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Ridhuan Tee should first explain what it means to be a ‘staunch’ Chinese

Redhuan Tee

by Gavin Khoo

The only way to implement the Islamic hudud law is by implementing it “by force”, said Malaysian National Defence University lecturer Ridhuan Tee Abdullah said today.

“To implement Islamic law and to educate non-Muslims (on Islam) can only be done by force,” the associate professor told a forum entitled ‘Hudud: Its dilemma and implementation’ organised by Malay-language daily Sinar Harian in Shah Alam.

Qualifying his assertion, Ridhuan said this is because the “negative attitude” of non-Muslims towards Islamic law makes it unlikely that they will voluntarily accept its implementation.

He related his own experience as being an ethnic Chinese from a staunchly Chinese family and observations and studies of non-Muslims and their perception of Malaysia’s federal religion.

Ridhuan is again trying to use his “experience being an ethnic Chinese” to qualify and justify his observation on the reaction and reception of the community towards ethnic politics and Islam.

First, what does it means by being a ‘staunch Chinese’? As an ethnic Chinese myself, I find it difficult to explain what is it like being a ‘staunch Chinese’.

Being Chinese is not a religion or a cult. The community is never known for it’s uniformity or homogeneity. That’s why Ridhuan and millions of other ethnic Chinese had embraced Islam, Christianity and other religions.

Moreover, there is little correlation between being a ‘staunch Chinese’ and being receptive to Hudud law. Hudud law is conceived from Islamic value system and religious ethical code. This is the main reason why non-Muslim are skeptical about accepting something which is alien to their own value system. Similarly, Muslim being a minority in other societies should not be forced to follow any other religious law and conduct too.

Logic should explain the apprehension especially when Hudud has a clear religious connotation and it’s implementation in a religiously and ethnically diverse society is going to cause discomfort and distrust.

Bad image

Hudud has a bad image in modern jurisprudence and justice system. It’s methods of punishment e.g. stoning to death, cutting hands, decapitating etc. have been widely publicized and depicted as gory, uncivilized and brutal.

In an age where the world is trying to get rid of death penalty completely, it is difficult to see how hudud can fit into the modern justice system unless there are efforts to show that the Islamic law is consistent with modern jurisprudence and fairness.

Non-Muslim is not the main obstacle or problem. Ridhuan mentioned the use of force. This is precisely the problem. The fact that Ridhuan suggested the use of force proved that he is not a suitable spokesman for Islam. The use of force is going to give Islam and Hudud a bad name.

He should propose a national referendum on the implementation of Hudud. He should find out what the Malay Muslim think of Hudud too.

He was wrong to suggest that the Chinese community would have preferred a corrupt Umno to a holy Pas which is dead set to implement the Hudud law. His anology reflects a serious problem in Malaysia which an academic like himself should have contributed to help us find a remedy.

It merely means there is a serious lack of choice in the Malay leadership. Give us a good, responsible, professional, progressive and democratic third force and find out which one we would prefer.

Nothing wrong with Islam, it’s the practitioners

Ridhuan’s attempt to use his own personal experience and a few non-authoritative studies to justify the use of force to push through the implementation of Hudud is most unfortunate and a serious challenge to the academic integrity of the Defence University and his own credentials.

He should first answer this question, “what is wrong with Malaysia’s civil law?”

Islam is not the problem but the practitioners and so-called spokespersons of the religion are sending out too many mixed signals which jeopardized our willingness to engage with them and to understand the religion.

Source : khookaypeng.blogspot.com

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