- Islam tidak ajar ganggu tempat ibadat agama lain, kata bekas Mufti
- Journos brave rain to demand media freedom
- Egypt: 2013 in review
Posted: 04 Jan 2014 02:38 AM PST
Bekas Mufti Perlis Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin (gambar) menegaskan agama Islam tidak mengajar penganutnya untuk mengganggu tempat ibadat penganut agama lain.
Dr Mohd Asri, 42, yang dihubungi The Malaysian Insider bagi memberikan komen mengenai kontroversi serbuan Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (Jais) serta rancangan berdemo di gereja Selangor, berkata walaupun semasa perang pun agama Islam melarang umatnya daripada menyentuh rumah ibadat.
“Dalam agama Islam, hatta dalam masa perang pun, orang yang sedang beribadat pun tidak boleh diganggu… inikan masa aman kenapa pula perlu diganggu?” kata Dr Mohd Asri.
Tengahari semalam, Jais menyerbu pejabat Persatuan Bible Malaysia (BSM) di Damansara Kim dan merampas kira-kira 320 Bible berbahasa Melayu dan Iban.
Dua pegawai BSM iaitu pengerusinya Lee Min Choon dan Sinclair Wong diarahkan ke Balai Polis Damansara untuk diambil keterangan mereka dan hanya dilepaskan dua jam kemudian.
Dalam pada itu, Umno Selangor juga telah mendesak Pengarang Herald, Paderi Lawrence Andrew, menarik balik kenyataannya yang tetap mahu menggunakan kalimah Allah di semua gereja di Selangor.
Umno Selangor juga merancang untuk mengadakan demonstrasi di hadapan pejabat Lawrence di Klang pada Ahad ini sekiranya tidak tunduk kepada desakan mereka.
Ketua Umno Shah Alam, Azhari Shaari berkata kenyataan paderi itu bertentangan dengan enakmen syariah negeri malah ia juga melanggar titah Sultan Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, yang melarang penggunaan kalimah Allah oleh orang bukan Islam di negeri itu.
Dr Mohd Asri menyifatkan rancangan tersebut bukanlah berlandaskan ajaran Islam bahkan tidak mengajar penganutnya menyentuh mana-mana rumah ibadat bukan Islam.
“Agama Islam tidak pernah ajar penganutnya berbuat perkara-perkara begini, tempat-tempat ibadat Islam ajar supaya tidak sentuh.
“Apa yang mereka lakukan tersebut bukan berlandaskan ajaran Islam,” tambah Dr Mohd Asri lagi.
“Jangan sentuh tempat ibadat bukan Islam.”
Dalam pada itu, Ahli Jawatankuasa PAS Pusat Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa juga menggesa Putrajaya halang badan Islam keruhkan hubungan antara agama susulan kontroversi terbaru yang tercetus di Selangor baru-baru ini.
Beliau menyeru kerajaan merujuk Majlis Perundingan Perpaduan Kebangsaan yang ditubuhkan Kabinet baru-baru ini, yang dijangka mengadakan mesyuarat mengenai kontroversi penggunaan kalimah Allah pada Isnin depan.
Mujahid, yang turut dilantik Putrajaya sebagai ahli panel majlis tersebut, berkata insiden hari ini perlu dibincang pada mesyuarat itu.
Jelas beliau, badan agama Islam tidak harus bertindak oleh kerana isu penggunaan kalimah Allah masih dibicarakan di mahkamah.
Posted: 04 Jan 2014 02:30 AM PST
A group of journalists, media practitioners and activists braved the rain today to demand the Home Ministry withdraw its suspension of news weekly The Heat.
Dubbed the ‘Red Pencil Protest’, some 200 protesters clad in red assembled at Market Square adjacent to Jalan Leboh Pasar in Kuala Lumpur ar 2pm under unforgiving weather.
The protest was organised by Gerakan Media Marah (Geramm), a loose coalition of journalists in response to The Heat’s suspension following reports critical of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s spending habits.
The Home Minister denied that the said report was the reason for suspension, instead blaming it vaguely on the news weekly failing to abide by its publishing permit.
Geramm had rubbished the explanation, pointing out the same reason had been used to silence other publications in the past.
During the protest, participants snapped red pencils as a symbolic gesture of media freedom being under attack.
“The red pencil represents journalists who were injured (in the past, by the authorities) and a culture of control by the powers that be.
“Listen to the breaking sound. That is the suffering of journalists and the media when it is ‘broken’, as how they were treated violently during the Bersih rally in 2012," said Geramm spokesperson Fathi Aris Omar (above, with microphone), who is also Malaysiakini chief editor.
During Bersih 2.0 protest in 2012, at least 11 media personnel were assaulted by police and one was beaten up by unidentified individuals at the rally. The responsible parties were never apprehended till today.
Posted: 04 Jan 2014 02:28 AM PST
N.B. This is not an attempt at an exhaustive run down of everything that happened in Egypt in 2013. Firstly, that would take too long and, more importantly, people have already done that for you. Here. This is a run down of memorable moments from 2013 that I had a hand in covering.
Egypt's annus horribilis started poorly and got worse. It was the year the popular revolution asking for bread, freedom and social justice was finally squished under the boots of the military, the year liberals showed their true colours by openly supporting a military coup they knew full well would usher in a murderous phase of tyranny not seen since…well, since the military was last in power in Egypt. It was the year a boy was jailed for having a ruler; where a group of girls who had protested in Alexandria were jailed for 11 years. Even Bassem Youssef was banned.
2013 was the year the revolution died.
At least 30 people are killed and hundreds are injured in clashes in Port Said and two Nile Delta cities following the sentencing to death of 21 football fans accused of killing Ahly supporters in the Port Said football massacre in 2012. Most of the deaths came after a group of relatives of defendants attempted to storm the city's main prison and torched police buildings.
Having been one of the first reporters on the scene in Port Said in the hours after the 2012 massacre, I can tell you that there was no quarter given to Ahly fans as they were butchered, shot and thrown from the bleachersby people who came from the Masry end of the ground. The police did less than nothing. It was a massacre – and it annoys me when it gets termed "clashes" or merely "violence." Anyway.
A day later, President Mohammed Morsi declares a state of emergency in three Suez Canal governorates and repeats his call for national dialogue with the National Salvation Front (the opposition that only knew how to boycott). It refuses. Morsi, during a televised speech, praises the efforts of the police and the armed forces.
Destroying any lingering chance of boosting Egypt's dire tourism economy, a hot air balloon crashes in the southern town of Luxor, Upper Egypt, killing 19 people.
At least seven people are killed in sectarian violence between Coptic Christian and Muslim residents of the town of Al-Khosous, north of Cairo. A subsequent clash outside a funeral in Cairo kills at least another one.
Following pressure from opposition groups, Morsi announces nine new ministers in a cabinet shuffle that fails to assuage the wrath of liberal and Salafist parties. Their main criticism is that the reshuffle fails to demote Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, whom Morsi installed at the start of the year. (That decision probably comes back to bite Morsi post-July. Don't read ahead or you'll spoil it).
Three days before a planned mass protest organised by a group called Tamarod (more on them later) Morsi, inanother televised speech, announces the formation of a cross-party committee to review his apparently universally unpopular 2012 constitution and pledges, among other things: 4bn EGP development of the Sinai, raising the minimum wage to 700 EGP and the distribution of ration cards for the very poor.
All of which, you'd think, sound like good ideas. But people have stopped listening by this point. The army-backed Tamarod – funded and accommodated by felul businessmen and advised by senior members of Mubarak's entourage - have grabbed the default sympathy of the liberal elite, who then proceed to claim (and preposterously are believed) that 30 million people marched against Morsi on June 30. I mean, you actually had normally sensible people repeat this. Credulously. (For people who prefer calculation to wild speculation, the maximum number of protesters you can fit in all Egypt's main squares at any one time – using simply algebra – is 2.8 million).
If only there was a way to reliably and democratically calculate the number of supporters and opponents a given individual or party has. Oh, yep. I remember: Elections! (Morsi and the MB won five of them. Tamarod and every other liberal/felul party combined? Zero). But, as you'll see throughout the last six months of 2013, people will tell you elections don't mean anything. They say so with a straight face and still claim to value democracy.
This photo was taken on Qasr al-Nile Bridge, Cairo, at the very moment people were saying that the July 3 overthrow of Mohammed Morsi, was not a coup.
To precisely no one's surprise – especially the army-backed Tamarod – General Abdel Fatah al Sisi announces a coup, giving Morsi 48 hours to abdicate. Tanks roll through the street, state TV and media buildings are stormed by military police and the sitting president is placed under house arrest. Yet apparently it's not a coup. It's a "revolutionary moment."
In the ensuing hours, dozens of journalists are rounded up and arrested, Muslim Brotherhood members are hunted down on the streets (as some of more transparently felul "liberals" had fantasised about), arrest warrants are issued and Sisi and his SCAF return to unalloyed, unaccountable power. It's not long before the murders begin, as we knew they would, as some people tried to stop and many "influencers" goaded on.
You can read my full thoughts on this (and by thoughts, read "total disgust" here.
In the early hours of July 8, 51 Muslim Brotherhood supporters are shot dead by security forces outside the headquarters of the Republican Guards in Cairo. At the time, coup supporters were keen to frame this massacre as a provoked attack. Some of the more famous ones said the deaths were a Muslim Brotherhood publicity stunt(he went on to win a press freedom award, naturally). Anyway, the facts are the facts, and thanks to excellent investigative work by several, including The Guardian's Patrick Kingsley, the lie the liberals peddled was exposed. Security forces attacked with murderous force on unarmed protesters. And still, it wasn't a coup. (Some choicer pro-massacre tweets from liberals can be seen here, here and here).
By now, hundreds of protesters have been shot dead on the streets by security forces. This doesn't stop US Secretary of State John Kerry from declaring, in spite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that Egypt's army are restoring democracy. It must have been the part where the army forcibly overthrew Egypt's first democratically elected president, declared martial law and began the pogrom of any dissenters that made up Kerry's mind.
On August 14, and after goading from the liberal elites (comme toujours) the Egyptian army and police services disperse two pro-Morsi sit in protests at Nahda and Rabaa al-Adawiya squares in Cairo, killing at least 595 and as many as 2,600 civilian demonstrators.
Horrific accounts, photos and videos emerge of the worst single day of killing at the hands of security forces since the 2011 revolution.
You can read my reaction to the massacre everyone waited for here.
Dozens of churches were attacked, killing at least four people – acts many blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood directly. The massacre sparks further anti-coup protests and spawns perhaps the symbol of the anti-coup alliance, the raising of the four fingers (Rabaa meaning "four" in Arabic). And, of course, the coup government, being a little embarrassed about how much the world knows about all the people that it killed, cracks down on this freedom of expression, too.
One of Ahly's best players is banned and put up for sale after celebrating a goal with a four fingered salute. A school boy is arrested after the sign is found on one of his rulers. They even arrest his father. Who could make this up? This is post-coup Egypt, fortunately, so you don't have to.
A few days later, 120 protesters were killed after being fired upon by security forces in Ramses Square, Cairo.
And, to add further insult to the murder of protesters who died standing up for their freedom from tyranny, and as if further proof that Tamarod/SCAF executed the counter-revolution, former President Hosni Mubarak isreleased from prison.
SPY DUCK! (And spy stork).
And, continuing the regime's bizarre anthropomorphic month, a man is arrested in Qena Province for naming his donkey Sisi.
More pro-Morsi demonstrations are brutally put down by Egyptian security services, with a single assault on another demonstration in Ramses Square killing 57.
And, proving that any "war on terror" is a self-fulfilling prophecy, Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim survives and assassination attempt that is immediately blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood (most of whom are arrested) and Morsi (who is in jail and appointed Ibrahim in the first place. Doesn't matter. Anything bad that happens in Egypt is now the fault of the Islamists. "It's just like the old days" I can hear the placated well-heeled "activists" of Zamalek purr.
Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's only democratically elected president sees a courtroom in a trial where he is accused of inciting the deaths of protesters outside the Presidential Palace last December, all of whom are supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood. Go figure.
Deciding it's tired of all the negative headlines (internationally, not in the press it controls, naturally) it gets from shooting endless protesters, the coup government decides it's actually far easier to be done with the whole protesting thing altogether and bans demonstrations without prior consent (which means it bans all protests that aren't staged shows of government support).
And to make absolutely sure people get the message (If you're liberal/secularists and you protest, we'll arrest you for the night; if you're an Islamist and you protest we will shoot you or wreck your life) a court in Alexandria sentences 14 girls to 11 years in prison (EACH) for handing out fliers in the Mediterranean city. Puppet President Adly Mansour, after severe international condemnation, issues a presidential pardon.
After the bombing of a security headquarters in Mansoura, which kills 16 police officers, the Muslim Brotherhood is designated a terrorist organisation, just as it was under Gamal Abdel Nasser and subsequent military dictatorships. This is despite the organisation condemning the attack and the attack being claimed by a totally unaffiliated group. Again, this doesn't matter: Sisi won 2013 and his gurning supporters cheered on his pogrom on the Islamists.
And, in the very manifestation of "when hell freezes over" snow fell in Cairo for the first time in 114 years.
2013 is the year Mubarakism returned and the year the felul got back in the saddle. It was the year the liberals reverted to their natural state of supporting secular autocracy backed by murder and torture of political opposition. The year, basically, where the military and social elite who had had their noses put out of joint by successive Islamist election wins decided democracy wasn't ready for Egypt.
I hope everyone involved in the organisation, support, justification and explanation of 2013?s military coup and the orgy of murder, torture, arrest and intimidation it brought is proud of what they did this year. Because history certainly won't be.
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