Monday, 13 June 2011


with thanks to Hashim Atan On April 10, 1920, in the initial stage of the Turkish Revolution, the Sheikh ul-Islam Durrizade Abdullah issued a fatwa decreeing that the revolutionaries were infidels and it was jihad to fight them. The Sheikh-ul-Islam was appointed by Sultan Mehmed VI. On the same day, the mufti of Ankara, Rifat Boreckci and supported by ulamas across Anatolia, issued a fatwa decreeing that the anti-revolutionaries were infidels and it was jihad to fight them. Anatolia was under the control of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Both fatwas were backed by the Quran, Hadith, Sunnah and fiqah. Both were issued on behalf of God. The only difference was the interests of the paymasters. In the same vein, mosques across Selangor last Friday read out sermons decreeing that the sex video depicting Anwar Ibrahim as a fitnah. Selangor is under the control of PKR and Anwar Ibrahim is the party’s de-facto leader. The recent PAS muktamar too decreed that the sex video is a fitnah as it lacks the four adult pious males as witnesses. PAS adopted that stance solely to serve its political interests. PAS sorely needs Anwar to wrest control of Puterajaya. If the video had shown an UMNO leader, the scenario would be different. The peddlers of religious authority in PAS and PKR would dig deeper in their cave and find a fatwa issued by some mufti somewhere in Timbuktu sometime in the 8th century that video images are acceptable in lieu of four adult pious males. Never mind that video technology did not exist then, the peddlers will somehow find justification through somewhat obscurantist arguments. So far, the peddlers of religious authority aligned to UMNO have not spoken out to counter. They have a major problem. They lack credibility. Throughout the years, the UMNO-appointed muftis have only issued fatwas against soft-targets. They were prompt in condemning pengkids, botox, yoga and poco-poco but never against corruption which is the bane of the ummah. Peddlers of religious authority are peddlers. They make a living by selling religion. They speak to serve the interests of their paymasters by mimicking the voice of God. HASHIM ATAN