How the religious people are trying to con us

The point I was trying to make to this ustaz from JAKIM is that Islamic unity is a fallacy. It does not exist and has never existed for almost the entire history of Islam. So what nonsense is he trying to espouse by asking us ISA detainees to unite in the interest of Islam and for the sake of Islam?


Raja Petra Kamarudin


(Bernama) — Religious advisor to the prime minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Md Zin, said the issue on solidarity should be taken seriously by Muslims as it is demanded by Islam.

He said it was compulsory for Muslims, particularly the leaders, to unite the Malays in the country as it was feared that if factionalism was allowed to continue, it would not only affect national harmony, but the status of Islam itself.

“Solidarity is something that is compulsory while factionalism is not permitted,” he told Bernama when asked to comment on the issue of solidarity between Umno and PAS.

As such, he asked everyone to be tolerant in ensuring that solidarity between Umno and PAS could be realised by putting aside matters pertaining to party interests.

Abdullah also supported the move by the Mufti of Perak, Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria, who offered to be the mediator to both parties as the move was most appropriate for Muslim solidarity.


The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and many other Umno leaders are making statements about ‘Malay unity for the sake of Islam’. For two years now Umno has been attempting to court PAS and for two years now PAS has made it very clear that it is not interested in getting married to Umno. But still Umno persists even though each time PAS has made it very clear that there is absolutely no possibility of an Umno-PAS marriage.

Now the religious leaders are jumping into the fray. Muftis and ex-Muftis are trying to con the Malays into believing that it is their Islamic duty to unite under one political party. And that political party has to be Umno. But why Umno? Why not PAS? If the objective is to promote Malay unity for the sake of Islam then it does not matter which political party they unite under. Why not they wind up Umno and all the ex-Umno members join PAS? After all, the objective is to seek Malay unity for the sake of Islam and not to strengthen Umno.

I remember back in September 2008 when I was first sent to the Kamunting detention centre under the Internal Security Act. I was made to attend religious rehabilitation classes and the first lecture was by a lecturer from JAKIM — that Malaysian government agency that has been accused of promoting violence and terrorism. (Read more here).

The lecture by the ustaz from JAKIM was about the need for Muslim solidarity. If the Muslims become divided then the enemies of Islam — the Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and Jews — would take advantage of the situation to destroy Islam. So it is the duty of all Muslims to unite and not become divided. It is what God (Allah) commands. So if we remain divided then we are defying God.

I have never heard worst bullshit in my entire life.

I sat there patiently waiting for the questions-and-answers session and once the ustaz opened the session to the floor I leaped to my feet and fired away.

“Since when has Islam ever been united?” I asked the ustaz. “From the day the Prophet died Islam became divided and has remained divided ever since for about 1,500 years. And millions of Muslims have died at the hands of fellow Muslims because of this. In fact, more Muslims have died at the hands of Muslims than at the hands of the so-called enemies of Islam.”

I then related the events in Islamic history to support my argument. And my narration on the history of Islam went as follows:

The day the Prophet died the Muslims of Medina were embroiled in a three-day argument as to who should replace the Prophet as the successor (Caliph in Arabic). In the meantime the Prophet’s body lay unburied for three days as this conflict continued.

The Medina people wanted a Medina man as the successor while the ‘pendatang’ Mekah people wanted a Mekah man.

Ali, the Prophet’s son-in-law and cousin to the Prophet, said that just before the Prophet died he (Prophet Muhammad) had summoned him (Ali) to his deathbed and whispered in his ear that when he (Prophet Muhammad) dies he (Ali) must replace him as the successor. Aishah was a witness to this, said Ali (the Prophet died on Aishah’s lap).

Aishah was summoned and asked about this but she said she did not hear anything. Since Aishah could not confirm Ali’s story the choice of successor went to Abu Bakar, Aishah’s father.

Abu Bakar then appointed Omar as his deputy and when Abu Bakar died Omar took over as the second Caliph. But Omar did not appoint any deputy and as he lay dying he told a committee to choose the next successor. The committee that was headed by Osman’s uncle selected Osman as the third Caliph.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, the bottom line is many Muslims believe that Ali should have been the successor and first Caliph but that he was bypassed three times. Many Muslims also believe that Aishah had a personal grudge against Ali and that was why she did not confirm Ali’s story resulting in her father, Abu Bakar, getting the job instead.

I said this is what many Muslims believe. Whether I too believe this is not the issue. The issue is this belief divided the Muslims from the day the Prophet was buried right until today.

The evidence that there was a personal grudge between Aishah and Ali was when Aishah led an army from Mekah to invade Medina during the time when Ali became the Caliph. This event is called ‘The War of the Camel’.

And this was not the only war between Muslims and Muslims. The most devastating war was of course at Karbala, which utterly divided the Muslims forever. This event is still celebrated in Iran until today as the most tragic event in Islamic history.

The point I was trying to make to this ustaz from JAKIM is that Islamic unity is a fallacy. It does not exist and has never existed for almost the entire history of Islam. So what nonsense is he trying to espouse by asking us ISA detainees to unite in the interest of Islam and for the sake of Islam?

When I ended my tirade the ustaz looked at his watch and said that the time is up and he is not able to respond to my comment. He then ended the session without confirming or contradicting what I had said.

The Special Branch was of course there taking notes and later I was summoned and told not to embarrass the ustaz from JAKIM in public. I tried defending myself by arguing that what I had quoted was a fact of history.

Never mind, they replied. You can’t expect the ustaz to engage in an intellectual debate with you. What you say may be true but the objective of the religious rehabilitation classes is to correct the misconceptions you may have about Islam and to guide you back to the right path.

You are supposed to listen to the lectures, not debate with the ustaz and embarrass him in public.

So I expect the same holds true here. We are supposed to only listen to what these religious people preach and not question or contradict them. And when they ask us to all unite under Umno for the sake of Islam we are not supposed to question that.

Why the hell did God give us a brain then if we are not supposed to use it?