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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Super Caliphate-a-listic Expialidocious

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Image hosting by PhotobucketIn case the title wasn't a dead giveaway, this has something to do with myAsylum's recent post about Hizb ut Tahrir and their grand ambitions of Islamic empire. In a kind of obtuse way, but Walski seems to see some parallels. Some might even call it being paranoid... but bear with Walski. And tell him (via the comments) if the points made here are valid or not.

First of, Walski would like to bring your attention to an article written by Farish Noor, which appeared recently on The Other Malaysia. In it, Farish briefly outlines the origins of Hizb ut-Tahrir, and briefly touches on the recent Hizb ut-Tahrir conference in Jakarta. But the gist of the article, in Walski's view, are contained within the last two paragraphs (emphasis by myAsylum).

What is more worrisome however is the trite and shallow logic at work among groups like the HT who simplistically think that the nation-state can simply be overturned and superceded by any means necessary, while failing to note that in the current age of globalisation this flawed and faulty apparatus may, ironically, be the only defensive tool we have left against the predatory moves of global capital. It is fine to talk about global solidarity between Muslims, a shared Muslim identity and common sets of values etc, as long as we also recognise that this grand Muslim history was not without its own share of problems and contradictions. For a start, HT’s love of the Caliphate ignores the fact that the Caliphs and great Sultans and Emperors of Islam in the past were not all just men (though they were all invariably men, and not women) and that the great Caliphates were also home for double-standards, exploitation, class and racial segregation and violent hierarchies as well.

Why do Muslims still entertain such nostalgic longings for an unreconstructed past that is, at best, two-dimensional and caricatural? Have we not evolved a political vocabulary that exceeds the narrow confines of the mythical universe of the Arabian Nights and Aladdin? Or has the Muslim world grown so jaded, so bereft of ideas and focus in direction that myths and fantasies will do in the absence of rational, workable solutions?

(source: The Other Malaysia)

As Walski had pointed out in the earlier post on Hizb ut-Tahir, their aim of a Super Caliphate is only a means for their real goal - the implementation of the Shariah on planet Earth. Which version of the Shariah is not clear (there is no "standard" application globally), but that is their ultimate aim.

Which translates to, in the context of Malaysia, replacing what civil laws we have with those that are Shariah-compliant. And this brings us to the other more pertinent issue at hand - back-door Islam-as-I-say-tion, without the benefit of referendum and debate.
(Howsy's CJ expose, what the connection is, in the full post)

Buddy blogger Howsy today posted on the Chief Justice's suggestion that Malaysia does away with the use of British Common Law methodology, as a means to "escape the clutches of the colonialism". Go read the article compilation that Howsy has put together, if you have the time.

But it's the last bit of what the Chief Justice was reported to have said that Walski thought was interesting. The statement was made to reporters after he had officiated the “Ahmad Ibrahim: Thoughts and Knowledge Contribution” seminar on Tuesday (emphasis by myAsylum).

He said he strongly supported the late Prof Ahmad Mohamad Ibrahim’s views to abolish the use of English common law and instead refer to the decisions of Malaysian courts, giving priority to local circumstances.

“In my opinion, his direction should be persevered, regardless of how it is modified. What is certain is that Professor Ahmad’s efforts were a clear objective that has placed Islamic law at its most qualified position,” he said.

(source: The Star)

Now, Walski doesn't claim to be a law expert, but as a layperson, this sounds like the CJ supporting Shariah law to supercede civil law in the long run. Through the back door, quietly, without referendum, debate or due process...

The Malaysian Bar Council, in The Star today rebutted the call by the CJ.

Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim’s call for the common law system to be replaced is without basis, the Bar Council said.

When Malaysian judges accept any English common law principle, they become part of Malaysian common law and Malaysian law is developed that way, said the Bar Council chairman Ambiga Sreenevasan.

Although nearly every British colony had adopted the English common law system, she said each country had developed its own common law.

“Thus, Malaysian common law differs in many respects from Indian or Australian common law,” said Ambiga in response to Ahmad Fairuz' call for its replacement on Tuesday.

(source, and full article: The Star)

And quite rightly so, Walski thinks - again, he's no lawyer, and this opinion is Walski's as a layperson. The article goes on to suggest that to discard the Common Law system would mean discarding the corpus of Malaysian case law built over the last 50 years.

What Walski wants to know is - to what end?

Walski knows for a fact that he's not the only one that sees the correlation between the encroachment of pro-Caliphate organizations (bearing in mind their ultimate, and not immediate aim) such as Hizb ut-Tahrir, and the CJ's statement, coupled with the current Chief Justice's recent decisions, particularly in the Lina Joy appeals case.

It's back-door Islam-as-I-say-tion, folks. Or attempts at it. That's how Walski sees it. Subtle, but clearly there in a rather obtuse way.

So, back to what Walski said in the first paragraph of this post - the correlation is rather fuzzy, but is Walski the only one that can relate the two? Or do you think Walski's being paranoid? Think about it, then tell him how you see it.

Walski's terminology credit note: The term Islam-as-I-say-tion was originally coined by lawyer and activist Haris Ibrahim, via The Truth of The Matter some months back. The post title is, of course, a play on the ever popular song from the Disney classic Mary Poppins.