In need to find something?
Custom Search
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Opinion Poll: Effects of Politicizing Islam

Technorati tags: , , ,

One poll done, and so naturally another one had to be put up. The topic is somewhat timely, since Walski has noticed a spike in Islam being increasingly politicized, and used towards political ends.

In particular, the recent “recruitment” of 40 ulama (clerics) to join UMNO, which created some waves in the press and cyberspace, does raise some questions. In Walski’s mind, at least.

Namely, WHY?

As Walski thought about it some, a few possibilities came to mind. Among other things, it’s UMNO’s attempt to keep up with the Joneses PAS, their political arch-nemesis. In a way, it’s a very Malay thing to do – Walski’s sure you’ve heard anecdotes of so-and-so refurnishing their living room just because the neighbor did.

In terms of political rhetoric Walski hears, these days it’s not just Malay unity, but also Muslim unity. UMNO, it appears, is trying to become PAS. Some might even say that UMNO wants to be more PAS than PAS, going by the claims (at least from a handful of pro-UMNO blogs) that UMNO today is definitely more Islamic than their political rival.

Also noticed of late is Perak State Mufti, Harussani Zakaria, apparently lobbying on behalf of UMNO (via The Malaysian Insider) for “unity talks” with PAS. PAS leadership has maintained that there has been no official sanction to initiate anything. And yet, Harussani is adamant that a PAS leader has approached him to mediate in unity talks. Harussani, however, has refused to name the said leader.

It is clear, therefore, that the religious establishment is getting involved. Nevermind why this is happening – what Walski wants to know is the possible effects of this heightened religious politicization. To be certain, there is bound to be some effect.    
(another poll is born, and more, in the full post)

And when Walski wonders such things, you know a poll can’t be far behind.

In fact, Walski launched the poll a few days ago, announcing it via Twitter. You can find the poll its usual space on the sidebar, or you can vote at, the host of choice for the poll this time.

As with previous polls, Walski has made it easy for you to post the poll on your own blog, if you so wish to. If your blog is hosted by, simply click on the Add to Blogger button at the bottom of the poll. If Wordpress is your blog platform of choice, you can use the shortcode [polldaddy poll=3487698]. Other ways of embedding and sharing the poll can be found at the poll page. 

The reason why Walski keeps mentioning this? Simply because he wants as representative an opinion poll as possible. The faithful readership of this poll (apart from the annoying porn spammers) tends to be more of liberal-leaning types, and that makes any poll result tend to lean one particular way. So do tell your more conservative friends to vote, too.

So far, the interim poll result shows that most people think the increased politicization of Islam won’t be beneficial to the nation. One respondent (who voted Other) stated that it’s “a desperate attempt to cling on to power”. Yes, if you think the other poll choices Walski’s provided aren’t representative of how you see things, there is the Other option, where you can state your own opinion.

Initially, Walski had set the poll to close at midnight on July 25th. However, he’s decided to extend the poll duration for another few days, until midnight on Saturday, July 31st. He hopes that you take some time to share your opinion, and then help Walski spread the word around to your friends, so that they share their opinion, too.

UMNO’s opinion in this matter seems to be that the religious establishment is pro-unity. Not surprising, since UMNO seems to be the party that’s really pushing this agenda hard.

But to what end-game result? Well, that’s for Walski to poll, and for you to hopefully respond…