One nation, two systems

Raja Petra Kamarudin

China is not the only country in the world that practices the concept of one nation two systems — which was a policy adopted after Hong Kong reverted to China. Malaysia, too, practices this same concept of one nation but two systems — one for Muslims and another for non-Muslims.

Muslims in Malaysia are allowed to insult other religions. The imams at mosques throughout Malaysia will scream and shout during the Friday prayer sermons nasty things about non-Muslims.

Kafir (non-Muslims) are sahabat Shaitan (comrades of Satan), are najis (filth), are enemies of Islam, must not be aped, cannot be trusted, are out to defeat Muslims, have a secret plan to destroy Islam, and so on and so forth.

In short, non-Muslims or Kafir are bad, bad, bad and doomed to spend eternity in hell. Muslims must dress differently, talk differently, act differently and think differently from the Kafir. Muslims must never try to ape or copy the non-Muslims or else we too would become just like the Kafir.

Yes, this is basically what Muslims all over Malaysia are told during the Friday prayer sermons. No imam may write and read his own sermon for, doing so, would mean be would be sacked and replaced by another imam.

Further to that, the mosque committee may not appoint its own imam. Imams are appointed by the state religious departments. In fact, the mosque committee itself is appointed by the state religious department. And the mosque committee members and imam must be ‘Umno’ people. If they are known opposition activists, then they would be removed just like the imam of the Damansara Utama Mujahideen mosque was — as were many other ‘opposition’ imams throughout Malaysia.

The sermons (kutbah), too, are prepared by the state religious departments and distributed to all the mosques in the state. No imam may write his own sermon or read an ‘opposition’ sermon. Doing so would result in his sacking and a new imam will be appointed by the state religious department to replace him.

That’s right. The small-minded and outdated-thinking state religious department officers, whose turbans are too tight it restricts the flow of blood to the brain (to quote Dr Mahathir), control all the mosques in Malaysia to the extent of the appointments of the imam and mosque committee plus the text of the sermon. Can we say the hate campaign against non-Muslims in Malaysia is highly institutionalised?

But say one, just one, non-Muslim (or Muslim) were to insult Islam, even mildly just like what happened in Jeff Ooi’s blog. All hell would break loose. Umno Youth would make a police report. The police chief would immediately announce that an investigation has been launched and action would be taken against that person who had insulted Islam under provisions of Malaysia’s Sedition Act.

Yes, Malaysian Muslims are permitted to insult non-Muslims. The state governments can ask the religious departments all over Malaysia to instruct all mosques to slander non-Muslims week after week — which has been going on for many generations. Imams can scream from the pulpit how filthy non-Muslims are and that Muslims should never copy non-Muslims. But, please, don’t the non-Muslims say one bad thing about Islam unless you want bloodshed on the streets or suffer arrest.

Oh, and Muslims may preach Islam to non-Muslims but non-Muslims are forbidden from preaching their religion to Muslims — unless you want to get detained without trial under the Internal Security Act.