Must be Sirim-approved first

Wouldn’t life be so much simpler if there were no man-made religions around? Anyway, there are still some good uses for religion. Politicians can use religion to win votes. So you might not go to heaven but at least you can get into political office and rip off the country of billions of Ringgit. So religion is not as useless as you think it is. You can gain power and wealth by exploiting religion.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Because of the influence of Hollywood and the movies it churns out, most people have the misconception that the Crusades was about Christians going to war against Muslims. What we are not told is that the Crusaders killed (or massacred entire communities) more fellow Christians than they did Muslims.

There was more than one Crusade over about 200 years so it was actually a series of religious expeditions organised by different people from different parts of Europe. So it was not just Richard the Lion Heart versus Saladin (of the Prince John, Sheriff of Nottingham and Robin Hood era) as what most think.

The objective of the Crusades was to recapture the Christian ‘Holy Land’ occupied by the Turks after the defeat of the Byzantine Empire. The ‘backbone’ of the Crusades was the Roman Catholic church. Hence if you were not Roman Catholic — such as you were Coptic Christians — then you too would be exterminated just like the Muslims.

In fact, all over Europe, even in England then, if you followed a different form of Christianity than the official ‘government-approved’ version, you were declared a heretic and thus would be killed. Christians, and of course Muslims as well, have zero tolerance for those who deviate from the correct form of Christianity or Islam.

Christians would kill ‘deviant’ Christians but would tolerate Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc., and Muslims would kill ‘deviant’ Muslims, but would tolerate Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. That is how it goes.

Of course, since the last couple of hundreds of years, Christians no longer kill ‘deviant’ Christians. But that does not mean Christianity accepts ‘deviant’ Christians as true Christians. Even as recent as 100 years ago Anglican Christians considered Roman Catholics as idol worshippers and would never sanction anyone of their family marrying a Catholic.

For example, homosexuals are still not accepted in Christianity. The priest would remind us about the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible and how God went berserk and punished homosexuals. No doubt the church no longer arrest and burn homosexuals like they used to. But just because homosexuals are no longer burned alive this does not mean the Bible has been amended to allow homosexuality.

Hence heresy is still a crime in Christianity, just like homosexuality, and the fact that you are no longer tied to a stake and burned alive is not because that crime is no longer a crime. It just means the church no longer has the political power to kill you like it used to.

In Islam it is slightly different from Christianity (but only different in terms of authority to punish you). In Islam, the ‘church’, meaning the religious authorities, still has power to punish you for crimes against Islam. Heresy, homosexuality, sexual misconduct, etc., which the Christian church can no longer punish you for even though they are still crimes under Christianity, can result in you facing punishment as decided by the religious authorities.

So, the difference is as follows. Crimes against Christianity and crimes against Islam still exist and both Christianity and Islam basically share the same view on what these crimes are. However, while in Islam the religious authorities are still allowed to punish you for these crimes, in ‘Christendom’ the religious authorities have lost this power. That power now comes under the state under the concept of separation of church and state.

And that explains why the Selangor Religious Department arrested 20 people in Rawang last night that were accused of trying to revive the Al Arqam movement. The followers of Al Arqam are considered heretics and in Malaysia the religious authorities can take action against heretics like they could in Christendom until less than 200 years ago. (Even witches were still burned alive, and in America as well, until not too long ago).

In fact, the religious authorities will not just arrest followers of Al Arqam. Even Shias, Salafis, etc., will face the wrath of the religious authorities. In short, anyone who deviates from ‘true Islam’ and who do not follow the official ‘government-approved’ version of Islam will get into trouble.

Isn’t it ironical? Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Buddhists, or whatever, are considered people who have followed the wrong path and who are going to spend an eternity in hell. Muslims are not allowed to leave Islam to embrace any of these other unaccepted and false religions. If they do then they can be killed by order of Allah.

But all these false religions are allowed to exist as long as you do not propagate your false religion to Muslims and try to convert Muslims to your false religion. The government will leave you alone and will not harass you if you leave Muslims alone and do not mislead Muslims.

Live and let live. Unto you your religion and unto me my religion. (Surah Al Kafirun — O disbelievers! I worship not that which ye worship; Nor worship ye that which I worship. And I shall not worship that which ye worship. Nor will ye worship that which I worship. Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion.)

Yes, can you see how tolerant Islam can be to those of the other religions? You do your thing and the Muslims will leave you alone even if they consider you followers of a false religion. Only if you interfere with Islam or Muslims will you face the wrath of Muslims.

However, Muslims will not live and let live when it comes to fellow Muslims. Even if you do your own thing and you do not disturb other Muslims that will not save you. The state or religious authorities will seek you out, hunt you down, and clamp down hard on you if you are a fellow Muslim who is a heretic and who deviates from the ‘government-approved’ version of Islam.

Non-Muslims have absolute freedom to do what they like as long as they are not a ‘threat’ to Islam — threat meaning to ‘undermine’ Islam or ‘mislead’ Muslims. Muslims, however, have no such freedom. You are told what you can and cannot do. And what you can do depends on what the government says you can do.

Now do you understand why the Selangor Religious Department took action against the followers of Al Arqam last night, one of those 20 a PKR Selangor leader? Religion is a state matter and the Selangor Religious Department comes under the Pakatan Rakyat Selangor State Government. So it is Pakatan Rakyat that took action against those deviant Muslims and heretics last night.

Yes, we need a Muslim Martin Luther to help reform the Muslim ‘church’. We need a Muslim Martin Luther to challenge the religious institution and tell those religionists to mind their own fucking business. Who are they to decide which is the ‘correct’ Islam and which is the ‘wrong’ Islam?

You decide which is the ‘correct’ Islam and which is the ‘wrong’ Islam and you force me to follow your interpretation of Islam. What if you are wrong? What if you force me to follow your interpretation of Islam and what if you happen to be wrong? What will happen to me if I follow your interpretation of Islam and you happen to be wrong?

Well, that means, just like you, I will go to hell. Is that not correct? Is that not what the Qur’an says? Does not the Qur’an say that if I follow my ancestors’ beliefs and if my ancestors happen to be wrong then I will join my ancestors in hell? Does not the Qur’an forbid us from following our ancestors because if our ancestors are wrong then we will be punished for following the wrong beliefs?

Yes, the Qur’an has made it very clear. We must not blindly follow our ancestors’ beliefs because they may be wrong and if they are wrong then we too will be wrong. But the government will not allow us to do that. The Pakatan Rakyat Selangor State Government through the Selangor Religious Department will not allow us to do that.

The government says we must follow the ‘government-approved’ version of Islam. The Qur’an, however, says we must not do that. Is the government above the Qur’an? Is the Selangor Religious Department changing, amending or twisting the word of Allah?

You are going to pay for the wrongs you do. If the government forces you to do the wrong thing and you do it then you and not the government will pay for your sins. You cannot tell Allah that I only did what the government asked me to do. Allah will punish you for doing the wrong thing in spite of someone else forcing you to do it.

Hence religion is between you and God. The government cannot tell you what to believe and what to do. The government can, of course, arrest you if you do not follow the ‘government-approved’ religion. In fact, until quite recently, the government could even kill you for not following the ‘government approved’ version of the religion. They would declare you a heretic and put you to death. At one time they fed you to the lions while the Romans clapped and cheered until the animal-rights activists protested this cruelty to lions.

So there you are. What has changed over the last 2,000 years? Nothing much really! The government decides the correct version of religion and will pronounce you a heretic and punish you for heresy if you do not follow what the government dictates. Then all those in government who think they are going to heaven do not get to go to heaven and will drag you along with them to wherever they are going to end up after they die.

Wouldn’t life be so much simpler if there were no man-made religions around?

Anyway, there are still some good uses for religion. Politicians can use religion to win votes. So you might not go to heaven but at least you can get into political office and rip off the country of billions of Ringgit. So religion is not as useless as you think it is. You can gain power and wealth by exploiting religion.