A few weeks ago I was invited to deliver a talk to a group of students regarding the topic: “Threats on Islam in Malaysia”.
(“Wait, there are threats?”)
I started off my talk with an analogy.
Imagine you are a “pak guard” in a local residence. The crime rate in the area is high and it keeps increasing. So naturally, what would be the best character for the “pak guard”? Should he adopt the leanest possible way of treating people wanting to come through the gate? Should he be a little less mean? Or should he be a bit loud?
Oh my if you’ve just been robbed by a bunch of thieves, I bet you would immediately asked the “pak guard” to be at his strictest character. Because you really value your belongings. And more importantly, your life!
So, the best character is to be strict, because we want to avoid all possibilities of some bad guy coming into our territory right?
Then I turned to the audience and tell them who fits into the analogy.
“Pak Guard” → Harakah Islam/NGO Islam
Local Residence → Malaysia, our beloved country and the sovereignty of Islam
Residents → Citizens of Malaysia
Bad guy → Threats on Islam (read: COMANGO, IFC, Chauvinists that are against Islam)
Crime rate → The number of attempts being made by the bad guys that is threatening the sovereignty of Islam in Malaysia.
It should be easy now to solve the equation.
Why do you think that some of the NGOs are being louder than the other? The reason for that is because we — yes, we— want to protect our country from the threats that the bad guys are imposing on the sovereignty of Islam in Malaysia. If we are not loud, then NO ONE will be loud enough to protect Malaysia from those threats!
Will there be casualties? Yes there will be.
- The Bad Guys — We tighten up the security, bad guys’ plan will fail.
- Some Good Local Residents — Sometimes, the security is so tight, the local residents themselves are inflicted with the “tempias” of the strictness. If this happens, the community can decide if they want to replace the “pak guard” with one that have a less strict character, and sacrifice the safety of the residence, or just bear with the “tempias”, try to understand the situation and cooperate. For the greater good, some residents might feel offended. Good residents who are “terasa” by the outcome of the strict character of “pak guard” should well understood the positive side of this, and cooperate. If we are willing to bear the strictness so that we can tighten up all the loose ends, then I can tell you we can scare off all these threats.
Some people even say that the “pak guard” should be more specific when addressing the people coming into the residence. True, it will reduce the good residence casualties, but it won’t be effective in scaring off threats.
Wouldn’t it be more effective if the “pak guard” just be the strictest person on earth and then the whole town will know that the “pak guard” is a tough one, and then it creates a “wave” to all the bad guys that this territory is off their limit and if they want to do bad stuff, this is clearly not the place?
So if you are still wondering why ISMA is louder than others, especially those apologetic so-called “pak guard”, it is because of all of the above. If we have hurt your feelings in some of our actions, do understand it is for the greater good of Malaysia and its citizens. We accept the constructive criticism made by some of you, and we will improve our service to the country from time to time.
Mohd Rusman Arief bin A Rahman
Chief Secretary of ISMA’s Overseas Bureau