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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bagaimana Mengenali Fraksi UMNO dalam PAS

Artikel ini adalah bertujuan untuk memberi petunjuk tentang bagaimana hendak mengenali geng fraksi UMNO dalam PAS.

Cara paling mudah adalah bertanya kepada mereka soalan2 ini:

a. ADakah saudara/ri bersetuju dengan kemasukan PAS ke dalam BN?

b. Adakah saudara/ri akan menentang kemasukan PAS ke dalam BN?

Kedua-dua soalan hanya memerlukan jawapan samada YA atau TIDAK.

Sekiranya orang yang ditanya itu mengelat, tdak menjawab, tidak mahu menjawab dengan terus, memberi seribu satu alasan maknanya orang itu 99% ahli Fraksi UMNO

Identifikasi Dan Pemerhatian Sekitar Blog2 Kepunyaan Aktivis PAS


Setakat yang saya tengok, laman web seperti Roslan SMS, Merah Tinta, Ustaz Nik Abduh dan Tranung Kite tidak menyatakan penentangan mereka secara terbuka terhadap penyertaan PAS ke dalam BN.


Blog Ustaz Nasaruddin Tantawi, walaupun beliau telah menyatakan beberapa keraguan beliau terhadap kerajaan baru Pakatan Rakyat, namun beliau dengan jelas menyatakan bahawa BN dan UMNO harus dihapuskan. Dengan kata lain, Ustaz Nasaruddin Tantawi telah menyatakan penentangan beliau terhadap Barisan Nasional dan UMNO secra terus terang.

Saya nampak Ustaz Nasaruddin Tantawi ikhlas dalam menyatakan keraguan beliau dan beliau tiada agenda untuk menyokong fraksi UMNO.

Jadi, pergi tengok blog lain dan lihat kenyataan mereka selepas PRU ke 12 dan lihat samada mereka menentang idea menyertai BN atau tidak.

Itulah indikasi yang paling jelas.

Tulang Besi


Read more!(Selanjutnya)

Umrah Saya dan Fraksi UMNO

Tiba-tiba Tulang Besi kembali dari umrah dan terus menyerang Fraksi UMNO denbgan menulis artikel bertajuk “Benarkah Majlis Syura PAS Pusat Menyokong Perbincangan Dengan UMNO?" Menagapa begitu sekali. Bukankah ini satu perkara yang pelik dan hairan.


Sepatutnya sekembali dari Umrah di Baitullah di bulan Ramadhan, di akhir 10 hari puasa, sepatutnya Tulang Besi bersikap lebih lembut dan lunak kepada saudara sesama Islam. Namun Tulang Besi tidak bersikap demikian. Mengapa?


Sewaktu saya tawaf di Masjidil Haram, saya telah berdoa kepada Allah SWT yang mana doa saya antaranya adalah:

  1. Meminta Allah SWT menetapkan hati Tuan Guru Presiden supaya tidak terpengaruh dengan agenda mereka yang berkepentingan dan mempunyai agenda pribadi dengan melibatkan parti.

  1. Mengagalkan apa-apa tindakan dan pihak yang berusaha membawa PAS masuk Barisan Nasional.

  1. Menjayakan pelan pertukaran Kerajaan dari Barisan Nasional ke Pakatan Rakyat.

  1. Memohon perlindungan dari Allah dari mereka yang telah bertanggungjawab memecah-belah kan PAS























  • Doa yang sama saya ungkapkan, selain doa lain, di hari pertama dan kedua saya mengerjakan Umrah dan Ibadah di Masjidil Haram. Saya membuat tawaf dalam keadaan lebih 2 juta umat Islam memenuhi Mekah, seperti yang dilaporkan oleh ArabNews. Solat Terawih safnya sampai jauh di luar Masjid Haram, sehingga orang solat di tepid an tengah jalan.


    Saya berpendirian setelah doa ini dilafazkan di hadapan Kaabah yang mulia, maka cukuplah tugas saya. Saya tidak mahu lagi menulis berkenaan isu PAS-UMNO ini.


    Namun sepanjang perjalananan kembali dari Umrah, hati saya jadi bergelora dan tidak senang. Saya mempunyai artikel dan maklumat lain yang tidak saya keluarkan selama ini. Hati saya cukup tidak tenang sehinggalah saya kembali ke rumah dan saya pos kan artikel bertajuk “Benarkah Majlis Syura PAS Pusat Menyokong Perbincangan Dengan UMNO?”.

    Selepas artikel ini dipos kan oleh saya, barulah hati saya menjadi tenang. Seolah olah, saya seperti dipaksa melakukan demikian oleh kuasa yang saya tidak nampak. Dan jelas, apabila artikel itu dipos, tidak berapa ketika ianya telah diserang oleh mereka yang amat tidak senang dengan pendedahan tersebut. Saya yang pada mulanya bercadang untuk tidak lagi menulis berkenaan isu ini, terpaksa menulis kembali. Dan nampaknya tugas saya belum selesai.

    Sedikit Maklumat Semasa Mengerjakan Umrah

    Kepada yang meminta saya berdoa di hadapan Kaabah, Alhamdulillah saya telah jalankan amanah saya. Semoga Allah SWT mengkabulkan hajat saudara/saudari semua.

    Dan saya amat gembira kali ini kerana saya telah berjumpa dengan “mentor” kesayangan saya Dato Hasan Ali di Tingkat 3, Bazzar Hilton Mekah. Walaupun pertemuan itu cukup pendek tapi ianya amat bermakna sekali untuk saya. Dan tidak sangka sama sekali saya dapat berjumpa Dato Hasan Ali di Tanah Suci Mekah.

    Saya juga dapat merasakan nikmat mengerjakan umrah di hadapan Kaabah di hadapan Masjidil Haram. Alangkah kerdil kita semua di sisi Allah SWT. Apabila kita berpakaian ihram serba putih dan mengerjakan tawaf, kita sepatutnya merasakan betapa kerdilnya kita di hadapan Allah SWT. Di kala ini, segala jawatan dan kekayaan kita letak di belakang. Semua yang ada pasa masa itu serupa sahaja taraf mereka, yakni hamba Allah SWT.

    Semasa Saiee’, saya telah dapat merasakan apa yang diaalami oleh Siti Sarah semasa mencari air untuk anaknya Nabi Ismail. Saya cuba bayangkan betapa tingginya Iman Nabi Ibrahim yang telah meninggalkan isteri dan anak kesayangannya di antara Bukit Safa dan Marwa. Ibadah Saiee’ itu sepatutnya menyedarkan kita semua betapa pentingnya kita tunduk kepada perintah Allah SWT sebagaimana tunduknya Nabi Ibrahim AS. Umrah kali ini cukup bermakna untuk saya dan saya amat sedih bila meninggalkan Masjidil Haram.

    Saya tak sabar untuk kembali lagi semasa bulan Zulhijjah untuk mengerjakan Rukun Islam yang kelima, yakni Haji. Semoga Allah SWT menjemput saya mengerjakan haji di Mekah tahun ini, inshaalah. Dan di pagi Aidilfitri yang mulia ini saya ingin mengucapkan “Eid Mubarak” dan “Kullu Sanna Entu Tayibiin” kepada semua pembaca Malaysiawaves.






    Tulang Besi


    .
    Read more!(Selanjutnya)

    TranungKite Guna Taktik Desperado Untuk Tutup Pekung Fraksi UMNO?

    Tranung Kite telah melancarakan serangan secara bersiri ke atas saya lantaran dari artikel saya“Benarkah Majlis Syura PAS Pusat Menyokong Perbincangan Dengan UMNO?” . Hati saya bercampur gembira dan sedih. Gembira kerana tulisan saya di atas adalah mengenai sasaran (atau dalam bahasa org putih “bulls eye”). Sedih sebab tak sangka Songkok Putih sampai ke tahap biadap dan tak tahu etika dan tatasusila.Here is the beginning of my post.


    Tranung Kite tidak mahu menafikan artikel ini secara “direct”. Lantaran mereka mengambil langkah menyerang pribadi saya dengan menaikkan tulisan saya yang berumur 2-3 bulan dahulu. Kenapa tak bidas sejak awal dahulu ye? Kenapa ambil email pribadi saya tanpa kebenaran saya, bukankah ini biadap namanya?

    Malahan dalam salah satu email pribadi beliau dengan saya beliau telah berjanji seperti berikut:

    “1. Isnya-Allah perbincangan antara peribadi enta dengan ana adalah rashia peribadi. Jika ana tak setuju dengan enta ana akan menulis secara umum melihat dan menggunakan nama yang enta menulis.”


    Ertinya Tranung Kite/Songkok Putih telah melanggar janji dia sendiri. Dan saya amat yakin beliau melakukan demikian dalam keadaan tidak sengaja lantaran bahaya yang menanti ke atas kumpulan beliau dari artikel saya di atas.


    Yakni natijah dari rahsia samada keputusan bermuzakarah dengan UMNO itu benar-benar diluluskan oleh Majlis Syura atau tidak pecah. (Saya ada bukti lain tapi saya malas nak keluarkan).

    Lantas mesti dikambus dan dipertahankan rahsia ini. Justeru pribadi saya diserang dan tuduhan seperti tidak menghormati pimpinan dan membuat tuduhan jijik dilontarkan kepada saya. Email pribadi yang sudah dijanji tidak dipecahkan juga dipecahkan juga.

    Hairannya artikel dari laman nista dan fitnah Anti Husam sudah beberapa kali menghiasi laman Tranung Kite. Yang itu tidak pula Songkok Putih menjadikan ia isu? Yang laman saya ini yang sudah sememangnya dig am sekian lama menjadi sasaran beliau pula.

    Juga soalan saya sejak sekian lama masih belum dijawab oleh Tranung Kite dan juga Songkok Putih, yakni: “Adakah saudara bersetuju PAS menyertai Barisan Nasional”?

    Apabila ditanya berbagai alasan digunakan sedangkan jawapannya mudah, samada Ya atau Tidak. Bagi saya jawapannya adalah TIDAK. Bagi saudara Songkok Putih/Tranung Kite, jawapannya masih misteri.

    Artikel saya menaikkan fakta yang tidak dapat disangkal, yakni:

    a. Tiada minit mesyuarat Majlis Syura membenarkan Muzakarah dengan UMNO, apatah lagi berjumpa dalam gelap

    b. Mursyidul Am sendiri tidak mengetahui keputusan Majlis Syura ini sedangkan beliau adalah Pengerusi Majlis Syura

    c. AJK PAS Pusat tidak mengetahui adanya muzakarah tersebut sehingga pendedahan yang dilakukan oleh Pak Lah.


    Adakah Email Pribadi Saya itu SAtu Hujjah Yang Kuat.


    Tranung Kite silap guna email pribadi saya. Ini kerana kandungan dalam email pribadi saya itu tidak semestinya mencerminkan sikap dan pendirian saya.

    Ini kerana di dalam mendapat maklumat yang biasanya susah hendak didapati secara ikhlas, maka saya terpaksa menggunakan taktik “provokasi”. Misalnya, email yang disiarkan oleh Tranung Kite adalah salah satu contoh taktik yang biasa saya gunakan.


    Saudara,
    Lebih2 lagi saya mendapat maklumat ini dari majoriti AJK PAS Pusat jugak? Saya dapat maklumat dari orang yang menganjurkan pertemuan itu.
    Pertemuan Najib-Ustaz Nasa di London. Saya tahu kat mana pertemuan itu berlaku dan saya tahu kenapa ia dilakukan.
    Saya juga tahu tawaran yang diberikan oleh Najib Tun Razak. Dan saya dedahkan tawaran UMNO tersebut dengan jelas dan terang. Apa ahli PAS smeua takda hak ke nak tau apa yang pemimpin2 mereka buat dan lakukan?”


    Soal kandungan email ini benar atau tidak tak menjadi isu bagi saya kerana ianya bertujuan untuk “provokasi” dan bersifat pribadi dan tidak disiar kepada umum. JAdi ianya tidak sepatutnya menjadi bahan fitnah.

    Sememangnya saya tahu orang di belakang Tranung Kite adalah pro Harun Taib. Jadi, secara naturalnya, mereka akan menjadi penentang Ustaz Nasa, kerana Ustaz Nasa telah menumpaskan Ustaz Harun Taib dalam pemilihan Timbalan Presiden.

    Sengaja saya hantar email ini untuk melihat apa reaksi Tranung Kite. Dan apa yang saya lihat Tranung Kite senyap sunyi dan tidak mahu membela Ustaz Nasa langsung. Ini bermakna pada waktu itu, perasaan mereka terhadap Ustaz Nasa masih belum baik.


    Tetapi sekarang ini, tiba-tiba Tranung Kite berkata:


    Ok Oleh kerana awak ada maklumat daripada orang yang menganjurkannya. Sila dedahkannya. Saya cabar awak. Jangan awak buat Ustaz Nasaruddin teraniya dengan fitnah ini tanpa bukti.”


    Bagi saya ini bermakna kumpulan Fraksi UMNO telah meletakkan perbezaan mereka di tepi demi mencapai matlamat bersama mereka, yakni membawa PAS masuk UMNO. Ertinya kesepakatan Fraksi UMNO telah semakin mantap berbanding 3 bulan dahulu masa email ini saya hantar. Ia juga bererti Fraksi UMNO dalam keadaan desperado sehingga sanggup mengenepikan perbezaan mereka yang selama ini wujud dengan tegar sekali.


    Semua email saya kepada Tranung Kite sebenarnya majoriti mengandungi elemen provokasi yang penting kepada saya di dalam saya membaca taktik Fraksi UMNO. Dan saya tak nampak email ini sebagai fitnah kerana ianya adalah email pribadi dan bertujuan provokasi kepada Tranung Kite untuk saya mendapat maklumat “between the lines” yang lebih penting bagi saya.


    Dan ada juga yang saya sengaja “serang” salah seorang demi untuk mempertahankan orang yang saya serang itu dari menjadi mangsa fitnah dan nista Fraksi UMNO. Tapi saya tak nak bagitau sapa la.


    Pokok pangkal, email pribadi tidak seharusnya dijadikan hujjah kerana ianya adalah mengandungi seribu satu tafsiran. Dan dalam isu ini saya menggunakan kapasiti email pribadi untuk mendapat maklumat yang sukar didapati dengan cara biasa.


    Tapi nak buat macam mana, kalau dengan Tok Guru Nik Aziz pun puak Fraksi UMNO ni boleh biadap, inikan pula dengan saya.


    Tranung Kite juga menyuruh saya menjawab dan memberi bukti beberapa dakwaan yang saya buat. Tapi saya dah jawab dalam “comment section” artikel kedua beliau di sini.


    OK lah saya kena berenti di sini. Esok nak bangun awal sebab nak solat Aidil Fitri. Kami kat sini dah raya dah. Di Malaysia kena puasa lagi satu hari. Jangan jealous….:).


    Kepada semua rakyat Malaysia saya ucapkan “Eid Mubarak” dan “Kullu Sanna Entu Tayibbin”.


    Tulang Besi

    29 September 2008

    Read more!(Selanjutnya)

    Monday, September 29, 2008

    Roslan SMS Setuju Pakatan Rakyat Serasi Dengan Al Quran dan Sunnah

    Saya rasa menyesal menyerang Roslan SMS sebelum ini. Mungkin saya telah membuat kesimpulan yang salah terhadap segala tulisan beliau sebelum ini. Tapi saya telah mendapat bukti bahawa Roslan SMS bersetuju bahawa Pakatan Rakyat selari dengan Al Quran dan As Sunnah.

    Beberapa artikel Roslan SMS semenjak-dua menjak ini, tampaknya menekankan betapa pentingnya PAS berpegang dengan Al Quran dan Sunnah.


    Misalnya beliau nyatakan bahawa:


    “PAS kita yakin akan terus teguh dan kukuh. Apa sahaja perbezaan pandangan di kalangan kita perlu kembali kepada panduan tertinggi kita. Perbezaan itu tidak wajar dibawa sehingga memecah-belahkan jemaah, kerana ini gerakan Islam, tiada siapa di antara kita yang mahu terlibat dan dipersalahkan dalam memecahkan kesatuan Islam yang telah sama-sama kita bentuk dengan darah dan air mata ini.”


    Roslan juga sering mengulangi pernyataan betapa PAS sanggup tinggal satu kerusi parlimen demi untuk mempertahankan prinsip Al Quran dan Al Hadeeth An Nabawi (SAW).


    “Lantas kita sedar bahawa ini merupakan anugerah Allah SWT kepada kita yang perlu dipikul dengan penuh amanah dan tanggungjawab. Apapun, asas dan prinsip kita tidak sekali-kali akan berubah, kita akan kekal mendaulatkan Islam sama ada dalam keadaan kita tinggal 1 kerusi parlimen dan beberapa kerat kerusi Dun atau kini dengan 107 kerusi.”


    Roslan SMS Ahli Majlis Perbandaran Subang Jaya


    Saya telah pergi ke laman web rasmi Majlis Perbandaran Subang Jaya untuk melihat senarai Ahli Majlis mereka. Dan saya mendapati Ahli Majlis yang bernombor 20 adalah saudara Roslan SMS sendiri seperti yang ditunjukkan di bawah:














    Boleh juga dilihat di laman rasmi Majlis Perbandaran Subang Jaya dengan klik di sini.


    Saya bergembira kerana dengan kekalnya Saudara Roslan di situ membuktikan bahawa Pakatan Rakyat adalah sebuah organisasi yang berdasarkan kepada Al Quran dan As Sunnah.


    Sekiranya tidak, sudah tentu Saudara Roslan SMS sudah menghantar notis letak jawatan serta merta. Tetapi nampaknya gambar dan “detail” Roslan SMS masih terpapar di web rasmi MPSJ tersebut.


    Ini kerana kerajaan tempatan di bawah MPSJ adalah sebuah kerajaan tempatan yang berdasarkan kepada Pakatan Rakyat dan bukannya PAS.


    Sekali lagi saya nyatakan kegembiraan saya. Alhamdulillah.


    Tulang Besi


    ps Puas saya cari dalam blog Roslan SMS tapi takda pula Roslan kata beliau menentang kemasukan PAS dalam BN. Tak tau la mungkin saya tak jumpa.


    Malahan, saya tak nampak kenyataan menentang PAS masuk BN dalam semua blog yang dikatakan pro kepada Fraksi UMNO i..e Merah Tinta, Tranung Kite, blog Anti Husam.


    Kenapa ye???


    .
    Read more!(Selanjutnya)

    Tulang Besi Diserang Tranung Kite

    Tulang Besi telah menyiarkan seutus surat pembaca bertajuk “Benarkah Majlis Syura PAS Pusat Menyokong Perbincangan Dengan UMNO”. Maka tidak sampai sepekan, laman web Tranung Kite telah menyiarkan artikel bertujuan untuk menghancurkan kredibiliti saya. Artikel tersebut bertajuk “ BicaraWebmaster Tranung Kite fraksi UMNO, Tulang Besi fraksi siapa? - Siri 1”. Artikel tersebut ditulis oleh webmaster Tranung Kite sendiri yang menggunakan “nom de guare” Songkok Putih (SP).


    Jadi, demi untuk menjawab soalan SP, maka saya nyatakan dengan tegas bahawa Tulang Besi adalah FRAKSI PAS. Lagi sekali saya ulangi, Tulang Besi adalah Fraksi PAS.


    Artikel tersebut panjang dan SP telah mendedahkan beberapa email “pribadi” antara saya dengan beliau. Sepatutnya, mengikut akhlak dan tatasusila kemanusian, email yang berbentuk pribadi tidak seharusnya disiarkan kepada umum melainkan ianya mendapat persetujuan kedua-dua belah pihak. Email pribadi melambangkan kepercayaan di antara kedua-dua belah pihak yang menghantar dan menerima email tersebut.


    Saya mendapati pihak Songkok Putih/Tranung Kite bersikap sangat tidak berakhlak dan tidak bertatasusila kerana menyiarkan email pribadi ini tanpa mendapat kebenaran dari saya.

    Namun, ini tidaklah bermakna saya takut dengan isi kandungan email saya itu kerana saya tidak takut dan bertanggungjawab dengan segala tulisan saya. Tetapi yang menjadi isu yang lebih besar lagi apabila SP mengambil email pribadi saya secara “cut-and paste” dan tidak menyiarkan keseluruhan email saya. Dengan kata lain, beliau mengambil sebahagian dan menyiarkan sebahagian dengan mengambil bahagian yang beliau yakin akan memburukan imej saya.

    Saya ambil contoh dari artikel SP bahawa kononnya saya memfitnah kerana mengatakan Tuan Guru bertemu UMNO seperti di bawah:

    "(Mana mungkin Tuan Guru bersama dengan 9 orang berjumpa Pak Lah dan pada masa sama dia ada di Rumahnya hanya solat zohor. Saya sendiri melihat batang tubuh beliau... Tulang Besi, Tulang Besi banyaknya dosa awak!!!)"

    Namu Songko Putih tidak pula menyiarkan email saya yang seterusnya yang menerangkan kenyataan saya yang pertama itu:


    "Jawapan: Alhmadulillah, saya bersyukur, pemaklum saya ni pun kata dia tak 100%. sebab tu saya tak publish dlm blog, saya cuma bagitau sedara Ali sahaja. Saya bagitau saudara Ali sebab saya nak dapat kepastian dulu, baru saya publish, dan saya dah dapat kepastian."

    Di sini, kita nampak “mala fide” atau niat jahat Songkok Putih di dalam menyiarkan email pribadi saya dengan dia.

    Sudahlah tak dapat kebenaran, ambik setengah-setengah pulak tu.

    Mengapa Saya Panggil Tranung Kite Fraksi UMNO

    Oleh kerana kita di dalam mood mendedahkan email pribadi, suka saya nyatakan di sini sebab sebenar saya merasakan Tranung Kite pro kepada Fraksi UMNO.

    Ada beberapa sebab, antaranya:

    1. Saya menghantar banyak email pribadi pada Songkok Putih bertanya adakah beliau setuju PAS masuk BN. Namun beliau tidak pernah menjawab dan membisu seribu bahasa. Misalnya salah satu email saya bertanya soalan ini pada Songkok Putih:

      "Saya nak dapat kepastian dari saudara, adakah saudara menyokong PAS masuk BN? Kalau tidak maka kita adalah berada di atas landasan yang sama dan kita boleh menyelesaikan perbezaan.

      Kalau saudara bersetuju, saya tak boleh nak buat apa la. Saya ada amanah yang saya pikul."

      Hairan saya kenapa soalan mudah sebegini Songkok Putih susah nak jawab? Beliau diam seribu bahasa

    1. Antara lain ialah Tranung Kite kerap menyiarkan artikel dari blog AntiHusam. Soalnya sekarang, mengapa Tranung Kite memberi ruang yang besar kepada sebuah blog yang jelas memfitnah dan menista pimpinan seperti ini? Bukankah ini satu tindakan yang berlawanan dengan akhlak berjemaah? Bagaimana Tranung Kite boleh menyokong tindakan yang jelas berlawanan dengan akhlak berjemaan seperti ini. Bukankah Husam Musa juga seorang pimpinan, yakni Naibn Presiden PAS? Dan bukan sekali Tranung Kite menyiarkan artikel dari blog Anti Husam ini.

    1. Dalam isu Mustafa Ali vs Tok Guru Nik Aziz, Tranung Kite telah mengambil sikap “atas pagar” dan tidak mahu menyebelahi Tok Guru Nik Aziz? Mengapa? Seharusnya semua Ahli PAS mesti berada di belakang Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat dalam isu ini.

    Dan banyak lagi kalau saya nak sebut tapi biar kat situ dulu.

    Motivasi Sebenar Serangan Tranung Kite Terhadap Saya

    Hakikatnya, serangan Songkok Putih yang terbaru terhadap saya ini adalah percubaan desperate beliau terhadap pendedahan terbaru yang saya siarkan, yakni:

    " Benarkah Syura Mengizinkan Perbincangan Dengan UMNO


    Artikel terbaru saya ini telah mendedahkan betapa Majlis Syura telah diperkudakan oleh puak fraksi UMNO sehingga Mursyidul Am dan AJK PAS Pusat diketepikan sama sekali.

    Dengan kata lain, AJK PAS Pusat dan Mursyidul Am telah diperkudakan oleh sebahagian Ahli Majlis Syura Ulama. Saya menyiar artikel ini kerana saya rungsing dan bimbang tentang bagaimana Majlis Syura Ulama berjaya di “hijack” oleh mereka yang berkepentingan.

    Hakikatnya, isu perpecahan dalam PAS yang ada sekarang ini tidak akan berlaku sekiranya semangat Syura dihormati. Sekiranya semua pihak dirujuk, nescaya perkara ini tidak menjadi isu.

    Songkok Putih telah memberi amaran kepada saya bahawa dia akan terus menerus mendedahkan fitnah dan penipuan saya. Tapi setakat ini, berdasarkan siri satu artikel beliau tulis, kita tidak nampak apa-apa penipuan ataupun fitnah. Yang ada hanyalah tindakan tidak berakhlak dari Songkok Putih/Tranung Kite.

    Saya masih menaruh harapan untuk meneruskan persahabatan saya dengan Songkok Putih. Sekiranya persahabatan ini terputus, percayalah ianya tidak diputuskan oleh saya.

    Tulang Besi
    Read more!(Selanjutnya)

    Sunday, September 28, 2008

    "Eid Mubarak" and "Kullu Sanna Entu Tayibbin" to all Malaysiawaves Readers


    I would like to take this opportunity to wish all Malaysiawaves readers "Eid Mubarak" (Happy Feast/Selamat Hari Raya) and "Kullu Sanah Entu Tayibeen" (May all of u be in excellent state all year long).

    May this Eid be the most memorable one for all of us.

    (BM) Malaysiawaves ingin mengucapkan Selamat Hari Raya AidilFitri dan Maaf Zahir Batin kepada semua pembaca Malaysiawaves. Semoga kita semua diberkati Allah sepanjang tahun hendaknya.

    (Picture courtesy of Evi Syari')
    Tulang Besi



    Read more!(Selanjutnya)

    Benarkah Majlis Syura PAS Pusat Menyokong Perbincangan Dengan UMNO?

    Di bawah adalah artikel yang dihantar oleh seorang pemerhati dan pembaca Malaysiawaves. Mungkin ianya mengandungi pengajaran yang begitu berharga kepada kita semua.

    Saya minta maaf sebab isu ini masih berada di benak saya. Malahan, malumat yang saya dapati adalah alasan yang masih dimainkan oleh fraksi UMNO di kalangan keseluruhan Ahli dan penyokong PAS. Ada beberapa persoalan yang masih belum terjawab dan perlu diuraikan dengan sistematik.

    Saya mendapat tahu juga ketua “fraksi UMNO” telah berjumpa dengan kumpulan Pak Lah dan telah meminta supaya tarikh baru diberikan kepada mereka di dalam membawa PAS masuk kembali kepada UMNO. Mereka meminta supaya diberikan masa kepada mereka sehingga akhir Disember 2008.

    Dan perkembangan terbaru menunjukkan Pak Lah berkeras hendak duduk di kerusi PM sehingga 2010. Ini bagi saya adalah taktik untuk membeli masa “buy time” bagi membolehkan “fraksi UMNO” melakukan kerja-kerja kotor mereka membawa PAS masuk BN.

    Fraksi UMNO Masih Aktif Menyebarkan “Racun” Mereka


    Beberapa persoalan yang bermain dibenak saya adalah:

    a. Dari blog Anti Husam, mereka mendakwa bahwa Husam Musa tidak menghormati keputusan Syura. Malahan, pemimpin fraksi UMNO dengan bangganya menyatakan tindakan mereka berjumpa UMNO adalahn atas arahan dari Syura

    JAWAPAN: Jika benar ia keputusan Majlis Syura PAS Pusat:

    i. Mengapa Pengerusi Majlis Syura PAS Pusat, Tok Guru Nik Aziz, tidak
    mengetahui tentang keputusan ini

    ii. Mengapa Minit Mesyuarat Syura yang didalam memberi arahan kepada beliau
    TIDAK PERNAH DIBENTANG dalam mesyuarat AJK PAS Pusat?

    iii. Yang kita dengar, termasuklah dari ucapan perasmian Muktamar Pemuda PAS
    Pusat, hanyalah wujudnya arahan dari Syura. Malangnya, tiada satu “DOKUMEN”
    baik dalam bentuk minit mesyuarat ataupun surat yang ditanda tangani oleh
    Pengerusi Majlis Syura wujud bagi membuktikan wujudnya arahan tersebut.

    iv. Malahan yang wujud hanyalah surat dari Pengerusi Majlis Syura mengarahkan
    pemberhentian SEMUA tindakan bermuzakarah dengan UMNO. Tapi, muzakarah masih
    diteruskan oleh fraksi UMNO walaupun terdapat surat arahan.

    v. Mengapa Mustafa Ali dipilih sebagai mewakili PAS? Jika benar hendak
    berdakwah dengan UMNO, seeloknya PAS diwakili oleh Ustaz Ahmad Awang ataupun
    Ustaz Hashim Jasin?

    vi. Apa pun keputusan Syura, ianya mesti dibahas dan dihalusi di Mesyuarat AJK
    PAS Pusat kerana AJK PAS Pusat mewakili KESELURUHAN AHLI PAS.

    vii. Sepatunya Syura tiada kuasa untuk membuat keputusan dalam hal ini kecuali
    hanya untuk memastikan tindakan ini sesuai atau tidak dengan Syariee?

    viii. Ini membuatkan saya sangsi kepada ucapan Timbalan Presiden PAS sewaktu
    merasmikan Muktamar Pemuda PAS. Ada kemungkinan Timbalan Presiden PAS (dan
    keseluruhan fraksi UMNO) telah berbohong kepada semua ahli PAS dengan
    mengatakan bahawa tindakan ini adalah atas “arahan syura”?

    ix. Sekiranya Timbalan Presiden PAS tidak berbohong, sila tunjukkan minit
    mesyuarat Syura tersebut kepada keseluruhan Ahli PAS yang mana minit
    tersebut mesti ditanda tangani oleh Pengerusi Syura, Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik
    Mat sebagai pengesahan.

    Mengikut urutan persoalan yang saya timbulkan diatas, saya ingin melahirkan perasaan bimbang dan runsing saya yang amat sangat. Ini kerana is menunjukkan bahawa Majlis Syura Ulama PAS boleh di “hijack” dan di ambil aloh dengan sewenangnya sehingga ke tahap Pengerui Majlis Syura sendiri, Tok Guru Nik Aziz di ketepikan.

    Saya nampak, Majlis Syura Ulama PAS telah mengalami “coup-de-tat” ataupun rampasan kuasa secara paksa oleh fraksi UMNO. Bukan setakat itu, Majlis Syura Ulama telah digunakan untuk mengenepikan AJK PAS Pusat samasekali seolah-olah AJK PAS Pusat serta Dewan Harian PAS Pusat tidak berhak memberi pandangan dalam hal ini.

    Taktik yang digunakan oleh Fraksi UMNO ini amat jijik dan amat memualkan. Majlis Syura Ulama bertindak dengan kuku besi dan sanggup membelakangi Mursyidul Am sendiri.

    Ini juga bermakna Majlis Syura Ulama PAS terbuka kepada ambil alih secara mudah oleh sesiapa sahaja yang mahu. Dan halatuju PAS juga amat mudah dibentuk hasil dari betapa mudahnya Majlis Syura Ulama PAS diambil alih seperti yang kita lihat baru-baru ini.

    Hanya kerana kehendak fraksi UMNO, Majlis Syura berjaya diambil alih? Saya amat konfius.

    Pemerhati Politik PAS

    Read more!(Selanjutnya)

    Wednesday, September 24, 2008

    To Islam, "Shariah" is Synonymous to "Rule of Law"

    I think the Noah Feldman article may be a bit complex and lengthy for many to spend time to read and understand. Below are summary to the article that I think will help many to understand the Noah Feldman article better.


    But first let me explain my motivation for doing this. It is not by anyway trying to influence Non Muslims into accepting the Shariah as their overriding law. I strongly believe that Non Muslims should not be subjected to the Shariah as they do not believe in the Quran and Sunnah.

    If you don’t accept Shariah, that is your right. I won’t fault you for it.. But I take offense when lies are being uttered with regards to Islam and Shariah. That is my motivation for writing many postings on Shariah lately. It’s not by any way trying to campaign for Shariah, it is only meant to fight lies and half-truth currently being aired in the blogwave by a few unscrupulous “Muslims”.

    Notice that I am promoting an article written by a Jewish author and opposing articles written by people who claims to be Muslims i.e. Raja Petra, Mustafa Akyol, Haris Ibrahim etc. To me, it’s not important who says it, what’s important is what is being said.

    Summary of Noah Feldman Article

    Here is the summarized version of the article for our easy understanding:

    1. The Shariah has been the instrument for maintaining the “rule of law” in the 1400 years of Islamic rule, whether it’s Caliphate or Sultanate.

    1. To Muslims, the concept of “Rule of Law” and “Shariah” is interchangeable. This is because the Shariah has been instrumental in preventing power concentrated to the executive (in the form of Caliphate or Sultans)

    1. Since Shariah, derived from Al Quran, As Sunnah, Ijma (Consensud) and Qiyas (allegory) cannot stand on it’s own, it requires a group of people in the society to “operate” it. This group of people has come to be known to us as Scholars, “Ulama” or “Mullah”.

    1. Caliphates and Sultans gains their legitimacy as rulers and executives from the “Scholar”class. In return, the power to legislate and adjudicate are given to the “scholars” thus ensuring the rule of law.

    1. The Caliphates are limited to executive decisions and regulations but they have control of the Army. However, since the “Ulama” has control in matters of laws, the balance of power is maintained.

    1. In short, “rule of law” and “separation of powers” has been in practice in Islam for the last 1400 years.

    1. Mullah’s and Scholars have been the agent of stability and predictability as quoted below:


    As a confident, self-defined elite that controlled and administered the law according to well-settled rules, the scholars were agents of stability and predictability — crucial in societies where the transition from one ruler to the next could be disorderly and even violent.”

    1. They are a good check and balance to the government in terms of preventing tyranny and oppression

    And by controlling the law, the scholars could limit the ability of the executive to expropriate the property of private citizens. This, in turn, induced the executive to rely on lawful taxation to raise revenues, which itself forced the rulers to be responsive to their subjects’ concerns.”

    1. The last Chaliphate, the Ottomans, even tried to introduce democracy and open elections to elect their executive bodies. If the Ottoman was not toppled, they would have been the first democratic political institution in Modern Europe

    1. Success of Islam is attributable to Shariah as Noah Feldman puts it:

      The scholars and their law were thus absolutely essential to the tremendous success that Islamic society enjoyed from its inception into the 19th century.”

    1. “Shariah” is actually a “higher law” with some specifics. It is fixed and cannot be altered. In matters where the Shariah is silence, or in specifics not addressed by Shariah, and where most of Islamic Jurisprudence activities happen, the area is known as “Fiqh”.

    1. So, there is no such thing as Islam being rigid and inflexible as matters with regards to modern world challenges is debated in “Fiqh” wth the use of “Al Ijtihad”.

    In conclusion, I’d like to stress again the fact that Shariah and Islam is heavily being discredited with lies and half-truths by people who claims to be “muslims:. I am not advocating that Shariah is imposed on Non Muslims.

    I am just asking the Non Muslims community in this country to understand why “Shariah” is such a fundamental aspect of Muslim’s life. Please do not take advice on Shariah and Islam from known enemies of “Shariah” like Zainah Anwar, Haris Ibrahim, RPK, Mustafa Akyol and the rest.

    Tulang Besi

    .
    Read more!(Selanjutnya)

    Tuesday, September 23, 2008

    Why Shariah Should Not Be Feared or Dreaded

    Recently we have seen the rise of articles attacking Islam as a comprehensive way of life. What is saddening is that these writings originates from individuals who claims to be Muslims. The article i quote below is written by a Harvard professor by the name of Noah Feldman. It shall answers common accusations levelled against Islam by modernists that we have always heard.
    Accusations such as:
    a. Islam advocates totalitarianism
    b. Islam is not in line with modern day realities
    c. Islam is not progressive
    d. Islam advocates "rule of theocracy". In fact this article proves that Islamic Shariah is the OPPOSITE of Theocracy
    e. Islamists advocates totalitarianism and godlessness (sic)
    f. Ulama and Mullah is the source of Muslim's backwardeness.(This article proves otherwise)

    What strikes me as funny is that while many of those who claims to be Muslims willingly spreading lies and deception about Islam, a Jewish man by the name of Noah Feldman took the initiative to provide the correct picture of "Islamic Polity".

    Please also remember that Shariah is a law applied to Muslims only. But, i leave it to you readers to make your own conclusions.

    NOTE: This article was published in the New York Times Entitled "Why Syariah" by Noah Feldman, a contributing writer for the magazine, is a law professor at Harvard University and an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. This essay is adapted from his book “The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State,” which will be published later.

    (Start)Last month, Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, gave a nuanced, scholarly lecture in London about whether the British legal system should allow non-Christian courts to decide certain matters of family law. Britain has no constitutional separation of church and state. The archbishop noted that “the law of the Church of England is the law of the land” there; indeed, ecclesiastical courts that once handled marriage and divorce are still integrated into the British legal system, deciding matters of church property and doctrine. His tentative suggestion was that, subject to the agreement of all parties and the strict requirement of protecting equal rights for women, it might be a good idea to consider allowing Islamic and Orthodox Jewish courts to handle marriage and divorce.Then all hell broke loose. From politicians across the spectrum to senior church figures and the ubiquitous British tabloids came calls for the leader of the world’s second largest Christian denomination to issue a retraction or even resign. Williams has spent the last couple of years trying to hold together the global Anglican Communion in the face of continuing controversies about ordaining gay priests and recognizing same-sex marriages.

    Yet little in that contentious battle subjected him to the kind of outcry that his reference to religious courts unleashed. Needless to say, the outrage was not occasioned by Williams’s mention of Orthodox Jewish law. For the purposes of public discussion, it was the word “Shariah” that was radioactive. In some sense, the outrage about according a degree of official status to Shariah in a Western country should come as no surprise. No legal system has ever had worse press.

    To many, the word “Shariah” conjures horrors of hands cut off, adulterers stoned and women oppressed. By contrast, who today remembers that the much-loved English common law called for execution as punishment for hundreds of crimes, including theft of any object worth five shillings or more? How many know that until the 18th century, the laws of most European countries authorized torture as an official component of the criminal-justice system? As for sexism, the common law long denied married women any property rights or indeed legal personality apart from their husbands.

    When the British applied their law to Muslims in place of Shariah, as they did in some colonies, the result was to strip married women of the property that Islamic law had always granted them — hardly progress toward equality of the sexes.

    In fact, for most of its history, Islamic law offered the most liberal and humane legal principles available anywhere in the world. Today, when we invoke the harsh punishments prescribed by Shariah for a handful of offenses, we rarely acknowledge the high standards of proof necessary for their implementation. Before an adultery conviction can typically be obtained, for example, the accused must confess four times or four adult male witnesses of good character must testify that they directly observed the sex act.

    The extremes of our own legal system — like life sentences for relatively minor drug crimes, in some cases — are routinely ignored. We neglect to mention the recent vintage of our tentative improvements in family law. It sometimes seems as if we need Shariah as Westerners have long needed Islam: as a canvas on which to project our ideas of the horrible, and as a foil to make us look good.

    In the Muslim world, on the other hand, the reputation of Shariah has undergone an extraordinary revival in recent years. A century ago, forward-looking Muslims thought of Shariah as outdated, in need of reform or maybe abandonment. Today, 66 percent of Egyptians, 60 percent of Pakistanis and 54 percent of Jordanians say that Shariah should be the only source of legislation in their countries. Islamist political parties, like those associated with the transnational Muslim Brotherhood, make the adoption of Shariah the most prominent plank in their political platforms.

    And the message resonates. Wherever Islamists have been allowed to run for office in Arabic-speaking countries, they have tended to win almost as many seats as the governments have let them contest. The Islamist movement in its various incarnations — from moderate to radical — is easily the fastest growing and most vital in the Muslim world; the return to Shariah is its calling card.How is it that what so many Westerners see as the most unappealing and premodern aspect of Islam is, to many Muslims, the vibrant, attractive core of a global movement of Islamic revival? The explanation surely must go beyond the oversimplified assumption that Muslims want to use Shariah to reverse feminism and control women — especially since large numbers of women support the Islamists in general and the ideal of Shariah in particular.

    Is Shariah the Rule of Law?

    One reason for the divergence between Western and Muslim views of Shariah is that we are not all using the word to mean the same thing. Although it is commonplace to use the word “Shariah” and the phrase “Islamic law” interchangeably, this prosaic English translation does not capture the full set of associations that the term “Shariah” conjures for the believer. Shariah, properly understood, is not just a set of legal rules. To believing Muslims, it is something deeper and higher, infused with moral and metaphysical purpose.

    At its core, Shariah represents the idea that all human beings — and all human governments — are subject to justice under the law.In fact, “Shariah” is not the word traditionally used in Arabic to refer to the processes of Islamic legal reasoning or the rulings produced through it: that word is fiqh, meaning something like Islamic jurisprudence. The word “Shariah” connotes a connection to the divine, a set of unchanging beliefs and principles that order life in accordance with God’s will. Westerners typically imagine that Shariah advocates simply want to use the Koran as their legal code.

    But the reality is much more complicated. Islamist politicians tend to be very vague about exactly what it would mean for Shariah to be the source for the law of the land — and with good reason, because just adopting such a principle would not determine how the legal system would actually operate.

    Shariah is best understood as a kind of higher law, albeit one that includes some specific, worldly commands. All Muslims would agree, for example, that it prohibits lending money at interest — though not investments in which risks and returns are shared; and the ban on Muslims drinking alcohol is an example of an unequivocal ritual prohibition, even for liberal interpreters of the faith. Some rules associated with Shariah are undoubtedly old-fashioned and harsh. Men and women are treated unequally, for example, by making it hard for women to initiate divorce without forfeiting alimony. The prohibition on sodomy, though historically often unenforced, makes recognition of same-sex relationships difficult to contemplate.

    But Shariah also prohibits bribery or special favors in court. It demands equal treatment for rich and poor. It condemns the vigilante-style honor killings that still occur in some Middle Eastern countries. And it protects everyone’s property — including women’s — from being taken from them.

    Unlike in Iran, where wearing a head scarf is legally mandated and enforced by special religious police, the Islamist view in most other Muslim countries is that the head scarf is one way of implementing the religious duty to dress modestly — a desirable social norm, not an enforceable legal rule.

    And mandating capital punishment for apostasy is not on the agenda of most elected Islamists.

    For many Muslims today, living in corrupt autocracies, the call for Shariah is not a call for sexism, obscurantism or savage punishment but for an Islamic version of what the West considers its most prized principle of political justice: the rule of law.

    The Sway of the Scholars

    To understand Shariah’s deep appeal, we need to ask a crucial question that is rarely addressed in the West: What, in fact, is the system of Islamic law? In his lifetime, the Prophet Muhammad was both the religious and the political leader of the community of Muslim believers. His revelation, the Koran, contained some laws, pertaining especially to ritual matters and inheritance; but it was not primarily a legal book and did not include a lengthy legal code of the kind that can be found in parts of the Hebrew Bible.

    When the first generation of believers needed guidance on a subject that was not addressed by revelation, they went directly to Muhammad. He either answered of his own accord or, if he was unsure, awaited divine guidance in the form of a new revelation.With the death of Muhammad, divine revelation to the Muslim community stopped. The role of the political-religious leader passed to a series of caliphs (Arabic for “substitute”) who stood in the prophet’s stead. That left the caliph in a tricky position when it came to resolving difficult legal matters.

    The caliph possessed Muhammad’s authority but not his access to revelation. It also left the community in something of a bind. If the Koran did not speak clearly to a particular question, how was the law to be determined?The answer that developed over the first couple of centuries of Islam was that the Koran could be supplemented by reference to the prophet’s life — his sunna, his path. (The word “sunna” is the source of the designation Sunni — one who follows the prophet’s path.) His actions and words were captured in an oral tradition, beginning presumably with a person who witnessed the action or statement firsthand. Accurate reports had to be distinguished from false ones. But of course even a trustworthy report on a particular situation could not directly resolve most new legal problems that arose later.

    To address such problems, it was necessary to reason by analogy(qiyas) from one situation to another. There was also the possibility that a communal consensus (ijma) existed on what to do under particular circumstances, and that, too, was thought to have substantial weight.This fourfold combination — the Koran, the path of the prophet as captured in the collections of reports, analogical reasoning and consensus —amounted to a basis for a legal system.

    But who would be able to say how these four factors fit together? Indeed, who had the authority to say that these factors and not others formed the sources of the law?

    The first four caliphs, who knew the prophet personally, might have been able to make this claim for themselves. But after them, the caliphs were faced with a growing group of specialists who asserted that they, collectively, could ascertain the law from the available sources. This self-appointed group came to be known as the scholars — and over the course of a few generations, they got the caliphs to acknowledge them as the guardians of the law.

    By interpreting a law that originated with God, they gained control over the legal system as it actually existed. That made them, and not the caliphs, into “the heirs of the prophets.”Among the Sunnis, this model took effect very early and persisted until modern times. For the Shiites, who believe that the succession of power followed the prophet’s lineage, the prophet had several successors who claimed extraordinary divine authority. Once they were gone, however, the Shiite scholars came to occupy a role not unlike that of their Sunni counterparts.

    Under the constitutional theory that the scholars developed to explain the division of labor in the Islamic state, the caliph had paramount responsibility to fulfill the divine injunction to “command the right and prohibit the wrong.” But this was not a task he could accomplish on his own. It required him to delegate responsibility to scholarly judges, who would apply God’s law as they interpreted it. The caliph could promote or fire them as he wished, but he could not dictate legal results: judicial authority came from the caliph, but the law came from the scholars.

    The caliphs — and eventually the sultans who came to rule once the caliphate lost most of its worldly influence — still had plenty of power. They handled foreign affairs more or less at their discretion. And they could also issue what were effectively administrative regulations — provided these regulations did not contradict what the scholars said Shariah required. The regulations addressed areas where Shariah was silent. They also enabled the state to regulate social conduct without having to put every case before the courts, where convictions would often be impossible to obtain because of the strict standards of proof required for punishment. As a result of these regulations, many legal matters (perhaps most) fell outside the rules given specifically by Shariah.

    The upshot is that the system of Islamic law as it came to exist allowed a great deal of leeway. That is why today’s advocates of Shariah as the source of law are not actually recommending the adoption of a comprehensive legal code derived from or dictated by Shariah — because nothing so comprehensive has ever existed in Islamic history.

    To the Islamist politicians who advocate it or for the public that supports it, Shariah generally means something else. It means establishing a legal system in which God’s law sets the ground rules, authorizing and validating everyday laws passed by an elected legislature. In other words, for them, Shariah is expected to function as something like a modern constitution.

    The Rights of Humans and the Rights of God

    So in contemporary Islamic politics, the call for Shariah does not only or primarily mean mandating the veiling of women or the use of corporal punishment — it has an essential constitutional dimension as well. But what is the particular appeal of placing Shariah above ordinary law?The answer lies in a little-remarked feature of traditional Islamic government: that a state under Shariah was, for more than a thousand years, subject to a version of the rule of law.

    And as a rule-of-law government, the traditional Islamic state had an advantage that has been lost in the dictatorships and autocratic monarchies that have governed so much of the Muslim world for the last century.

    Islamic government was legitimate, in the dual sense that it generally respected the individual legal rights of its subjects and was seen by them as doing so. These individual legal rights, known as “the rights of humans” (in contrast to “the rights of God” to such things as ritual obedience), included basic entitlements to life, property and legal process — the protections from arbitrary government oppression sought by people all over the world for centuries.

    Of course, merely declaring the ruler subject to the law was not enough on its own; the ruler actually had to follow the law. For that, he needed incentives. And as it happened, the system of government gave him a big one, in the form of a balance of power with the scholars. The ruler might be able to use pressure once in a while to get the results he wanted in particular cases. But because the scholars were in charge of the law, and he was not, the ruler could pervert the course of justice only at the high cost of being seen to violate God’s law — thereby undermining the very basis of his rule.

    In practice, the scholars’ leverage to demand respect for the law came from the fact that the caliphate was not hereditary as of right. That afforded the scholars major influence at the transitional moments when a caliph was being chosen or challenged. On taking office, a new ruler — even one designated by his dead predecessor — had to fend off competing claimants. The first thing he would need was affirmation of the legitimacy of his assumption of power. The scholars were prepared to offer just that, in exchange for the ruler’s promise to follow the law.Once in office, rulers faced the inevitable threat of invasion or a palace coup. The caliph would need the scholars to declare a religious obligation to protect the state in a defensive jihad.

    Having the scholars on his side in times of crisis was a tremendous asset for the ruler who could be said to follow the law. Even if the ruler was not law-abiding, the scholars still did not spontaneously declare a sitting caliph disqualified. This would have been foolish, especially in view of the fact that the scholars had no armies at their disposal and the sitting caliph did. But their silence could easily be interpreted as an invitation for a challenger to step forward and be validated.

    The scholars’ insistence that the ruler obey Shariah was motivated largely by their belief that it was God’s will. But it was God’s will as they interpreted it. As a confident, self-defined elite that controlled and administered the law according to well-settled rules, the scholars were agents of stability and predictability — crucial in societies where the transition from one ruler to the next could be disorderly and even violent.

    And by controlling the law, the scholars could limit the ability of the executive to expropriate the property of private citizens. This, in turn, induced the executive to rely on lawful taxation to raise revenues, which itself forced the rulers to be responsive to their subjects’ concerns. The scholars and their law were thus absolutely essential to the tremendous success that Islamic society enjoyed from its inception into the 19th century.

    Without Shariah, there would have been no Haroun al-Rashid in Baghdad, no golden age of Muslim Spain, no reign of Suleiman the Magnificent in Istanbul.

    For generations, Western students of the traditional Islamic constitution have assumed that the scholars could offer no meaningful check on the ruler. As one historian has recently put it, although Shariah functioned as a constitution, “the constitution was not enforceable,” because neither scholars nor subjects could “compel their ruler to observe the law in the exercise of government.” But almost no constitution anywhere in the world enables judges or non governmental actors to “compel” the obedience of an executive who controls the means of force. The Supreme Court of the United States has no army behind it.

    Institutions that lack the power of the sword must use more subtle means to constrain executives. Like the American constitutional balance of powers, the traditional Islamic balance was maintained by words and ideas, and not just by forcible compulsion.

    So today’s Muslims are not being completely fanciful when they act and speak as though Shariah can structure a constitutional state subject to the rule of law. One big reason that Islamist political parties do so well running on a Shariah platform is that their constituents recognize that Shariah once augured a balanced state in which legal rights were respected.

    From Shariah to Despotism

    But if Shariah is popular among many Muslims in large part because of its historical association with the rule of law, can it actually do the same work today? Here there is reason for caution and skepticism. The problem is that the traditional Islamic constitution rested on a balance of powers between a ruler subject to law and a class of scholars who interpreted and administered that law. The governments of most contemporary majority-Muslim states, however, have lost these features.

    Rulers govern as if they were above the law, not subject to it, and the scholars who once wielded so much influence are much reduced in status. If they have judicial posts at all, it is usually as judges in the family-law courts.

    In only two important instances do scholars today exercise real power, and in both cases we can see a deviation from their traditional role. The first is Iran, where Ayatollah Khomeini, himself a distinguished scholar, assumed executive power and became supreme leader after the 1979 revolution. The result of this configuration, unique in the history of the Islamic world, is that the scholarly ruler had no counterbalance and so became as unjust as any secular ruler with no check on his authority. The other is Saudi Arabia, where the scholars retain a certain degree of power. The unfortunate outcome is that they can slow any government initiative for reform, however minor, but cannot do much to keep the government responsive to its citizens. The oil-rich state does not need to obtain tax revenues from its citizens to operate — and thus has little reason to keep their interests in mind.How the scholars lost their exalted status as keepers of the law is a complex story, but it can be summed up in the adage that partial reforms are sometimes worse than none at all.

    In the early 19th century, the Ottoman empire responded to military setbacks with an internal reform movement. The most important reform was the attempt to codify Shariah. This Westernizing process, foreign to the Islamic legal tradition, sought to transform Shariah from a body of doctrines and principles to be discovered by the human efforts of the scholars into a set of rules that could be looked up in a book.Once the law existed in codified form, however, the law itself was able to replace the scholars as the source of authority.

    Codification took from the scholars their all-important claim to have the final say over the content of the law and transferred that power to the state. To placate the scholars, the government kept the Shariah courts running but restricted them to handling family-law matters. This strategy paralleled the British colonial approach of allowing religious courts to handle matters of personal status. Today, in countries as far apart as Kenya and Pakistan, Shariah courts still administer family law — a small subset of their original historical jurisdiction.

    Codification signaled the death knell for the scholarly class, but it did not destroy the balance of powers on its own. Promulgated in 1876, the Ottoman constitution created a legislature composed of two lawmaking bodies — one elected, one appointed by the sultan. This amounted to the first democratic institution in the Muslim world; had it established itself, it might have popularized the notion that the people represent the ultimate source of legal authority.

    Then the legislature could have replaced the scholars as the institutional balance to the executive.But that was not to be. Less than a year after the legislature first met, Sultan Abdulhamid II suspended its operation — and for good measure, he suspended the constitution the following year. Yet the sultan did not restore the scholars to the position they once occupied.

    With the scholars out of the way and no legislature to replace them, the sultan found himself in the position of near-absolute ruler. This arrangement set the pattern for government in the Muslim world after the Ottoman empire fell. Law became a tool of the ruler, not an authority over him. What followed, perhaps unsurprisingly, was dictatorship and other forms of executive dominance — the state of affairs confronted by the Islamists who seek to restore Shariah.

    A Democratic Shariah?

    The Islamists today, partly out of realism, partly because they are rarely scholars themselves, seem to have little interest in restoring the scholars to their old role as the constitutional balance to the executive. The Islamist movement, like other modern ideologies, seeks to capture the existing state and then transform society through the tools of modern government. Its vision for bringing Shariah to bear therefore incorporates two common features of modern government: the legislature and the constitution.The mainstream Sunni Islamist position, found, for example, in the electoral platforms of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the Justice and Development Party in Morocco, is that an elected legislature should draft and pass laws that are consistent with the spirit of Islamic law.

    On questions where Islamic law does not provide clear direction, the democratically chosen legislature is supposed to use its discretion to adopt laws infused by Islamic values.The result is a profound change in the theoretical structure underlying Islamic law: Shariah is democratized in that its care is given to a popularly elected legislature. In Iraq, for example, where the constitution declares Shariah to be “the source of law,” it is in principle up to the National Assembly to pass laws that reflect its spirit.In case the assembly gets it wrong, however, the Islamists often recommend the judicial review of legislative actions to guarantee that they do not violate Islamic law or values.

    What is sometimes called a “repugnancy clause,” mandating that a judicial body overturn laws repugnant to Islam, has made its way into several recent constitutions that seek to reconcile Islam and democracy. It may be found, for example, in the Afghan Constitution of 2004 and the Iraqi Constitution of 2005. (I had a small role advising the Iraqi drafters.) Islamic judicial review transforms the highest judicial body of the state into a guarantor of conformity with Islamic law. The high court can then use this power to push for a conservative vision of Islamic law, as in Afghanistan, or for a more moderate version, as in Pakistan.Islamic judicial review puts the court in a position resembling the one that scholars once occupied.


    Like the scholars, the judges of the reviewing court present their actions as interpretations of Islamic law. But of course the judges engaged in Islamic judicial review are not the scholars but ordinary judges (as in Iraq) or a mix of judges and scholars (as in Afghanistan). In contrast to the traditional arrangement, the judges’ authority comes not from Shariah itself but from a written constitution that gives them the power of judicial review.The modern incarnation of Shariah is nostalgic in its invocation of the rule of law but forward-looking in how it seeks to bring this result about.

    What the Islamists generally do not acknowledge, though, is that such institutions on their own cannot deliver the rule of law. The executive authority also has to develop a commitment to obeying legal and constitutional judgments. That will take real-world incentives, not just a warm feeling for the values associated with Shariah.

    How that happens — how an executive administration accustomed to overweening power can be given incentives to subordinate itself to the rule of law — is one of the great mysteries of constitutional development worldwide. Total revolution has an extremely bad track record in recent decades, at least in majority-Muslim states. The revolution that replaced the shah in Iran created an oppressively top-heavy constitutional structure. And the equally revolutionary dreams some entertained for Iraq — dreams of a liberal secular state or of a functioning Islamic democracy — still seem far from fruition.Gradual change therefore increasingly looks like the best of some bad options. And most of today’s political Islamists — the ones running for office in Morocco or Jordan or Egypt and even Iraq — are gradualists.

    They wish to adapt existing political institutions by infusing them with Islamic values and some modicum of Islamic law. Of course, such parties are also generally hostile to the United States, at least where we have worked against their interests. (Iraq is an obvious exception — many Shiite Islamists there are our close allies.)

    But this is a separate question from whether they can become a force for promoting the rule of law. It is possible to imagine the electoral success of Islamist parties putting pressure on executives to satisfy the demand for law-based government embodied in Koranic law. This might bring about a transformation of the judiciary, in which judges would come to think of themselves as agents of the law rather than as agents of the state.Something of the sort may slowly be happening in Turkey. The Islamists there are much more liberal than anywhere else in the Muslim world; they do not even advocate the adoption of Shariah (a position that would get their government closed down by the staunchly secular military). Yet their central focus is the rule of law and the expansion of basic rights against the Turkish tradition of state-centered secularism. The courts are under increasing pressure to go along with that vision.Can Shariah provide the necessary resources for such a rethinking of the judicial role?

    In its essence, Shariah aspires to be a law that applies equally to every human, great or small, ruler or ruled. No one is above it, and everyone at all times is bound by it. But the history of Shariah also shows that the ideals of the rule of law cannot be implemented in a vacuum. For that, a state needs actually effective institutions, which must be reinforced by regular practice and by the recognition of actors within the system that they have more to gain by remaining faithful to its dictates than by deviating from them.The odds of success in the endeavor to deliver the rule of law are never high.

    Nothing is harder than creating new institutions with the capacity to balance executive dominance — except perhaps avoiding the temptation to overreach once in power. In Iran, the Islamists have discredited their faith among many ordinary people, and a similar process may be under way in Iraq. Still, with all its risks and dangers, the Islamists’ aspiration to renew old ideas of the rule of law while coming to terms with contemporary circumstances is bold and noble — and may represent a path to just and legitimate government in much of the Muslim world..(end)

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