Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Sky Kingdom and mob rule

When is religion a religion and when is a cult a cult? When one is recognized and acknowledged as legitimate while the other is deemed deviant from mainstream religious practices. My stand on such issues is that we should let each have their own way and live and let live to a point where their teachings is not detrimental in inciting people to do harm unto others or to cause harm to themselves. It is a shock that even for the Sky Kingdom whereby a mob could head to their commune and set about destroying the structures built there as well as other property belonging to their members. Firstly, mob rule is not a thing we should tolerate in our country; it is a bit peculiar that this could happen without people inciting a mob and organizing them into a coherent band to head out with the sole objective to cause damage to property within the Sky Kingdom community. Secondly this shows a breakdown of law and order, no matter what we say about the Sky Kingdom being deviant from Islam, lawlessness and mob justice in destroying private property as well as trespassing with intent on doing harm is still breaking the law. Thirdly what are the people protesting about? Why the banner waving and shouting, what has Ayah Pin done to these people that require them to protest?

What is the initial impetus for this ‘mob attack’, with disgruntled parties trying to take action into their own hands without resorting to the rule of law, is a good question to ask. It is a sad day here in Malaysia for such an event, not for the fact that there is a deviant cult in our midst with believes that some quarters cannot accept but more so for the fact that people think they can use intimidation and force of strength to reinforce what they believe is right. It scares me so to think that one day some fanatics might be outside my house calling me deviant for some behavior they deem inappropriate while brandishing parangs, sticks and plastic bags filled with petrol. People fleeing in the night with their lives, property burned down, angry faceless mobs demanding reprisal and conducting acts of violence; the last I recall it invokes the time of the Japanese and the Communists. So which is more wrong, someone practicing their beliefs (though we consider it not of our own) or the fact that people use their belief to downbeat others that do not share the same views as they do? I do hope the police will investigate further into this matter and the ringleaders as well as the perpertrators be held accountable for their actions. Whither the peaceful Malaysian.

Pictures taken from the Star


Lucia Lai said...

the thing is we must respect people's freedom of choice. if ayah pin choose to denounce islam and started his own group where there is freedom of religion, so what? of course, yes, because islam is a religion where you are NOT allowed to leave your faith, where it is wrong to do so. putting that aside, ayah pin whether he is still a muslim or not a muslim, what he had done was not something bad, what he had done does no harm to anyone, so just leave him alone.

kervin you brought up a good point. yes, what if i appear to be a bit eccentric and have my own belief, will i fear mob of people with parang or molotov cocktails come knocking at my door?

i hope the authorities will take actions against these 'terrorists' (as i mentioned it in my blog), and i hope it is not something as malaysiakini boldly asked - 'a political party or gomen agency that instigate the attackers?'.

narrowband said...

check this out:

Malaysian Landmark Visible From Space

Cracked me up :p LOL

Kervin said...

lucia lai: It would be a good case to see if justice really prevails or its going to be another farce where the attackers will be let off even if they have violated the law.

narrowband: Haha funny XD

ihsanhassan said...

Islam is not as simple as you have potrayed. the delicate matter of 'murtad' is nothing 1+1=2. there is another dimension to it that non-muslims will find it hard to understand or accept. im sorry im not an expert on thelogy so i cant explain it here. it would be wrong (or maybe even sinful) of me or anyone without a thorough knowledge of Quran, hadiths, fiqh etc. to give an opinion on why deviated teachings (ajaran sesat) shouldn’t be allowed to mushroom. I hope you understand this and if you’re curious (or unsatisfied) you have to ask someone highly educated in syariah.

yes, constitutionally, everyone is free to choose their religion. and yes, we shouldn’t let the public take the law into their hands by attacking the commune. nobody should condone such act.

but in the case of sky kingdom, it is quite different as the "cult" has DEVIATED Islamic teachings, which (like the mob attack) is against the Malaysian law. Ayah Pin may have denounced Islam because he wanted to avoid arrest but the fact remains: Sky Kingdom's teachings are mainly deviation of Islam. notice the monuments - "bahtera Noh"(Noah's Ark), "Telaga Zam zam (a name taken from a holy well in Mecca)".

The sky kingdom issue has invoked debates not only on human rights and religious interpretations but also the philosophical basis of which is an “accepted” or “unfair” law. As a Muslim, I strongly believe that Sky Kingdom cult is a violation of law and like any criminal offence it should be dealt with utmost seriousness.

Kervin said...

ihsanhassan: Firstly the fact is I did not mention once that Islam was a target of anything especially in any bad light, any religion is anything but simple. Every single religion has what they deem cults, even Christianity which I deem is my denomination has it's own dealings with cults and deviants. The heart of the matter is how each religion deals with it, the inquisitions once tried to erradicate what they called deviants including anything that people deem inappropriate in daily lives and the result was many were killed even though they were innocent.

You may be right that there will always be dimensions within a religion that others not within it may never understand but it does not take a theologian to see common understanding. Theologians can go and debate the finer points of holy texts as much as they wish. I agree that dangerous cults should be dealt a heavy hand, the Aum Cult in Japan responsible for the gas attack in Tokyo is a good example as well as the incident where militant cults were attacked in Waco.

In the end it is our knowledge and understanding in each other's beliefs and the acceptance of each other living together is what makes multireligious society works much so the world. But in my personal belief I cannot accept the rational of not allowing oneself to renounce a religion they don't deem suited anymore for them, yet I respect the fact that under Islam this is enshrined to disallow apostasy and it is the right of Muslims to practice that concept. The issue here is not what Islam stands for in this case deviant believers and apostates, but of the rule of law.

As for the Sky Cult I have never disagreed with you opinion that if the authorities deem them deviant that they should have the right as soverign states to ban it. What I wanted to point out from the issue in my entry is that we as law abiding citizens should not condone violence in this case an unprovoke and mob riddled action to cause harm to another without due process of law. If the authorities wish to deal with them then find an offense and through the courts (be it civil or syariah) charge them with that said offence.

Malaysians have been a multicultural society as well as multireligious, I think we could not have prospered so long if we are not considerate to each other's beliefs and practices. Islam is the purview of the state as well as it's religious organs such as the syariah and these has the juristictions and rights to governs their followers, thus I do not question their hand in acting yet like my post says I do not wish to one day find a mob asking for blood outside my house because of certain belief I hold true and they find deviant.