Dr Syed Farid Alatas: Islamic state is not good even for Muslims

January 27, 2013

Dr Syed Farid Alatas: Islamic state is not good even for Muslims

by Susan Loone (01-25-13)@http://www.malaysiakini.com

Well-known sociologist Dr. Syed Farid Alatas says that one of the greatest dangers facing Malaysian society is the rise of Muslim extremism – Wahabism and Salafism – or legalistic thinking that reduces citizens to rules and regulation.

He said these are the notion and role of an Islamic state currently being promoted by UMNO and PAS but both ways are “problematic” as there is no real debate on the issues here.

Hudud forum NUS lecturer Syed Farid Alatas“There is not much difference between UMNO and PAS, except that the former gives excuses that we can’t have an Islamic state because we are a multiracial society,” said Syed Farid (left), an expert in the area of the sociology of religion.

“The correct point I think is that we can’t have an Islamic state because an Islamic state is not good even for Muslims. When I say that, I don’t mean that Islam is not good for Muslims,” the head of Malay studies at the National University of Singapore was quick to add.  “I mean the conception of an Islamic state which is a modernist idea is a chaotic idea”.

Syed Farid was speaking in a two-hour plenary lecture entitled “Contemporary Muslim Revival: The Case of Protestant Islam” at the Wawasan Open Univesity in Penang last night.

Only 7% of Turks for Islamic state

His lecture was in conjunction with the ‘Colloquium on Democracy and Social Justice’ jointly organised by Penang Institute and the Islamic Renaissance Front. The Don – a Malaysian – has published extensively on the themes of Muslim revivalism, religious extremism, decolonisation of knowledge and democracy.

islam religion muslim mosque 1In his lecture, Syed Farid went on to explain that the proponents of the idea of an Islamic state mostly talked about hudud laws which centred around criminal laws.

“The kind of state they envisage is a horrible state as it is a state presided by a punitive God, and not the God of Love, as envisioned by the Sufists or the God of the early missionaries who brought Islam to Southeast Asia and the Malay world,” he said.

“Those Muslims never talked about an Islamic state. For them what was necessary was to live in the society that allows you to live according to the rules and laws of Islam,” he added.

He gave the example of a large scale survey conducted in Turkey two years ago, where the religious citizens (not the secularists) were asked whether they want to live in an Islamic state. Only seven percent said “yes”, noted Syed Farid, as majority of Turks did not want the state to administer Islam or decide on religious matters, they wanted the freedom to administer it themselves.

Malaysia needs more debate

“So being against Islamic state is not to be secular or to be against Islam, Muslims really need to understand that,” said Syed Farid, who read for his PhD at the John Hopkins University.

NONE“In this country, Muslims feel that if they are against Islamic state, they are not being true to Islam,” the Professor who used to teach in Universiti Malaya, added.

“They have to understand that the whole notion of the Islamic state is a modernist idea,” he stressed.

Syed Farid said the entire thinking of what constitutes a state in Islam and how the religion is brought into modern life needs to be debated and discussed but that is not being done because Islam is being politicised in Malaysia.

He echoed the words of the great Islamic philosopher Ibn Khaldun who said “governments as a rule are unjust”, adding he will vote for the least unjust government.  “Most Islamic governments in Islamic history have been unjust, even those which were in existence during the so-called Golden Age of Islam. “They were quite terrible in terms of abuse and torture and corruption,” said Syed Farid.

In Malaysia, Syed Farid said we have governments which are more interested in winning points with the electorate than solving pressing problems.

Dangerous cocktail warning

There is also a lack of professionalism in the civil service due to the preponderance of political interest which is in conflict with the governance of this country, he added.

NONE“Christian extremist or the more extreme versions of Christian evangelism is not being discussed in a calm and academic manner here, he said.

“There is also the rise of market fundamentalism, a gradual encroachment of market values that are replacing spiritual and cultural values,” he added.

“Religious fundamentalism, extremism whether it is Muslim or Christians, tend to obliterate spiritual values,” he stressed.

“When spiritual and religious values are replaced with market values, it tends to reduce everyone to digits, this is a dangerous cocktail,” he warned.

57 thoughts on “Dr Syed Farid Alatas: Islamic state is not good even for Muslims

  1. When it comes to Islam, Malaysian muslims shy away from any debate. What I hear at every Friday prayers is propaganda put out by JAIS and JAKIM, only in name khutbah (sermons). Mosque officials never fail to remind me and my fellow Muslims by quoting a Hadith that says if we talk when the Imam delivers his sermons, we will lose the benefits of attending Friday prayers. I listen (and do not need any reminder or warning) in the hope of gaining some wisdom or insights into my religion. In stead, I hear a political sermon.

    JAKIM denies that it is playing politics and promoting religious obscurantism. What is it then? In the long run, this is not good since it breeds hatred of others, and uncritical thinking and ritualism among young Muslims. Both PAS and UMNO must bear the blame in equal proportion for the current state of Islam (note that I am not using the term “Islamic state”) in our country. –Din Merican

  2. The facts and the reality are that politics and religion don’t meet. Politics related to public interests/policies while the latter private matters.

    Mess up politics with religion is dangerous, worse still if race is included.

    Our former leaders like Tunku Abdul Rahman (former Secretary-General of the OIC) and former Prime Minister Tun Hussein Onn that Malaysia were all CLEAR of the Secularity of the Malaysian Constitution and we should continue to be a secular state.

    Former Lords, President Tun Suffian Hashim and Tun Salleh Abas, were also clear about the secularity of the Constitution.

    However, today not all their successors in the political and judicial worlds seem CONFUSED/UNCLEAR after Dr. M declared Malaysia is an Islamic state. How dismay!

  3. I used to “joke” : why we want to Islamised the soil (country) whereas its the people (Muslim) that needs the religion. Let government rule wise and just and leave religion to the people. There should not be any compulsion. Everyone of us will answer to our own grave. Let us live our lives peacefully.

  4. “……an Islamic state is not good even for Muslims.”

    I read, I think, I ponder, I reflect, and I could not agree with you Dr Syed Farid Alatas. What state is good for Muslims then?

    “I mean the conception of an Islamic state which is a modernist idea is a chaotic idea”. Prophet Muhammad had shaped the outlook of an Islamic state about 1400 years ago. Do you mean to say that the principles of an Islamic state of Prophet Muhammad are irrelevant or inappropriate to the modern world? What is the way forward for Muslims then?

    P.J Vatikiotis in his book on ‘Islam and the State’ had admitted that the political ideas in Qur’an are neutral. I check, double-check and cross-check, and I would agree with him.

    I have opined in this blog before that the conditions for an Islamic State here in this country is not ready yet. I would agree that for unity and harmony we should keep religion separate from politics. We should let the Islamic State takes its divine course. But I would never ever say that “an Islamic state is not good even for Muslims”.

  5. Islamised the soil, Farhat? Yup, not only that.

    Angkasa (Malaysian National Space Agency) had a conference in 2006 – to ‘discuss’ the location of the Qiblah (direction of prayer) for Muslims in space for their great Angkasa-nought. Finally they decided that it’s best to leave it to their (Muslim space-farers) ‘discretion/capabilities’. In the true spirit of ‘Malaysia boleh!’ Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani was more practical – he stated the obvious – that one should just face the earth. Simple vectors also became a big debate.

    So much for literalness and hard-headedness. Religious bigots and fundamentalists have been the bane of human progress since the dawn of man-kind and instead of spiritual zeal, they are akin to dead-weights of Humanity, with zero tolerance but infinite zeal to misinterpret and misinform. Their Paradise on Earth is Hell for Everyone.

  6. Why the world all over since the crusade wars still has Christian and Islam at each other despite they are cousins? The HIndus also had their difference with Muslims in India.

    Does anyone notice, Buddhist advocate moderation by walking the middle path and by avoiding extremism to prove their ‘holiness’, there is harmony for humanity.

  7. Honestly his arguments and wordings need some work..”Most Islamic state have been unjust..’..Its a sweeping argument without offering much.. “Being against Islamic state is NOT being secular”?? Being secular does not mean being unIslamic but being against Islamic state is secular by definition. Being secular also don’t mean absolute separation of state and religion but state is a matter of this world whether its include religion or not is a matter of debate.

    If they are going to break myth and the one they need to break is that being secular somewhat has a sinister root in Judeo-Chritianity.. Its not. Its based on empiricism i.e., the origin of science and technology and, yes, market value which Dr. Farid seem to dislike.


    Politics concern PUBLIC policies/interest, religion is a PRIVATE belief/value.

    Individuals can have the freedom of choices of their religions: Christianity, Islam, Hindu and Buddhism. There could have their extremism to prove their ‘holiness’ and there is harmony for humanity. These are matters of private choices, and you cannot enforce them as PUBLIC policies in politics to follow the individual religion beliefs, especially in our multicultural society like Malaysia.

  9. Why Do Muslims Lose?

    Since at least the 1600s, Muslims have been suffering from setbacks and losses, beginning with the military defeat of the Ottomans in Austria and the total collapse of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, to the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916, the formal occupation of Palestine in 1948, the disastrous 1967 six-day war, and, more recently, the rapid collapse of the Taliban regime in 2001 and the defeat of the Iraqi regime in 2003.

    The collapse of the Taliban regime in 2001 and the establishment of a US-backed government were very much predicted by all military and strategic analysts. The constant bombing by the United States destroyed whatever military the Taliban had and the psychological warfare had most of their troops ready to defect the first chance they got.

    While a 21st century army defeating a 19th (or 20th) century army may have been as clear as day to many people, it came as an utter shock to most religious Muslims who could not understand how God, whom they believe in and worship, could abandon His people.

    The Taliban were strict Sunni Muslims by the very definition of the word. They prayed 5 times a day and even offered the additional “extra credit” prayers as well. They grew their beards in emulation of the beloved Prophet, they dressed in the traditional dress of 6th century Arabs, they banned television and cinema which cause evil and vice, they made their women cover themselves from head to toe to protect and honor this frail and sacred being, they had their women refrain from working and left them to look after the household thus helping them avoid evil and temptation which otherwise would have been their lot, they executed adulterous men and women in accordance with Shariah law, they cut off the hands of thieves in accordance with the same law, they taught their men to be strong and fight for the Shariah of God whenever they could, they destroyed statues that represented the blasphemous idols that people once worshipped alongside God…

    In a nutshell, the Taliban were the textbook example of what a real Sunni Muslim society should be like. Yet, the Taliban lost!

    Did God not say in His glorious Book:

    “God defends those who believe. God does not love any betrayer, rejecter.” (22:38)

    “The ones who were driven out of their homes without justice, except that they said: “Our Lord is God!” And if it were not for God defending the people against themselves, then many places of gathering, and markets, and contact prayers, and temples where the name of God is frequently mentioned, would have been destroyed. God will give victory to those who support Him. God is Powerful, Noble.” (22:40)

    “And We have sent before you messengers to their people. So they came to them with clear proofs; then We took revenge on those who were criminals. And it is binding upon Us to grant victory to the believers.” (30:47)

    “O you who believe, if you support God, He will support you, and make your foothold firm.” (47:7)

    The verses above leave no doubt that God will support and grant victory to those who believe and serve Him.

    Yet, the Taliban lost!

    To non-believers, the answer is clear: This was a matter of military might and of an advanced army fighting a primitive one!

    To Muslims, however, there is much more at stake. Muslims know God controls all actions and all matters, they know God commands invisible and visible armies who come down to support His believers in times of need, they know angels have been sent down in the past to support the Prophet in defeating his enemies (3:123), they know a small and weak force can always defeat a larger and stronger force by the leave of God (2:249), they know all the technology of the world, and all its power, and all its armies, are absolutely nothing when God is standing by the other party!

    What Muslims worldwide have on their hands is a true dilemma.
    What has gone wrong?
    Why has God abandoned them?
    In nearly every single country and nearly every single place for many decades, Muslims have been losing!

    Have Muslims broken their covenant with God?
    • Do we need to pray more?
    • Do we need to give more to charity?
    • Do we need to grow our beards and cover our women (like Afghanistan)?
    • Do we need to fast more days, or recite the Scripture more often at night?

    What is it that Muslims need to do?

    A clue is found in the words of the Messenger himself:

    “And the messenger said: ‘My Lord, my people have deserted this Qur’an.’ And it is so that We make for every prophet enemies from among the criminals. And your Lord suffices as a Guide and a Victor.” (25:30-31)

    How is it that the Prophet will make this claim against us when there are over one billion Muslims on this planet who recite and read the Scripture day in and day out?
    Do we not all teach our children to recite chapters from the glorious Book of God?
    How could it be said that we have deserted the Qur’an?

    Abandoning the Scripture

    It is not due to a lack of prayers, or the length of the beard, or the dress code of women that God has abandoned the Muslims. It has been because we have abandoned the word of God and have taken other paths and other gods besides Him without even realizing it.

    God tells us we are supposed to resort to His Book for judgment, yet we see Muslims time and time again resorting to their imams, or scholars, or leadership, or the Arab League, or the United Nations, or any other body except the one they were commanded to adhere to:

    “And We have sent down to you the Book with the truth, authenticating what is between your hands of the Book and superseding it. So judge between them by what God has sent down, and do not follow their desires from what has come to you of the truth. For each of you We have made laws, and a structure; and if God had willed, He would have made you all one nation, but He tests you with what He has given you; so strive to do good. To God you will return all of you, and He will inform you regarding that in which you dispute. And judge between them by what God has sent down, and do not follow their wishes, and beware lest they divert you away from some of what God has sent down to you. If they turn away, then know that God wants to inflict them with some of their sins; and many of the people are wicked. Is it the judgment of the days of ignorance that they seek? Who is better than God as a judge for a people who comprehend?” (5:48-50)

    Even at the time of revelation, the disbelievers found the Scripture to be so detailed and meticulous they pleaded with the Prophet: “Change it!”

    “And when Our clear revelations were recited to them, those who do not wish to meet Us said: ‘Bring a Qur’an other than this, or change it!’ Say: ‘It is not for me to change it of my own accord, I merely follow what is inspired to me. I fear, if I disobeyed my Lord, the retribution of a great day!’ Say: ‘If God had willed, I would not have recited it to you, nor would you have known about it. I have been residing among you for nearly a lifetime before this; do you not comprehend?’ Who is more wicked than he who invents lies about God or denies His revelations? The criminals will never succeed. And they serve besides God what does not harm them or benefit them, and they say: ‘These are our intercessors with God.’ Say: ‘Are you informing God of what He does not know in the heavens or the earth?’ Be He glorified and exalted above what they set up.” (10:15-18)

    This is how the Scripture has been abandoned even though it is being recited day and night. Its laws and jurisdiction have been abandoned and whatever it says about all walks of life has been ignored. The Muslims’ failure to adhere to the words of God starts at the very top, i.e. with the structure of their governments, and trickles down to their family structure, i.e. in how they treat women and how they deal with their children, neighbors, commerce, the environment, other religions, etc.

    This is why the empire has ended and why we continue to be defeated and humiliated throughout the world. We have abandoned God, and God has thus abandoned us and left us to our fate.

    Is the Scripture Complete and Detailed?

    God tells us the Scripture is ‘fully detailed’ and ‘complete’ and a ‘clarification for all things’.

    “‘Shall I seek other than God as a judge when He has sent down to you the Book fully detailed?’ Those to whom We have given the Book know it is sent down from your Lord with the truth; so do not be of those who have doubt.” (6:114)

    “And the word of your Lord has been completed with the truth and justice; there is no changing His words. He is the Hearer, the Knower.” (6:115)

    “And the Day We send to every nation a witness against them from themselves, and We have brought you as a witness against these. And We have sent down to you the Book as a clarification for all things, and a guidance and a mercy and good tidings to those who have submitted.” (16:89)

    Yet, many Muslims still have doubts even after seeing all the evidence. They never dare question the Scripture openly, but they always find an excuse why the Scripture cannot be followed on its own.

    In Islam, there is no priesthood, and no religious hierarchy. However, as soon as you ask Muslims about their religion, they will refer you to the opinions of this or that Imam!

    “And those who were weak will say to those who were mighty: ‘No, it was your scheming night and day, when you commanded us to reject God and to set up equals to Him.’ And they are filled with regret when they see the retribution — and We will place shackles around the necks of those who rejected. Are they not being requited for what they used to do? (34:33)

    Perhaps, it is time for these people to realize just how dangerous their denial may be:

    “These are the revelations of God, We recite them to you with the truth. So, in which narrative after God and His revelations do they believe? Woe to every sinful fabricator. He hears the revelations of God being recited to him, then he persists arrogantly, as if he never heard them. Give him news of a painful retribution. And if he learns anything from Our revelations, he takes it in mockery. For these will be a humiliating retribution. Waiting for them is Hell. And that which they earned will not help them, nor those whom they have taken as allies besides God, and for them is a terrible retribution. This is a guidance. And those who reject the revelations of their Lord, for them is an affliction of a painful retribution.” (45:6-11)

    The Scripture is Easy to Understand

    God tells us the Scripture is clear to understand, and any person who cares to understand it or learn from it will be given that understanding.

    “And We made the Qur’an easy to remember. Are there any who want to learn?” (54:17)

    Yet, the masses have refused to study the Scripture for themselves and insist on merely parroting its words, all the time leaving the so-called partners of God to do the understanding for them.

    “And if they are told: ‘Follow what God has sent down,’ they say: ‘No, we will follow what we found our fathers doing!’ What if their fathers did not comprehend anything and were not guided? And the example of those who disbelieve is like one who repeats what he has heard of calls and cries; deaf, dumb, and blind, they do not comprehend.” (2:170-171)

    We are not surprised when we learn the Jews invented entire volumes of man-made books such as the Talmud and attributed them to God and His messenger (Moses). Nor are we surprised Christians attribute a son to the Almighty! Yet, when anyone dares claim that Muslims have also been led astray through their own distortions, we are hit with waves of denial and shock, as we believe it is impossible that God would allow our religion to be altered.

    Did God not say He would permit those who have doubts in their hearts to be led astray?

    “And as such, We have permitted the enemies of every prophet — human and Jinn devils — to inspire each other with fancy words in order to deceive. Had your Lord willed, they would not have done it. You shall disregard them and their fabrications. That is so the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter will listen to it, and they will accept it, and they will take of it what they will.” (6:112-113)

    The Great Disaster
    By continuing along the path of denial and sectarianism, Muslims are risking more than just happiness and dignity in this world, for they also risk shame and retribution in the Hereafter…

    “Those who had rejected will be told: ‘The abhorrence of God towards you is greater than your abhorrence of yourselves, for you were invited to believe, but you chose to reject.’ They will say: ‘Our Lord, You have made us die twice, and You have given us life twice. Now we have confessed our sins. Is there any way out of this state?’ This is because when God alone was mentioned, you rejected, but when partners were set up with Him, you believed. Therefore, the judgment is for God, the Most High, the Great.” (40:10-12)

    Unless we are willing to take the necessary steps to reform through self-examination and research, we will be led by our complacency and blind following of false idols into the abyss that is fast becoming our destination.

    Are you content with what you already know?

    “Then, when their messengers came to them with clear proofs, they were content with what they already had of knowledge. And they will be surrounded by that which they used to mock. So when they saw Our might, they said: ‘We believe in God alone, and we reject all the partners we used to set up!’ But their belief could not help them once they saw Our might; such is the way of God that has been established for His servants; and the rejecters were then totally in loss.” (40:83-85)

    God Alone

    The true system of Islam, as revealed by God and His Messenger, has been neglected and ignored for many centuries by the Muslim masses while they blindly follow their scholars and leaders and their distorted and unauthorized teachings.

    Muslims have been losing continuously because they have abandoned the word of God and replaced it with other laws and teachings which, in turn has caused God to abandon them and leave them to their folly.

    This life is not just about fun and games. It is about fulfilling our part of the pledge with God and proving that we can serve Him Alone.

    “And when God alone is mentioned, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter are filled with aversion; and when others are mentioned besides Him, they rejoice!” (39:45)

    Are we ready to embrace the path of God Alone and abandon all our idolatry?
    Or, will we continue to lose?

    From “The Natural Republic: Reclaiming Islam from Within” at http://www.free-minds.org.

  10. Matthew Goldman, I am not too sure about ‘walking the middle path and by avoiding extremism to prove their ‘holiness’, there is harmony for humanity.’

    Zen Buddhism, on the surface, appears to be the most contemplative form of Buddhism, and what did these chaps do during across Asia 70 years ago?

    Google Yoichi Shimatsu to find out about Tibetan Buddhism – Yellow hats, Black hats, brown hats, rainbow hats.

    My point is, every religion has its strength, and there is no such thing as one particular religion, among the many, will bring peace and harmony on Earth. ‘rightways’ says “The solution is to SEPARATE POLITICS FROM RELIGION. But, I should add, this is only a partial solution because there is no knowing what politicians will do when they gain power. In our case, the realities are obvious by now.

    So the choice for Malaysians this time is either go for a change and hope the new group will do as they have promised to do, or stay on with the same tired-looking crowd and hope they too will do what they have been promising to do for so long.

    Because BN politicians have openly used religion in their political exploits, I know how I will vote this time round.

  11. Ban RELIGION from public life. Period. It is the curse of humanity. It is the cause of human suffering, misery and torment.

    If we cannot ban RELIGION from destroying society, make it a constitutional requirement it is NOT allowed to leave the front gates of homes.

    If prayer is a hobby human beings cannot get rid off, then pray to the divine powers of SCIENCE.

    Mankind’s survival and happiness depend on Science. Just think of your IPad, laptop and Internet, inventions and discoveries in medicine. And of not forgetting the happiness you get from Viagra, paracetamol, Valium and anti- depressant drugs.

    You think you can survive in this world by going to mosques, churches and temples and hoping your Friend In The Sky will prescribe you with pills for eternal life and happiness.

    If you want your prayers for the happiness and eternal life in the AFTER LIFE, then you should go and DIE first, preferably a miserable death so that there is a reason for you to look forward to eternal happiness.

    Absolute waste of time trying to justify the need for RELIGION and trying to up the ante for one religion over another. Hopeless waste of your bandwidth and internet time. Better to use that kind of money spent on Viagra.

    Tell me where I am wrong!

  12. What scripture are you talking about. They ideas taught by those who couldn’t write it done and written by others decades later based on their myopic interpretations of the ideas they thought they knew. They were written in Dark Ages and meant for people of the Dark Ages, so that these people’s minds were eternally kept in the dark, designed to encase the human mind from enlightenment and discovery of the world around them. For more than 1,000 years the Christian theology demanded that it be known the Sun revolved the Earth until Science debunked it. It is a matter of time Science will debunk the silly idea there is such a physical place call Heaven up in the sky or in some corner among the stars and galaxies. In fact Science is saying correctly Heaven is hallucinatory idea stuck between your ears. Like your Friend in the Sky.

    Halleluia to Science. Sciencehuakhbar.

  13. ISLAM

    • Islam effectively means peacefulness.
    • We accomplish peacefulness by observing orders [which is the deen], a providence from God revealed to all prophets and messengers so mankind will enjoy an orderly way of life in the grand design of His creations [which is God’s system].
    • Islam is intended to be a life of blissfulness without religions, myths, superstitions, or ‘holiness’.
    • The Arab Religionists, or ARS have systematically destroyed this ideal, not by demolishing it, but by altering its form so that it is no longer manifested as God intended.
    • The QRN says any person can enjoy a blissful life without having to profess a religion.
    • The ARS have proven to the world they are truly the enemies of God’s prophets when they replaced ‘peace’ with a ‘sadistic’ idol-worshipping religion.
    • The QRN assures whatever wrongdoings people commit can be converted into credit once they decide to lead a righteous life.
    • Such a decision does not require them to profess a religion.
    • We don’t have to be religious to repent or to believe in the One God.
    • We don’t have to profess a religion to do good deeds.

    From “Arab Conspiracies Against Islam” by Aidid Safar. See http://www.aididsafar.com.my

  14. The Islamic reformation and renaissance is due.
    The Christians took about 1400 years, from the time the Gospels and Epistles were first written down. The 5 Solas of Protestantism triggered off the counter-Reformation in by Western Catholicism and led to the 100 Year war.

    Enlightenment comes with costs – martyrdom, apostasy, antinomianism (against ‘structures and organization’). And revolution requires outright rebellion, the necessary conditions to free the mind, soul and spirit. Dogma and doctrines need to be critically reassessed and reconditioned to stay relevant to the times.

    Unfortunately, this is never easy, for zealotry does not respond to reason and intellect. It is much ‘saner’ to follow than to lead. Individuality, conscience and self-awareness is seldom encouraged in any form of submission, whether to fellow man or God.

    All religions attempt to provide the means to a Way of Life – in the moral and ethical sense. The problem is that Politics with all it’s negative connotations and baggage should have no business in Religion. In this sense, it is not just separating politics from religion or vice versa – it is imperative that we compartmentalize what is impersonal (public) yet altruistic (‘for the greater good’) from what is personal (private) and self professing (edifying).

    Theocracy is just a another form of Despotism couched in Religion, where the unthinking masses who lack the will to emancipation, freedom and liberty are the sheep led by the Hired Man.

    The Golden Age of Anything is a misnomer. Ask the Jews.

  15. If Allah were so “mighty” and ‘holiness’, why Muslims have been suffering from setbacks, losses and defects?

    The “mightiness” and ‘holiness’ all religions believe are private, subjective views or just a form without substance.

    Only those people with substance can tap into the nature to change, develop and continually innovate to achieve universal “mightiness” and ‘holiness’.

  16. Dear Brian, just for info. Aidid Safar, not his real name, lives in exile, understandably! The religious mafia banned the book and put a price on his head. So he had to flee, far, far away.

  17. my humble proposal to all earthlings; if you want God to hear you please unite as one people, agree on one God first because logically, if at all, there can only be ONE GOD.
    maybe God can’t hear you because of accoustic problems, so it is appropriate that everyONE(muslim, christians, hindus and the rest) prays at the same time, once in a day. thereby the neccessary decibel would be achieved for God to hear us.
    God has repeatedly said that He is the only God, so please believe him.
    most of you had the luxury of growing up believing in the God prescibed by your parents, teachers and government. yes thats the easy way, just believe what they tell you.
    since becoming aware of myself I’ve been trying to find out if there is a God and if so who and where is he? after 6 decades I’m convinced that………….

    the human mind is like a computer the more information you feed in the more answers you get.

    God gave us this Life so don’t fight but enjoy it, have fun folks

  18. Alamak rightways, whadda you tokking? Mightiness? Good grief!
    People with ‘substance’ need ‘essence’ (according to my Sufi and other esoteric friends) to change. They look inward, not outward to achieve ‘gnosis’ (knowledge) and upward to find Divinity.. To understand the ‘Utility’ of religion, one must understand first the Tripartite Humanity of the Body (soma), Soul (nuos) and Spirit (pneuma). But i won’t tax tour Greek..

    I call it ‘Reflections’. Here’s to you and Frank:

  19. Man is too evil in thoughts and action to understand God. They only know God, that’s about it, and will never understand God.

    Until Man can reduce from 98% of his/her raw primate genes to about 90% level, he/her might just about to understand WHAT or WHO God is?

    With currently only 2% of genes which define him/her as two-legged primate, is not enough to clearly separate Man from his/her cousins in the jungle.

    That’s the hard truth.

  20. @ Frank

    It is not possible for me to understand your position in regard to God, let alone comprehend your argument. It is fine as long as you are not impinging on others right to belief.

    Creators of modern science like Newton was impelled in his science by his faith and took his starting point from scriptural ideas.

  21. C.L. Familiaris – “Their Paradise on Earth is Hell for Everyone.” Really? I understood that the muslims were never happy living anywhere … not in their homeland nor in their adopted country. What I see is that if they are living in hell, might as well make it hell for everyone!

  22. yes semper fi,
    the kind Mrs McGregor also; I used to be attracted to all those people who tried to explain what even Sir Arthur Eddington could not, the Design of the Universe! I went even to the wandering preachers those days who attracted audience with slide-shows. I tried to convince myself the existance of God.
    I have found respect for religion, all religions because religion is an integral part of our life.

  23. It does not matter one way or another, if one wants to believe in ‘ God ‘ and so have a ‘religion’, OR, not believing in One, thus having no ‘ religion’ and negative ” God ” by our human faculties – we are endowed with that ‘ freedom’, as we are responsible for our individual Destiny… ( think of this : human lives are short & fleeting, average life-span 80 years, and its only about 800 over months, by now most have only 120 months left averagely ! )
    Added to that, why did Albert Einstein. the greatest Scientific ‘brain’ say : ” Science without religion is lame, and religion without Science is ” blind” ” ? – just ponder on that.

    Anyway, for ” Muslims ” and particularly Malay-muslims, this one Rukun iman to think about :

    ” Tidak sempurna iman sa=saorang itu, jika dalam mengkehendaki perkara2 Dunia, melalui Ilmu Akhirat…. ; dan dalam hal-hal Akhirat pula, melalui Ilmu Dunia….” – That’s called ‘ SONGSANG ‘ ( how to translate ? ) Yaaa…muslim-minds are Songsang ( terbalik)….
    In this world of hard solid, matter & flesh, concerning our ‘ material ‘ existence with al its physical properties, it has to be the Scientific mode, so how can anyone try & apply ‘ spiritual’ laws ( or religious laws ) in our mode of governance dealing with the ” real” world of matter & flesh ….?

  24. Btw, our dear friend CLF can testify to that. Religious or spiritual laws are there ( since Prophet Adam, and brought through to 25 Chosen Elect or Messengers ), they are ALL there to Enforce Ethics & Morality in human conduct….more so, pertaining to people beholden to ” Power “….often-times they go Berserk and Crazy…..

  25. NO WAY, anywhere in the World, can it ever work based on Theocracy, or a Theocratic State…..
    It will work to utter Chaos & Confusion – SONGSANG –
    See how the tribalism of the Talibanism works in modern-times….

  26. It is not possible for me to understand your position in regard to God – Gena

    Gena, that is very sad.

    Ask C.L. Familiaris, he reads me like a book.

  27. Religious or spiritual laws are there ( since Prophet Adam, and brought through to 25 Chosen Elect or Messengers ), they are ALL there to Enforce Ethics & Morality in human conduct – Abnizar

    You are wrong.

    Morality and Ethics is not the monopoly of Religion. Religion enforces Tribal morality and ethics.

    Universal human values exist outside religious dictates.

  28. Creators of modern science like Newton was impelled in his science by his faith and took his starting point from scriptural ideas.-Gena

    Creators of Modern Science sought to prove God exists. They were disappointed, many became atheists, agnostics and at best they are Deists.

    Another name for God is Electricity. You can’t see both, but you feel and partake in their effects. Both have tremendous impact on human society. Mankind build infrastructures to support both, and both require people to be trained so that both can be of service to mankind. Both were discovered Entities.

    Just remember, when you analyze deeper, God and Electricity are one and the same, except in the case of God, human attributes like love, compassion, anger, revenge, demand total loyalty etc are assigned to God . God is even given a sex ie Male since God is always referred as He or Father.

  29. It is fine as long as you are not impinging on others right to belief.- Gena

    If anybody feels he or she are impinged on their right to belief, then THEY have a problem, not me. They need to go and sort their brains out to rewire their neurons. Or, they can go to a small corner, put their thumbs in their mouths and sulk, for all I care.

    • Descartes, a scientist, says “God exists”.- hasan

      Yeah…God exists between your ears. When you pray 5 times a year (assuming you do), do you keep your eyes closed or open?

      I bet you keep your eyes closed… because you need to imagine God in the dark emptiness of your mind while you hear your own voice.

  30. Aiseh, Frank don’t bully Gena into submission will ya?

    Abnizar, spiritual laws are ‘concrete’ for these folks – who have difficulty promulgating ‘innovative’ ideas to deal with societies ills. Heck, they even have difficulty remembering who their father was, much less pronouncing their own names. So they take, say the Hadiths or the Ten Commandments or Deuteronomic Laws as a club to bludgeon those who dare to question their interpretation. It’s either unto ‘submission’ or until death.

    Morality and ethics come from within – nurtured in part by parenting, cultural/societal mores, education, innate intellect, geography and religion. Of which, religion plays the the least part, but which can truly change the raging beast from a blood thirsty dragon into a lamb. But that’s what ‘epiphany or theophany’ for. Unfortunately a lot of these super duper fundamentalists concentrate to much on other peoples fannies, and hallucinate unseemingly.

  31. “Islamic State is not even good for Muslims…” says Dr Syed Farid – that’s the topic, and its different from being in the ” state of Islam…” as what Kathy says from downunder ( whatever is the ” conundrum ” ?).

    But yes, thanx for the input by both Frank & CLF, we ought to be able to discourse or dialogue, its healthy – for Eg : the recent Christmas celebrations in Egypt, when the Mufti of Al’Azahar and his entourage of judges & scholars visited their Christian bretheren in the Church of Egypt – its all-embracing…

    Islamic State ( a theocracy ) not good even for Muslims, theocratic state not even good for Non-muslims in the world. How CONFOUNDING when in Egypt after a long battle in the Electoral process by Democratic means, and the President elected by popular majority vote, Egypt is ONCE AGAIN IN TURMOIL, Upheavel and entering a New ” Revolution ” – Absurd….what is it they WANT ? Methinks the humankind ” cherish ” the state of Chaos, and Peace is far removed from the Hype….strange ! !

    Btw, although Science is the way forward for human survival… it is constrained of course by this one single fact : Science has not, or can never be able to either ” prove ” or ” disprove ” God, Whther important or not important, but to Albert Einstein, it does…..strange…..No ?

  32. my question to Abnizar would be; why should science approve or disprove God? these are two entirely different disciplines, therefore God has no say on science and vice versa. the problem starts when we try to mix these things.

    – Absurd….what is it they WANT ? – Abnizar
    they want money!

    an islamic state can only exist if there is ‘money’. Morsi is coming to the Berlin to ask for it.
    as long as Malaysia is rich they’ll dream of an islamic state after that they’ll start warring among themselves ( different factions). you can’t make money out of religion.

  33. Frank don’t bully Gena into submission will ya?-C.L. Familiaris

    Just breaking the ice with Gena.

    I still want to have a night out with Gena in posh restaurant for dinner and talk about religion all night.

  34. Hello Frank…

    I have something for you but the bloghost did not let it through. What can I do. It is his blog.

    Wanna have a night out with me and talk about religion all night…? No prob bro… But I give you an oracular guarantee that at the end of the night you will not have orgasm but will put on a skull cap and white robe starring at the unadulterated bleakness of the universe, chanting, and moving your body back and forth. 🙂

  35. Dear Frank,

    I can confirm that I do my best to do all the ‘wajib’ as a Muslim. I pray with my eyes open. I concentrate on the verses. I can communicate and ‘rasa’ the connection with God because I can understand the verses.

    By the way Frank, just curious…. how sure are you that Gena is a ‘SHE” ? Viagra? AC DC ? ROTFLOL …….

  36. hasan

    Just a wild guess. Gena sounds feminine unless Gena is a an AC-DC.

    If that is the case, strictly no Night out, it can get pretty messy… perhaps lunch in a crowded place, like MacDonalds and learn from AC-DC Gena on ” how to chant and move my lower body forward and backwards.” LOL.

  37. Try harder Frank, maybe you can reach cyber orgasm. 😀

    If ever we meet I will be fully clothed with slits cut in my black chador of modesty enough for your evil eyes to peer through and be exorcised. Without realising it you will be just angguk-angguk and geling-geling to what I said. LoL.

  38. Gena,

    Just to follow up Hasan’s curiosity and mine..,, any chances you are AC-DC in your black chador of modesty. That will determine the intensity of orgasm which you said you are good at delivering.

  39. @hasan, 9.23 pm, Jan 29 – Too long to try & discuss Descartes, let alone understanding him.

    As i shortly understand, Descartes was not able to ‘prove’ nor ‘ disprove ‘ Scientifically about God’s Existence or Non-Existence – his method was by logical scientific deductions – the Reductionist method – he was CONVINCED of God’s Existence, ” Belief ” one might say.
    i was convinced by a simple arguement i had with a young lad, when he asked me to ponder some years ago : If God has no connection with man, then Why or what is the relevance to argue whether He exists or does not exist… its irrelevant !

    But not so for Descartes or Einstein, b’coz to them its simply a Question of ” Knowledge “, otherwise Einstein will Not have said : ‘ Science without religion is lame, conversely religion without Science is blind …” ( not easy to understand, what he’s trying to say ” why ” he is convinced ? )

    Descartes confirms this in his own way : ” To advance in Knowledge is to PROGRESS in Knowledge towards God Himself ( which he seems to say, is the ” Finality” ). On the perpertual Law of Motion that exist in Nature, Descartes says ” Motion immitates as far as possible , the Immutability of ” God ” WHO is the ” First Cause ” – The Cause of all causes that makes all things as in nature to Exist –
    Think of Barroch Spinoza : ” As the Aggregate of all the Laws, the Physical or Scientific laws, GOD is the Highest Perfection….” , Without His Perfection, all Plantery system will go haywire or topsy-turvy – an Unstable Universe….
    So there, we can’t prove nor disprove…..

  40. @ Abnizar

    “Too long to try & discuss Descartes, let alone understanding him.”

    You are right. For very few people would have read his work and even fewer understood him.

    “otherwise Einstein will Not have said : ‘ Science without religion is lame, conversely religion without Science is blind …” ( not easy to understand, what he’s trying to say ” why ” he is convinced ? ) ”

    Eemmh…. try read this:

    I think it has been long enough… should we move on to other post, eh?

  41. Frank, you will never give up, will you? If we ever meet up, I promise you will never regret it. I am not a LBGT. Try harder Frank… try harder.. you are almost there…. wakakaka

  42. Frank,

    Or you as per Hasan’s curiosity, a possible Mr AC-DC. That would be awesomely frightening. I would agree with your suggestion that it would be neat if we just meet up at McDonalds. LoL.

  43. This guy is a shite/syiah how can we listen to him.
    Syiah IS NOT ISLAM.
    Allah already said you can never be astray as long u follow the Quran and Authentic Hadeeth of Prophet Muhammad SAW.
    If this is Khalifah Umar or Abu Bakar he definitely be beheaded.

  44. “The correct point I think is that we can’t have an Islamic state because an Islamic state is not good even for Muslims. When I say that, I don’t mean that Islam is not good for Muslims,” I absolutely agree with you Prof. Syed. Farid.

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