Malaysiakini Opinion

Mujahid - the 'spear' of Islamic affairs

Phar Kim Beng  |  Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | The word ‘mujahid’ means ‘fighter’. Having become the minister in charge of Islamic affairs after almost nearly two decades in politics, Mujahid Yusof Rawa, the Penang-born son of the late PAS president Yusof Rawa, is clearly a politician that embodies the Amanah mould.

Party president Mohamad Sabu, the defence minister and once-ISA detainee can be termed a mujahid as well. Indeed, his struggle with PAS began with the fateful 2015 muktamar which led to the creation of Amanah, but didn’t end there: he also grappled with his former party when attempting to penetrate its strongholds in the recent polls.

Another Amanah leader in the cabinet, Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad, was himself not spared the ignominy of being arrested under Ops Lalang in 1987. He went through the ISA hell for close to nine months.

Many others in Pakatan Harapan have been intimidated and jailed before, perhaps too many to mention here.

Amanah was formed through the trials and tribulations of being abused, either physically or verbally, with not a few of them cursed as traitors. As such, leaders like Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli and Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad and others who have been rewarded with cabinet positions fully understand their obligations to be just, not vengeful.

From these forceful measures of the state, Amanah became the alternative force in Islamic politics, arguing compellingly time and again that Islam is a moderate and civil religion that can build a compassionate state and listen to the feedback of civil society – the embodiment what Anwar Ibrahim interestingly called ‘Islam madani’ (modern Islam).

As the minister in charge of Islamic affairs, Mujahid is now the 'spear' of the alternative force. He has to show how the softer side of Islam can prevail, allowing other faiths to flourish – as well as allowing other pietistic, almost personal versions of Islam to stay within the parameters of socially accepted...

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