December 28, 2015
Standing Up for G-25–Moderation
by Farouk A. Peru
It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out nor more doubtful of success nor more dangerous to handle than to initiate a new order of things; for the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order; this lukewarmness arising partly from the incredulity of mankind who does not truly believe in anything new until they actually have experience of it.
Nicolo Machiavelli , (1469 – 1527)
It was inevitable from the beginning of this venture that we would arrive at this moment. From the very first letter by the yet-to-be-called G25 in late 2014, they already irked the religious authorities.
After all, they were “encroaching” on the latter’s territory and our ulamak of all varieties were not used to challenges by people of such prominence.
In that open letter, the group led by their very dynamic spokesperson Dato’ Noor Farida Ariffin (above), called for debate and open dialogue on the application of Islamic law in Malaysia.
Like any activist of the Malaysian Resistance (to shamelessly borrow a trending Star Wars term), I was deeply moved by the inception of the G25 movement. We activists are used to reading puerile remarks from political and religious leaders who use Malay racism and Islamofascism to win support from the masses. In fact, the level of discourse had reached a humiliating new low back then when the word “Allah” was declared off limits to non-Islamic faiths! That particular fiasco earned us laughter even from the Saudis who are not known for their liberalism.
The G25 took a stand on a variety of issues. When Dato’ Noor Farida delivered a lecture at the London School of Economics early this year, she denounced the depraved acts of our Islamofascist authorities such as body snatching (as in the Sgt M. Moorthy case) and the conversion of children by parents who had converted to Islam (such as the Indira Gandhi case in Perak).
Dato’ Noor was also very passionate about the Nik Raina case. Nik is the Manager of Borders bookstore who was targeted by the Islamofascists for stocking the book Allah, Liberty and Love by the controversial Muslim reformer, Irshad Manji. The infantile tactics of our religious authorities was a very sore point with G25.