Let Muslims be exempted from secular law

Opinion  |  S Thayaparan
Published:  |  Modified:

“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people. His servitude is strictly objective.”

- Aldous Huxley

COMMENT | When Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says, "Children are born like white cloth but it is the parents who stain the cloth," all I can think of is this passage from the good book.

“Yet you say, ‘Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?’ When the son has done what is just and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself” - Ezekiel 18:19-20 (ESV)

(Like Dr King Schultz in ‘Django Unchained’, I’m sorry. I couldn’t resist).

Let me be very clear. When the home minister asks Muslims to unite “opposing anyone challenging decisions by the National Fatwa Committee” - which in this case is the Court of Appeal - he is inviting Muslims to commit treason and sedition. Here is a high-ranking member of Umno asking Muslim Malaysians to rally around an Islamic bureaucracy and disregard the secular laws of the land. This is a member of parliament asking Muslims to ignore the civil law in this country and place Islamic edits over the laws that every Malaysian is subjected to.

Does this sound like every other nut job extremist group out there to you? It sure does to me.

However, what have we learnt from the behaviour of these Muslim servants of the state? Until he was compelled to, the inspector-general of police (IGP) chose to disregard the law of the land because in his opinion, it conflicted with an order from the syariah court. The National Registration Department (NRD) - a civil institution - meanwhile chooses to ignore yet another court ruling and carry on as if it is beyond the jurisdiction of the law of the land.

This is just another example of how some Muslim politicians and bureaucrats are eroding secular laws in this country. This is just another example of what “Islamic” justice is. So, does anyone really believe that we should give Islam a chance, as how PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang pleads?

Secular (civil law) is our law. More importantly, all are equal before it - okay, this point is open to debate when it comes to issues of class, religion and race - but superficially we are all supposed to be equal before it. For Islamic potentates bent on cultivating compliance in their voting base, this is a prime example of demonstrating superiority over everyone else.

Secular laws, in the nomenclature of Islamic demagogues (and I would argue that any politician who uses religion as a means of vote-getting is a demagogue), are “liberal” laws which are supposedly against Islam and the denial of which demonstrates the primacy of Islam.

When Islamic extremists attack secular laws, they are in reality attacking us. We are under attack because secular laws are all that non-Muslims have. These laws are the final authorities on how we conduct our affairs socially, politically and economically. If someone because of their religion is above the law, then we have to reconcile this fact that every time we deal with that person, we will always be at a disadvantage because the laws that apply to us do not apply to him or her...

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