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Jawi reaches parts others cannot reach

 | August 3, 2012

Umno and Jawi fight for the total domination of the Malay mind, and the rakyat appear powerless to oppose them.

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The Heineken advertisement claims that “it reaches the parts other beers cannot reach,” but in Malaysia, that role is relegated to the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department (Jawi).

Malays and Muslims in Malaysia find that the farthest reaches of their minds are increasingly going under the control of Jawi and its evil twin, Umno.

Faceless departments regulate what the Malay ingests and what he thinks. Umno and Jawi fight for the total domination of the Malay mind, and the rakyat appear powerless to oppose them, for fear of being punished.

A few years ago, Kartika Dewi Sukarno faced the wrath of the Islamic authorities when they persecuted her for making a personal choice – drinking beer.

If only these religious bigots were just as courageous and zealous in bringing down the full force of the law, on the men who take child brides, commit polygamy, rape family members or abandon their wives. Wives whose only crime was to lose their looks as they aged. Are the religious ulamas only emboldened because they are dealing with women?

The government banned the book “Allah, Liberty and Love”, by Irshad Manji and now, Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz, the store manager of Borders Bookstores, faces the might of Jawi. Jawi did not prosecute Borders nor Stephen Fung, Borders’ operations and merchandising manager. So why pick on a female store manager?

Following a familiar pattern, neither the Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, nor Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for Islamic Affairs, Jamil Khir Baharom, did anything, despite requests by Berjaya Books Sdn Bhd for their help.

Words like responsibility and accountability are not within Hishammuddin and Jamil’s vocabulary. They managed the situation badly. They should be stripped of their powers.

The de facto Women, Family and Community Development Minister, Najib Tun Razak, said nothing about the persecution of this woman.

Umno and Jawi have a subtle pact to undermine the Malay mind.

Blame Umno’s social engineering

It is bad enough trying to get a Malaysian, especially a Malay to read. If the average Malay reads two pages a year, that is good. Two chapters is brilliant but to read two books, in one year, would be a miracle.

The advantages of reading are well documented. It makes you smarter and improves self-esteem, but Umno and Jawi would prefer an ignorant Malay.

In the Golden Age of Islam, Muslim scholars, scientists and philosophers made valuable contributions to the scientific world, engineering disciplines, travel, medicine, commerce, architecture, civilisation and culture.

It is argued that after several centuries, the Golden Age of Islam declined because of many factors including raids by warring armies, which led to the the destruction of centres of learning, libraries, and the suppression of independent reasoning.

Our nearest neighbours, the Indonesians, are far more superior in intellect than the backward Malays of Malaysia, who are a product of 55 years of Umno’s social engineering.

The control of Malay minds is designed to keep the populace stupid and simple, so that they cannot challenge Umno.

What is wrong with people including Muslims, reading Irshad Manji’s book? What is wrong with seeing an alternative viewpoint? What is wrong with learning about other people and cultures? Umno members who refuse to read the book should not drag others to the bowels of their empty minds.

When people started to question the validity of the ban on books, Umno and Jawi resorted to terror tactics. They charged the Muslim manager of the bookshop.

Soon, companies and corporations will be wary of employing Muslims, for fear of falling foul of Islamic sensitivities. Very soon, the numbers of unemployed Muslims will rise.

The booze (Kartika) and book incident reveals another disaster in Malaysian laws – the dual track syariah and civil laws for the Muslim.

The High Court Judge, Rohana Yusof, did not want to be seen “usurping the powers of the Syariah Court,” said Rosli Dahlan, the lawyer for Borders.

Delays and inconsistencies

A few people who deal with the rape of young children, allege that the trials of these cases are best conducted in the civil courts. They allege that a syariah court case will drag on for years as the court argues over the establishment of the proof of the rape of the child, and this will simply prolong the child’s ordeal.

They do not claim that civil courts are quicker, nor perfect, as cases can drag on interminably. They allege that civil courts can punish the accused even if does take years, whereas the child rape victim might never receive justice in the syariah system.

The syariah court system in Malaysia is riddled with delays and inconsistencies. In addition, many men escape punishment under syariah law. Ask the hundreds of thousands of abandoned wives.

Again, Najib has done little to address this issue. If Najib wants to wear the skirt, then he had better do the work.

Last week, we praised the Rohana for declaring Bersih a legal entity. This week, she was stopped in her tracks because of the threat by sanctimonious religious hypocrites.

Mariam Mokhtar is a FMT columnist.


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