Dec 17, 2004

"Islam Hadari" for Beginners

I suppose the first thing you are wondering is "What exactly is Islam Hadari?" and why should I care. You might not have heard about it, because it is not being directed at you, but it is all the rage over here. It is the new and improved, progressive and politically correct version of Islam that the so-called moderates in Malaysia are attempting to sell to the fundamentalists here in their midst and abroad.

So how is the progress and how is it doing? Well if you listen to the Malaysian government, they will tell you that "Islam Hadari" is a big hit and is winning accolades on the world stage. You might have a little success selling this "new and improved version of Islam" to the non-muslim liberals in England and Germany but until you can sell it to even the so-called moderate muslims in your midst then you won't make much progress.

The problem basically boils down to the semantics. We are told that the concept of "Islam Hadari" (Civilisational Islam) means a more progressive Islam. Well, if the opposite of "extremist" Islam is "liberal" or "moderate" Islam then what would be the opposite of "progressive" Islam? Could we say "regressive" Islam?

The word "Islam" means submission. The doctrine of faith in Islam leaves little to no room for interpretation. One must believe in God and accept, believe and acknowledge that the Prophet Muhammad is the messenger of God and that the Quran is the word of God.

A devout follower of Islam must pray five times a day facing the holy city of Mecca, fast during the month of Ramadan, pay tithe, perform the pilgrimage if he is able to, and believe in the doctrine of Islam (there is only one God, Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger). These are the five pillars of faith in Islam.

It all boils down to a simple often overlooked fact, and that is there is no such thing as a progressive, moderate or extreme Islam. There is no middle ground, no gray areas in Islam. It is black and white. If you believe that there are then you might also believe that Christianity can condone homosexuality or that abortion is a woman's right to choose and still be a good, devout Christian.

1 comment:

  1. You might say it's Umno-manufactured Islam. ;-)

    I guess its a way of distancing the brand of islam in Malaysia from the brand of islam practiced (or seen as being practiced) in arabic countries.

    Here's an article on it I found on Google after reading this post.


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