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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

FatwaMan #1 nominee for the Mutant Mullahs collective

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But, first things first - unveiling the Mutant Mullahs logo! This will be used in future posts when reporting on the exploits of the Mutant Mullahs, as and when they appear in the news.

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With that out of the way, Walski came across this report in The Star this morning (excerpt below).

Mufti: Beware of pluralism and liberalism
(June 13, 2006)

FatwaMan Image hosting by PhotobucketIPOH: Elements of liberalism and pluralism have crept into the thinking of some so-called Muslim intellectuals, and this could affect the Muslim lifestyle, said Perak Mufti Datuk Harussani Zakaria.

He said discussions on polygamy, the faraidh system, revision of the Quran, setting up of an Inter-Faith Commission and abolishment of Article 121 (1A) of the Federal Constitution, were getting louder as more Malaysians were embracing liberalism and pluralism.

“If left unchecked, liberalism and pluralism will be difficult to control,” he said in his keynote speech Purifying Islam from Liberalism and Pluralism at the Ulama Convention 2006 here yesterday.

OK - let's get some definitions out of the way, so that you understand why Walski nominates this man to the ranks of the Mutant Mullahs.

faraidh - Faraidh is that section of the Islamic law that deals with the distribution of the estate of a deceased person among his heirs in accordance with Allah's decree in the Holy Quran and according to the hadis or tradition of the Messenger of Allah. (source: Shariah Court of Singapore website)

Malaysia is perhaps the only country in the world that prohibits Muslims from having a will. When a Muslim dies, his or her entire estate goes to the state, who then distributes it according to the faraidh. The traditionalist/conservative argument here is that a will is un-Islamic, which is the common dogmatic belief.

God, however, says otherwise (Quran, Chapter 2 [al-Baqarah], verses 180-182, Yusof Ali translation):

It is prescribed, when death approaches any of you, if he leave any goods that he make a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable usage; this is due from the Allah-fearing. If anyone changes the bequest after hearing it, the guilt shall be on those who make the change. For Allah hears and knows (All things). But if anyone fears partiality or wrong-doing on the part of the testator, and makes peace between (The parties concerned), there is no wrong in him: For Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

There are several places in the Quran which deals with inheritance. Here's another one, which clearly allows for wills (Chapter 4 [al-Nisa] verse 11, Yusof Ali translation):

Allah (thus) directs you as regards your Children's (Inheritance): [details of the distribution mentioned here]. (The distribution in all cases) after the payment of legacies and debts. Ye know not whether your parents or your children are nearest to you in benefit. These are settled portions ordained by Allah; and Allah is All-knowing, Al-wise.

And so, does the Mufti imply that going back to what God actually decreed is dangerous if left uncontrolled?

pluralism - Religious pluralism is a loosely defined term concerning peaceful relations between different religions, and is also used in a number of related ways:
as a synonym for religious relativism; that one's religion is not the sole and exclusive source of truth, and that some level of truth and value exists in at least some other religions.
as a synonym for ecumenism. At a minimum, ecumenism is the promotion of unity, co-operation, or improved understanding between different denominations within the same religion, or sometimes between different religions.
as a synonym for religious tolerance, which is a condition of harmonious co-existence between adherents of different religions or religious denominations.
(source: Wikipedia)

Beware of pluralism? In other words, if Walski were to be as simplistic as the Mufti in applying these terms, this Mutant Mullah is against religious tolerance and maintains a supremacist view of Islam (his way or the highway... to Hell). Does it also mean that he's against better understanding of and cooperation with, other religions? So much for a religion of understanding and knowledge...

Now, Walski is not very sure where the Mufti got the idea that there are people (i.e. evil liberals) who want to revise the Quran. That would be sacriligious, for sure. But re-interpretation is another kettle of fish, dear FatwaMan. Or do you not know the difference?

And finally,

liberalism - a political theory founded on the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil and political liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority. (source:

So, the Mufti is saying that rejection of liberalism is our Islamic duty. But in favor of what? Totalitarianism? Yeah, very Islamic - not.

But to understand this Mutant Mullah a little better, lets look at some of the other pearls of wisdom that has emanated from the Mufti: (in the full post)

From Aliran: “A husband has the right to be intimate with his wife and the wife must obey. If the wife refuses, the rule of nusyus (recalcitrant) can be applied and the husband will no longer be responsible for his wife (23 Aug 2004, The Star - with regards to Marital Rape).

From Kyodo News Interantional: Top Malaysian Islamic clerics have slammed movies from India's Bollywood as immoral and contrary to Islamic values and urged the government to cut the numbers aired on Malaysian television channels, if they cannot ban the films totally, the Star newspaper reported Thursday.
"Indian movies particularly depict Hindu culture such as the belief in various gods, which is contrary to Islam," conference spokesman Harussani Zakaria was quoted as saying.

From The Star: Perak Mufti Datuk Seri Harussani Zakaria has suggested that people with AIDS and avian influenza be cast away on an island to ensure they do not infect others.

And as for the Interfaith Commission that the Mufti is so dead-set against? The conservatives' fear is that Muslims will convert in droves, if true freedom of religion is allowed. Well, here's Walski's take: common sense dictates that if you market a brand of Islam that is extremely unappealing, retrograde and inflexible, what chance do you have of successfully marketing it, other than with threats?

Consider the following two verses from the Quran:

(Chapter 2 [al-Baqarah], verse 256, Yusof Ali translation) Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.

(Chapter 18 [al-Kahf], verse 20, Yusof Ali translation): Say, "The truth is from your Lord": Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it): for the wrong-doers We have prepared a Fire whose (smoke and flames), like the walls and roof of a tent, will hem them in: if they implore relief they will be granted water like melted brass, that will scald their faces, how dreadful the drink! How uncomfortable a couch to recline on!

Nowhere does it say in the Quran that man should intercede and dictate what an individual can or cannot believe in. And nowhere does it mention stoning to death, etc, for the disbeliever. Faith is a contract exclusive between an individual and God - and it's up to God, not man, to deal with the disbeliever.

Walski can opinionate, but in the end, God knows best....

To Walski, the biggest difference between conservatives and liberals is this: both may have opinions of their own, but the conservative will insist that everyone else agrees with him/her. And this is the biggest problem Walski has with conservatives.

Well, so much for fair distribution of wealth to the ones you leave behind; so much for peaceful co-existence among our fellow Malaysians of varying faiths, and so much for civil liberties. Any discussion or debate must be crushed, destroyed, all in the name of.... what?

FatwaMan Image hosting by PhotobucketAnd so for all the glorious and illustrious reasons above, on this day, the good Mufti Datuk Harussani Zakaria proudly joins the ranks of the Mutant Mullahs (of the FatwaMan archetype) - for half-truths, injustice, and the 10th century way.