"For though ours is a godless age, it is the very opposite of irreligious. The true believer is everywhere on the march, and both by converting and antagonising he is shaping the world in his own image."
– Eric Hoffer
COMMENT | Abdul Hadi Awang’s comment about PN being a coalition of non-extremists has brought predictable responses from the mainstream non-Malay/Muslim political class.
The problem with criticism levelled against the PAS president is that it never addresses the underlying ideology of mainstream Islam in this country.
This has always been an issue. When BN was at the height of its power but was carrying out the Islamisation/Arabisation process that subverted democratic norms, institutions and the majority voting polity, it was also projecting itself as the middle of the road coalition while demonising the DAP as “Chinese chauvinists” and PAS as religious zealots.
The religious terrain got even murkier when PAS joined the opposition under the leadership of the charismatic Tok Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, who to this day is still propagandised as some sort of paragon of Islamic moderation, which is a deliberate mischaracterisation of his political pragmatism or some would argue opportunism.
In many ways, the DAP, which continues to be demonised by...