Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Islamisation on this blog?

A good friend of mine sent me the following sms in relation to this Rapera blog:

“RAPERA harus teraskan kpd gerakan yang jangkaui sifat dan kepentingan agama atau bangsa, teras utama mungkin nilai universal yg diterima oleh manusia sejagat”.

I replied: “ Sekarang ni bukan teraskan nilai-nilai universal?”

He replied:

“Berselindung dibawah percaturan dan fahaman Islam walaupun tidak blh dinafikan kebenarannya. Not all tat visit n read ur articles r muslim.”

Then I replied:

“I thought u may say that. Ok. Point taken. It might be misunderstood like that”.

No, this friend is not Malay and as far as I know he reads the Quran. Why would he think I would be “berselindung disebalik percaturan dan fahaman Islam”? He knows that that there has not been a time when we meet all these years where I can stop myself from either mentioning God or the Quran. To me, it is clear that he was concerned it could be misunderstood by readers of this blog.

Just a few days before the above sms, a Malay friend of mine has cautioned me to slow down the quotations from the Quran. He says that this is not a blog about Islam or religion.

I admit, my views may be influenced by my understanding of the Quran. My views may also be influenced by all the scriptural and non-scriptural materials I have read, my experiences, etc. I think that is unavoidable. Our thoughts are influenced by what is in our mind. Our world view is influenced by what we think, how deep we think or whether we think at all. Our views are also influenced by how our mind interprets the events that we experience. Unavoidable.

But I must state this categorically:- while I accept the Quran totally, I do not consciously expect anyone to likewise do the same. I hold on to the principle that faith is a matter of the heart, conscience and mind. I adhere to what the Quran says in chapter 10 verse 99 as follows:

“If it had been the Lord's will, they would all have believed,- all who are on earth! Will you then compel mankind, against their will, to believe?”

In this sense therefore, I do not have any “ hidden Islamic agenda” or any wish to propagate my understanding of Islam to anyone. I only discuss Islam with those who want to discuss. I do give my views on Islam but it is not done to convince anyone, only to state my understanding.

Most importantly, Rapera blog is not about religion per se though a discussion on religion may be unavoidable since it is a component of the society in which we live. “Religions” have had great impact in human history, both positively and negatively. It continues to influence human lives. Like everything else, religions too have not been spared from being abused, misused, manipulated and misrepresented. Therefore avoiding sincere discussions on religions with the purpose to seek and understand may be detrimental.

While I quote the Quran, and I will continue to do so where relevant, I would welcome anyone to quote from any other scriptures, books of wisdom or any other sources. The Truth is not the monopoly of any one person or groups of persons. Wisdom is not the birthright of any individual, culture or society. The main thing is that it should assist us to make better sense of our lives and help us get our humanity back.

Saya setuju bahawa ““RAPERA harus teraskan kepada gerakan yang jangkaui sifat dan kepentingan agama atau bangsa, teras utama mungkin nilai universal yg diterima oleh manusia sejagat”

So let this blog develop into our blog for RAPERAS.


hakimi said...

the comment by your friend is justifiable. Perhaps you may want to ls. link your interpretation and understanding of the QURAN to factual situation that affecting the rakyat in this country. Verses of the QURAN CAN BE QUOTED. Likewise from other scriptures.Sometime if it is general readers may not be able to relate to the issues discussed.

jchl said...

a) I wrote an article about gender in Malaysia and dealt at the end of it with some perspectives of some Muslim scholars. A Muslim editor asked why I was singling out Islam. I wasn't singling out Islam, rather Islam is the hegemonic religion in Malaysia and it is through its framework that many views, including those relating gender, are framed. Thus, Islam in Malaysia cannot be avoided even in areas which are not ostensibly religious/ Islamic. If this were a Hindu or Buddhist etc country it'd be different.

b) Furthermore, as the pilot of this blog, and as Islam contributes greatly to the way you see the world, views from Islam and the Koran are even more justified.

--> So, these two points alone are cause enough, I think, to continue as you have, and to continue doing a service to those (like myself) who do not have as thorough-going knowledge of the Koran as yourself, by enlightening us on relevant and salutary quotes from the Koran. This understanding is useful, if for no other reason, in a country wherein Islam is the hegemonic religion. JL

Anonymous said...

The last two posting was a good read, enjoyed the nightmare post and taken aback by the Islam post. It made me realise that the self still reigns high. (not u but ure friend) when he mentioned universal values and manusia sejagat.

If he were to read ure translation of the quran u posted, I believe the issue would be redundant.

Islamaphobia is a condition suffered both by muslim and non muslim (societal definition applies here)we are scared, no courage of the scruptures, sacred to mention god lest it becomes unpopular with society. We are reduced to saying universal values and the universal man.