Cover the head, expose the butt (UPDATED with Chinese Translation)

Islam is suffering from a very serious image problem. Then we blame the Jews and Christians for embarking on a campaign to smear Islam. But it is not the Jews and the Christians who are the problem. The problem is the Muslims themselves.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

These are two of the responses to my article Let’s talk cock today (

written by batsman, February 23, 2010 13:50:56

BTW, I also disagree that extramarital sex is not a big priority issue. Extra marital sex hurts other people as well especially the children. If society does not punish those who engage in extramarital sex, then the incidence may go up. If it goes up to 1 in 4 marriages that break up due to extramarital sex, there will be hundreds of thousands of children who have no proper families.

Society must protect the sanctity of marriage just as it must protect road users from corrupt officials and bad road system design.

written by ctlyn, February 23, 2010 09:21:04

dear author and all, u may think Islam is a bad religion when u half side of it or small part of it. if u not sure about something, ask someone expert in this part not to the author who wrote crap things not only about religion, but also race and politic.

Let me relate what my Tok Guru Abdul Rahman Pattani once preached. By the way, ctlyn suggested that I ‘ask someone expert in this part’. Well ctlyn, Tok Guru Rahman is so respected that he is regarded as one of the leaders of the Pattani liberation movement. He was in Terengganu under political asylum since way back in the late 1970s because he had a price on his head. His brother and the entire family were massacred by the Thai army. So Tok Guru Rahman had to leave Thailand and seek asylum in Terengganu. If not he and his family too would have been killed.

The Terengganu Mufti and Menteri Besar both personally knew Tok Guru Rahman who had spent maybe 17 years or so in Mekkah and Medina. He spoke fluent Arabic and was a hafiz, which means he had memorised the entire Quran. Because of his superb credentials, the Terengganu state government appointed him as a lecturer in KUSZA (Kolej Ugama Sultan Zainal Abidin). And also, because of his superb credentials, the Saudi Arabian government paid his salary.

So ctlyn, yes, I learned from one of the best. And I learned from him until I left Terengganu in 1994, which was about 20 years. And he was one of the most liberal and non-radical Tok Guru I have ever met, in spite of his involvement in and leadership of the Pattani liberation movement.

I remember once when our neighbourhood did the korban (sacrifice) during Hari Raya Haji and Tok Guru Rahman asked one of our neighbours to send some meat to my house. I happened to be away in Kuala Lumpur at that time. This neighbour replied that I was away in Kuala Lumpur. Tok Guru Rahman told him that my mother-in-law was home. But she is a Christian, replied this neighbour. And Tok Guru Rahman chided him and asked: so what if she is a Christian? There is nothing wrong in sedekah (donate) korban meat to a Christian.

Do you know, ctlyn, because of Tok Guru Rahman’s wife, my mother-in-law converted to Islam before she died? And so did my wife’s cousin and his entire family. And it is because of the example set by Tok Guru Rahman and his wife that they were attracted to Islam. How many people have converted to Islam because of the good example that you have demonstrated, ctlyn?

Anyway, back to the issue of the day. Tok Guru Rahman once preached that Muslims quarrel over sunat (optional) and dosa kecik (small sins) issues while ignoring the bigger picture. This was what he said.

Orang Islam bergaduh tentang perkara sunat atau perkara dosa kecik. Ini seumpama kita bergaduh tentang orang tak pakai kopiah puteh. Padahal, memakai kopiah tidak wajib. Malah, masa menunaikan fardu haji, kopiah adalah haram. Tapi kita tak kisah langsung tentang perkara yang lebih penting seperti keperluan menutup aurat.

Let me demonstrate what Tok Guru Rahman meant with these two pictures.

Can you see how the women in these pictures ‘properly’ cover their heads but reveal the ‘best part’ of their body? That was what Tok Guru Rahman was trying to say.

I did not say that extramarital sex is not an important issue, or that it should be allowed. I am saying that if we are really concerned about the state of our society, then there are many other issues that need addressing as well.

Muslims who indulge in extramarital sex do it secretly and behind closed doors. But the religious department employs peeping toms to spy on people who check into hotels and then raid these hotels to arrest them. Then it of course gets into the newspapers. If not it would not have hit the news and no one would have been aware of it.

But how many people are involved? How big is the problem? Yes, it is still a problem. I am not saying it is not. But what is the degree of the seriousness? And is it not forbidden in Islam to spy on your neighbours? Is this not a bigger sin in Islam?

Corruption, however, is perpetuated openly. This is not done secretly or behind closed doors. And those who are involved in corruption are mostly government officers such as the enforcement officers, police personnel, Road Transport Department officers, and whatnot — basically Muslim-Malay government officers. And many non-Muslims are forced to pay ‘under-the-table’ money to these people.

Do you think non-Muslims would have respect for these Muslims? Don’t you think that non-Muslims would have a very low opinion of Islam because of the conduct of these Muslims? And we are not talking about isolated cases of corruption. We are talking about a rampant problem.

And people die because of corruption. Cars are badly designed/built and are unsafe. Roads are badly designed/built and are unsafe. Drivers do not know how to drive properly because they ‘bought’ their driving licence. Even those who can drive extremely well will fail their driving test unless they pay ‘under-the-table’ money.

Do you know how many Malay-Muslim armed forces personnel have died over the last 50 years because of corruption? Malay-Muslim ministers make millions ‘under-the-table’ and many other serving Malay-Muslims die because of it. And don’t let me even start talking about the serious drug problem amongst the Malays, all due to the corrupted police force. Once I start you will never be able to get me to stop.

So we hold an international conference and we invite Muslim scholars from all over the world to come to Malaysia to discuss the matter of caning women who drink beer or indulge in extramarital sex. Well and fine. I have no problems with that if you think that will help solve the problem. But is this the only problem? And is this the most important problem? Are there no other problems? Are there no other problems that are maybe more of a problem?

Islam is suffering from a very serious image problem. Then we blame the Jews and Christians for embarking on a campaign to smear Islam. But it is not the Jews and the Christians who are the problem. The problem is the Muslims themselves. We scream that Islam is a beautiful religion. We shout that Islamic laws are the most perfect laws that came from God. Then we demonstrate how ‘beautiful’ and ‘perfect’ Islam and Islamic laws are by being the most corrupted community on earth.

The countries with the worst human rights record are Muslim countries. The worst managed countries are Muslim countries. The countries with the most number of civil wars and strife are Muslim countries. The countries whose economies are in a shambles are Muslim countries. The countries where elections are never held are mostly Muslim countries. And then we scream that Islam is the most beautiful religion and Islamic laws, which are God’s laws, are the most perfect laws.

I would love to see a society with extremely high morals (in the sexual sense of the word). But can’t that be Plan B? If not, why? And can Plan A be the issues that affect the entire nation? And can we tackle Plan B once Plan A has been resolved? The issue of ‘personal’ moral should take a back seat to issues of national importance. Sure, extramarital sex breaks up families. It raises the problem of illegitimate children. It may even make the AIDS problem worse. So let us address it by all means.

But let us address things according to ranking of national importance. Why are Muslims silent on issues of corruption, abuse of power, wastage of public funds, racism, discrimination, persecution, violation of fundamental rights, and whatnot? If we want to hold an international conference to discuss problems affecting the Muslim community are these not also problems affecting the Muslim community that need discussing?

Yes, the analogy used by Tok Guru Rahman is perfect. Why quarrel over whether a man should use a white skullcap or a woman should cover her head when the aurat is exposed, said Tok Guru. The aurat is more important than the head. And in case your command of English is not that good, this simply means prioritise. That was what Tok Guru Rahman was trying to say.

Comprende? Capisce? Understand? Paham?


Translated into Chinese at: