Wan Azizah, ‘not in the near future’ is unacceptable

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Unlike so many of them, however, I also take issue with the term ‘Islamic state’, and for the very same reason: there is nothing Islamic about a state. The two concepts have nothing in common.”

- Mehdi Hassan

Surely anyone who reads my columns would know that I have to comment on what PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said in that Al Jazeera interview with the always reliable Mehdi Hassan whose work I have followed for years.

Before I begin, a shout-out to Dean Johns whose column ‘Blasphemy by believers?’ is a timely reminder that a wide range of religious extremists exists amongst us and we should confront them at every turn. I look forward to reading more of Johns’ columns, especially those where he hoists the agnostic/atheist flag.

We know, or we think we know, the kind of “Islamic” politics that PKR advocates. Readers should know the kind of politics Mehdi Hassan advocates. A good place to start if one is not familiar with Mehdi’s work is his article in the New Statesman, ‘There is nothing Islamic about a state’, where he fires the first of many salvos against the duplicity of many Islamists who argue otherwise.

The following is a brief snippet - “...contrary to popular Muslim opinion, there is not a shred of theological, historical or empirical evidence to support the existence of such an entity. Its supporters tend to mumble vaguely about this or that verse from the Quran, or make vacuous references to the life example of the Prophet Muhammad. But the Quran prescribes no particular model of government, nor does it detail a specific political programme that Muslims must adopt. In fact, the concept of the state appears nowhere in the Quran.”...

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