Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Whip Kartika Publicly On Malaysia Day?
Swarmed by a pious warrant of zealotry for more than a year because she drank beer at an hotel bar in the beachside of Cherating, Pahang, and after four court appearances, Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, 32, now Peoples’ Princess, was slammed by the Syariah High Court in the state with a fine of RM5000 and six strokes of the cane.
The mother of two who emotionally slumped when she was told on Monday 24 July 2009 the caning was postponed because it was Ramadhan, said she has been treated like a football since the arrest on 11 Dec 2007 and now she would prefer to be publicly whipped rather than caned, a report said.
As the country awakens to the agony of a woman and mother from the lower middle-class who had lost her full-time job in a hospital because of the “religious crime”, the Mufti of Perak, Harussani Zakaria, and Pas president, Hadi Awang, presented the country with a classic apology for the Islamic law.
Said they, drinking any alcoholic beverage is a hudud crime, meaning it is an offence mentioned in the Holy Qur’an. The punishment, they said, is between 40 to 80 light strokes of the cane, the victim fully dressed and not bared to show her flesh.
If you wish to debate that law you can begin by saying nowhere in the Qur’an is there a mention of the punishment. Since it will be said it comes from the Hadis (Prophetic Tradition), it should be asked, is it really sourced from the Hadis or from the reported sayings of the prophet’s companions, i.e. Atsar and not Hadis?
But the two missed the point altogether. The simple point is the fact Kartika was fined RM5000 and has paid the money. Had she been any poorer she would have to spend three years in jail. Are those deals also a part of the hudud?
She lost her fulltime job because of the zealotry. Is that not enough to satisfy the appetite for power to do violence of this unkind sort?
If the appeal to mercy and compassion is not enough to appease the temper of the holy of the holies in the country, then we need the pure souls to categorically inform us whether or not it was true Muawiyah, when he was Caliph in Damascus, was reliably reported to have been drunk on several occasions as he read the sermon and then led the Friday congregational prayer?
Was it true or false that the illustrious Umar Bin al-Khattab was drunk at prayer in the prophet’s mosque in Medina and because of that event God Almighty inspired the verse saying ‘ do not approach prayer when you are drunk so that you may know what you are saying...’ (Q. 4:43)?
That cannot be serious admonition of an abominable crime, surely.
Hence, we need to ask how serious is the crime in having a few beers to ease the stresses and tensions of working in a commercial and industrial landscape with a recession to boot and without a war to fight like the Muslims in Medina in the time of the prophet?
What more, the Pas Selangor Commissioner, Hassan Ali, wants to train squads of Beer-Fighters in all mosques in Selangor to perform a search-and-destroy mission of the beverage from hops and malt. He should begin by removing all Muslim workers from the breweries in PJ.
Since by Islamic law one drop of an alcoholic beverage is as haram (prohibited) as a jug of it, Hassan Ali should ask himself how about Air Tapai (fermented glutinous rice)?
The alcoholic content in beer is between 2.5 to 3 percent proof while in Air Tapai it is between 12 to 16 percent proof.
Go to Chechnya and you'll find some of the mujahids (Muslim fighters) drink Vodka to keep themselves warm in winter. You need to experience frostbite before you condemn that!
So, do you really believe we ought to apply the Prohibition in Malaysia in the 21st century simply because it is in the Holy Qur'an?
People of my ilk are saying it is a paltry matter Hassan Ali has grabbed for his mission and mileage. It has been said he has done nothing since assuming office after the 8 March general elections last year.
He could have worked on Cooperatives to help the members of the Pasar Tani (Rural Market) and the Pasar Malam (Night Markets) who are losing cients in the recession instead of choosing to raid 7-Eleven outlets and remove the beer.
Islam we know is a religion of mercy. But the nature and quality of a religion can and will change given a change of its environment and the means of production in the community it is upheld.
Therefore, when the environment of A and the means of production in that environment changes, A will no longer be equal to A. Its nature and quality would have changed.
The gist is, Islam will have to change substantially for it to remain a religion of mercy in our commercial and industrial society, not to mention the time that has lapsed between Muhammad in Medinah and Kartika in Malaysia.
Peoples' Princess, Kartika, should have been counseled and not punished by a RM5000 fine, removed from her job, taken into custody for a week and whipped in the privacy of a prison’s courtyard by body-builders, like these
What chance does she have? Where’s the compassion? Is it lost in the new metropolitan and industrial environs against what the Quixotic is, in fact, furiously battling?
The people is swiftly mobilizing. It'll be people against the traditional and religious elite. ---a. ghani ismail, 26 August 2009