Update (1928 hrs): The Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS) has just been reported to have withdrawn its claims on Rayappan's body (from The Star). This is probably a very sensible move on the part of the council, and should be lauded. A good closure, Walski thinks, for the family of the deceased.
Update (1719 hrs): The Malaysian Cabinet has made a decision to step in. Read about it either via The Sun, or the BBC version. The Sun has also carried a related piece, discussing why this is more than just about religion.
This may not be news per se, but Walski felt that something had to be said about it. It concerns the latest tussle for the deceased. This time it is for the body of Rayappan Anthony, or Muhammad Rayappan Abdullah - depending on your point of view.
Now, this is not the first time this Cadaver Grabathon has happened, and not likely the last either. The players in this time's saga are Rayappan's family and JAIS (Selangor Islamic Affairs Department).
[update: And not JAWI (Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Department) - Walski's apologies for the oversight]
You know, for some reason, all this seems so Monty Python-esque. And it reminds Walski of this classic scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
(more cadaverish thoughts in the full post)
It's really amazing that
JAWI JAIS, who (probably) couldn't care less about Rayappan when he was alive, but jumped to the scene upon his death, almost like a carrion circling in the sky waiting for its prey to die. Almost as if they have a dead-convert detector device, or something equally disturbing like that. Truly astounding.
What few seem to want to realize is that Rayappan already made his peace with God, and chose the path he took on his own free will. While he was alive. No amount of talqin (prayer for the dead) is going to change the life he lived, and whether or not the choices he made were right or wrong is not for us to decide.
It's no wonder why Muslims the world over aren't catching up with the realities of the 21st century and the flattening world, when their energies are being so focused, for example, on making sure someone's buried correctly, per ritual.
While the so-called infidels of the world are advancing themselves by leaps and bounds, Muslims in this country (and probably elsewhere as well) are so shit-faced worried, harping on and on about "Islam is under threat! Islam is under threat!"
And if the so-called Muslim leadership don't immediately, and decisively, wake up from their fear-induced, siege-mentality stupor, and for once, smell the 21st century, they may as well be chanting "Bring Out Your Dead"...