Anyone Else Confused?

Taking a little breather from revising to quickly share my thoughts with you on a recent televised discussion.

Going by it’s name, Malaysia’s Institute of Islamic Understanding (IKIM) is tasked with enlightening the rest of us about Islam. Why is it then that I am feeling rather confused after watching a panel discussion with its Director-General, Dr. Syed Ali Tawfik Al-Attas?

Dr. Al-Attas was part of a three person panel which also included Dr. Farish Noor and lawyer Lim Heng Seng. The discussion was centred on issues related to the Lina Joy decision and it was broadcast on Al-Jazeera several days ago. To my pleasant surprise it was recently uploaded to YouTube. I include the two part video below.

Two areas I’m still scratching my head over:

1. Dr. Al-Attas claims he doesn’t believe apostates should be killed. He then waffles about whether apostasy is a punishable crime.

2. Dr. Al-Attas implies that it would be absurd for Malaysia to implement hudud law. But he then questions why the ambit of the Shariah courts have not been extended to criminal law.



You decide.

And be sure to let me know once you’ve figured out what he’s trying to say.







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5 Responses to “Anyone Else Confused?”

  1. hsudarren Says:

    Hi, Umran, I am confused and scractching my head too.

    But I agree with the conclusion made by Farish.

    We must try to preserve Malaysia as a multiethnic, multireligious country, and to do so, we need people who can bridge the widening divide between the various racial as well as religious groups. As I see it, these people are in short supply.

    I am also confused 50 yrs after Independence, why can’t this sort of forum be held over the Malaysian TVs? I think we are all matured enough.

    If the people can see their leaders or representatives talking sense over a forum like this, it will augur well. It may set an example for people on the ground to have meaningful dialogue with each other, and that will create a lot of goodwill and understandings.

    Problems areas and any misunderstanding between religious and racial groups should be settled through dialogue and discussion. These should not be just swept under the carpet.

    I am glad that in many blogs, people are discussing issues sensibly and objectively.

    It is really a pity if there is really a clampdown on blogs.

  2. Skhan Says:

    Read law myself a couple of years back, so im certain you’re sleep deprived, antsy and probably suffering from a mild case of gastric but good luck nonetheless.

    As for the discussion above, I, a muslim myself, believe that the honourable Dr. Al-Attas has reinforced the notion that the “practice” and “interpretation” of Islam has very little to do with the Quran and even God , for that matter.

    How right you are on all counts. You were especially on the ball about all my symptoms…even the gastric!

  3. Lai Ying Says:

    Hey its all leadership by example. Note recently, our Ministers have also been babbling and contradicting themselves…most noteworthy BBC interview with Foreign Minister. Human laws can apply when crimes are committed but when it comes to religion, surely God should be the one to judge and sentence when we face Him one day.

    Hey…there’s no need to single out our Foreign Minister ok…he’s toeing the line…just like other Ministers like Nazri and Zam. Come on now, they’ve all been consistently inconsistent for quite some time now – it’s quite insulting for you to suggest that this is all a recent development! You think it’s easy to be inconsistent so consistently?

  4. muzeek Says:

    i think as someone who holds an influential position, like Dr. Al-Attas, should not flip-flop their stand within the next moment or so… It will just leaves everyone confused and do not help the common people to reflect on the issue rationally, not emotionally…

    Yes, I can only agree with you muzeek.

  5. Quid pro quo strategist Says:

    The author of this blog wrote something comprehensive about IKIM

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