I'd pick the Devil I know .....

Today's Islamic fundamentalism is also a cover for political motifs.
We should not overlook the political motifs we encounter
in forms of religious fanaticism.
-Jurgen Habermas

During the last elections, we had the religious right in this country agreeing to tone down their religious big0try and rhetoric - in the interest of gaining votes for power. They stopped asking for an Islamic State.

Reassurances were given by the leaders of PAS, DAP and PKR, which culminated in the signing of The People's Declaration which lacked of explicit statement on this matter (of the Islamic State). The issue of the PAS vote was written in I did mention this in the comments section of MalaysiaToday when it was revealed that - however, the comment wasn't given heed.

Back in 21/11/2007 when I wrote The PAS factor - A Viable Alternative?, (which was published in MalaysiaToday), I had posed a few questions as follows, (to which there was no real reply):-

-Don't you realize that your policies are 'exclusivistic'?
-Don't you realize that you are the ones keeping BN in power?
-That you are instrumental to their existence?
-That you complement their intentions?
-How many of you actually understand and are tolerant of the sentiments, culture, religions and lifestyle of the Kufr? (By this I do not mean the 'negligible' Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah, Perlis and Pahang populace).
-Do you intend to start policies of Islamic this and Islamic that?
-Do you plan to impose nationwide dress code and gender segregation should you gain power?
-Would you endeavour to abolish "immoral" entertainment outlets?
-What about education? Wanna promote madrasahs?
-Take a good look at your policies and ask yourselves - Are you the Trojan Horse party?

Despite the lack of response, I agreed to give PAS the benefit of doubt and lend them my support (no matter how insignificant it may be) with the formation of Pakatan Rakyat. This was simply in the interest of helping the reform process required to save the nation. It was no means an endorsement of PAS's "fundamentalist" ideas of repression and bigotry.
However, events of late indicate that they are (or at least they have within their fold) Trojan Horses, who serve to prop-up Umno.

The following was a comment I left on Merdeka? What Merdeka? on People's Parliament:-
"“1-Black Merdeka” it is, Haris.
However, this “Merdeka”, I declare that I’m willing to vote Umno/BN to let Malaysia be damned if our PR (PAS, mainly) and Umno reps cannot get their act together to accept the fact that we are a SECULAR Democracy.
If the mullahs of PAS/Umno cannot be silenced, and are too powerful for our chickenshit reps who don’t have the courage to openly declare that we are a secular Democracy, then so be it- let Malaysia be damned with the (Umno or PAS) Taliban-Calibans!
I am so sick of these moronic bigots ….."

"Those who would give up essential liberty,
to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790), Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Upon gaining power however, PAS appears to have let power get the better of them, and have started imposing its will upon its electorate and sabotaging the ideals for which Pakatan Rakyat stands for, and umwittingly (or by design) playing to Umno's tune.
Of late, through Hassan Ali, Nasharuddin, Nasruddin (and maybe others as well, like Zul Nordin of PKT), they have started once again calling for the imposition of "Islamic" values upon a people who are unwilling to accept them. They conveniently tell non-Muslims "not to interfere" in matters that "don't concern them" - while they hold their Muslim brothers hostage to edicts pronounced by clerics. They are quick to claim that "Islam is under attack" by secularists, while they disregard the fact that we have become far more "Islamic" than what we were for the last century or so. (Well, Umno does the very same thing .., but at least they understand the virtues of secularism.)
It reminds me of what Hitler's Reichsmarshall Hermann Goering said - that "people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and attack the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger". This approach of PAS, I'm certain, will rip to shreds, the fabric of the nation, which depends on its secular nature as envisioned by the founders to remain progressive and competitive.

The anxiety among the electorate of the Islamists subverting our Secular Democracy, and betraying the Federal Constitution as seen in other countries, is very real. Despite their "PAS for All" slogan and the non-Muslim votes that have given them much power - I sincerely hope that they do not forget that they are for now, just being given the benefit of doubt, pending reform of the BN.

The saddest part of it all, is the fact that nobody dares to silence them - neither the PR nor BN. The rational Muslim whimpers and whispers, when faced with these wannabe godmen who shout out loud at them, with their "wisdom". Meanwhile, the non-Muslim leader simply remains silent because they don't with to provoke the "rage-boys". (Read Haris Ibrahim's "Who is MB of Selangor? Hassan or Khalid?") This is simply because they are plain CHICKEN -they FEAR being labeled as "unIslamic", "anti-Islam" or even being accused of being a "secularist"(so now that has become a four-letter word!!) and whatever else is seen as the usual Islamic bogeyman.

Taking that into consideration, barring the possibility of a real reform in the attitudes of the leadership of PAS or its withdrawal/expulsion from the Pakatan Rakyat pact - I'm prepared to give my vote back to Umno, and let Malaysia be damned if it loses its civil liberties and secular nature. I would rather have Malaysia sink into corruption with UMNO with our secular nature intact, rather than live with the theocratic "cavemen" of the "Talibans". At least the descent with Umno wouldn't be as steep.
It's just the lesser of two evils - should the two remain the only choices left ......

"So this is how liberty dies-
With thunderous applause."
-'Senator Amidala', Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005)


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