Where is our moral high ground?
I am writing in response to the call by former Perlis mufti Asri to Muslims to rise against the shamefull acts by certain individuals in the Anwar Ibrahim so called ‘Sex Video' affair.
The fact is as clear as a bell; if certain parties have incriminating evidence against any individual, let him put up the so called evidence in a court of law so that it would give a chance for the counsels of the accused to examine and analyse the authenticity of the videotapes.
The act of airing them to certain segments of society and playing it up in the media is simply the act of smearing someone's name and reputation as we have seen some 13 years ago.
The fact that this episode repeats itself says much about our society; especially Muslim society and it's so called intelligentsia.
I am writing this letter NOT to accuse any leaders be it political or in the civil service as to their complicity or lack thereof but I would like to ask the religious scholars who hold the positions of muftis and directors of department of religious affairs as to what their role should be.
The question I want to ask is simply this; why are the so called religious authorities of this country so quick to jump the gun on issues such as Valentine's Day, Yoga, the word ‘Allah' and recently the Al-Kitab?
Why are these same religious scholars so silent in the Anwar so called sex video? Why? What has happened to our moral ground?
As an academic I feel much saddened by the action and inaction of my fellow academicians in this country.
As an academic, I hold my position seriously as an expert in certain fields to pronounce and make statements that would help educate society concerning my specific areas. That is the primary aim of academia.
But what I see for the better part of 23 years at a university, academicians have turned into either cowering civil servants so quick to curry favour among the ruling class to the point of what I term as ‘academic bodekism' or academics busy chasing the KPI of papers and research grants.
If not for such luminaries as Aziz Bari of the International Islamic University and Dr Asri of USM, I would feel totally embarassed of my chosen profession.
So my first question is where are our academic and moral high grounds?
Shall we let our country and people go through such blatant and direct action of deliberate character assassination?
The more so for the religious scholars who are datuks and tan sri's. What say you of this affair? I feel utterly embarrassed and shamed as a Muslim with the deafening silence from those who consider themselves guardians of Islam.
If it were not for the sole voice of Asri, I would conclude that the values of Islam, as taught by the Prophet, is virtually dead in Malaysia.
The rise of mega mosques is usually parallel to the rise of a religious authority gripped by materialism and self subjugation.
I do not wish to comment on government officials, politicians or member of Parliaments who allow such viewing of sexual acts as ‘allowable' knowing full well that the authenticity of such ‘evidence' has not been proven.
Even if the video is proven authentic none should view this but the judge and the counsels of both parties as well as the jury if we are a country that practices trial by jury (which we are not).
Even when Chua Soi Lek's video was circulated, I never mentioned it in my conversations until he himself admitted to the shameful act in which then I started to give my opinions concerning a political party that would place him as a leader.
What is happening to our country? Where has our values of Islam or as decent Malaysians gone?
What happened to ‘Kesopanan dan Kesusilaan'? Mere words?
We as Malaysians must wake up from this daydream and start to be concerned as to where our children will be heading in this fragile vessel named ‘Malaysia'.
Let us wake ourselves up before we are faced with a nightmare such that has been faced by other countries with regimes of authoritarianism which suspend the liberty of individuals.
If it seems that the so called authorities or leadership of this country will not take the moral high ground, then it is up to us, the people, especially the Muslims, to voice out loudly our discomfort.
For when we stand on the Day of Judgement and when Allah asks us of this episode, we cannot point our fingers at the political, civil or religious authorities. Why? Because three other fingers are pointing back at us....
Lastly remember...Negara Kita, Tanggungjawab Kita.