Followers

Saturday, May 18, 2019

TARGETING IRAN by Chandra Muzaffar

A dangerous flashpoint has emerged in world politics at the moment. There is widespread fear that the United States and its allies might launch a military operation against Iran at any time. A US aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers are already deployed in the region. The alleged sabotage of four oil tankers, two of them Saudi, and the attack on a major oil pipeline are being linked in certain circles without an iota of evidence to Tehran. There is no need to repeat that scenarios of this sort are often manufactured to justify military aggression.

For more than a year now since unilaterally repudiating the 2015 Iran nuclear deal forged between Iran and six world powers, the US has not only re-imposed economic sanctions upon Iran but has also forced other states that trade with Iran to reduce drastically their interaction with Tehran. US targeting of Iran is a grave travesty of justice for the simple reason that the UN’s nuclear inspection agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency, has reiterated over and over again that Iran has complied with the nuclear deal. It should not therefore be punished with old or new sanctions. This is also the position adopted by the other signatories to the deal, namely, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.

But US president, Donald Trump is determined to act against Iran partly because of the growing influence of the Israeli government led by Benyamin Netanyahu and a segment of the Israeli lobby in the US upon his administration. Though Israel has harbored deep distrust of the Iranian leadership since the 1979 Islamic Revolution because of the latter’s proven commitment to the Palestinian cause, it is only in recent years that it has begun to sense that a combination of three factors renders Iran and its people a formidable challenge to Israel’s goal of establishing its hegemonic power over West Asia. Iran’s oil and gas wealth has been reinforced by its scientific knowledge and capabilities underscored by a passionate devotion to the nation’s independence and sovereignty derived from both its historical experience and its attachment to a spiritual identity. Besides, the Iranian government is a staunch defender of the Syrian government which refuses to yield to Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, in itself a gross violation of international law. Iran is also linked to the Hezbollah which has successfully resisted Israeli attempts to gain control over Lebanon, thus threatening the tiny nation’s sovereignty.

There is also perhaps another reason why Israel and the US are hell-bent on targeting Iran at this juncture. Very soon, leaders of these two states will announce the so-called “deal of the century”, a farcical attempt to resolve the longstanding Israel-Palestine conflict. Because the deal from what little is known of it, is so palpably unjust to the Palestinian people, the Palestinians and the majority of the people of West Asia are expected to reject it outright. According to various sources, the deal condemns the Palestinians to perpetual apartheid. Iran and its allies can be expected to spearhead the opposition. It explains to some extent why Iran has to be hobbled immediately.

As an aside, it is ironical that Israel is showing such hostility to Iran when the Iranian Constitution not only recognizes the Jews as a minority but also provides the community with representation in its legislature. This is unique in West Asia. Israel’s failure to appreciate this is perhaps proof that its real commitment is not so much to the well-being of the Jews as the triumph of its Zionist ideology with its goal of expansionism and hegemony.

It is not simply because of Zionism or Israel that the US Administration is seeking to emasculate Iran. Weakening and destroying Iran is foremost on the agenda of another of Trump’s close allies in the region. The Saudi ruling elite also saw the Iranian Revolution of 1979 as a mortal threat to its position and power because it overthrew a feudal monarch, was opposed to US dominance of the region and sought inspiration in a vision of Islam rooted in human dignity and social justice. As Iranian influence in West Asia expanded especially after the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, the Saudi elite became even more apprehensive of Iran and wanted the US to curb Iran’s role in the region. In this regard it is worth observing that if Iran has become more influential in the region in the last 15 years or so, it is not only because of the astuteness of the Iranian leadership but also because of the follies of the Saudi and US ruling elite. The overthrow of Saddam Hussein through an Anglo-American invasion of Iraq in 2003 for instance paved the way for the ascendancy of Shia politicians more inclined towards Iran.

How and why Saudi and Israeli elite interests and ambitions are intertwined in the US push against Iran is not highlighted in the media including the new media. Consequently, only a small fraction of the public understands the real causes for the escalation of tensions in West Asia centering on Iran. It is largely because the media conceals and camouflages the truth, that a lot of people see the victim as the perpetrator and the perpetrator as the liberator. Or as Malcolm X once put it, “If you are not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” 

Dr. Chandra Muzaffar is the President of the International Movement for a just World (JUST)
Malaysia
18 May 2019

Sunday, April 28, 2019

WHAT IS THE SIMILARITY BETWEEN THE ENEMIES OF ISLAM, MUSLIM TERRORIST AND UNINFORMED MUSLIMS?


THEY ALL WANT TO BELIEVE THAT ISLAM IS NOT A PEACEFUL RELIGION 

But what does the Quran say about FIGHTING?

Firstly, the right word for fight in the Quran is qital and those derived from it, not jihad.

Let us look into the Quranic concept of qital and when are we allowed to fight. The Quran not only allow us to fight but see it as a duty to do so within the right conditions. 

However, as a note, according to historians, in his 23 years of his Prophethood, actual fighting was only 3 days. That should give an indication about the Quran’s and the Prophet’s position on fighting – for those who use their intellect – both Muslims and Non-Muslims alike 😊.

As usual, I would like the Quran to speak for Itself.  

Let me share about 10 in this entry. All emphasis are mine to help readers focus on a particular message.

1.    PERMISSION [TO FIGHT] IS GIVEN TO THOSE AGAINST WHOM WAR IS BEING WRONGFULLY WAGED and, verily, God has indeed the power to succour them. Quran 22:39

2.    AND FIGHT in God's cause AGAINST THOSE WHO WAGE WAR AGAINST YOU, BUT DO NOT COMMIT AGGRESSION-for, verily, God does not love aggressors - Quran 2:190

3.    And how could you refuse to fight in the cause of God and of the UTTERLY HELPLESS MEN AND WOMEN AND CHILDREN WHO ARE CRYING, "O our Sustainer! Lead us forth [to freedom] out of this land whose people are oppressors, and raise for us, out of Thy grace, a protector, and raise for us, out of Thy grace, one who will bring us succour!"– Quran 4:75

4.    O Prophet! Inspire the believers to conquer all fear of death when fighting,  [so that,] IF THERE BE TWENTY OF YOU WHO ARE PATIENT IN ADVERSITY, THEY MIGHT OVERCOME TWO HUNDRED; AND [THAT,] IF THERE BE ONE HUNDRED OF YOU, THEY MIGHT OVERCOME ONE THOUSANDS of those who are bent on denying the truth, because they are people who cannot grasp it. Quran 8:65

5.    BUT IF THEY BREAK THEIR SOLEMN PLEDGES AFTER HAVING CONCLUDED A COVENANT, and revile your religion, then fight against these archetypes of faithlessness who, behold, have no [regard for their own] pledges, so that they might desist [from aggression]. - Quran 9:12

6.    Would you, perchance, fail to fight against people who have broken their solemn pledges,and have done all that they could to drive the Apostle away, AND HAVE BEEN FIRST TO ATTACK YOU? Do you hold them in awe? Nay, it is God alone of whom you ought to stand in awe if you are [truly] believers! – Quran 9:13

7.    Hence, if two groups of believers fall to fighting, make peace between them; but then, if one of the two [groups] goes on acting wrongfully towards the other, FIGHT AGAINST THE ONE THAT ACTS WRONGFULLY Until it reverts to God’s commandment; and if they revert, make peace between them with justice, and deal equitably [with them]: for verily, God loves those who act equitably! - Quran 49:9

8.    As for such [of the unbelievers] as do not fight against you on account of [your] faith, and neither drive you forth from your homelands, GOD DOES NOT FORBID YOU TO SHOW THEM KINDNESS AND TO BEHAVE TOWARDS THEM WITH FULL EQUITY: FOR, VERILY, GOD LOVES THOSE WHO ACT EQUITABLY. - Quran 60:8

9.    GOD ONLY FORBIDS YOU TO TURN IN FRIENDSHIP TOWARDS SUCH AS FIGHT AGAINST YOU BECAUSE OF [YOUR] FAITH, AND DRIVE YOU FORTH FROM YOUR HOMELANDS, OR AID [OTHERS] IN DRIVING YOU FORTH: and as for those [from among you] who turn towards them in friendship; it is they, they who are truly wrongdoers! Quran 60:9

10. [They are] those who have been evicted from their homes without right - only because they say, "Our Lord is Allah ." AND WERE IT NOT THAT ALLAH CHECKS THE PEOPLE, SOME BY MEANS OF OTHERS, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN DEMOLISHED MONASTERIES, CHURCHES, SYNAGOGUES, AND MOSQUES IN WHICH THE NAME OF ALLAH IS MUCH MENTIONED. And Allah will surely support those who support Him. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might. Quran 22:40



Peace, anas

Sunday, March 10, 2019

PUNISHMENT FOR INSULTING ANOTHER RELIGION – THE PROPHET’S WAY


I write in response to the recent 10-year jail sentence for insulting Islam and the Prophet. I have strong convictions that we must relook at this law. It is not justly balanced. Ironically, it is also not in accordance to the Quran’s and the Prophet’s way of doing things.

Muslims must remember how the Prophet behaved at the conquest of Mecca - when he was at the zenith of his power. The people of Mecca whom for more than a decade before the conquest insulted and boycotted him, refused to listen to his mission, tortured him and his followers, persecuted them, drove them to exile and tried very hard to kill him. At that moment of power, did he act with cruelty or mercy? With vengeance or love?

Instead of following the rules of war, where he could avenge and punish them with a death sentence, Muhammad the Prophet whom the Quran declared as ‘the one sent as the mercy to all mankind” (Quran 21:107) flowed with kindness and love and he proclaimed "THIS DAY, THERE IS NO REPROOF AGAINST YOU AND YOU ARE ALL FREE. THIS DAY I TRAMPLE UNDER MY FEET ALL DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN MAN AND MAN, ALL HATRED BETWEEN MAN AND MAN."

The Prophet’s behavior in giving pardon to even his worst enemies, even those who killed his beloved uncle, Hamzah, mangled his body, ripped it open, even chewed a piece of his liver is consistent to another Quranic declaration at Quran 3:159, “And it was by God's grace that thou [O Prophet] didst DEAL GENTLY WITH THY FOLLOWERS: FOR IF THOU HADST BEEN HARSH AND HARD OF HEART, they would indeed have broken away from thee. PARDON THEM, THEN, AND PRAY THAT THEY BE FORGIVEN. And take counsel with them in all matters of public concern; then, when thou hast decided upon a course of action, place thy trust in God: for, verily, God loves those who place their trust in Him.” It is obvious that the 10-year sentence is in itself is an insult to the Prophet. Is it not ironic?

So where do we go from here? We need to practice Mercy, just like the Prophet did. Let me unpack why Mercy must play a bigger role in these kinds of situation.

Mercy is central to everything that is good. When all else fail, Mercy is our savior. The Prophet knew this. His goal is Peace, not vengeance. As such, our framework to make things good and move forward must emerge from Mercy. Once we have Mercy as our operating system, our worldview, our intentions, our journey, our plans, actions and behavior cannot but come back to moderation in action. Mercy is the core of being a good human. Without mercy, there would be no humanity. With mercy, we create a chain reaction that has the powerful ability and capacity to convert enemies into friends. Those who insult the other, into those who appreciates.

Mercy helps us to forgive and forget. We are a young nation chasing after big dreams. We come from different backgrounds, religions, cultures and ethnicities. It is natural that along the way, we may intentionally or unintentionally hurt each other. If we are not quick to forgive and forget, we will create a tit-for-tat cycle. Mercy will help us choose to be the bigger person and may even turn the other cheek. Mercy will help us be able to see the greater good in forgiveness.

How to punish then? We need to change our goal. The goal is to educate, not to punish. To open one’s heart, not to hardened them. I suggest a two-prong approach.

  1. Anyone found insulting another religion-culture-tradition must spend time studying and understanding the religion-culture-tradition under a kind & merciful teacher from that faith. This should include time to do social services.   
  2. The religious and community leader of the offender should also play a role in re-educating him or her based oh his or her religious tradition. In other words, if a Christian mock another faith, the Church leaders must engage the person with their own tradition and core values that corrects his or her wrongful behavior. Similarly, when a Muslim mock another religion, a Muslim religious leader should bring him back to the behavior of the Prophet.
As a Muslim Malaysian, I have strong convictions that we need to be the first to practice Mercy and follow this method. After all we are the majority citizen, the country’s official religion is Islam and the main leaders of the nation are Malay Muslims. We need to be the standard bearer if we want to claim leadership. We must be the community that make the first move. When a non-Muslim insults Islam and is punished with a ten-year sentence but a Muslim preacher who insults another religion is given protection, we are seen as unjust. Our religion is looked down upon, and, our Prophet is misunderstood. We Muslims know and proud to profess that “being just is nearest to Taqwa - God-Consciousness (Quran 5:8)” but we must also be seen to practice it consistently. Less we become the very type that is warned by Allah as a Mutaffifin – those who give short measure.

O YOU who have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in your devotion to God, bearing witness to the truth in all equity; and never let hatred of any-one lead you into the sin of deviating from justice. BE JUST: THIS IS CLOSEST TO BEING GOD-CONSCIOUS. And remain conscious of God: verily, God is aware of all that you do.

Quran 5:8

WOE UNTO THOSE WHO GIVE SHORT MEASURE, those who, when they are to receive their due from [other] people, demand that it be given in full, but when they have to measure or weigh whatever they owe to others, give less than what is due!

Quran 83:1-3

VERILY, in the Apostle of God you have a good example for everyone who looks forward [with hope and awe] to God and the Last Day, and remembers God unceasingly.

Quran 33:21

Peace.
Anas Zubedy
Kuala Lumpur





Monday, February 25, 2019

HIDAYAH AL QURAN: BAGAIMANA MENANGANI ISU PENGHINAAN KE ATAS NABI MUHAMMAD S.A.W.


Surat terbuka kepada Tan Sri Dato’ Seri (Dr.) Haji Harussani Bin Haji Zakaria.


Assalamualaikum Tan Sri.


Saya merujuk kepada kenyataan rasmi Tan Sri bil 2/2019 yang bertajuk ISU PENGHINAAN KE ATAS NABI MUHAMMAD S.A.W.

Dan tidaklah sama kebaikan dan kejahatan. Tolaklah (kejahatan itu) dengan cara yang lebih baik, maka tiba-tiba orang yang antaramu dan antara dia ada permusuhan seolah-olah telah menjadi teman yang sangat setia.

Sifat-sifat yang baik itu tidak dianugerahkan melainkan kepada orang-orang yang sabar dan tidak dianugerahkan melainkan kepada orang-orang yang mempunyai keuntungan yang besar.

Quran 41: 34-35

Sebagai seorang Islam, kita memang paling tidak suka apabila Nabi kita di hina dan di fitnah. Nabi Muhammad dan semua Nabi-nabi kita merupakan junjungan mulia dan agung kepada sekalian umat Islam dari dulu, sehingga sekarang dan selama-lamanya. Kita memang akan marah dan dan kesal dengan penghinaan-penghinaan tersebut.

Walaupun begitu, sebagai seorang Islam yang berpalingkan Al Quran dan yang menurut contoh Nabi, kita tidak mahu tidak mesti kawal perasaan kita dan merujuk kepada Allah dan Rasulnya cara-cara untuk menangani isu sensitif sebegini. Kita mesti berbalik kepada Al Quran.

Kedua-dua ayat dari surah Al Fussilat di atas boleh dijadikan pembuka reaksi kita.

Saya ingin juga memohon kepada Tan Sri dan sekalian umat Islam untuk mencontohi dan belajar sikap Nabi kita Nabi Muhammad atas Abu Lahab. Kisah Abu Lahab dan isterinya Umm Jameel yang terkandung dalam al-Quran haruslah diambil sebagai panduan. Abu Lahab adalah satu-satunya musuh Islam yang dilaknat oleh Al Quran dengan nama. Abu Lahablah yang telah menghina Nabi kita seterhina-terhinanya.

Pendek kata, tauladan Quran dan Rasulullah dalam menghadapi Abu Lahab seharusnya menjadi piawaian dan tatacara berhadapan dengan individu yang memusuhi Islam seperti mereka yang baru-baru ini menghina Nabi kita di laman web.

Sepertimana kita ketahui, Abu Lahab nekad mengekori Rasulullah ke mana sahaja Baginda pergi. Dia bersungguh-sungguh mengalakkan orang ramai untuk mengabaikan dan tidak mengendahkan Rasulullah. Abu Lahab juga telah mengejar dan membaling batu untuk menghentikan dakwah Rasulullah.

Walau bagaimanapun, Baginda langsung tidak menyeru untuk menghukum Abu Lahab. Undang-undang shariah dan tradisi asabiyah Arab langsung tidak digunakan ke atasnya; tiada ugutan, tiada cemuhan. Tambahan lagi setelah Abu Lahab melempari hadapan rumah Nabi dengan kotoran, anak bongsu Baginda Fatimah menangis melihat nasib ayahnya yang terhina. Namun Baginda tidak mendorong api kebencian dalam hati Fatimah, malahan menenangkan dan menasihatkan anaknya supaya mengamal sifat sabar dan pemaaf seperti yang dianjurkan oleh Islam. Yang ada hanyalah janji Allah bahawa Abu Lahab dan isterinya akan sengsara di akhirat.

Marilah kita ikut Nabi. Marilah kita rujuk AlQuran supaya kita menjadi “orang-orang yang mempunyai keuntungan yang besar.”

Dimanakah Islam kita kalau kita tidak mencontohi sikap Nabi dan rela mengambil tempatnya dalam menyebarkan rahmat ke semesta alam?

Maka disebabkan rahmat dari Allah-lah kamu berlaku lemah lembut terhadap mereka. Sekiranya kamu bersikap keras lagi berhati kasar, tentulah mereka menjauhkan diri dari sekelilingmu. Karena itu maafkanlah mereka, mohonkanlah ampun bagi mereka, dan bermusyawaratlah dengan mereka dalam urusan itu. Kemudian apabila kamu telah membulatkan tekad, maka bertawakkallah kepada Allah. Sesungguhnya Allah menyukai orang-orang yang bertawakkal kepada-Nya.

Quran 3:159

Dan tiadalah Kami mengutus kamu, melainkan untuk (menjadi) rahmat bagi semesta alam.

Quran 21:107



Salam
Anas Zubedy
Kuala Lumpur


Thursday, February 7, 2019

OF FAKE DEGREES AND CHOOSING TALENTS FOR LEADERSHIP POSITION

" Leadership must come with integrity - there is no compromise. Without integrity talent is a liability. "

I would like to share with you a method I designed for the corporate leaders in choosing Top Talents for their organization. We call it C.A.P.I., making it easy for recall. I hope it will help you choose the best for Malaysia.

Capacity

A person’s capacity is the basic foundation of his or her ability to deliver. No amount of training or exposure can bring out what is expected from a talent if he or she lacks the capacity. Like a car engine, capacity determines the ability to perform under different circumstances. The larger the capacity, the greater the propensity to deliver. As an analogy, we cannot ask a car with a horsepower of 100 to perform like a powerhouse that churns 700 horses no matter how much we try to modify it. That would be sending the person to failure. When the leader fails, our country suffers.

Achievement

True achievement is about results; not efforts, not promises, not words. Top talents focus their energies on where the results are, they make things happen, they deliver. They spend more time doing and delivering. They don’t talk as much as they do. When they talk, it is to engage people to perform. They want to get things done, make things right. They lead people to actions that are based on clear goals. We must choose leaders that deliver.

People Skills

Top talents deliver through working with and through people. They harness and focus the energy of others toward common goals. They are team leaders. Talent who prefers working alone are specialists and they are great support for top talents. Remember that we must choose talents that work with others in their effort to move up in an organization, not rise up by stepping on them. The latter will cause future disunity to the team.

In the Malaysian context we must also choose leaders who are willing to listen and work with not just a particular race, but every ethnic group. Not just with those in the Peninsular but also Sabah and Sarawak and vice versa. Care for those in urban as well as the rural areas plus willing to engage not just the old, but the middle aged and the young. In short, we must choose a leader that is with the rakyat, one that will work with us and care much about our well-being.

Integrity

Leadership must come with integrity - there is no compromise. Without integrity talent is a liability. No matter how brilliant, knowledgeable or successful, lack of integrity disqualifies any and all talent for any leadership position. We must check their track record like their propensity to lie, practice double standards, say one thing and do the other.

In short in choosing our leaders, integrity is the final sift that must not be put aside no matter what.

Anas Zubedy
Kuala Lumpur

Note : I wrote this some years ago, but it is still relevant today.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

UMI and QURAN chapter 17 verse 23



UMI and QURAN chapter 17 verse 23 It is 930 pm in Kathmandu, Nepal. I have less than 3 hours to complete what I set out to do for my birthday today. I have walked for more than an hour. Read a good book. See new places and meet new people and the final one, to write something meaningful. I feel writing about my Umi (mother) is most ideal, fitting or as the Malays would put it, “paling kena pada tempatnya’. After all it was, she who gave birth to me 55 years ago. We tend to think our birthdays are about us. In truth, it is also about our parents. “And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], "uff," and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word”. Quran 17:23 My Umi turns 81 years old this year. As our parents get older Quran 17:23 gets more and more relevant. It is definitely for me. Parents get more challenging. Ditto Umi. It is understandable, she has been a very independent person all her life. Ever always not wanting us to help, in the kitchen, organizing her belongings, cleaning the plates, carrying her bags, etc. If we are going out or going for a trip, she wants to be part of the team – she must also carry the bags or groceries or whatever things for the trip. Everyone must play their part, including her. If there were activities, she wants to participate. If we go out and eat a few times, she will insist that she must pay for a meal. And most time Umi does not listen. She wants it her way. Many times, when she insists “tak mau kacau anak-anak” actually the opposite is true. By not allowing us to help, it will actually make it harder for us. I am sure anyone of you who are lucky to have elderly parents or grandparents know for sure what I am talking about. Sometimes, I ‘geram nak mampus’. She moves with a walker, and she still wants to carry her own bag. She will ask you if you want something (to eat, to drink, or whatsoever…) a million times even we have said no nicely, a million times back. We tell her she can just sit and relax but she insists she wants to wash the plates. We hire a part time maid when we go back to Penang, and she will tell the lady not to come the next week as soon as we leave for KL or my sisters to the US. "Tak payah buat kueh raya, nak buat jugak". And, the list goes on. But the Quran sets very high standards. Not even a tiny weensy little slight minor rebuke is acceptable. Nay, the Quran ask us to “speak to them a noble word”!!! Honestly, while most days I do okay, but there are days that I failed. Especially when I am tired. I will snipe back, ‘awat Umi tak nak dengak cakap’ (Translation - Why don’t you listen, mother). Although these days I manage to dilute it with a humorous tone, but still, it is not to the Quran’s standard. My wish is, from 55 onward I do much better. This is something we all need to pay serious attention to. If one reads the verse carefully, you will notice that to be good to parents, is second to believing in God. Peace. Anas Zubedy Kathmandu, Nepal.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

DANCE PARTIES AND KOLEJ KEDIAMAN ZAABA

DANCE PARTIES AND KOLEJ KEDIAMAN ZAABA

I am the fortunate few who had a chance to spend my university life at KOLEJ KEDIAMAN ZAABA the 7TH residential college, Universiti Malaya during the mid-eighties.

We were lucky to have a very outstanding (and I am not overstating here, many of us from the same era will vouch for this) college Master in Prof Dr Omar Farouk who created an environment for performance where young Malaysians could grow, test out our leadership talents and potentials and be at our best. A place where we could transit into good citizens.

At the university level we had the wonderful and very capable Timbalan Naib Chanselor the late Prof Madya Mohd Yunus Mohd. Noor and our very respectable and awesome Vice-Chanselor Royal Prof Ungku Abdul Aziz who not only were willing to defend our college Master’s approach, but went all out to support him.

With these solid support from the university, Dr Omar could provide us with an open environment where diversity and inclusion thrived. Respect for others is the norm. We were encouraged to always work our way to the top, do the best and be the best! Work hard, play hard! Excel in whatever we do!

We were able to run and manage not only national level projects but also international level ones. We were perhaps the most active college not only in the country but likely the world. Our projects were recognized internationally and was even honored in newspaper editorials.

Yet, we were labelled by the group of people who felt that we were too western, too ‘duniawi’. We were told that we are not Islamic enough. Prof Ungku Aziz, Prof Madya Yunus and Dr Omar’s names were ridiculed during Friday prayers. Big groups of people came to ‘tunjuk perasaan’ and ‘bantah’.
Why? Simply because we want to have our ‘dinner and dance’ at hotels. It is not relevant to them that the dinner and dance is to celebrate, reward and award those who have worked hard and did the college proud in projects, sports, social activities, etc.

To them dancing is bad, hotels are ‘haram’ and mixing people of different gender, religious backgrounds and race should be avoided. And, they see it as their right to impose their thoughts on others too.

How far are they willing to go?

Our Master and college members were pelted with rotten eggs. They spoke rudely to a kind and well-mannered elder, Dr Omar, who was ever willing to discuss and listen to their views and agree to disagree. When my team and I were managing a project bringing Kelantanese arts and culture, lives were threatened and we had to deal with bomb hoaxes – simply because they felt that Kelantanese culture is against their religious beliefs.

That was when we were in the eighties. Have we got any better today? Unfortunately, not. Today the problem has gone national. A video clip showing the Chief Justice and Attorney General dancing to the tune of “Lets Twist Again” with the law Minister and members of the Bar is able to send a large segment of our society into conniption. We need to stop, think, reflect and choose where we want this nation to head to. In fact, at certain levels it is not an overstatement to say that we are becoming a society with a sick mentality: where a dance party is now seen and promoted as though it is a sex orgy!

We need to engage with these group of people especially the leaders and influencers and help them pay attention to what is crucial.

Let me use the Zaaba experience to unpack this.

The dance parties represent an extremely small amount of time, energy and focus to those who were at KOLEJ ZAABA. The rest of the time it was hard work, delivering performance, adding value and doing good. But if one pays attention to only that few hours of dancing instead of a whole year of work, that is being myopic, petty and senseless. Ditto the Opening of the Legal Year 2019 dinner.

Inability to pay attention to what is crucial and core is a huge social and human problem that leads to bad results. The militant Muslims for example pay attention to fighting while in reality in his 23 years of his Prophethood, actual fighting was not more than 3 days. That should give an indication about the Quran’s and the Prophet’s position on fighting. Yet, fighting defines the lives of the ‘jihadist’.

We need to choose what we are paying attention to.
If you still do not get it, amongst the products of KOLEJ ZAABA are the current KSN, KSU of Foreign Ministry, The EC Chairman, top surgeons at IJN and countless more.
So please do not focus on the dancing. Pay attention to the hard work and results.

To Royal Prof. Ungku Aziz, Allahyarham Prof. Madya Mohd Yunus and Prof.Dr Omar Farouk, thank you for the opportunity. Thank you for paying attention to what is crucial and gave us the environment to be good Malaysian citizens.

May all of us guide ourselves with love, logic and wisdom. Love, because love makes us fair with our hearts; Logic, because logic makes us fair with our minds; and Wisdom, because wisdom leads us to combine our love and logic in the way of God and for the benefit of Mankind.

Peace.
Anas Zubedy
Kuala Lumpur