Saturday, September 10, 2011

Mr. JAKIM Officer, I Beg To Differ

Yesterday an officer from JAKIM was invited to give a talk to USIM first year students as a slot during our Ta'aruf week at Nilai Stadium. It was supposed to be a talk on "Islam as The State religion Of Malaysia" but he always went away. Well never mind, in fact that was what keeping me awake along long talk; sometimes it was amusing.

There was a time when he suddenly talked about secularism and what is is really. In accordance to his understanding, he defined "secularism" as a doctrine that rejects religion, and by that he assured us how Malaysia isn't practicing secularism by any means, or else Malaysia won't happen to be an Islamic country in which Islam is approved to be the state religion, and there'll be no Islamic institutions in this country, as Sharia Court and even JAKIM, won't appear to establish.

He was right, but the definition wasn't so precise. I'm sorry, but I don't really think that is what "secularism" is all about. So what secularism really is? This is the best answer that I found:

 "Secularism is a view that religion and religious considerations should be ignored or excluded from social and political matters."

If I were to vote whether Malaysia is a secular country or not, I wouldn't hesitate to answer a resounding yes. Why?

Okay, I wasn't going to write much about this because I've already written a post on this months ago HERE, I'll be pointing out just one example to answer the perplexing confusion about secular or non secular dilemma. Just think of this, our country, Malaysia, unlike Pakistan constitution, which states that all laws must be consistent with syariah therefore can be said as non-secular, our constitution doesn't stipulate this. In Malaysia syariah laws are only applied in particular situations, whilst civil laws were applied to all situations. Civil punishments like jail sentence, hang to death sentence etc. are widely applied while Islamic, or Syariah punishments, such as Hudud, is denied.

One of my friend raised his hand and asked a question of the matter of Hudud and why wasn't it be carried out if it is true that Malaysia don't isolate religious matter from other matters to the officer. The officer did his job, he answered the question but his idea was stinks. His point was:

"There is always great fusses about this, why isn't hudud be carried out in our country although we claimed our country to be an Islamic country? Folks, okay, in civil law there is caning punishment, in which we caned strokes of rattan to convicts who did certain offences, and in Islam (syariah law) there are also punishment like this, almost the same. The only difference is, caning is Islam will be much softer while caning in civil punishments is harder, that is the only adjustment or twist that become the difference between caning in accordance to civil law, and caning based from syariah law. The thing is till remains the same, we caned people."

Thats of course not exactly the words that he spoke but the point is almost like that. That was the last question that he answered before he ended his talk that night. I was really upset and damn disappointed with the answer he gave, as a certified JAKIM officer. What is actually his points? that civil and syariah punishments is just the same but with a lil' adjustments? that syariah punishment like caning can be adjusted and fixed and twisted to look more like a civil punishment? OMG. 

I hope he would visit my blog soon and leave an explanation in the comment so I won't lose my faith and respect to him as a certified JAKIM officer. 

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