Ahad, 15 Disember 2013

Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Evaporating euphoria

Posted: 14 Dec 2013 01:36 PM PST

PAS has been stirred and shaken over the Home Ministry's allegations that its deputy president Mohamad Sabu has Syiah links.

On Thursday, the Home Ministry released a 10-point statement outlining their case against Mat Sabu. The allegations ranged from him attending religious classes by two Syiah ustaz in Bukit Merah, Perak, in 2011 to his open admiration of the late Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran which propagates Syiah.

Joceline Tan, The Star

THE year 2013 has been both wonderful and lousy for PAS leader Mohamad Sabu.

First, the wonderful part. Mat Sabu, as he is known, won a second term as PAS deputy president last month. It was no mean feat because he was essentially up against the pro-ulama group in his party. But he beat the odds and defeated his ulama opponent Datuk Nik Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah by 98 votes.

The narrow margin was an indication of how divided the party was about him, but a win is a win and Mat Sabu was a happy man.

He needed that booster after failing to hold on to the Pendang seat in the general election. It was a huge psychological blow to PAS because Pendang had been synonymous with its beloved late president Datuk Fadzil Mohd Noor.

Now, for the less wonderful part. The euphoria from his victory has evaporated following the daring accusation against him by Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at the Umno general assembly last week.

Mat Sabu is struggling to fend off allegations about him being a Syiah follower.

On Thursday, the Home Ministry released a 10-point statement outlining their case against Mat Sabu. The allegations ranged from him attending religious classes by two Syiah ustaz in Bukit Merah, Perak, in 2011 to his open admiration of the late Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran which propagates Syiah.

Mat Sabu has dismissed the allegations as "fitnah" or lies. He said he is not a Syiah follower and is consulting his lawyer about initiating legal action against his accusers.

The issue has grabbed the attention of Muslims nationwide because the National Fatwa Council had, as early as 1996, decreed the Syiah sect as "sesat" or deviant.

PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali said the party has not met to discuss the matter or received requests for an investigation.

"The allegations made against Mat Sabu were personal, no need for the party to meet about it. Mat Sabu knows what to do," said Mustafa.

He said that when similar allegations surfaced during the recent party election, Mat Sabu informed the party he is not a Syiah.

The Home Ministry's 10-point allegations have been somewhat of an anti-climax. It was not exactly the "evidence" that everyone was expecting.

But some of the allegations are disturbing enough to have left PAS members confused and looking for answers. The implications are enormous because PAS prides itself as an Islamist party and this concerns no less than its deputy president.

PAS, as its president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang pointed out, is the only party with a constitution acknowledging the paramount position of the Quran and Hadiths (sayings of the Prophet).

The party is scrambling to contain the issue. Hadi and Dewan Ulama chief Datuk Harun Taib have come out to defend the party's espousal of the Sunni creed and reiterate their opposition to Syiah beliefs.

Mursyidul Am Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat returned fire at Umno, saying that the nationalism and secularism endorsed by the Umno-led government was as bad as Syiah practices.

He also implied that Umno harboured deviant preachers or, as he put it: "How can the tiger remind the sheep about the dangers of the wolf? The tiger must first cleanse its fangs and claws of human meat."

Not many in PAS appreciated Nik Aziz equating secularism and nationalism with Syiah belief and, besides, two wrongs do not make a right.

"Syiah is a threat to our beliefs as Sunni Muslims whereas nationalism and secularism are political ideologies. How can he put it at the same level?" a Kelantan-based Muslim intellectual asked.

Other PAS leaders have defended Mat Sabu's visits to Iran and his admiration of the late Ayatollah Khomeini as "nothing wrong" because many Muslim leaders have visited Iran.

Harakahdaily returned fire, publishing pictures of Umno politicians meeting Iranian leaders, including the famous photograph of a very young Datuk Ibrahim Ali with Khomeini in Paris shortly before the Iranian Revolution erupted.

But they were less forthcoming on allegations that Mat Sabu visited a Syiah mosque in South Thailand in 2011 or attended Syiah religious classes in Perak. Most of them stopped short of directly clearing Mat Sabu of being Syiah.

"The rumours have been around for ages. Almost everyone I know has heard about it. Such things are not easy to prosecute but it's not impossible," said Dr Yusri Mohamad, chairman of the Coalition of Islamic NGOs or Pembela.

For instance, the Sky Kingdom cult in Terengganu was in full bloom and giant teapots and fountains had been erected before the authorities moved in. But the leader, Ayah Pin, was never charged despite reports that he had returned to Terengganu last year to recover from a crippling stroke.

The widow of the late Ashaari Muhammad, founder of the outlawed Al-Arqam movement, only recently pleaded guilty to deviationist activities in the Syariah court after years of endless reports of her group's activities that emphasised sex and religion.

Muslims in Malaysia belong to the Sunni sect or Sunnah wal Jamaah which means a righteous Muslim majority who follow the Prophet's teachings. The Sunni and Syiah are divided by fundamental differences on matters of "akidah" or faith.

The Sunni concern about Syiah is so acute that, as recent as September, an Islamic forum in Kuala Lumpur had condemned Syiah as "a poison" and "a virus". The forum even urged the government to sever ties with Iran, which has the world's biggest Syiah population.

Another concern is that Syiah is regarded as a potentially divisive force because Sunni-Syiah disputes in some countries have resulted in conflict and bloodshed.

Action against Syiah groups had been ongoing but took on an urgency after the shooting of the Pahang Islamic Religious Department enforcement chief who had been investigating deviant religious activity. The government wants to step up the momentum and is studying the setting up of a Syariah Police Squad.

Mat Sabu's reputation as a Muslim and PAS leader is at stake. Some of his supporters see the attacks as a political witch hunt and an attempt to undermine the image of PAS. Earlier last week, Mat Sabu wrote in Harakahdaily that Syiah had replaced communism as the new bogeyman and that he was the victim of this trend.

But there is also a segment within PAS who have doubts about him and who had, as a result, campaigned against his re-election.

Some of them are high-level party officials and they are of the view that the party must not compromise on deviant beliefs. They say this is crucial for the integrity of the party and the unity of the ummah.

Some of the young Turks in the pro-ulama group think there should be an internal investigation to set the record straight. They have suggested that the matter should go before the Syariah Audit Committee, a new body recently approved to handle internal issues connected to the syariah and which fall outside the purview of the Disciplinary Committee.

Others think PAS should appoint senior and respected leaders to help clear the air because they are concerned that the party will be dragged down.

The more down-to-earth say that Mat Sabu ought to take an oath to denounce Syiah and clear his name once and for all. Otherwise, there will be no closure and the matter will return to haunt the party. Their priority is the party. Leaders come and go but the party must survive.

Iran, the Iranian Revolution and the Ayatollahs have always been a prickly issue for Muslims here. That revolution led to the birth of the world's first modern Islamic state and was one of those defining moments of the 20th century.

It inspired Muslims everywhere and Malaysia was no exception, sparking off an irreversible wave of Islamic fervour – the building of mosques, women took to covering their aurat and Islamic banking arrived on our shores.

PAS' modern form was very much inspired by what happened in Iran. Some examples include its policy of "leadership by the ulama" and its powerful Syura Council of Ulama headed by the Mursyidul Am, the PAS equivalent of the Ayatollah.

The party's maroon-shirted Unit Amal, a highly respected unit in PAS, is often perceived as a moderate version of the revolutionary guards.

"Many of us were inspired by the Iranian Revolution but that does not mean we are Syiah. However, Syiah beliefs can destroy our party and we should sieve it out when recruiting members," said a young PAS official.

Mat Sabu, some thought, has been too easygoing about such accusations for too long. During the general election, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir in Kedah had openly accused him of being Syiah.

Pamphlets about him were flying all over. One flyer had the slogan, "Jangan suburkan Syiah di Pendang", urging voters not to sow the seeds of Syiah in the parliamentary seat where Mat Sabu was contesting.

Similar allegations surfaced in the months running up to the PAS election. This time, the attacks were more dangerous because they were coming from within his own party and, many believed, from the pro-ulama group.

Again, Mat Sabu turned a blind eye. It was only when he realised that the allegations could derail his re-election that he finally issued a clear-cut denial.

But he did not help himself when he persisted in quoting examples from Iran or praising Hezbullah, the militant Syiah group, in his speeches. His excuse was that he admires Iran for standing up to American imperialism.

The Home Ministry's allegations were stunning as much for the content as for the way they were made. On hindsight, Zahid almost stole the show at the closing of the Umno assembly when he launched the attack against Mat Sabu.

But that is Zahid for you – he rarely does things by halves. He knew very well that a strong action would draw an equally strong reaction and everyone is now bracing for what's next.

Mat Sabu is contemplating clearing his name in a court of law. But, more important, he may also have to clear his name in the court of public opinion. 


Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

0 ulasan:

Catat Ulasan


Malaysia Today Online

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved