A short rebuke of Ezam Mohd Nor


By Art Harun

Dear Ezam,

With reference to your manic and almost maniacal spewing of hatred last Friday, I just have this to say to you.

You are an embarrassment.

This is Ramadhan. Muslims fast during Ramadhan. Good Muslims do not only fast and suffer mere physical pain during the fasting – a 6 year old can do that – but they reflect upon themselves and upon their surroundings and they abstain not only from food and drinks, but also from all things evil and ungodly.

The hunger pang and thirst which Muslims suffer during the fast are just the surface of  something which is deeper and more meaningful. Good Muslims correlate the mere physical abstention to a more meaningful spiritual experience. Without the spiritual experience and realisation of fasting, the act of fasting becomes and is reduced to a mere ritual and yearly routine.

Perhaps it was not a surprise that you did what you did last Friday. That is because, well, you are just being yourself.

Jihad in Islam has been totally misunderstood, by the non-Muslims and Muslims alike. And who is to blame for such misunderstanding when there are people like you going around running amok after Friday prayer and rabidly calling for jihad and threatening to burn down news portals?

May I ask you Ezam Mohd Nor, exactly against whom were you going to jihad? All Christians in Malaysia? The Damansara Utama Methodist Church? Oh yes, against those Christians who are conspiring to proselytise all Muslims in Malaysia and elsewhere. Yes, I forgot. But exactly who are they? And where are they?

Jihad does not mean declaring a war. The word “jahada”, which is the base word for jihad simply means “to strive” or “to struggle”. Throughout time, this word has been twisted, manipulated and misinterpreted by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The result is that Islam has been painted with this black images of suicide bombers seeking martyrdom and of cartoons like yourself running amok after Fridar prayer and in the compound of a mosque no less.

The Quran ordains:

“Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loves not transgressors.” (2:190)

Yes. It asks us to fight and strive. But only in the cause of Allah and against those who fight us. We are not asked to look for fights. Even if circumstances require and demand us to fight, the Quran implores us not to transgress limits.

May I therefore ask you Ezam, were there any party fighting us last Friday? If so, who? And did you not stop to think that you were not transgressing the limits last Friday considering the nature of our society?

What is the best jihad of all jihads? You think it’s burning down other people’s office is the best? Well please go and study the Quran and the traditions.