If you can modify most of the important cultures, it means you are flexible!

Chinese has a fairly flexible mode to adapt.

fact that the reason Chinese refuse to adapt to the Native nusantarian culture and behaviour, is very worrying. That’s the root of Racism, sparked by FAKE chinese chauvinism.

have you seen a Zikri Tan Boon Hook? or Fatimah Ng Siew Lai? ok lets try with malay names instead of Islamic /arabic/persian name. how about Mawar Liew Mei Siew? or Delima Ong Mai Ling? no? you see more Christophers, Kelvins, Michaels (no offence to many of my friends who’ve adopted christians name) than ever.

Why did we fail to adapt to the native customes and culture is something that we have to ponder upon. i WOULD NOT spell the words out here and risk being labelled a “traitor to the race” like what Emeritus Professor Tan Sri Khoo Kay Kim has been treated rudely by the ignorant chauvinists.

For my Chinese Friends who speaks hokkien.

How do you call a Malay person in Hokkien? HUANNA 蕃仔 ? please use baidu.com to find out what that really means. it’s a disgrace and i felt ashamed.

7.) China Town

Have you been to the China Town in US big sities, and also London’s CHina Town? the China town in Western Countries are VERY chinese. It serves as a “remembraces” and “traces” of the Chinese origin for the migrants, as well as , for economical purposes sell off the unique chineseness to the foreigners. Most Chinese migrants in these country, who’re well assimilated in their respective native culture, would from time to time, visit China Town to remind themselve about their root, in the form of remembrances more than “embracing” them.

Have you been to the China Twon in Kuala LUmpur, and feel the sorry state of it even being duped as “china town”? There is NO NEED for a China Town in Malaysia. most town in Malaysia is China Town. Chinese bill boards, Chinese advertorials, Chinese signboards etc. Why is there a need for a “CHINATOWN” anymore? any Street in Penang or Certain street in KL/ Serdang/Puchong could well beat London’s China town as a more “china” china town.

8.) Malaysian First, or CHinese First?

Funny enough, If you ask that question, Many Ethnic Han Chinese Malaysian would answer you that they are Malaysian first, and Chinese second, without KNOWING what it means to be Malaysian first.

(Caution, if you are a URBAN BANANA, this does not applies to you. according to cense report, there are only 9% of you existing. rest 91% are Chinese educated ) You wake up every morning and watch TVBS Asia, pheonix channel, CCTV4, or hua hee tai. Shows that 80% of other Malaysians who are not chinese will never watch. Tune in to 988, myFM, aiFM, OneFM, channels that 80% of Malaysians don’t understand and will never listen to. You reach your office, open up SinChew, NanYang, GwongMing, KwongWah, China Press, Oriental daily, something that only 80% of Malaysians CANNOT understand. you MIGHT have lunch with your malay/indian colleagues, and chat about life and work. once you go home from work, you talk to your family, children in Mandarin, a language that 80% of Malaysians CANNOT speak or understand. before you sleep, you go to facebook and scroll through. You post among your friends, whom 80% came from your ethnic.

In your daily routine, you are only a MALAYSIAN for 20%, but Chinese 80%. and you call yourself a MALAYSIAN FIRST? hmn… then perhaps, you could tell me how would Chinese first or Malaysian first make a different to you? Lets not quote me example of “WHEN YOU ARE OVERSEA” because you know what, how long are you over sea? so you’re only Malaysian first when you are oversea? hmnnn.

The goal of me posting this long post, is to ASK for the ethnic HAN chinese Malaysian, to really reconsider our stand on issues pertaining race. Stop being chauvinistic and start to integrate and assimilate, WITHOUT compromising your ethnic identity. CHinese in UK/ US/ Thailand all did that willingly. why can’t we? it’s our ancestors’ teaching that we SHOULD do that.

WAKE UP from our ancestors grievance and despair of not being able to go back to China. We are done with that. Let the grievance and despair follow our ancestors to their grave. Start rethinking about your stand as Malaysian.

Khoo Kay Khim 01Please INTEGRATE and ASSIMILATE into the native culture, and OF COURSE , keep mandarin as a language that would trace your ethnic origin. NOT THE OTHER WAY round or you are still TRAPPED in our ancestor’s grievance.

P/s I will write another post on HOW Mandarin, a dialect of the northerner, KILLS OFF our mother tongue (which is our dialect). Mother tongue for Chinese is different, it’s not the language, but the dialect that our ancestors used. Do you know that great poet LI BAI 李白 wrote his poem in HE BEI dialect, which is the current “Hokkien Language”, and the HE BEI dialect was the OFFICIAL language used in TANG dynasty royal palace and court? and there you think everyone in the movie speaks mandarin it must be the spoken language back then. MANDARIN is killing off your mother tonger. THe language is called HAN language 汉语。mandarin, (formerly 官语,(language of the aristocrats), now 普通话 putong hua, 华语 huayu) is MERELY a dialect of the northener. Chinese language is HANYU + your DIALECT. NOT Hanyu + MANDARIN.

That I will discuss in another post.

I further dedicate this post to Joan Lai, Wayne Teo, Jeffrey Foh, and every Chinese Malaysian who thinks that we MUST learn how to integrate into the native Malaysian culture.

Regards

TAI ZEE KIN

Tinggal Kenangan, Masa Tidak Memihak Lagi Kerpada Anwar Untuk Jadi Perdana Menteri!

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Failed To Become Prime Minister; The West Is Abandoning

Written By Nur Eisha Fatihah on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 | 4:03 PM

ph2010062703262-copyAfter finishing his nationwide tour to protest the 13th General Election, Anwar Ibrahim now knows that he is being abandoned by his allies. Formation of the Penang and Kelantan state government after the results of the election was announced shows that the PAS and DAP leaders were against Anwar’s action.

Anwar was having a nervous breakdown when he lost his last chance to become the Prime Minister. This however differs for PAS and DAP as although they failed to take over Putrajaya, all of them were quite satisfies with their members overall performance in the last general election. Now Anwar Ibrahim seems to be swirling into the political abyss while only being helped with one or two PKR leaders that is still rooting for him. The same song is sang by Anwar Ibrahim. He keeps on blaming the Barisan Nasional and the Election Commission for his failure in the last election.

It can be clearly seen that 97% of Chinese voters were cheated by Anwar Ibrahim. They were voting for the DAP without bearing in mind that the Malay voters are seeing this as a traitorous act. Younger Chinese still attends illegal rallies organized by Anwar even though they knew that they have been cheated by the former Deputy Prime Minister himself. Ironically, even as one of the major party in Pakatan Rakyat, there are only a few PAS members and supporters   inclined to join the rally.

Anwar Ibrahim did not only lie to his followers but also he lied to his western allies. Looking at the current situation in Malaysia, the western media and Jewish lobbyist that before this was a strong supporter of Anwar sinister agenda are gradually withdrawing their support. Indonesian former Deputy President, Jusuf Kalla exposes Anwar Ibrahim’s lies by saying that Anwar himself has broken the promise that he made with the Prime Minister of Malaysia Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak, shows to the west that he is not an honest person, and he is definitely not the one who would help the west to obtain their agenda in Malaysia.

Anwar’s attitude of not keeping his promises made it difficult for the west to continue their support in his “struggle” to become the prime minister of Malaysia. It can be said that Jusuf Kalla’s action of exposing Anwar Ibrahim in the Wall Street Journal has an implicit message to the west.

Jusuf actually telling the American and all other western countries that it is time to leave Anwar Ibrahim with his fantasies of becoming the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

The western agenda to ensure Anwar Ibrahim becomes a living puppet that can be exploited to their whims has come to an abrupt end. For the west, Anwar Ibrahim has now become more of a liability then a benefit to the westerners.

Maybe the message that was conferred by Jusuf is understood by the westerners. After the interview he did with the Wall Street Journal, the Economist that is know as the mouthpiece of the western world stated that, at the age of 66 years old, time is not on Anwar’s side for him to be the champion of the western world.

The Economist even predicted that Anwar’s political future is getting bleak when he failed to lead the opposition to overthrow the Barisan Nasional government. The west seems to be using Anwar’s failure in the 13th General Election as evidence that the hope that they have given Anwar in the last 40 years proves to be nothing.

Since 1998, when Anwar Ibrahim was banished by Tun Dr Mahathir, the west was seen as a very strong ally of Anwar. The west was openly stating their support in Anwar’s “reformasi” movement and Anwar was even known as “the west best friend”.

Maybe in that time the west was underestimating the calibre of Barisan Nasional under the helm of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad. They were confident that Anwar Ibrahim was able to overthrow the government through street demonstration.

However the west was wrong as Anwar was directly thrown into Sungai Buloh Prison, but they were still sure of that their golden child will succeed in taking over the government. After being released from prison in 2004 and getting back in the political saddle in 2008, Anwar Ibrahim continues his promises to the west that he will become the Prime Minister eventually but in 2013 his last attempt failed.

This is his last attempt and after this he would not have any other chance to realize his dream. Maybe the west is currently seeking the next puppet in the opposition that can be groomed to help them secure their interest in the country, but surely that person is not Anwar Ibrahim. – Malaysia News

“Tidak ada yang lebih menyayat hati dari melihat bangsa ku dihina dan ditindas oleh orang” – Pepatah Melayu

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UMNO DAHULU DAN SEKARANG

Dr-Mahathir1. Pada 11hb. Mei 2013, UMNO merayakan hari penubuhannya yang ke 63 dengan sembahyang dan tahlil, ucapan bersemangat dari Presiden Najib Tun Razak dan majlis makan malam. Tetapi UMNO pada 2013 ini bukanlah sama dengan UMNO 1946.

2. Pada 1946, pengasas UMNO yang berkumpul di Johor Baru bersemangat untuk menyelamatkan bangsa Melayu dari kehilangan bangsa mereka, dari kehilangan tanahair mereka, dari menjadi rakyat sebuah tanah jajahan British dan hilangnya Melayu di dunia.

3. Perjuangan pemimpin dan ahli pengasas UMNO pada masa itu ialah untuk bangsa, agama dan tanahair. Tidak ada tujuan lain yang menggerakkan mereka, sudah tentu tidak ada kepentingan diri atau niat untuk jadi pembesar negara merdeka dengan upah yang lumayan.

4. Oleh kerana itu mereka dihormati, dialu-alukan dan disokong oleh hampir semua orang Melayu. Mereka adalah pejuang dan jaguh dan orang Melayu datang berduyun-duyun untuk menyertai parti UMNO yang ditubuh oleh mereka.

5. Maka bersatulah Melayu, tanpa mengambilkira pangkat dan darjat, tanpa mempedulikan berpelajaran Melayu, Inggeris atau agama. Mereka semua Melayu samada dari negeri-negeri yang berlainan, dengan raja yang berlainan, atau apa-apa lain yang membezakan mereka.

6. Dan berbaris padat dan rapatlah mereka untuk perjuangan yang suci, perjuangan untuk menyelamatkan bangsa mereka, agama mereka dan negara mereka. Mereka tidak takut, tidak gentar dalam menghadapi kuasa besar British.

7. Dan berjayalah mereka dengan menewaskan Malayan Union, usul satu penjajah terkemuka, satu dari pemenang perang besar dunia. Dan terdirilah negara bangsa Melayu yang merdeka yang dikenali secara rasminya Persekutuan Tanah Melayu. Nama Federation of Malaya ialah terjemahan kepada Bahasa Inggeris dan dianggap oleh orang Melayu sebagai bukan nama rasmi.

8. Itulah UMNO enampuluh lebih tahun dahulu. Mereka disanjung, didukung oleh semua yang berbangsa Melayu di negeri-negeri Melayu dan di mana-mana ada orang Melayu.

9. Tetapi tidak pada hari ini. Sekarang UMNO tidak lagi dipandang tinggi dan tidak lagi disokong seperti dahulu. Sesungguhnya ramai orang Melayu meluat dengan UMNO, anggapnya tidak lagi relevan dan perlu ditolak pun.

10. Kenapa?. Kerana UMNO tidak lagi berjuang untuk bangsa, agama dan tanahair. UMNO ternampak dan memang pun benar, berjuang untuk kepentingan orang-orang tertentu dalamnya dan ahlinya sahaja. UMNO berjuang untuk jawatan dan pangkat, untuk memperkayakan diri, untuk sagu hati, untuk poket sendiri.

11. Untuk ini mereka berusaha mengurangkan kemungkinan diri mereka dicabar, kurangkan kemungkinan diganti oleh sesiapa yang lebih layak. UMNO adalah hak ahlinya, hak pemimpinnya yang sedia ada dan bukan hak orang Melayu. Setelah mereka mendapat tempat jangan benar orang Melayu lain, terutama yang memiliki kebolehan tertentu, menyertai UMNO. UMNO adalah untuk pemimpin dan ahli semasa, dari ketua cawangan kepada ketua bahagian. UMNO tidak perlu tambahan ahli, tidak perlu penyertaan sesiapa lagi kerana ahli yang sedia ada perlu memelihara habuan mereka. Jika terlalu banyak ahli, habuan perlu dikongsi. Dan habuan yang dikongsi tentulah tidak sebanyak sebelum berkongsi.

12. Apa itu perjuangan untuk bangsa, agama dan tanahair! Bukankah yang sudah ada dalam UMNO, sebagai pemimpin atau ahli biasa terdiri dari bangsa Melayu, yang beragama Islam. Perjuangan untuk diri mereka bermakna perjuangan untuk bangsa mereka, bangsa Melayu, agama mereka, agama Islam. Oleh itu perjuangan untuk bangsa, agama dan negara sedang diteruskan, tanpa penyertaan Melayu lain.

13. Kesannya ialah hari ini ahli tidak bertambah selaras dengan pertumbuhan jumlah orang Melayu. Dan mereka terutama yang berkebolehan, yang berbakat tidak dibenar masuk UMNO lagi.

14. Yang boleh menyertai hanyalah yang kurang berkebolehan disbanding dengan yang sudah ada. Oleh kerana penyertaan dalam UMNO mestilah melalui cawangan, yang boleh masuk UMNO ialah yang kurang berkebolehan dari ketua cawangan.

15. Ketua cawangan manusia biasa yang boleh diserang  penyakit, bahkan boleh mati pun. Satu hari ketua cawangan terpaksa lepaskan jawatannya. Penggantinya tentulah orang yang memiliki kebolehan yang kurang darinya. Dengan itu kebolehan ketua cawangan akan merosot sepanjang masa, tiap kali pengganti mengambil alih.

16. Dan ini akan terjadi dalam keseluruhan parti. Semakin lama semakin kurang pemimpin UMNO yang berbakat. Semakin lama semakin kurang ahli yang berbakat dan layak untuk menjadi calon dalam PRU. Calon payung terjun yang berbakat akan dikalahkan.  Dengan itu pemimpin Kerajaan juga akan terdiri dari yang tidak berkebolehan.

17. Di mana pergi mereka yang berbakat ini?. Mereka pergi ke mana mereka di terima, tentunya parti lawan.

18. Melihat UMNO hanya berjuang untuk diri sendiri semata-mata, dan tidak lagi untuk bangsa, agama dan tanahair, orang Melayu tidak lagi nampak kenapa mereka harus sokong dan jayakan semasa PRU orang yang utamakan kepentingan diri sendiri sahaja. Jika ada sahaja parti lain, mereka akan sokong parti itu. Hanya jika parti lain lebih buruk baharulah sokongan kepada UMNO diteruskan. Inilah yang berlaku pada PRU 13.

19. Mungkin kita boleh tepuk belakang kerana UMNO masih menjadi parti yang menang terbanyak dalan PRU 13.  Tetapi ini bukan kerana orang Melayu masih sokong UMNO.  Sebenarnya kemenangan UMNO dalam PRU 13 disebabkan mereka tidak ada pilihan.  Mereka amat takut kalau-kalau Anwar Ibrahim menang bersama dengan DAP.  Akan hancurlah harapan orang Melayu sama sekali.  Seburuk-buruknya UMNO, ia masih berbau Melayu, masih lebih mungkin memelihara kepentingan orang Melayu.  Justeru itu tidak ada pilihan bagi orang Melayu jika tidak sokong UMNO.  Namun demikian dalam PRU 14 UMNO tidak boleh harap keadaan ini berterusan.  Jika UMNO tidak bersihkan dirinya dari rasuah dan kepentingan diri, orang Melayu mungkin mencari jaguh yang lain.

20. Demikianlah riwayat dan sejarah sebuah parti politik yang lupakan usul-asal dan sebabnya ia ditubuh. Demikianlah berakhirnya perjuangan yang lari jauh dari matlamat asalnya. Dahulu lain, sekarang lain.  Sejarah dan kecapaian dahulu tidak akan meraih sokongan selama-lamanya. Dahulu dahulu, sekarang sekarang. Hanya berharap kepada kata-kata hikmat Hang Tuah, “Tak akan Melayu hilang di dunia” tidak mencukupi. Mungkin Melayu tidak akan hilang di dunia, tetapi apakah jenis Melayu yang tidak hilang ini. Apakah mereka terdiri dari pencuci kasut, pemandu kereta, kuli yang terbongkok-bongkok menyembah bangsa lain yang menjadi Tuan mereka. Dan apakah nasib UMNO? Ia akan jadi cerita dongeng dalam buku kanak-kanak dizaman akan datang.

21. Inilah masa depan yang menunggu UMNO. Inilah masa depan sebuah parti yang cemerlang tetapi sudah hilang kegemilangannya. Inilah masa depan bagi yang tidak mahu sedar dan tidak mahu membetulkan diri.

22. Kata seorang penulis sajak di zaman dulu, “tidak ada yang lebih menyayat hati dari melihat bangsa ku dihina dan ditindas oleh orang”. –Tun Dr Mahathir

Kalimah Allah dan Pluralisme Agama!

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Antara Syed Naquib dan Anwar

Oleh Zaini Hassan

re_06.1PADA Hari Sabtu (22/9/2012), pukul 9 hingga 11 malam, saya dan rombongan Rektor Universitas Ibn Khaldun (UIKA) Bogor, berkesempatan menghadiri kuliah terbuka (Saturday Night Lecture) Prof. Dr. Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas di Kampus Antarabangsa UTM.

Kuliah rutin Prof. Naquib al-Attas ini diselenggarakan oleh Center for Advanced Studies on Islam, Science, and Civilization (CASIS) – UTM yang didirikan dan dipimpin oleh Prof. Dr. Wan Mohd. Nor Wan Daud. Sebenarnya, tujuan utama delegasi UIKA Bogor ke Kuala Lumpur adalah menandatangani nota persefahaman antara UIKA dengan Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, sebuah universiti besar dengan mahasiswa internasional lebih dari 4,000 orang.

Namun, kami bersyukur sempat juga mengikuti kuliah umum Prof. Naquib al-Attas, yang pernah mengunjungi UIKA di tahun 1990-an. Kota Bogor juga sangat akrab dengan Prof. al-Attas, sebab di masa kecil beliau pernah tinggal di sini. Beliau adalah cucu dari Habib Abdullah bin Muhsin al-Attas, yang di daerah Empang Bogor popular dengan sebutan “Habib Kramat”.

Malam itu Prof. Naquib al-Attas banyak menghuraikan makna dari sejumlah istilah penting dan popular dalam kajian Islam, seperti makna ad-Din, religion, knowledge, ilmu pengetahuan, ilmu pengenalan, ma’rifat, dan sebagainya.

Sekitar 300 peserta memenuhi auditorium Kampus Internasional UTM. Mereka cukup beragam; ada guru besar, pejabat tinggi negara, pengusaha, kalangan professional, mahasiswa, dan juga hadirin dari Indonesia, Singapura, Thailand, dan sebagainya.

Di usianya yang ke-83, Prof. al-Attas masih mampu memberikan kuliah dengan lancar selama hampir tiga jam. Al-Attas terkenal dengan teorinya, bahawa “Islam is the only genuine revealed religion”; Islam adalah satu-satunya agama wahyu yang murni. Selain Islam, menurut al-Attas, masuk kategori agama budaya (cultural religion). Sudah semestinya, setiap Muslim meyakini kebenaran dan keistimewaan Islam sebagai nama satu agama dan juga sebagai cara yang benar dalam berserah diri kepada Allah (submission to Allah). Keyakinan orang Muslim itu sepatutnya dihormati, sebagaimana juga kaum Muslim menghormati keyakinan agama-agama lainnya.

Dalam kaitan inilah, Prof. al-Attas mengkritik fahaman Pluralisme Agama, yang secara intoleran, melarang kaum Muslim – dan pemeluk agama-agama lain — untuk meyakini kebenaran agamanya masing-masing.

Dalam karya monumentalnya, Prolegomena to the Metaphysic of Islam, (Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, 1995), al-Attas sudah mengkritik fahaman Trancendent Unity of Religion – satu jenis Pluralisme Agama – yang kian marak disebarkan akhir-akhir ini.

Malam itu, Prof. al-Attas menegaskan kembali kekeliruan fahaman Pluralisme Agama dan menepis berbagai tudingan yang menyatakan bahawa umat Islam tidak toleran terhadap umat beragama lainnya.

Penjelasan Prof. al-Attas tentang kekeliruan fahaman Pluralisme tentu saja sangat penting di Malaysia saat ini. Sebab, wacana Pluralisme tampaknya sedang hangat di Malaysia.

Saat kunjungan ke Malaysia itu, saya menerima hadiah sebuah buku berjudul “Pluralisme Agama: Satu Gerakan Iblis Memurtadkan Ummah”, yang diterbitkan Muafakat, Kuala Lumpur, 2012. Membaca buku ini, tampak wacana Pluralisme sedang sangat rancak dibincangkan di Malaysia.

Memandang begitu pentingnya isi buku ini, maka begitu tiba di Jakarta, pada 26 September 2012, buku ini langsung saya bahas dalam acara Dialog Malam di Radio Dakta 107 FM.

Seingat saya, di tahun 2003, saat saya memulai kuliah di ISTAC-IIUM, wacana Pluralisme Agama masih asing di banyak aktivis Islam di Malaysia. Saat membentang fakta dan data tentang Pluralisme Agama di Indonesia, dalam berbagai forum diskusi, banyak tokoh dan cendekiawan di Malaysia, menyatakan, bahawa pendapat sejumlah kaum Pluralis di Indonesia sangat ekstrem, sampai membenarkan semua agama.

Fahaman semacam itu, kata mereka ketika itu, sulit berkembang di Malaysia, kerana pemerintah Malaysia bertugas menjaga aqidah Islam, sebagaimana diamanahkan dalam Perlembagaan.

Tetapi, kini, wacana Pluralisme Agama pun sudah tampak mulai berkembang, meskipun masih mendapatkan tentangan yang sengit daripada berbagai kalangan cendekiawan ulung seperti Prof. Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas.

Tahun 2006, umat Islam di Malaysia pernah dihebohkan dengan terbitnya buku berjudul “Islam dan Pluralisme” dibiayai oleh Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Di antara cendekiawan yang tulisannya dalam buku tersebut adalah Nurcholish Madjid, John Hick, dan Asghar Ali Engineer.

Kini, wacana Pluralisme Agama makin meluas, apalagi setelah tokoh politik Anwar Ibrahim secara terbuka menyampaikan pidatonya yang berisi dokongan terhadap fahaman ini.

Buku “Pluralisme Agama: Satu Gerakan Iblis Memurtadkan Ummah” yang disunting oleh aktivis Islam senior di Malaysia, Ismail Mina Ahmad, ini banyak mengupas dan mengkritik pidato Anwar Ibrahim di London School of Economics, 18 Mac 2010.

Adalah penting untuk menyemak petikan-petikan isi pidato Anwar Ibrahim tersebut:

“…. it is a stark reality of our world that certain religious groups hold that only certain fundamental doctrines may lead to salvation. This exclusivist outlook unfortunately cuts across the board as between religions as well as within the denominations….”

“Back in the 13th century, the mystical poet Jalaluddin al-Rumi wrote in the Masnawi: The Lamps are different but the Light is the same, it comes from Beyond; if Thou keep looking at the lamp, thou art lost; for thence arises the appearance of number and plurality…”

“Today, freedom of religion without which there can be no religious pluralism, is an entrenched constitutional liberty in the established democracies. As such, favouring one religion over another or granting it a position at the expense of others may be considered as being against the spirit of religious pluralism. Yet this still happens even in certain established democracies in Europe while in the Middle East and in South East Asia this ambivalence has been virtually taken for granted until recently.

This is why the discourse on religious pluralism must deal with the fundamental question of freedom of religion and by association the freedom of conscience. The question arises as to whether it is diversity of religions which makes the divided world more divided or the denial of religious freedom that causes it.

I believe I am not alone in saying that for religious pluralism to flourish in a divided world, it is morally unacceptable to say to people of other faiths: We believe in Our God and we believe we are right; you believe in your God, but what you believe in is wrong….

Whatever the religion, whether it be Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism and many others, I believe that the higher truths which go beyond mere practice and ritual all converge on the singular truth; and that is from God we were sent forth and unto God shall we return.

Yet certain leaders of the major world religions continue to make exclusivist claims to the eternal truths rather that accepting the commonality that blinds us. If we accept that there can be unity in diversity, religious pluralism can therefore be a unifying force, not a cause of division. That is the way to take us away from darkness into light, from war to peace and from hatred and evil to love and kindness.”

Demikianlah isi pidato Anwar yang diterjemahkan dalam buku tersebut sebagai berikut:

“… ia realiti yang terbentang ‘penuh telanjang’ di dunia kita ini, bahawa golongan-golongan agama tertentu menganggap hanya ajaran asasi tertentu sahaja yang membawa ke jalan keselamatan, syurga. Pandangan yang eksklusif, tertutup ini, sayangnya tersebar secara meluas dalam hubungan antara agama-agama dan juga dalam kerangka mereka yang sama agamanya….”

“Kembali ke belakang, dalam abad ke-13, penyair sufi Rumi menggubah dalam Masnawinya: Lampu-lampu berlainan, tetapi Cahaya itu sama, ia datang dari Seberang Sana; kalau anda terus menerus melihat pada lampu, kamu tersesat; kerana dari sana timbul rupa lahir pada bilangan dan kemajmukan….”

“Pada hari ini, kebebasan beragama yang tanpanya tidak ada pluralisme agama, adalah suatu kebebasan yang tertanam teguh sebagai kebebasan dalam perlembagaan dalam negara-negara demokrasi yang terkenal teguh kedudukannya. Dengan demikian, maka memihak kepada sesuatu agama dan tidak yang lain atau memberikannya kedudukan yang merugikan yang lain boleh dianggap sebagai bertentangan dengan semangat pluralisme agama. Tetapi ini masih berlaku walaupun dalam negara-negara demokrasi yang teguh kedudukannya di Eropah, manakala di Timur Tengah pula dan di Asia Tenggara sikap bercanggahan antara dua perkara berlawanan ini disifat sebagai perkara lumrah yang biasa (taken for granted) sehingga akhir-akhir ini.

“Sebab itulah maka wacana tentang pluralisme agama mesti berhadapan dengan persoalan asasi berkenaan dengan kebebasan beragama dan dengan mengaitkannya dengan kebebasan dhamir manusia (freedom of conscience). Persoalan yang timbul ialah adakah kepelbagaian agama yang menjadikan dunia terbahagi-bahagi itu menjadi lebih terbahagi-bahagi lagi sifatnya, ataupun penafian kebebasan beragama yang menjadi penyebab baginya.

“Saya percaya bahawa saya bukan keseorangan dalam membuat kenyataan bahawa untuk pluralisme agama berkembang subur dalam dunia yang terbahagi-bahagi sifatnya ini, maka adalah perkara yang tidak boleh diterima dari segi moral untuk seseorang itu berkata kepada orang lain yang mempunyai sistem kepercayaan lain daripadanya: “Kami beriman kepada Tuhan kami dan kami percaya kami benar, anda percaya kepada tuhan anda, tetapi apa yang anda percaya adalah tidak benar…

“Apa juga agamanya, sama ada Islam, Kristian, Sikh, Hindu dan banyak lagi yang lain, saya percaya bahawa kebenaran-kebenaran yang lebih tinggi (higher truths) yang mengatasi amalan-amalan semata (mere practice) dan ibadat semuanya terpusat atas kebenaran yang satu itu (singular truth): bahawa dari Allah kita datang dan kepada Allah kita kembali.

“Tetapi ada pemimpin tertentu agama-agama dunia yang terus-menerus membuat dakwaan yang eksklusif tentang mereka memiliki kebenaran yang kekal abadi dan tidak sangat menerima perkara-perkara yang sama (commonality) yang menghubungkan kita semua. Kalaulah kita menerima bahawa memang ada persatuan dalam kepelbagaian, maka Pluralisme Agama menjadi satu tenaga penyatuan, bukan sebab bagi perpecahan. Itulah jalannya untuk menarik kita keluar daripada kegelapan kepada cahaya, daripada perang kepada damai, daripada kebencian dan kejahatan kepada kasih sayang dan kebaikan.”

Demikian sejumlah petikan paparan Anwar tentang Pluralisme Agama.

Silalah masing-masing menilai sendiri, bagaimana isi pidato Anwar tersebut. Isi pidato itu sangat jelas mendukung fahaman Pluralisme Agama. Terlepas dari motivasi pidato tersebut, yang jelas, pendapat Anwar tentang Pluralisme Agama itu segera menuai banyak debat dan kritik oleh aktivis dan cendekiawan di Malaysia.

Mantan Presiden Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM) Dr. Yusri Mohamad, menyatakan, bahawa dengan penekanan pada “kesamaan” dan “kesetaraan” dalam semua hal, termasuk dalam hal beragama, maka Pluralisme Agama akhirnya akan menjurus kepada konsep keyakinan.

“Iman-kufur”, “tawhid-syirik”. (hal. 190).

Ini ertinya, Pluralisme Agama sudah memasuki wilayah yang paling mendasar dalam ajaran Islam, iaitu aspek aqidah atau keimanan.

Cendekiawan Muslim Malaysia, Dr. Mohd Farid Mohd. Shahran, menulis, bahawa Pluralisme Agama termasuk bentuk kekeliruan ilmu atau sufasta’iyyah (sophism) yang ditolak oleh aqidah Islam. Pluralisme yang menerima kebenaran semua agama – menurut cara pandang agama masing-masing – adalah jenis sufasta’iyah al-indiyyah yang tidak menerima satu kebenaran yang objektif dan mutlak, sebagaimana disyaratkan dalam aqidah Islam. Imam al-Nasafi telah menegaskan kemampuan akal manusia dalam meraih kebenaran mutlak secara bersama dan menolak pandangan nisbi kaum sofis. Menegaskan pendapat Imam Nasafi, Prof. Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas menyatakan: “penyangkalan terhadap kemungkinan dan objektiviti ilmu pengetahuan akan mengakibatkan hancurnya dasar yang tidak hanya menjadi akar bagi agama, tetapi juga bagi semua jenis sains.” (hal. 193).

Kerana itu, Dr. Farid – murid Prof. Syed Naquib al-Attas di ISTAC-IIUM — menyimpulkan: “Sekiranya kita menerima fahaman Pluralisme Agama, ia bukan sahaja bertentangan dengan prinsip aqidah Islam, malah juga bertentangan dengan prinsip akal yang sihat. Ini kerana akal tidak boleh menerima dua hakikat yang sama-sama benar akan tetapi saling bertentangan untuk wujud di satu masa. Ini bertentangan dengan prinsip asas dalam logik iaitu the principle of non-contradiction.”(hal. 193).

Pakar Pluralisme Agama dari Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (IIUM), Dr. Anis Malik Thoha, menguraikan pandangan Prof. John Hick yang sering ditempatkan sebagai “nabinya” kaum Pluralis Agama.

Kata Hick: “…the great religious traditions are to be regarded as alternative soteriological “spaces” within which, or “ways” along which, men and women can find salvation/liberation/fulfillment.”

Menurut Hick, betapa pun agama-agama itu berbeza satu sama lain, tetapi hakikatnya agama-agama itu adalah media atau cara-cara/jalan-jalan yang sama abash/valid dan sama-sama otentik untuk menuju satu tujuan yang satu san sama, atau untuk meraih keselamatan. Dengan demikian, masing-masing dari pemeluk agama-agama tersebut tidak boleh mengklaim bahawa agamanya sendiri yang benar secara absolute dan mutlak.

Dr. Anis mengingatkan, bahawa meskipun sekilas doktrin Pluralisme Agama tampak cantik, indah, dan menjanjikan perdamaian, tetapi jika dicermati dengan saksama, “doktrin ini sesungguhnya telah melakukan pembodohan yang luar biasa dahsyat, penodaan harkat dan martabat manusia, penjungkirbalikan logika normal dan, pada akhirnya, pengingkaran eksistensi agama-agama itu sendiri.” (hal. 169).

Artikel Penuh: http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/Rencana/20121010/re_06/Antara-Syed-Naquib-dan-Anwar#ixzz2V6dnWry2
© Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd

PENGGUNAAN KALIMAH ALLAH

6 Rabi’ul Awal 1434 H. [MOD] -

 

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الْقَائِلِ،

أَلَا لِلَّهِ الدِّينُ الْخَالِصُ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مِنْ دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ مَا نَعْبُدُهُمْ إِلَّا لِيُقَرِّبُونَا إِلَى اللَّهِ زُلْفَى إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَحْكُمُ بَيْنَهُمْ فِي مَا هُمْ فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي مَنْ هُوَ كَاذِبٌ كَفَّارٌ (الزمر : 3)

Ingatlah, hanya kepunyaan Allahlah agama yang bersih (dari syirik). Dan orang-orang yang mengambil pelindung selain Allah (berkata): “Kami tidak menyembah mereka melainkan supaya mereka mendekatkan kami kepada Allah dengan sedekat-dekatnya”. Sesungguhnya Allah akan memutuskan di antara mereka tentang apa yang mereka berselisih padanya. Sesungguhnya Allah tidak menunjuki orang-orang yang pendusta dan sangat ingkar.

أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لآإِلهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ سَيِّدَنَا  مُحَمَّدًا  عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُوْلُهُ،

اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَبَارِكْ عَلىَ سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَأَصْحَابِهِ وَمَنْ تَبِعَهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّيْنِ،

أَمَّا بَعْدُ فَيَا عِبَادَ اللَّهِ !  اِتَّقُواْ  اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلاَتَمُوْتُنَّ  إِلاَّ وَأَنْتُمْ مُّسْلِمُوْنَ

Wahai hamba-hamba Allah sekelian!

Marilah kita bersama bertaqwa kepada Allah dengan sebenar-benar taqwa. Dan Janganlah kita mati melainkan dalam keadaan Islam. Saya  menyeru diri saya sendiri dan juga sidang Jumaat sekalian  agar  kita  sama-sama  meningkatkan  ketaqwaan  kita  kepada  Allah  dengan  melakukan  segala  suruhanNya  dan  menjauhi  segala  yang  ditegahNya. 

 

Sidang Jumaat yang dirahmati Allah,

Ayat yang dibacakan tadi jelas menunjukkan orang-orang kafir menyembah berhala kerana ingin mendekatkan diri kepada Allah. Istilah Allah telahpun digunapakai oleh mereka sejak dari dulu. Dari sudut hukum asalnya penggunaan istilah Allah oleh orang-orang kafir sememangnya telah diakui oleh Allah sendiri di dalam Al-Quran yang menceritakan tentang penggunaan tersebut oleh manusia terdahulu. Malah dalam hadis Sohih riwayat Imam Bukhari menyebutkan :

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَصْدَقُ كَلِمَةٍ قَالَهَا الشَّاعِرُ كَلِمَةُ لَبِيدٍ أَلَا كُلُّ شَيْءٍ مَا خَلَا اللَّهَ بَاطِلٌ وَكَادَ أُمَيَّةُ بْنُ أَبِي الصَّلْتِ أَنْ يُسْلِمَ

Daripada Abu Hurairah R.A. berkata, Sabda Rasulullah SAW ; Sebenar-benar perkataan yang diungkapkan oleh para penyair adalah kata-kata Labid, adapun segala sesuatu selain dari Allah adalah batil dan hampir-hampir Umayyah Bin Abi Salti menjadi Islam.

 

Sidang Jumaat yang dirahmati Allah,

         Perdebatan yang tak sudah mengenai penggunaan istilah Allah ini sebenarnya bukanlah persoalan hukum harus atau haramnya yang dilihat dari dari sudut nas dan dalil. Perdebatan ini sebenarnya lahir akibat perbezaan pemikiran dalam menanggapi isu ini. Tidak akan berlaku pertemuan selama-lamanya jika sebahagian kita melihat dari sudut hukum asal sedangkan sebahagiannya pula melihat dari sudut kuasa kerajaan melaksanakan ijtihad dalam melindungi maslahat rakyatnya. Contoh kebebasan penggunaannya di Negara Islam yang pemimpinnya hanya Islam pada nama atau negara barat yang tidak mempunyai wewenangan kuasa untuk mengawal aqidah umat Islam langsung tidak sesuai digunapakai walaupun ianya difatwakan oleh ulamak tersohor yang tidak langsung memahami situasi dan keadaan di negara kita. Mungkin ada baiknya penggunaan istilah ini di negara majoriti Muslim seperti Indonesia dan Negara-negara Arab bagi menerapkan dan membiasakan budaya serta istilah Islam kepada orang-orang kafir. Berbeza dengan negara yang tidak mempunyai majoriti besar umat Islam seperti di negara ini, jika penggunaan istilah ini diberikan kebebasan hanya memberi peluang bagi mereka mengelirukan dan menerapkan budaya mereka di kalangan Umat Islam di negara kita.

 

Sidang Jumaat yang dirahmati Allah,

         Ada di antara kita yang bercakap dari sudut dakwah dengan mengatakan mudah-mudahan penggunaan istilah Allah di kalangan orang kafir akan menjinakkan mereka dengan Islam. Namun jika dilihat dari segi ancamannya kepada aqidah umat Islam dengan segala kelemahan yang kita ada maka ternyata pengawalan aqidah Umat Islam sewajarnya diutamakan berbanding usaha dakwah agar mereka menerima Islam. Kaedah Feqah menyatakan

دَرْءُ الْمَفاَسِدِ مُقَدَّمٌ عَلَى جَلْبِ الْمَصَالِحِ

Mengelakkan kerosakan lebih diutamakan daripada mencari kemaslahatan.

Tidak timbul soal kita takut dengan bayang-bayang sendiri seolah-olah iman kita terlalu lemah sehingga boleh digugat dengan hanya sekadar penggunaan satu istilah. Hakikatnya, kita bertanggung jawab mempertahankan aqidah umat tanpa memberi ruang langsung kepada sebarang usaha dari musuh Islam untuk mencemarkannya. Apakah kita mampu mengembalikan kesucian agama kita tatkala kita lemah jika sekiranya kita leka dengan perdebatan yang tak sudah padahal kuasa masih di tangan kita. Isu ini bukan sahaja wajar dimuktamadkan setelah fatwa rasmi dikeluarkan malah perbincangan mengenainya juga tidak seharusnya dibenarkan.

 

 Sidang Jumaat yang dirahmati Allah,

         Tidak semua perkara yang diharuskan oleh Allah tidak boleh dilarang oleh pemerintah. Atas dasar Siyasah Syar’iyyah, pemerintah boleh melaksanakan undang-undang bagi mencegah kemudharatan terhadap rakyatnya (سَدُّ الذَّرَائِعِ ). Oleh kerana Islam adalah Agama Persekutuan, maka kemaslahatan Islam dan Umatnya hendaklah diutamakan daripada selainnya. Kaedah Feqah menyebutkan :

تَصَرُّفُ الإِماَمِ عَلَى رَعِيَّةٍ مَنُوْطٌ بِالمَصْلَحَةِ

Tindakan pemerintah terhadap rakyatnya bergantung kepada Maslahat

 

بَارَكَ اللهُ لِيْ وَلَكُمْ فِى الْقُرْآنِ الْعَظِيْمِ وَنَفَعَنِي وَإِيَّاكُمْ بِمَا فِيْهِ مِنَ الأيَاتِ وَالذِّكْرِ الْحَكِيْمِ وَتَقَبَّلَ مِنِّي وَمِنْكُمْ تِلاوَتَهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيْمُ. أَقُوْلُ قَوْلِيْ هَذَا وَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ الْعَظِيْمَ لِيْ وَلَكُمْ وَلِسَائِرِ الْمُسْلِمِيْنَ وَالْمُسْلِمَاتِ وَالْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ الأَحْيَاءِ مِنْهُمْ وَالأَمْوَاتِ، فَاسْتَغْفِرُوْهُ، إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُوْرُ الرَّحِيْمُ

 

خطبة كدوا

اَلْحَمْدُ ِللهِ الْقاَئِلِ :

وَلَئِنْ سَأَلْتَهُمْ مَنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ فَأَنَّى يُؤْفَكُونَ (العنكبوت :61)

أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَــهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيْكَ لَهُ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُوْلُهُ، اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلى ءَالــِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ أَجْمَعِيْنَ. 

فَيَا عِبَادَ اللهِ، اِتَّقُوْا اللهَ، أُوْصِيْكُمْ وَإِيـَّايَ بِتَقْوَى اللهَ، فَقَدْ فَازَ الْمُتَّقُوْنَ

 

Sidang Jumaat yang dirahmati Allah,

         Muzakarah Jawatankuasa Fatwa Majlis Kebangsaan Bagi Hal Ehwal Ugama Islam Malaysia Kali Ke-82 yang bersidang pada 5 – 7 Mei 2008 telah membincangkan Isu Tuntutan Penganut Kristian Terhadap Penggunaan Kalimah Allah.

Muzakarah telah memutuskan bahawa lafaz Allah merupakan kalimah suci yang khusus bagi agama dan umat Islam dan ia tidak boleh digunakan atau disamakan dengan agama-agama bukan Islam lain. Oleh itu wajib bagi umat Islam menjaganya dengan cara yang terbaik dan sekiranya terdapat unsur-unsur penghinaan atau penyalahgunaan terhadap kalimah tersebut, maka ia perlu disekat mengikut peruntukan undang-undang yang telah termaktub dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Manakala Jawatankuasa Fatwa Negeri Perak, dengan perkenan Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultan, telah membuat dan menyiarkan fatwa pada 13 May, 2010 seperti berikut:

 

 (i) Penggunaan Kalimah Allah hanya dikhususkan kepada umat Islam;

(ii) Mana-mana penganut selain daripada penganut Agama Islam adalah dilarang daripada menggunakan Kalimah Allah untuk sebarang tujuan atau maksud;

(iii) Orang-orang yang bukan beragama Islam adalah dilarang daripada menggunakan Kalimah Allah dalam apa jua penerbitan, penyiaran dan penyebaran apa-apa buku, risalah, filem, video dan sebagainya.

 

 Sidang Jumaat Sekelian,

 

         Setiap orang adalah bebas untuk beramal dan berpegang dengan pendirian dan ilmu masing-masing. Oleh kerana ilmu, pendedahan dan pemikiran kita yang saling berbeza, maka lahirlah berbagai pendapat yang tidak mungkin di satukan. Oleh kerana ianya adalah merupakan masalah yang bersifat ijtihadi, maka pemerintah mempunyai peranan untuk mengeluarkan fatwa agar kesatuan ummat Islam dapat dipertahankan. Tidak ada sebarang faedah bagi ummat Islam untuk memperjuangkan hak orang-orang kafir sedangkan dalam masa yang sama mereka sentiasa berhelah untuk menafikan hak Umat Islam di negara ini. Kita tidak pernah menafikan hak mereka untuk beramal dengan agama mereka namun janganlah sampai mengancam jati diri dan pelaksanaan syariat Allah di bumi Allah ini.

 اَللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِلْمُسْلِمِيْنَ وَالْمُسْلِمَاتِ وَالْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ والْمُؤمِنَاتِ، وَأَصْلِحْ ذَاتَ بَيْنِهِمْ وَأَلِّفْ بَيْنَ قُلُوْبِهِمْ، وَاجْعَلْ فِى قُلُوْبِهِمُ الإِيْمَانَ وَالحِكْمَةَ، وَثَبِّتْهُمْ عَلَى مِلَّةِ رَسُوْلِ اللهِ صَلَّ اللهِ عَلَيهِ وَسَلَّم.

اَللَّهُمَّ أَعِزَّ الإِسْلاَمَ وَالْمُسْلِمِيْنَ، اَللَّهُمَّ انْصُرِ الإِسْلاَمَ وَاْلمُسْلِمِيْنَ،

اَللَّهُمَّ انْصُرِ الدُّعَاةَ وَالْمُجَاهِدِيْنَ، اَللَّهُمَّ دَمِّرِ الْكَفَرَةَ وَالْمُشْرِكِيْنَ،

وَأَهْلِكْ أَعْدَائَكَ أَعْدَاءَ الدِّيْنِ،اَللَّهُمَّ عَذِّبِ اْلكَفَرَةَ الَّذِيْنَ يَصُدُّوْنَ عَنْ سَبِيْلِكَ، وَيُكَذِّبُوْنَ رُسُلَكَ، وَيُقَاتِلُوْنَ أَوْلِيَائَكَ، اَللَّهُمَّ بَدِّدْ شَمْلَهُمْ وَفَرِّقْ جَمْعَهُمْ،

وَزَلْزِلْ أَقْدَامَهُمْ، وَسَلِّطْ عَلَيْهِمْ كَلْبًا مِنْ كِلاَبِكَ، اَللَّهُمَّ يَا مُنْزِلَ الْكِتَابِ،

وَيَا مُجْرِيَ السَّحَابِ، وَيَا هَازِمَ الأَحْزَابِ،إِهْزِمْهُمْ وَانْصُرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ،

بِقُدْرَتِكَ وَقُوَّتِكَ يَا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ.

اَللَّهُمَّ وَفِّقْ سلطان أزلن مُحِبُّ الدِّيْن شاه اِبْنِ اَلْمَرْحُوْمِ سلطان يُوْسُف عِزُّ الدِّيْن شَاه غَفَرُ اللهُ لَهُ بِمَا تُحِبُّ وَتَرْضَاهُ

رَبَّنَا ءَاتنِاَ فِى الدُّنْياَ حَسَنَةً وَفِى الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ، وَصَلَّى الله عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى ءَالِهِ وَأَصْحَابِهِ أَجْمَعِيْنَ، وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ .

إِنَّ الله يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالأِحْسَانِ، وَإِيْتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ

وَالْمُنْكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُم لَعَلَّكُم تَذَكَّرُوْنَ .

فَاذْكُرُوْا اللهَ الْعَظِيْمَ يَذْكُرْكُمْ، وَاشْكُرُوهُ عَلَى نِعَمِهِ يَزِدْكُمْ، وَاسْأَلُوْهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ يُعْطِكُمْ، وَلَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَكْبَرُ، وَاللهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ .

 

Bahagian Pengurusan Masjid,

Jabatan Agama Islam Perak

“Kemelut Pemikiran Agama”

Artikel ini telah diterbitkan pada 06 Januari 2008 di akhbar Mingguan Malaysia

SEWAKTU sampai di pejabat sehari selepas Krismas, saya perhatikan ada satu halaman daripada akhbar The Sun bertarikh 24 Disember 2007 telah diletakkan di atas meja saya. Ternyata kemudian yang ia adalah satu makalah berjudul “Pemimpin gereja menjelaskan penggunaan perkataan ‘Allah’. Saya mula membaca rencana tersebut, dan semakin jauh saya menekuninya semakin memuncak tekanan darah saya. Sesudah meneliti laporan tersebut dan memahami isi kandungannya, dari sedikit gusar saya jadi betul-betul berang.

Joseph Masilamany mengemukakan pendapat bahawa “penggunaan perkataan ‘Allah’ untuk merujuk kepada Tuhan di kalangan penganut agama Kristian telah diamalkan dengan meluas untuk beberapa generasi di banyak negara dan bukan bertujuan menyinggung perasaan atau mengelirukan masyarakat Islam”, ini tentunya menurut para pemimpin Kristian. Wartawan tersebut menemu ramah penyunting akhbar mingguan Katolik tempatan, Paderi Lawrence Andrews, dan agaknya turut berbicara dengan Setiausaha Agung Majlis Gereja-Gereja Malaysia, Rev. Herman Shastri. Paderi Lawrence dilaporkan mendakwa, “istilah ‘Allah’ yang digunakan oleh orang Kristian atau dalam tulisan mereka tidak bermaksud menggusarkan masyarakat Islam atau mencetuskan kekeliruan. Kami mengikut Bible. Bible dalam bahasa Melayu menggunakan ‘Allah’ sebagai terjemahan istilah God dan ‘Tuhan’ sebagai terjemahan untuk istilah Lord.”

Beliau seterusnya mendakwa bahawa “mulai awal abad ke-19, para penganut Katolik di Malaya telah pun memiliki buku-buku doa dalam bahasa Melayu dan perkataan ‘Allah’ telah digunakan sebagai terjemahan kepada istilah God.” Beliau turut menyatakan bahawa “para penganut Katolik Malta juga menggunakan perkataan ‘Allah’ untuk merujuk kepada Tuhan dan demikian juga masyarakat Kristian di Indonesia, Pakistan dan Asia Barat.”

Menurut Rev. Herman Shastri, “para penganut Kristian yang tinggal di negara-negara majoriti Muslim menggunakan kalimat ‘Allah’ apabila merujuk kepada Tuhan dalam upacara doa umum (liturgy) mereka. Biarpun pihak berkuasa tidak membenarkan penggunaan perkataan-perkataan tertentu, pihak gereja akan terus memakainya kerana perkara ini bersangkut-paut dengan buku-buku suci kami (huruf condong adalah penegasan saya). Pendapat yang serupa turut dinyatakan dalam satu laporan terbitan akhbar The Star pada 28 Disember 2007.

Apa yang mendukacitakan adalah cara dua wakil Kristian tadi menghujahkan dasar pendirian mereka, yang, pada hakikat sebenarnya, hampa dari pertimbangan yang bernas lagi benar.

Biarlah saya tegaskan bahawa dakwaan yang mereka tidak berniat “menyinggung perasaan masyarakat Islam atau menimbulkan kebingungan” sarat dengan unsur perbantahan. Hakikatnya, perlakuan dan sikap mereka dalam mengemukakan hujah telah pun menggusarkan orang Islam. Mereka lupa, atau tidak memahami hakikat bahawa bahasa dan fikiran, yang satunya saling mencerminkan yang satu lagi; dalam perkataan lain, cara untuk mempengaruhi pemikiran adalah melalui bahasa, dan bahasa memberikan kesan terhadap cara seseorang berfikir. Kita telah diperingatkan akan dakwaan mereka, “Bible bahasa Melayu menggunakan ‘Allah’ untuk God dan ‘Tuhan’ untuk Lord.” Jelas bahawa makna-makna bagi istilah tersebut dalam Bible bahasa Melayu yang mereka rujuk, adalah salah. Apakah mereka ingin menunjuk dan mengajar orang-orang Melayu mengenai peristilahan yang betul dalam bahasa Melayu? Bahasa Melayu memahami istilah ‘Tuhan’ untuk merujuk kepada God dan bukan istilah Lord. Orang-orang Melayu faham bahawa apabila istilah Arab ‘ilah’ digunakan, ia merujuk kepada istilah Inggeris ‘God’ dan istilah Melayu ‘Tuhan’; dan apabila istilah Arab ‘rabb’ digunakan, ia merujuk kepada istilah Inggeris ‘Lord’. Justeru, apabila kalimah syahadah diterjemahkan dalam bahasa Melayu, bunyinya “tiada Tuhan melainkan Allah”, yang diterjemahkan dalam bahasa Inggeris sebagai “there is no God except Allah”. Sekiranya istilah ‘God’ diterjemahkan sebagai ‘Allah’, maka terjemahan tersebut akan berbunyi “Tiada Allah melainkan Allah” (“There is no Allah but Allah”), yang merupakan satu percanggahan. Terjemahan yang sebegitu janggal bukan sahaja tidak menjernih dan menyelesaikan masalah, bahkan akan menimbulkan perselisihan dan rasa bingung. Akan tetapi, Paderi Lawrence sememangnya sarat dengan percanggahan. Beliau menggunakan rangkai kata ‘bahasa Malaysia’ merujuk kepada bahasa yang digunakan dalam terbitan mingguan mereka untuk memenuhi keperluan “ramai penganut Katolik yang bertutur dalam bahasa Malaysia” di negara ini. Walau bagaimanapun, beliau kemudiannya berhujah dengan menggunakan peristilahan yang terdapat hanya dalam bahasa Melayu. Apabila seseorang itu merujuk kepada satu bahasa yang mencerminkan faham-faham maknawi ajaran-ajaran atau kelaziman aqidah yang tertentu – dalam hal ini bahasa Melayu – dia tidak seharusnya melalaikan pengertian penting bahasa tersebut bernisbah kepada bahasa-bahasa yang lain. Walau bagaimanapun, jelas bahawa Paderi Lawrence bergantung kepada fakta yang Jemaah Menteri memutuskan bahawa bahasa Melayu tidak lagi dirujuk sebagai ‘bahasa Melayu’, tetapi sebagai ‘bahasa Malaysia’. Itu ketetapan siasah dan justeru itu mungkin hanya bersangkutan dengan medan siasah. Secara ringkasnya, bahasa Melayu khusus bernisbah kepada orang-orang Melayu. Ia adalah satu bahasa yang faham- faham utamanya yang berkenaan dengan hakikat insan dan nisbah antara yang kudus dengan yang nista (the Sacred and the profane) telah dilahirkan dari rahim agama Islam dan kebudayaan Melayu – budaya Melayu itu sendiri terhasil dari agama Islam. Oleh itu, sekiranya peristilahan dari agama lain mengenai faham-faham utama diterjemahkan dalam bahasa Melayu, ia wajiblah mencerminkan kelaziman Melayu, yang berpunca dari agama Islam.

Paderi Lawrence juga mendakwa, “Kami mengikut Bible,” mengenai penggunaan istilah ‘Allah’ bila merujuk kepada istilah ‘God’. Apakah itu benar? Apakah beliau betul-betul menggunakan Bible sebagai sumber rujukannya? Terjemahan atau versi Bible mana yang beliau rujuk? Terdahulu kita telah memetik laporan media bahawa Paderi Lawrence mendakwa, “semenjak awal abad ke-19, para penganut agama Katolik di Malaya telah memiliki buku-buku doa dalam bahasa Melayu dan ‘Allah’ digunakan merujuk kepada God, dan para penganut Katolik Malta juga menggunakan istilah ‘Allah’ untuk merujuk God dan demikian juga para penganut Kristian di Indonesia, Pakistan dan Asia Barat.” Jelas di sini bahawa, sumber rujukannya bukanlah Bible seperti yang didakwanya, tetapi masyarakat Katolik abad ke-19 Malaya, Malta, Indonesia, Pakistan dan Asia Barat. Dengan demikian, Paderi tersebut mengandaikan masyarakat itu satu kejadian hidup (being) yang pasti boleh berfikir dan bertindak berdasarkan akal fikiran. Walau bagaimanapun, pada hakikatnya, masyarakat bukanlah kejadian hidup dan justeru itu tidak mempunyai kebolehan berfikir dan bertindak secara aqliah. Sekiranya sesuatu itu tidak boleh berfikir secara aqliah, bagaimana ia boleh dikutip sebagai sumber rujukan yang sah, apatah lagi dalam hal-ehwal nisbah hubungan antara yang kudus dan yang nista? Tambahan pula dan lebih penting, perkataan ‘Allah’ adalah nama khas (proper name), sedangkan kalimat ‘Tuhan’ (‘God’) adalah istilah umum yang merujuk kepada objek tumpuan kemuliaan teragung yang tiada nama, Pencipta Yang Maha Esa dan Pemerintah alam semesta. Berdasarkan kepada hakikat bahawa perkataan ‘Allah’ adalah nama khas, ia bukanlah istilah yang mencerminkan bahasa kebangsaan. Justeru, hujah Paderi Lawrence yang mendakwa Bible Melayu menggunakan istilah itu, seolah-olah penggunaan istilah itu dalam bahasa Melayu mencerminkan bahasa kebangsaan, adalah karut semata-mata. Tambahan pula, walaupun seseorang itu mungkin mengakui bahawa benar orang-orang Kristian Arab di Asia Barat menggunakan istilah ‘Allah’, mereka tidak menggunakannya merujuk kepada istilah ‘God’ yang tercermin dalam Bible atau terjemahan-terjemahan Bible dalam bahasa Arab. Kalaupun mereka ada menggunakan istilah ‘Allah’ dalam pertuturan, itu adalah kerana mereka menuruti kelaziman orang Arab sejauh mana yang berkenaan dengan kebudayaannya, bukan untuk membayangkan sehimpun kepercayaan i‘tiqad yang tertentu. Pernahkah Paderi Lawrence atau Rev. Herman Shastri membaca terjemahan Bible dalam bahasa Arab? Apakah mereka memahami bahasa Arab?

Dari segi falsafah maknawi, tidak terdapat tasawur kefahaman mengenai ‘Allah’ dalam agama Kristian, dan dalam sebarang agama yang lain pun begitu juga; oleh kerana itu agama-agama tersebut tidak berhak untuk menggunakan istilah ‘Allah’. Apabila Perdana Menteri memberikan kebenaran kepada dialog ‘antara-agama’, pihak-pihak yang terlibat telah bersetuju yang dialog tersebut tidak akan bertentang hujah mengenai akidah, berdasarkan kepada hakikat bahawa pelbagai ajaran agama telah pun “bersetuju untuk tidak bersetuju” dalam perkara-perkara berkisar akidah. Secara amnya semua kalangan yang terbabit telah pun bersetuju dengan ketetapan tersebut. Walau bagaimanapun, sekarang, tampaknya Paderi Lawrence dan Rev. Herman Shastri tidak berpuas hati sekadar berbahas mengenai perkara-perkara akhlakiah, justeru kita terpaksa menangkis hal-ehwal berkaitan i‘tiqad yang ditimbulkan tadi.

Tidak ada disebut mengenai nama khas Tuhan dalam Bible. Jika ada yang mendakwa nama Tuhan adalah Jesus, maka kenapa istilah ‘Tuhan’ (‘God’) diterjemah dengan menggunakan kalimat ‘Allah’ dan bukan ‘Jesus’? Oleh kerana nama khas Tuhan tidak disebut dalam Bible, berlakulah suatu kekaburan mengenai siapa yang disembah. Apakah nama khas Tuhan dalam agama Kristian? Sesungguhnyalah kita boleh menghujahkan bahawa ketiadaan nama khas-Nya bercanggah dengan sifat Tuhan Yang Maha Mengetahui. Tidakkah Tuhan mencipta manusia supaya dia mengenal dan menyembah-Nya? Tetapi siapakah yang disembah oleh manusia sekiranya dia tidak kenal siapa Tuhan? Oleh kerana kita telah berhujah bahawa kalimat ‘Allah’ adalah nama khas dan pengertian sedemikian tidak ada dalam agama Kristian atau apa-apa juga agama lain, kita bolehlah dengan ini menyimpulkan bahawa sumber rujukan sebenar Paderi Lawrence dan Rev. Herman Shastri bukanlah Bible atau perkumpulan masyarakat Katolik abad ke-19 di Malaya, Malta, Indonesia, Pakistan, dan di Asia Barat, tetapi sumber asal mereka adalah al-Quran. Oleh itu, marilah kita meneliti apa yang dinyatakan dalam al-Quran mengenai siapa Tuhan. Untuk tujuan ini, kita rujuk kepada surah al-Quran yang ke-112 dan pengenalan tafsirnya. Pengantar huraian surah tersebut berbunyi,

Peliharalah iman agar sentiasa murni dan tiada cemar.

Allah benar wujud, Yang Maha Esa, Yang Maha Tunggal; Yang Maha Kekal Diperlukan, sunyi dari sebarang keperluan; kepada-Nya bergantung semua perkara, kepada-Nya kembali semua benda; Dia tidak beranak, berbapa atau berpasangan. Bagi-Nya tiada suatu pun tara. (Lihat Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Meaning of the Holy Qur‘an, Brentwood, Maryland: Amana Corporation.)

Jelas bahawa bahagian akhir penerangan tafsir menyanggah pemerian Tuhan Tiga-Bersatu (Trinity) oleh Bible. Sekiranya pembaca meneliti surah itu, ia berbunyi,

Katakanlah: Dia adalah Allah, Yang Maha Esa. Allah, Yang Maha Kekal Abadi tiada berkesudahan. Tiada Dia beranak, dan tiada pula Dia diperanakkan. Dan bagi-Nya tiada suatu pun tara.

Dari awal-awal lagi nama Tuhan dinyatakan, Allah. Ini diikuti dengan pemerian bahawa Dia adalah Tuhan Yang Maha Esa yang kepada-Nya pengabdian wajib diserahkan, maha suci lagi maha murni yang nyata tiada taranya dengan khalayak makhluk-Nya; sebarang benda yang lain semuanya hanya bayangan pucat bernisbah kepada-Nya. Allah tidak mungkin difahami sebagai memiliki anak atau bapa kerana itu akan memasukkan sifat benda bernyawa dalam kefahaman kita mengenai-Nya; sifat-sifat dan hakikat-Nya tunggal tersendiri tidak ada tara-Nya (ringkasan kepada catatan no. 6296, Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Meaning of the Holy Qur‘an, Brentwood, Maryland: Amana Corporation, 1991, ms. 1714). Ayat “tiada Dia beranak, dan tiada pula Dia diperanakkan” menyangkal kefahaman agama Kristian mengenai Tuhan, “Bapa”, “Anak”, dan seterusnya (rujuk catatan no. 6299 dari sumber yang sama). Bahagian terakhir surah tersebut, Dan bagi-Nya tiada suatu pun tara memberi amaran “jangan menganggapi Tuhan dalam sifat rupa bentuk manusia (anthropomorphism), iaitu kecenderungan untuk menganggapi Allah menurut rupa dan bentuk serta sifat kita sendiri, satu kecenderungan licik yang menyusup dalam setiap zaman dan di kalangan semua bangsa (lihat catatan no. 6300 sumber di atas). Nyata bahawa ‘Tuhan’ Islam bukanlah ‘Tuhan’ Kristian. Saya nyatakan kepada para pembaca, bahawa pandangan Paderi Lawrence dan Rev. Herman Shastri tidak mencerminkan sebahagian besar penganut Katolik, gereja, atau Paus. Sesungguhnya niat serta tujuan mereka bukan sahaja untuk menyerang dan menimbulkan kekalutan di kalangan orang-orang Islam, tetapi juga para penganut Katolik. Kaedah mereka adalah melalui bahasa; akan tetapi, oleh kerana kita menghujahkan hakikat bahawa bahasa dan fikiran adalah saling mencerminkan satu sama lain, sebarang istilah dari satu tradisi pemikiran, apabila diterjemahkan perlulah membayangkan tradisi pemikiran yang asal, jika tidak maka makna sebenar peristilahan yang diterjemahkan akan menjadi kacau-bilau. Dalam hal ini, mereka menghujahkan bahawa menurut tradisi pemikiran Katolik istilah ‘God’ diterjemahkan dalam bahasa Melayu sebagai ‘Allah’, satu kalimat yang mencerminkan tradisi pemikiran Islam. Dan justeru itu, makna sebenar istilah asal ‘God’, seperti tergambar dalam tradisi pemikiran Katolik, dengan sengaja sedang dikelirukan.

Tadi telah kita sebut bahawa, dalam kenyataan yang dilaporkan akhbar The Star (28 Disember 2007), Paderi Lawrence menegaskan, “kami telah mengambil keputusan supaya kedudukan kami dari segi undang-undang mengenai penggunaan perkataan tersebut diselesaikan melalui ketetapan mahkamah.” Apakah mahkamah memiliki kuasa ke atas tradisi pemikiran agama? Apakah beliau berpendapat mahkamah memiliki kuasa membuat ketetapan mengenai siapa Tuhan? Apakah beliau menyangka mahkamah memiliki kuasa ke atas sekian banyak generasi ilmuwan dan sarjana terpelajar yang pandai lagi berkeahlian mengenai aqa‘id? Eloklah saya mengingatkan beliau, dalam surat peringatan dari pejabat Timbalan Perdana Menteri bertarikh 16 Mei 1986 berkenaan empat peristilahan Islam yang tidak boleh digunakan dalam Bible, dalam apa-apa jua keadaan iaitu: ‘Allah’, ‘Kaabah’, ‘Baitullah’, dan ‘Solat’. Difahamkan keputusan Kabinet itu masih mengikat; dalam hal ini, sebarang tindakan yang dikemukakan oleh pihak Paderi Lawrence ke mahkamah bukan sangat untuk mencabar kedudukan undang-undang berkenaan penggunaan oleh gereja Katolik akan kalimat ‘Allah’ untuk menterjemahkan istilah ‘Tuhan’ (‘God’) dalam Bible. Tetapi lebih dahsyat, ia satu cabaran yang menentang keputusan jemaah Menteri. Malaysia memiliki jemaah Menteri dan Parlimen perwakilan rakyat adalah bertonggakkan Rukunegara. Tiang seri pertama Rukunegara dalam bahasa Inggerisnya, “Belief in God” yang merupakan terjemahan cermat lagi tepat daripada bahasa Melayu “Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan”. Terjemahan Inggerisnya tidak berbunyi “Belief in Allah” kerana, barangkali kalau begitu Rukunegara akan dituduh sebagai memaktubkan Malaysia negara Islam atau Islamic State.

Anda tidak memiliki hak atau keizinan untuk menterjemahkan peristilahan yang terdapat dalam satu tradisi pemikiran akidah agama dengan menggunakan ungkapan-ungkapan tradisi pemikiran akidah agama yang lain, khususnya ungkapan-ungkapan yang merujuk kepada siapa itu Tuhan yang tidak ada faham tasdiqnya dalam tradisi anda. Perlihatkan rasa hormat kepada istilah-istilah penting dan erti-erti maknawi yang mencerminkan agama Islam dalam bahasa Melayu, persis sikap orang Islam yang menghormati istilah dan faham dasar anda. Kami tidak merujuk tempat pemujaan anda selaku masjid, tetapi sebagai gereja, kuil, candi dan seterusnya. Kami tidak menganggap pemimpin sembahyang berkumpulan anda sebagai imam, melainkan selaku paderi, sami dan seterusnya. Kami tidak merujuk kepada tumpuan sembahan anda sebagai Allah tetapi sebagai Tuhan. Kami tidak menafikan hak mana-mana golongan penganut agama lain menterjemahkan buku suci masing-masing dalam bahasa Melayu; cuma, seandainya ada yang hendak berbuat demikian, maka golongan tersebut mestilah memiliki ilmu dan keahlian mengenai bahasa Melayu, cukup berdaya cipta lagi kreatif untuk menggunakan peristilahan yang benar-benar mencerminkan tradisi pemikiran akidah agama masing-masing. Sementara itu, adalah wajar bagi Paderi Lawrence Andrews dan Rev. Herman Shastri bersikap lebih teliti, waspada dan berhati-hati. - Mingguan Malaysia

Menelusuri Kemelut Kalimah

Ditulis oleh Syed Ali Tawfik al-Attas. Posted in Utusan Malaysia

Dewasa ini terdapat mereka yang mengemukakan pendapat bahawa “penggunaan perkataan ‘Allah’ untuk merujuk kepada Tuhan di kalangan penganut agama Kristian telah diamalkan dengan meluas untuk beberapa generasi di banyak negara, dan ia bukan bertujuan untuk menyinggung perasaan atau mengelirukan masyarakat Islam” kononnya. Terdapat pula wartawan yang telah menemuramah penyunting akhbar mingguan Katolik tempatan, yang dilaporkan mendakwa bahawa “istilah ‘Allah’ yang digunakan oleh orang-orang Kristian, baik di dalam upacara mereka mahupun dalam tulisan-tulisan mereka, tidak bermaksud untuk menggusarkan masyarakat Islam atau mencetuskan kekeliruan. Penyunting akhbar mingguan Katolik tersebut dilaporkan pernah berkata, “Kami mengikut Bible. Bible dalam Bahasa Melayu menggunakan perkataan ‘Allah’ sebagai terjemahan untuk istilah God dan ‘Tuhan’ sebagai terjemahan untuk istilah Lord.” Beliau seterusnya mendakwa “mulai awal abad ke-19, para penganut Katolik di Malaya telah memiliki buku-buku doa dalam bahasa Melayu dan perkataan ‘Allah’ telah digunakan sebagai terjemahan kepada istilah God.” Beliau turut menyatakan bahawa “para penganut Katolik Malta juga menggunakan perkataan ‘Allah’ untuk merujuk kepada Tuhan dan demikian juga masyarakat Kristian di Indonesia, Pakistan dan Timur Tengah.”

Menurut seorang paderi Katolik, “para penganut Kristian yang tinggal di negara-negara majoriti-Muslim menggunakan kalimat ‘Allah’ apabila merujuk kepada Tuhan dalam upacara doa umum (liturgy) mereka. Biarpun pihak berkuasa tidak membenarkan penggunaan perkataan-perkataan tertentu, pihak gereja akan terus memakainya kerana perkara ini bersangkut-paut dengan buku-buku suci kami” (huruf condong adalah penegasan saya). Pendapat yang serupa turut dinyatakan dalam satu laporan terbitan akhbar The Star pada 28 Disember 2007. Dalam rencana tersebut, seorang paderi Katolik tergamak untuk mendakwa, “kami berpendapat yang kami berhak untuk menggunakan perkataan ‘Allah’.” Iaitu, tambah beliau, “Kami telah mengambil ketetapan agar kedudukan kami di sisi undang-undang mengenai penggunaan perkataan tersebut diputuskan oleh mahkamah” (huruf condong penegasan saya). Cara wakil Katolik tadi menghujahkan dasar pendirian mereka, pada hakikat sebenarnya, hampa dari pertimbangan yang bernas lagi benar. Hujah tersebut yang menegaskan bahawa “perkara ini bersangkut paut dengan buku-buku suci kami”, dengan jelas menggambarkan bahawa golongan tersebut tidak mengambil kira bahawa istilah ‘Allah’ tiada kaitan langsung dengan agama mahupun akidah Katolik, hanya bersangkut paut dengan buku-buku suci agama tersebut kononnya. Selebihnya, dengan tidak mengenali hakikat tersebut, nampaknya wakil pihak Katolik telah mengambil ketetapan agar kedudukan mereka itu di sisi undang-undang diputuskan oleh mahkamah, seolah-olah perkara ini berkisar soal undang-undang nista semata-mata dan bukannya berkaitan dengan soal akidah mereka. Seterusnya, ia memberi gambaran bahawa pihak mahkamah lebih mengetahui soal akidah berbanding Tuhan mereka.

Sejumlah dakwaan mereka seperti yang dilaporkan media sudah kita sorot; sekarang, marilah kita arahkan pembicaraan kita terhadap dakwaan-dakwaan tersebut. Untuk memulakannya, biarlah saya tegaskan bahawa dakwaan yang mereka tidak berniat untuk “menyinggung perasaan masyarakat Islam atau menimbulkan kebingungan” sarat dengan unsur perbantahan. Hakikatnya, perlakuan dan sikap mereka dalam mengemukakan hujah telah menggusarkan masyarakat Islam dan mencetuskan kekeliruan. Mereka lupa, atau tidak memahami hakikat bahawa bahasa dan fikiran, yang satunya saling mencerminkan yang satu lagi; dalam perkataan lain, cara untuk mempengaruhi pemikiran adalah melalui bahasa, dan bahasa memberikan kesan terhadap cara seseorang berfikir. Kita telah diperingatkan akan dakwaan mereka, “Bible bahasa Melayu menggunakan kalimah ‘Allah’ sebagai terjemahan kepada istilah God dan ‘Tuhan’ untuk Lord.” Jelas bahawa makna-makna bagi istilah tersebut dalam Bible bahasa Melayu yang mereka rujuk, adalah salah. Apakah mereka ingin menunjuk dan mengajar orang-orang Melayu mengenai peristilahan yang betul yang terdapat dalam bahasa Melayu? Bahasa Melayu memahami istilah ‘Tuhan’ untuk merujuk kepada istilah God juga dan bukan untuk merujuk kepada istilah Lord semata mata. Orang-orang Melayu faham bahawa apabila istilah bahasa Arab ‘ilah’ digunapakai, ia membawa maksud ‘Tuhan yang disembah’ dalam bahasa Melayu, yang dirujuk menggunakan istilah ‘God’ dalam bahasa Inggeris. Justeru, apabila kalimah shahadah diterjemahkan dalam bahasa Melayu, bunyinya “tiada Tuhan yang disembah melainkan Allah”, yang diterjemahkan dalam bahasa Inggeris sebagai “there is no God worthy of worship except Allah”. Sekiranya istilah God diterjemahkan sebagai ‘Allah’, maka terjemahan tersebut akan berbunyi “Tiada Allah melainkan Allah” (“There is no Allah but Allah”), yang merupakan satu percanggahan. Terjemahan yang sebegitu janggal bukan sahaja tidak menjernih dan menyelesaikan masalah, bahkan akan menimbulkan perselisihan dan rasa bingung. Istilah bahasa Arab rabb yang terkandung didalam al-Quran membawa maksud ‘Tuhan yang mencipta, memelihara, dan memiliki sekalian alam’, yang mengguna pakai istilah ‘Lord’ dalam loghat bahasa Inggeris. Akan tetapi, istilah ‘Lord’ dalam loghat bahasa Inggeris tidak mencerminkan Tuhan agama Islam yang mencipta, memelihara, dan memiliki sekalian alam walaupun istilah tersebut diterjemahkan sebagai ‘Tuhan’ dalam bahasa Melayu. Istilah ‘Lord’ dalam loghat bahasa Inggeris merujuk kepada Tuhan agama Kristian semata-mata, dan Tuhan yang dimaksudkan itu tidak lain daripada Jesus Christ. Oleh yang demikian, faham ‘Lord’ tersebut tidak terkandung didalam rangka pandangan alam Islam. Sekiranya kita merujuk kepada ‘the Lord‘s Prayer’, ianya ditakrifkan sebagai doa yang dikatakan diajarkan oleh Jesus Christ (the Lord) kepada pengikut-pengikutnya, yang bermula dengan ‘Bapa kami’. Ini dengan jelas menggambarkan bahawa tuhan yang disembah atau ‘God’ menurut agama mereka itu, bergelar Bapa. Oleh yang demikian, sekiranya istilah ‘God’ yang membawa maksud Tuhan yang disembah menurut agama mereka itu diterjemahkan kedalam bahasa Melayu, ia harus mengguna pakai istilah ‘Bapa’ dan bukan istilah ‘Allah’. Seterusnya, apabila terdapat kata-kata ‘the Lord God’, yang pada hakikatnya merupakan terjemahan daripada bahasa Yunani, ia tidak boleh diterjemahkan ke dalam bahasa Melayu sebagai ‘Tuhan Allah’ oleh kerana kita telah menunjukkan bahawa istilah ‘Lord’ merujuk kepada Jesus Christ, manakala istilah ‘God’ merujuk kepada ‘Tuhan yang disembah mengikut faham agama Kristian’, atau ‘Bapa’. Oleh yang demikian, sekiranya terjemahan kepada kata-kata ‘the Lord God’ kedalam bahasa Melayu ingin mencerminkan faham agama Kristian, ia harus berbunyi ‘Bapa Jesus Christ’.

Kita melihat bahawa wakil pihak Katolik sememangnya sarat dengan percanggahan. Dalam laporan-laporan akhbar, beliau menggunakan rangkai-kata ‘Bahasa Malaysia’ merujuk kepada bahasa yang digunakan dalam terbitan mingguan mereka untuk memenuhi keperluan “ramai para penganut Katolik yang bertutur dalam bahasa Malaysia” di negara ini. Bagaimanapun, beliau kemudiannya berhujah dengan menggunakan peristilahan yang terdapat hanya dalam bahasa Melayu. Apabila seseorang itu merujuk kepada satu bahasa yang mencerminkan faham-faham maknawi ajaran-ajaran atau kelaziman akidah yang tertentu-dalam hal ini bahasa Melayu-dia tidak seharusnya melalaikan pengertian penting bahasa tersebut bernisbah kepada bahasa-bahasa yang lain. Walau bagaimanapun, jelas bahawa wakil pihak Katolik bergantung kepada fakta yang Jemaah Menteri telah memutuskan bahawa bahasa Melayu tidak lagi dirujuk sebagai ‘Bahasa Melayu’, tetapi sebaliknya sebagai ‘Bahasa Malaysia’. Itu ketetapan siasah dan justeru itu mungkin hanya bersangkutan dengan medan siasah. Secara ringkasnya, bahasa Melayu adalah khusus bernisbah kepada orang-orang Melayu. Ia adalah satu bahasa yang faham-faham utamanya yang berkenaan dengan hakikat insan dan nisbah antara yang Kudus dengan yang nista (the Sacred and the profane) telah dilahirkan dari rahim agama Islam dan kebudayaan Melayu. Oleh kerana itu, sekiranya peristilahan dari agama lain mengenai faham-faham utama itu diterjemahkan dalam bahasa Melayu, ia wajiblah mencerminkan kelaziman Melayu, yang berpunca dari agama dan kerangka pandangan alam Islam.

Wakil Katolik juga ada mendakwa, “Kami mengikut Bible”, mengenai penggunaan istilah ‘Allah’ bila merujuk kepada istilah ‘God’. Apakah itu benar? Apakah beliau betul-betul menggunakan Bible sebagai sumber rujukannya? Terjemahan atau versi Bible yang mana yang beliau rujuk? Terdahulu kita telah memetik laporan media bahawa Paderi Lawrence mendakwa “semenjak awal abad ke-19, para penganut agama Katolik di Malaya telahpun memiliki buku-buku doa dalam bahasa Melayu dan ‘Allah’ telah digunakan untuk merujuk kepada God, dan para penganut Katolik Malta juga menggunakan istilah ‘Allah’ untuk merujuk kepada God, dan demikian juga para penganut Kristian di Indonesia, Pakistan dan Timur Tengah.” Jelas di sini bahawa, sumber rujukannya bukanlah Bible seperti yang didakwanya, tetapi sebaliknya masyarakat Katolik abad ke-19 Malaya, Malta, Indonesia, Pakistan dan Timur Tengah. Dengan demikian, Wakil tersebut mengandaikan masyarakat itu satu kejadian hidup (being) yang pasti boleh berfikir dan bertindak berdasarkan akal fikiran. Walau bagaimanapun, pada hakikatnya, masyarakat bukanlah satu kejadian hidup (being), dan justeru itu tidak mempunyai kebolehan berfikir dan bertindak secara aqliah. Sekiranya sesuatu itu tidak boleh berfikir secara aqliah, bagaimana ia boleh dikutip sebagai sumber rujukan yang sah, apatah lagi dalam hal-ehwal nisbah hubungan antara yang Kudus dan yang nista? Tambahan pula, dan lebih penting lagi, perkataan ‘Allah’ adalah nama khas (proper name), sedangkan kalimat ‘Tuhan’ (God) adalah istilah umum yang merujuk kepada objek tumpuan kemuliaan teragung yang tiada nama, Pencipta Yang Maha Esa dan Pemerintah alam semesta. Berdasarkan kepada hakikat bahawa perkataan ‘Allah’ adalah nama khas, ia bukanlah istilah yang mencerminkan bahasa kebangsaan. Justeru, hujah wakil Katolik yang mendakwa Bible Melayu menggunakan istilah itu, seolah-olah penggunaan istilah itu dalam bahasa Melayu mencerminkan bahasa kebangsaan, adalah karut semata-mata. Tambahan pula, walaupun seseorang itu mungkin mengakui bahawa benar orang-orang Kristian Arab di Timur Tengah menggunakan istilah ‘Allah’, mereka tidak menggunakannya merujuk kepada istilah God yang tercermin dalam Bible atau terjemahan-terjemahan Bible dalam bahasa Arab. Kalaupun mereka ada menggunakan istilah ‘Allah’ dalam pertuturan mereka, itu adalah kerana mereka menuruti kelaziman orang-orang Arab sejauh mana yang berkenaan dengan kebudayaannya, dan bukan untuk membayangkan sehimpun kepercayaan i‘tiqad yang tertentu. Pernahkah wakil-wakil Katolik membaca terjemahan-terjemahan Bible dalam bahasa Arab? Bahkan, apakah mereka memahami bahasa Arab?

Dari segi falsafah maknawi, tidak terdapat taswwur kefahaman mengenai ‘Allah’ dalam agama Kristian, dan dalam sebarang agama yang lain pun begitu juga; oleh kerana itu, agama-agama tersebut tidak berhak untuk menggunakan istilah ‘Allah’. Tidak ada disebut mengenai nama khas Tuhan dalam Bible. Jika ada yang mendakwa nama Tuhan adalah Jesus Christ, maka kenapa istilah ‘Tuhan’ (God) diterjemah dengan menggunakan kalimat ‘Allah’ dan bukan ‘Jesus Christ’? Oleh kerana nama khas Tuhan tidak disebut dalam Bible, berlakulah suatu kekaburan mengenai siapa yang disembah. Apakah nama khas Tuhan dalam agama Kristian? Sesungguhnyalah kita boleh menghujahkan bahawa ketiadaan nama khas-Nya bercanggah dengan sifat Tuhan Yang Maha Mengetahui. Tidakkah Tuhan mencipta manusia supaya dia mengenal dan menyembah-Nya? Tetapi siapakah yang disembah oleh manusia sekiranya dia tidak kenal siapa Tuhan? Oleh kerana kita telah berhujah bahawa kalimat ‘Allah’ adalah nama khas dan pengertian sedemikian tidak ada dalam agama Kristian atau apa-apa juga agama lain, kita bolehlah dengan ini menyimpulkan bahawa sumber rujukan sebenar wakil-wakil Katolik bukanlah Bible atau perkumpulan masyarakat Katolik abad ke-19 di Malaya, Malta, Indonesia, Pakistan, dan di Timur Tengah, tetapi sumber asal mereka adalah al-Quran. Oleh itu, marilah kita meneliti apa yang dinyatakan dalam al-Qur‘an mengenai siapakah Tuhan yang wajib disembah. Untuk tujuan ini, kita akan merujuk kepada surah al-Quran yang ke-112 dan pengenalan tafsirnya. Pengantar huraian surah tersebut berbunyi,

Peliharalah iman agar sentiasa murni dan tiada cemar. Allah benar wujud, Yang Maha Esa, Yang Maha Tunggal; Yang Maha Kekal Diperlukan, sunyi dari sebarang keperluan; kepada-Nya bergantung semua perkara, kepada-Nya kembali semua benda;

Dia tidak beranak, berbapa atau berpasangan. Bagi-Nya tiada suatu pun tara. (Lihat Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Meaning of the Holy Qur‘an, Brentwood, Maryland: Amana Corporation.)

Jelas bahawa bahagian akhir penerangan tafsir menyanggah pemerian Tuhan Tiga-Bersatu (Trinity) oleh Bible. Sekiranya pembaca meneliti surah itu sendiri, ia berbunyi,

Katakanlah: ‘Dia adalah Allah, Yang Maha Esa. Allah, Yang Maha Kekal Abadi tiada berkesudahan. Tiada Dia beranak, dan tiada pula Dia diperanakkan. Dan bagi-Nya tiada suatu pun tara.’

Dari awal-awal lagi nama khas Tuhan yang wajib disembah dinyatakan, Allah. Ini diikuti dengan pemberian bahawa Dia adalah Tuhan Yang Maha Esa yang kepada-Nya pengabdian wajib diserahkan, maha suci lagi maha murni yang nyata tiada taranya dengan khalayak makhluk-Nya; sebarang benda yang lain semuanya hanya bayangan pucat bernisbah kepada-Nya. Allah tidak mungkin difahami sebagai memiliki anak atau bapa kerana itu akan memasukkan sifat benda bernyawa dalam kefahaman kita mengenai-Nya; sifat-sifat dan hakikat-Nya tunggal tersendiri tidak ada tara-Nya (ringkasan kepada catatan no. 6296, Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Meaning of the Holy Qur‘an, Brentwood, Maryland: Amana Corporation, 1991, ms. 1714). Ayat “tiada Dia beranak, dan tiada pula Dia diperanakkan” menyangkal kefahaman agama Kristian mengenai Tuhan, “Bapa”, “Anak”, dan seterusnya (rujuk catatan no. 6299 dari sumber yang sama). Bahagian terakhir surah tersebut, “Dan bagi-Nya tiada suatu pun tara” memberi amaran “jangan menanggapi Tuhan dalam sifat rupa-bentuk manusia (anthropomorphism), iaitu kecenderungan untuk menanggapi Allah menurut rupa dan bentuk serta sifat kita sendiri, satu kecenderungan licik yang menyusup dalam setiap zaman dan di kalangan semua bangsa” (huruf condong penegasan saya, lihat catatan no. 6300 sumber di atas). Nyata bahawa ‘Tuhan’ agama Islam bukanlah ‘Tuhan’ agama Kristian. Akan tetapi wakil-wakil Katolik mengigau bahawa Dia satu dan sama. Apakah mereka mewakili pandangan kebanyakan penganut Katolik? Apakah pendapat mereka yang ‘berkewibawaan’ menggambarkan pandangan Gereja Katolik, ataupun pandangan Paus (Pope)? Apakah benar yang pandangan mereka tidak bermaksud untuk menggusarkan atau mengelirukan orang-orang Islam? Nampaknya usaha mereka bukanlah agar orang-orang Melayu masuk dalam agama Kristian; bahkan lebih jauh dari itu, ia merupakan satu percubaan agar agama Kristian memeluk pandangan hidup orang-orang Melayu. Kaedah mereka adalah melalui bahasa; akan tetapi, oleh kerana kita telah menghujahkan hakikat bahawa bahasa dan fikiran adalah saling mencerminkan satu sama lain, sebarang istilah dari satu tradisi pemikiran, apabila diterjemahkan, perlulah membayangkan tradisi pemikiran yang asal, jika tidak maka makna sebenar peristilahan yang diterjemahkan akan menjadi kacau-bilau. Dalam hal ini, wakil-wakil Katolik menghujahkan bahawa menurut tradisi pemikiran Katolik istilah ‘God’ dalam bahasa Inggeris diterjemahkan dalam bahasa Melayu sebagai ‘Allah’, satu kalimat yang mencerminkan tradisi akidah dan pemikiran Islam. Dan justeru itu, makna sebenar istilah asal God, seperti yang tergambar dalam tradisi pemikiran Katolik, dengan sengaja sedang kelam dikelirukan.

Singkatnya, anda sama-sekali tidak memiliki hak atau keizinan untuk menterjemahkan peristilahan yang terdapat dalam satu tradisi pemikiran aqidah agama dengan menggunakan ungkapan-ungkapan tradisi pemikiran aqidah agama yang lain, khususnya ungkapan-ungkapan yang merujuk kepada siapa itu Tuhan yang tidak ada faham tasdiqnya dalam tradisi anda sendiri. Anda mesti memperlihatkan rasa hormat kepada istilah-istilah penting dan erti-erti maknawi yang mencerminkan agama Islam dalam bahasa Melayu, persis sikap masyarakat Islam yang menghormati istilah-istilah dan faham-faham dasar anda. Kami tidak merujuk kepada tempat-tempat pemujaan anda selaku masjid, tetapi sebagai gereja, kuil, candi dan seterusnya. Kami tidak menganggap pemimpin sembahyang berkumpulan kamu sebagai imam, melainkan selaku paderi, sami dan seterusnya. Lebih penting lagi, kami tidak merujuk kepada tumpuan sembahan anda sebagai Allah, tetapi sebagai Tuhan. Kami tidak menafikan hak mana-mana golongan penganut agama lain untuk menterjemahkan buku suci masing-masing dalam bahasa Melayu; cumanya, seandainya ada mereka yang hendak berbuat demikian, maka golongan tersebut mestilah memiliki ilmu dan keahlian mengenai Bahasa Melayu, dan cukup berdaya-cipta lagi berilmu untuk menggunakan peristilahan yang benar-benar mencerminkan tradisi pemikiran aqidah agama mereka masing-masingnya. Sementara itu, adalah wajar bagi wakil-wakil Katolik supaya bersikap lebih teliti, waspada dan berhati-hati. – Utusan Malaysia

Approach need to be Changed but Mainstream Media Should Continue to Portray Barisan Nasional is Still The Ultimate Choice to Govern The Country!

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Straits Times: Credibility of Malaysia’s mainstream newspapers at stake

utusanKUALA LUMPUR, June 2 — Most of Malaysia’s mainstream newspapers appear to have taken a hit since the May 5 general election for perceived biased reporting, Singapore’s the Straits Times (ST) said today.

The broadsheet cited the examples of Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia and MCA-owned The Star newspaper.

“Star is in a dilemma of trying to be independent and yet pressured to boost BN’s image,” Shaharuddin Badaruddin, a political analyst at Universiti Teknologi Mara, was quoted as saying to the ST.

The Star is the largest English-language daily in Malaysia, averaging audited sales of 290,000 copies daily between January and June last year.

Umno’s network of media outlets is wide, according to the Kuala Lumpur-based Centre for Independent Journalism.

Via proxies, Umno controls Media Prima, which publishes the New Straits Times, Berita Harian and Harian Metro. It also owns the Utusan Group, which publishes Utusan Malaysia and Kosmo!

The ST said Utusan Malaysia has been accused of biased reporting for years, and its circulation has fallen from 213,000 in 2006 to between 170,000 and 180,000 last year.

It has been overtaken by Harian Metro, now the largest Malay daily — its circulation rose from 210,000 in 2006 to 394,000 last year. Analysts told the ST that younger readers are drawn to its culture and lifestyle-based content.

Once the No. 1 English-language paper, the New Straits Times saw its circulation decline sharply from 1999 to the early 2000s, going from 180,000 to as low as 80,000.

The ST said readers shunned the paper for what was perceived as lopsided reporting on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sacking as deputy prime minister in 1998 and his subsequent corruption and sodomy trial.

“In the rural areas, the Malays hate slander. My research showed that only 18 per cent of readers will believe what was written on Anwar,” said Shaharuddin.

The ST said newspaper readership in Malaysia is also facing challenges as younger people increasingly get their news online.

Internet users among Malaysia’s 29 million population grew from 3.7 million in 2000 to 17.7 million in June last year, a 61 per cent penetration rate. Nearly two-thirds of Internet users are aged 21 to 40.

There were 13.6 million Facebook users in Malaysia as of December.

The top news website in Malaysia over the past month was the independent malaysiakini.com, according to alexa.com, a site that tracks Web traffic, said the ST.

“Urban readers are more connected and compare content with the alternative media. They see that the same event is given a different slant in the mainstream so people question this,” said Hah Foong Lian, a new media analyst with Monash University Malaysia and former reporter at The Star.

Three days after the general election, electoral watchdog Bersih and the opposition parties called on Malaysians to boycott the New Straits Times, The Star, Berita Harian and Utusan Malaysia for perceived unbalanced reporting.

Analysts said that although such a boycott would have little real effect in numbers, the mainstream media should be wary of Malaysia’s strong civil society eroding their credibility, the ST added.

“All mainstream papers reported in favour of their owners but after the election, The Star is the only newspaper that has become more balanced,” Kiranjit Kaur, a media researcher at Universiti Teknologi Mara, told the ST.

“It was very biased (during the campaign) but since the new Cabinet was formed without MCA, it may not feel it has to toe the party line too much these days.” – The Malaysian Insider

Melayu Mesti Terus Diwakili oleh Satu Parti Tunggal Bangsa Melayu:UMNO!

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Parti Tunggal BN Mungkin Tidak Praktikal

Saturday, June 01, 2013

By A Kadir Jasin

 

image156SATU lagi kesan positif Pilihan Raya Umum 2013 adalah kesediaan Barisan Nasional memikirkan sesuatu yang tidak mungkin, iaitu mengubah dirinya menjadi parti tanpa komponen.

 

Baguslah kalau Umno akan menubuhkan makmal khas mengkaji ura-ura itu, tetapi secara peribadi, saya tidak menjangka yang parti-parti bangsa dan kaum dalam Barisan Nasional akan bersedia membubarkan diri dan bergabung menjadi sebuah parti tunggal.

 

Presiden Umno, Mohd Najib Abdul Razak, mungkin boleh “memujuk” kepemimpinan Umno untuk melayan (entertain) idea ini, tetapi saya tidak menjangka akar umbi Umno akan menerimanya. Umno adalah parti akar umbi!

 

Yang mungkin bersedia menimbang idea parti tunggal BN adalah parti-parti komponen majoriti Cina yang nazak seperti Gerakan, MCA dan SUPP.

 

Idea parti tunggal BN ini nampaknya dipengaruhi oleh cadangan Pemangku Presiden Gerakan, Chang Ko Youn, agar BN mengamalkan sistem keahlian terus (direct membership) yang pernah diamalkan oleh Perikatan sebelum diperbesarkan menjadi BN pada tahun 1973.

 

Saya tidaklah mahu membuat andaian yang Mohd Najib sekali lagi tunduk kepada kehendak orang Cina apatah lagi selepas beliau sendiri menyalahkan tsunami Cina sebagai punca ketidakcemerlangan prestasi beliau dalam PRU 5 Mei lalu.

 

Umno Tambah Kuat, Kata Najib

 

Lagipun, seandainya Umno lebih kuat selepas PRU13 seperti Mohd Najib dakwa ketika mesyuarat Majlis Tertinggi Umno malam tadi, mengapa harus ia dibubarkan dan bergabung dengan parti lain menjadi sebuah parti tunggal?

 

Mengapa harus Umno dan parti-parti Bumiputera yang kukuh di Sarawak dan Sabah dibubarkan dan digabungkan menjadi parti tunggal semata-mata bagi melayan idea parti-parti Cina BN yang ditolak oleh orang Cina sendiri dalam PRU lalu?

 

Kalau Umno dibubarkan bagi memberi laluan kepada penubuhan parti tunggal BN, kemungkinannya banyak ahli dan penyokongnya akan beralih kepada PAS kerana orang Melayu masih berasa mereka memerlukan parti Melayu-Islam.

 

Lagipun, masalah pokok BN bukan organisasi atau struktur, tetapi imej dan persepsi kepemimpinan BN yang negatif.

 

Ubah struktur parti tanpa mengubah kualiti dan integriti kepemimpinan tidak akan menjadikan BN lebih diyakini dan disokong oleh pengundi.

 

Meminjam dan mengalih ungkapan bahasa Inggeris, kepemimpinan Umno dan BN haruslah “membezakan yang mana satu pokok dan yang mana satu hutan belantara”. Wallahualam. – The Scribe A Kadir Jasin

 

Kesan Positif Sekatan dan Imbangan Selepas PRU13

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Kadir Jasin

PEPATAH Melayu ada berkata, sekali air bah sekali pasir berubah. Alhamdulillah, selepas Pilihan Raya Umum 5 Mei lalu telah nampak banyak perkembangan positif di kalangan semua pihak yang terbabit. Saya perhatikan hal-hal berikut telah berlaku:-

1. Rakyat jelata nampaknya tidak lagi mahu kerajaan yang membolot (monopolistic). Mereka sudah berasa kebaikan checks and balances (sekatan dan imbangan) yang kuat di Parlimen dan dalam Dewan Undangan Negeri.

2. Pembahagian semula kuasa sedang berlaku. Keengganan majistret merestui permohonan polis untuk menahan reman tiga ahli dan aktivis politik pembangkang, iaitu Chua Tian Chang aka Tian Chua, Tamrin Abdul Ghafar dan Haris Ibrahim adalah contoh pembahagian semula kuasa itu.

Lagipun, dengan semakin banyaknya kes kematian ketika reman, Ketua Polis Negara baru, Khalid Abu Bakar dan Menteri Dalam Negeri yang baru, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi wajiblah lebih berhati-hati menggunakan kuasa reman.

Hadkanlah penggunaannya kepada kes-kes berat di mana orang yang disyaki mungkin lari dan tidak dapat dikesan. Kes bukan jenayah berat dan membabitkan orang ternama yang susah hendak lari, tidak perlulah minta tahanan reman.

Polis kerjalah kuat sikit. Soal siasat mereka sampai tengah malam atau awal pagi. Tidak perlulah tahan mereka di dalam lokap dan polis balik rumah tidur. Kalau tahan mereka dan terjadi sesuatu yang tidak diingini di dalam lokap, polis juga yang susah.

3. Dalam arena parti, kedudukan Mohd Najib Abdul Razak akan terus dipertikaikan. Cuma mungkin tidak lantang seperti berlaku kepada Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi selepas PRU 2008 kerana Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad lebih mesra dengan Mohd Najib dan banyak daripada blogger yang dulu anti-Abdullah kini pro-Mohd Najib. Mereka mungkin tidak akan menyokong sebarang gerakan negatif terhadap Mohd Najib malah mungkin ‘mendajalkan’ (demonise) sesiapa yang cuba menjatuhkan Mohd Najib.

4. Kita sudah tengok komen-komen keras membelasah Tun Daim Zainuddin apabila beliau mengkritik Mohd Najib dan penasihatnya dalam temu ramah dengan akhbar China Press yang disiarkan sepenuhnya dalam blog ini (dan dipetik oleh banyak pihak).

5. Dr Mahathir, Daim dan beberapa blogger bebas akan menjadi penentu sama ada masa depan Mohd Najib sebagai Presiden Umno dan Perdana Menteri akan diperdebatkan secara terbuka.

6. Dengan adanya beberapa orang tokoh kanan Umno yang kalah PRU 5 Mei lalu seperti Mohd Ali Rustam dan Abdul Ghani Othman, kemungkinan Umno kembali ke era yang lebih demokratik dan terbuka ketika mana Presiden dicabar atas landasan hak dan demokrasi, mungkin berulang kembali. Orang lama tentu masih ingat bagaimana Sulaiman Palestin mencabar Tun Hussein Onn dan Tengku Razaleigh mencabar Dr Mahathir.

Apa-apa pun, Abdullah kini boleh mengangkat tinggi kepala kerana tuduhan bahawa prestasi beliau dalam PRU 2008 hambar tidak lagi tepat sebab pencapaian Mohd Najib lebih teruk walaupun disokong oleh Dr Mahathir dan Daim. Melihat kepada pencapaian Mohd Najib, saya sendiri berasa terlebih mengkritik Abdullah selepas PRU 2008.

Suka atau tidak Mohd Najib dan para petugas yang mengendalikan “Bilik Perang” (War Room) BN harus secara ikhlas, terbuka dan telus mengakui bahawa cakap besar mereka telah memakan diri dan mereka kalah kepada Abdullah dan Budak-Budak Tingkat Empatnya.

7. Alhamdulillah sudah ada anggota Kabinet yang berakal yang nampak apa yang berada di hadapan dan mengambil langkah jangkaan (pre-empt) seperti dibuat oleh Menteri Pelancongan Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz mengarahkan supaya wakil Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) menduduki jawatankuasa tender kementeriannya.

8. Daim dalam temu ramah dengan China Press, antara lain berkata keutamaan rakyat jelata bukan ETP atau GTP, tetapi adalah 1) rasuah 2) urus tadbir yang baik 3) keselamatan 4) pendidikan 5) inflasi 6) masalah kemiskinan bandar dan 7) pengangguran siswazah muda. (Tidak beberapa hari selepas itu tersiar berita beberapa orang kenamaan, termasuk anak perempuan seorang menteri dirompak.)

9. Daim telah menemui Dr Mahathir di Putrajaya beberapa hari selepas PRU 5 Mei di mana mereka dikatakan telah membuat “review” keputusannya serta tindakan jangka pendek dan sederhana yang akan mereka lakukan.

10. Sudah nampak tanda-tanda awal yang sebahagian kecil media arus perdana dan pengamal mereka telah menyedari bahawa cara laporan mereka ketika PRU lalu bukan sahaja tidak berkesan malah merugikan BN. Akhbar The Star misalnya, telah mula berundur dalam beberapa aspek laporannya. Ini tidak memeranjatkan kerana tsunami Cina yang Mohd Najib ungkapkan itu menyentuh langsung peranan The Star sebagai akhbar milik MCA dan suara masyarakat Cina dalam BN.

Kesimpulannya, kalau rakyat jelata khasnya para pengundi mahu apa yang mereka lakukan pada 5 Mei lalu memberi kesan positif kepada diri mereka dan negara, mereka harulah terus memerhati, memberi tunjuk ajar dan mengkritik wakil-wakil yang mereka pilih tidak kira daripada parti mana.

Insya-Allah kita akan mendapat lebih banyak kebaikan daripada amalan demokrasi kita. – The Scribe A Kadir Jasin

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