Patriot refers to a news report “Stop insulting Islam, minister reminds provocateurs” where the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for religious affairs, Idris Ahmad, yesterday sent out a stern reminder to certain quarters to stop insulting Islam as such issues are very sensitive.
We certainly cannot disagree with the minister. And so, we register our support to his call and concern.
He expressed concern that provocations could lead to untoward incidents.
His warning – “I would like to remind those who insult Islam, especially those who reside in this country, to stop the insults” – is a timely warning against those who hurt the feelings of Muslims here.
In fact, our police force has been doing a very good job of maintaining peace and harmony through their prompt and effective actions all these decades and by ensuring that insults on Islam are quickly dealt with, thus negating any potential chaos in the country.
On that same account, Malaysians too know how to respect each other’s religions and the track record of non-Muslims towards Islam is praiseworthy.
However, the biggest insult to Islam is corruption – especially when it is committed by Muslims here.
Not only is corruption insulting and injurious to the image of Islam and its followers, but it also destroys the nation’s future.
With our civil service and the political landscape largely filled by Malay Muslims, it is so very difficult to comprehend why we do not see corruption as the most serious and dangerous cancer that destroys, insults and hurts the faith.
While provocateurs of religions must be condemned, the unending cases of corruption somehow appear far too stubborn to even stall. And our fight against it seems so very disheartening to say the least.
For a nation that proclaims Islam as its official religion and a faith that is the most dominant in the country, could we not emerge as a beacon of hope and enlightenment for a world struggling to combat corruption?
Let us have the humility to recognise that even non-Muslim countries are already progressing in their battle against this scourge.
Take 1MDB, for example. While some nations have dealt decisively on the charges, we here have not yet seen formal, justified and clean closure. In a non-Muslim nation like China – we often read that it executes corrupt officials and citizens.
Take the various cases in our Malaysian courtrooms with charges, allegations and even convictions of fraud, misappropriation and abuses of power. Try doing an inventory count of how many of these individuals implicated, involved in or condemned for corrupt conduct are Malay Muslims.
In fact, anyone – irrespective of his or her religious heritage or choice – who is guilty of corruption has insulted not only Islam but also all the other religions in the country.
Today, corruption has rooted itself widely, especially within the political, business and civil service turfs and seems to be a silently accepted culture.
Our leaders – especially those given the powers and means as well as rewards to address and redress [corruption] – must militantly wage war against [corruption].
With Islam as the largest religion in the country and having largely Malay Muslims in office, what is the problem in cleaning up and freeing our nation from this scourge of corruption?
Retired Commissioner of Police Dato’ Zulkifli Mohamed is deputy president of the National Patriots Association (Patriot)