Liberalism shall not supersede Islam

S Thayaparan wrote on Malaysiakini dated 16 April 2017 titled “Liberalism a threat only to the kind of Islam tyrants preach”. An advisor in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdullah Md Zain was reported as saying that liberalism and radicalism are both threats to Islam.

I could not help but understand that S Thayaparan simply puts that the version of Islam that deems liberalism as a threat is preached by “tyrants”, and any Muslim groups or governments opposing the ideals of liberalism are a group of “tyrants”.

He quotes the definition by Abdullah of liberals who”…bring different views, which while interesting, end up disregarding Islam”. He then asks: “…what about those radicals and terrorists who are a threat to Islam? Are they too not bringing different views to Islam?”

He seems to suggest that those radicals and terrorists brings “different views of Islam” but these views have taken hold of “some Muslims here in Malaysia” and “Islamic political sects” whose agenda is “to further erode the secular line in the sand of this country”.

He then goes on to say that “tyrants” who preach the version of Islam that is against liberalism would “cut off the head of someone who had differing views” like the Islamic State and Daesh militant groups and advocate that “a female rape survivor marry her rapist or that minors are ready for marriage” instead of accepting the fact that minors are ready for child sex and should be granted the “sweetheart defence”, the proposal that the Member of Parliament for Kulai, Teo Nie Ching from DAP even struggles to defend.

Then he hints that “some Muslims”, apart from Abdullah, refers to Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma). This is because, as I have written before, Isma is the liberals number one public enemy and a check towards the liberals and their liberal ideologies. This means that as Isma preaches the version of Islam that opposes liberalism, it makes Isma a group of”tyrants”, according to him.

He also takes a shot at my article titled “How Malaysian liberals use Rukunegara vehicle as their left-hand drive” in which I exposed the ulterior motive of incorporating “liberal” element which is argued to alleviate liberalism by CEO of IDEAS, perpetrated by the familiar faces of liberal activists such as Zainah Anwar, Marina Mahathir and Chandra Muzaffar.

He perceives the efforts to preserve our Federal Constitution as a kind of “religious nationalism”which is directed towards “maintaining the status quo of the tyrannical or scandalous leaders”.

But the statement by Abdullah Md Zain and Ustaz Abdullah Zaik are very clear and needs no semantic or acrobatic approach. It essentially refers to liberal (mis)interpretations of Islamic sources which would contradict the fundamentals, settled laws and moral standards derived from Islamic jurisprudence.

He fears the erosion of “the secular line in the sand of this country”, aspires to “destabilise Islam” and welcomes liberalism.

Concurring with the statement made by Isma President, Ustaz Abdullah Zaik, that was quoted in the article, I submit that liberalism should not supersede Islam and liberalism is only acceptable so long as it remains a subset of or submits to Islam.

It is a dangerous premise to take off from as “some Muslims” do not oppose liberalism just because it encourages difference in views and interpretations. Islam does protect the freedom of thought and conscience so long as it does not manufacture unprecedented interpretations that go against the fundamentals.

We could see how liberalism in practical cases which I have repetitively raised where Muslims or even non-Muslims may be entitled to practise LGBT way of life, Syiah believers still deserving to be called Muslims and Syiah doctrine becoming another part of Islamic jurisprudence, Muslims claiming the right to apostasy to leave Islam for other religions, and the evangelical Christians claiming rights to preach Christianity to Muslims or even use Islamic terminologies.

If these cannot be considered a threat to Islam and “some Muslims”, I do not know what is.


Danial Ariff bin Shaari

Deputy Chairman iPeguam



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