Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Theology versus Secularism

Theology Versus Secularism

Posted by Super Admin
Friday, 31 October 2008 11:09


Raja Petra Kamarudin

It appears like the Turkish Prime Minister is in trouble with Turkey’s court. They have accused him of being anti-secular, which is a crime in Turkey. They say the Prime Minister want to abolish or remove the anti-tudung law, which means Turkey’s citizens will no longer be forced NOT to wear the tudung. If you remember, recently, a Turkish lady Member of Parliament was evicted from parliament for insisting that she wear her tudung in the building. University student too must remove their tudung before they enter the university gate.

Turkey is on the other extreme of Afghanistan where the “religious police” would throw acid on faces of women who do not wear the tudung.

Malaysia of 2008 is a far cry from Malaysia of 1958, the first Anniversary of Merdeka. Then, skirts and bare-backs were the order of the day and the tudung was a rare thing at best, the more “decent” Malay women would wear a selendang wit the front hair revealed. Today, women who wear bare-back clothes are arrested.

What happened over those 50 years? Have Malays become more religious and more conscious of their Islamic duties? Over the last month, three women have been charged for corruption and fraud. All are pretty senior Malay government officers. And all wear the tudung. So, the wearing of the tudung can’t be equated with being more religious or being a better Muslim. If not, they would not accept bribes or cheat. Wearing the tudung is merely a symbol. It is a symbol that you are very Islamic. But this does not mean you really are.

Malays, today, talk about restoring the Caliphate and implementing Islamic laws. In short, rejecting a Secular State in favour of a Theology State – meaning an Islamic State of course. But do these some people know what an Islamic State is? And do these people also know how the many experiments of Islamic States have gone horribly wrong and the new “Islamic” government was worse than the old government it replaced?

In a nutshell a Secular State or Theology State is just a name. Names are not crucial. What is would be the function rather than form. Form must follow functions, and not the other way round.

Let us examine some of the failed experiments. Some predominantly Muslim countries have flirted with the idea of changing their government and have discovered that the newly installed Muslim leaders were no better, or worse, that the “kafir” leaders. Millions have died because of this, Muslims killed at the hand of Muslims.

Kurdistan, Afghanistan, Armenia, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, Pakistan, Serbia, Gratis, Syria, Bosnia – just think of any country where either Muslims, Christians or Jews make up the majority population and I will show you a tragedy. No, theology is not the answer. We can’t solve problems by replacing a Secular State with a Theology State. History has shown us that, in fact, more damage is caused. The system is not the solution. It is those behind the system that matter.

A year after the end of the Second World War the Algerians wanted the French Colonialists out of their country. The eight-year war led to the loss of more than a million lives. Both sides wee equally guilty of the barbaric killings where old folks, babies and women were not spared. Finally, in 1962, the French decided to go home. But until today the killings continue; except now it is not Muslims killing Christians but Islamists killing Secularists – and vice versa.

The Turks too wanted the kafir out, so millions of Armenians were massacred. The Kurds were the willing servants to rape and murder the Armenians. This was ethic cleansing of the kind perpetuated by the Germans during World War 2; though maybe only a quarter in number died compared to the Jews.

Later the Kurds were themselves exterminated by the Iraqis and Turks. And the same went for the Afghans where they first killed each other to establish an Islamic State and then the Islamic State killed off as many as the previous “kafir” state did. In Iran, too, more died in the new Islamic State than in the Shah’s “kafir” state.

An Islamic State is no guarantee that you would get a good government. Neither would a Secular State. So it is best that the rhetoric and setting up an Islamic State be discarded and instead we focus on the issue of the setting up of a just state of whatever kind.

We have seen too many deaths over the last 60 years, people killed in the name of Islam. Tens of millions have been killed. Two million in Afghanistan. One million in Iran. One million in Iraq. One million in Turkey. More than one million in Algeria. Many more millions in other Muslim countries. The list goes on.

The Iranians say: those Iranians who died fighting Iraqis are going to heaven as the Iraqis are “kafir”. The Iraqis say: those Iraqis who died fighting Iranians are going to heaven as the Iranians are “kafir”. So, both Iranians and Iraqis are “kafir”. Or is it both Iranians and Iraqis who kill each other are going to heaven since both kill and die in the name of Islam?

With all this killing and the tens of millions of deaths over the last 60 years, all the so-called “Islamic States” are nothing short of failed states whereas “God-less” states like Sweden are heaven on earth.

Maybe you need to choose an Islamic State to go to heaven. But thus far all the Islamic States have proven to be hell. Maybe this is because they talk more about life after death rather than about life itself.


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