The doctrine of I’m right and you’re wrong


The fact that scholars all over the world and for hundreds of years are not unanimous or united regarding the meaning of the verse there is no compulsion in religion in the Qur’an means it is open to interpretation. Does it mean you are not forced to become a Muslim? Does it mean you are not forced to become a Muslim but once you do you must remain a Muslim? Does it mean you are not forced to remain a Muslim but can leave Islam if you want to?


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Mujahid Yusof Rawa, a PAS leader and the son of one-time PAS President of about 30 years ago, has taken Nurul Izzah Anwar’s side in the current controversy she is facing. And this controversy is about her statement regarding freedom of religion.

The ex-Mufti of Perlis, Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, also supports Nurul Izzah’s statement. None of the other muftis have said anything yet though, although I am eagerly awaiting their statement so that we can resolve this matter once and for all.

Ex-Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, however, disagrees with Nurul Izzah. The Tun said that Islam is like Hotel California: you can check out but you can never leave. That means once you are a Muslim you cannot leave Islam.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Mashitah Ibrahim, agrees with Dr Mahathir, as does Ibrahim Ali of Perkasa.

In short, never mind whether they are government supporters, opposition supporters, or neutral like Mohd Asri — and I would like to believe that includes me as well — Malays-Muslims are deeply divided on matters related to Islam.

You see, religion, Islam or otherwise, works on the doctrine of I’m right and you’re wrong. All religions work on this principle. They also work on the principle of if you are not with me (meaning of my same religion) then you are against me (meaning you are my enemy).

Sure, religionists would deny this. They would say that their religion is not like that. That, of course, is utter bullshit. At best they would tolerate your religion, as we have heard them say often enough.

Tolerate is what you do when you are faced with something obnoxious like your neighbour’s dog shit on your lawn or the loud noise from your neighbour’s karaoke session way past midnight. You tolerate something foul. So, if you tolerate another religion that means you consider that religion as foul.

But religionists would deny this. And this is because they have perfected the art of self-hypnosis. They can make themselves believe in something false. Hence they can make themselves believe that they are not like that even though they are exactly like that. They have made denial syndrome into an exact science.

And this means whatever comes out of the mouths of religionists must be treated with great suspicion. They are great con artists. They can con themselves so what more con other people.

And this is why Nurul Izzah Anwar is now in trouble. She gave her opinion. But as long as her opinion is also your opinion that is okay. Once her opinion differs from yours, then you will make her eat shit.

In the first place, why was Nurul Izzah so silly as so attend that forum? And who was that stupid person who trapped Nurul Izzah by asking her that question? Did they intend to trap Nurul Izzah knowing that once they pose that question she would be in trouble whichever way she replied to it?

If Nurul Izzah had said she does not support freedom of religion she is in trouble. If she says she supports freedom of religion she is also in trouble. Both ways she is cooked. And if she had said’ no comment’ she is also cooked.

I suspect that Nurul Izaah was set up. I thought she would be savvy enough to realise that religionists can never accept opinions. The correct opinion is their opinion. Your opinion is the wrong opinion. That is how it works.

According to the Selangor Islamic Affairs Council (MAIS), who spoke on behalf of His Highness the Sultan of Selangor, His Highness is upset with Nurul Izzah. That is what the MAIS chairman, Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa, said. Whether that is true or not I am not sure but most times these people put words into the Sultan’s mouth and the Sultan would be too scared to contradict them lest His Highness is accused of supporting apostasy.

So there you are. After trapping Nurul Izzah, they now trap the Sultan, knowing that His Highness would not dare say otherwise. Did I not say that Umno is clever? How many times must I repeat that Pakatan Rakyat is not as clever as Barisan Nasional at this game?

Religionists in general and Muslims in particular do not tolerate differences of opinion and differences in interpretation. Religion, after all, is just that — opinions and interpretations.

For example, when religious scholars or ulamak make a statement or issue a decree, they will always start with “According to so-and-so….yada, yada, yada…”  or “As reported by so-and-so…yada, yada, yada…”.

That means this is the opinion of a third party. And this also means that it is purely hearsay.

The fact that scholars all over the world and for hundreds of years are not unanimous or united regarding the meaning of the verse ‘there is no compulsion in religion’ in the Qur’an means it is open to interpretation. Does it mean you are not forced to become a Muslim? Does it mean you are not forced to become a Muslim but once you do you must remain a Muslim? Does it mean you are not forced to remain a Muslim but can leave Islam if you want to?

Yes, what does it mean? Some Muslims (from both sides of the political divide) say it means you cannot leave Islam while others (from both sides of the political divide) say you can. Muslims are not really sure what it means but they take the stand that it means whatever I say it means.

Okay, let’s look at this from another angle. Is Malaysia a Parliamentary Democracy or a Theocratic State? It can only be one or the other. If, as some people say, the Sharia applies and all Muslims are bound by the Sharia, then clearly Malaysia is a Theocratic State.

And if Malaysia is a Theocratic State then we have to abolish general elections and elect our leaders based on the principle of a Council because general elections will allow non-Muslims to become leaders — which is not acceptable at all in a Theocratic State.

However, if we elect our leaders through a general election (which will allow non-Muslims to become leaders) then we are a Parliamentary Democracy — and that would mean we are not bound by the Sharia but the Federal Constitution would prevail instead.

Our political leaders from both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat must clarify this point. Are we a Theocratic State where the Sharia applies or are we a Parliamentary Democracy that allows its citizens freedom of thought, freedom of opinion, freedom of association and freedom of religion?

Currently, Malaysia’s status is very confusing. And that is why Nurul Izzah is in trouble. She spoke as a Democrat. But the religionists will not allow that. They want her to speak as an Islamist, not as a Democrat.

As a Democrat she is right — you do have freedom of religion. As an Islamist you do not have freedom of religion. Once you are a Muslim you remain a Muslim till the day you die. And if you leave Islam then you die, now. In short, you are put to death as an apostate.

Do you know who is to blame for all this? The politicians use religion for political gain but they leave things very vague so that we remain confused. The more confused we are the more they can exploit the issue.

Anwar Ibrahim, the Opposition Leader, must take a stand on this since he is the Opposition Leader. Najib Tun Razak, the Prime Minister, must also do the same since he is the Prime Minister.

Can Muslims leave Islam and if they do then what does the government do to them? Will they be arrested, jailed, or put to death? Malaysians need to know so that this episode can be put behind us and we can move on to more important matters.

And as long as Anwar and Najib remain silent that is how long this matter would go unresolved and Malaysians will continue to fight over religion.

Now do you know why I don’t support both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat? They are both very devious and mischievous. They confuse us and make us fight just so that they can gain power.