What does Scott mean by a ‘progressive’ Amanah?
Today Scott Ng talked about a ‘progressive’ Amanah as opposed to an ‘ultra-conservative’ PAS. However, Scott did not explain what makes one progressive and what makes one conservative. Most non-Muslims have the opinion that a ‘progressive’ Muslim is someone who is gay, drinks, changes sex partners every week, does not pray or fast, rejects the Sharia, supports secularism, and so on. It is time we defined the difference between ‘progressive’ and ‘conservative’.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Today, Free Malaysia Today published Scott Ng’s latest article called The true potential of Amanah (READ MORE HERE).
Scott started by saying, “The progressives deserve their day in the sun.” Now, as I have said many times before, those who start dissecting Muslims into two groups and label them ‘conservatives’ (or ‘extremists’) and ‘progressives’ (or ‘liberals’) need to explain what these terms mean.
Is this an extremist Muslim?
I know that Islam defines you as Muslim, fasik, munafik, murtad and kufur. So, as far as Islam is concerned, there is only one category of Muslim and there are no two different categories called progressive-liberal and conservative-extremist. The others would be fasik, munafik, murtad and kufur.
So, what precisely is a ‘progressive’ Muslim and how does this differ from a ‘non-progressive’ Muslim? If I were to say that I do not accept the Qur’an as having come from God and that it was man-made does that make me a progressive Muslim since I am not what you would call a ‘Bible-thumper’?
What about if I reject the Hadith on grounds they were written 200 years after the death of Prophet Muhammad and also because there are so many inconsistencies and contradictions in them? Does that make me a ‘progressive’ Muslim?
And since the Qur’an does not explain in detail the ritual for praying and fasting (they actually all come from the Hadith) so I also do not pray or fast does that make me a ‘progressive’ Muslim?
In our family restaurant in Manchester (http://gossiponbroadway.com) we sell beer, wine and liquor although the food itself is halal. Does that make me a ‘progressive’ Muslim?
Is this how we define progressive and conservative Muslim?
If, like how the majority of Malays do, I ask my daughter and wife to dress modestly and wear a tudung and to not walk around half-naked will that make me a ‘non-progressive’ Muslim?
If I attend adult parties that include wife-swapping, group sex, and so on, does that make me a ‘progressive’ Muslim?
I will be celebrating Christmas next week, as we usually do every year, and the whole family will be taking a three-day holiday. However, we did not celebrate Hari Raya Puasa or Hari Raya Haji this year, or during any of the years since we came here almost eight years ago. Does that make me a ‘progressive’ Muslim?
I support gay rights and I do not consider homosexuality wrong. I am also not opposed to non-religious unions or people living as husband and wife without going through any religious rituals. Does that make me a ‘progressive’ Muslim?
Yes, we need to understand what people like Scott Ng mean by ‘progressive’ Muslim or is a progressive Muslim only someone who rejects Sharia laws?
This is how progressive Muslims should be
Scott also said as follows:
A PKR-Amanah merger makes sense. Both are splinters of large parties. PKR is made up largely of Umno rebels who followed Anwar Ibrahim out of the party and Amanah is made up of those who could not stomach Abdul Hadi Awang’s pivot to ultra-conservatism following the death of PAS spiritual guide Nik Abdul Aziz Mat. Both purport to have a more progressive vision for the Malays beyond affirmative action policies and hand-holding, and both parties contain some of the cream of the crop when it comes to Malay thought leaders.
But truly, the merger will make use of Amanah’s greatest asset – its intellectual capacity. The former progressive wing of PAS was able to reconcile the arguments of Islam with the modern age, promoting understanding and providing context to traditional laws and customs. Widely accepted by the moderate and liberal voting public, Amanah is raw unrealised potential. PKR would benefit from the embrace of Amanah’s new ideas, given the controversy over its own internal politics.
What needs to be noted are these parts of Scott’s comments:
…Abdul Hadi Awang’s pivot to ultra-conservatism…
…the merger will make use of Amanah’s greatest asset – its intellectual capacity.
The former progressive wing of PAS was able to reconcile the arguments of Islam with the modern age, promoting understanding and providing context to traditional laws and customs.
Widely accepted by the moderate and liberal voting public…
What does he mean by Hadi’s ultra-conservatism? Is Hadi doing more than what the Qur’an asks him to do?
What does he mean by Amanah’s greatest asset — its intellectual capacity? Does Scott mean that the PAS people are all morons?
Scott says Amanah can reconcile the arguments of Islam with the modern age. What precisely are those? This is mere rhetoric devoid of details. Does Scott mean Muslim girls should be allowed to enter beauty contests wearing string bikinis?
When Scott says ‘widely accepted by the moderate and liberal voting public’ is he talking about non-Muslims or he is talking Muslims who who do not practice Islam? If he is talking about Muslims who do not practice Islam then he needs to be specific in what way it makes them moderate and liberal.
You cannot get any more progressive than this