PAS claims “half-naked” female students at Universiti Malaya party. Does not deliver.Thursday, March 5, 2009 18:47
Like any hot-blooded male, I thought that news reports that female students at Universiti Malaya had attended an event on campus “half-naked” would lead to some racy photos. So I was disappointed when the photos that eventually turned up depicted nothing that you wouldn’t be able to see on any ordinary day in Kuala Lumpur. The accusations were made by an MP for PAS, a Islamic political party, who objected to the students wearing such clothes for a Ladies’ Night event at the university. As any sane person can see, the wonder is that something so insignificant would create such a controversy at all. You can read a detailed chronology of the accusations and public relations mess this has caused in the Malay language here. It’s pretty sad that the deputy minister had to even concede that such attire should not be allowed in the university lecture halls.
As a poster on LYN, where I picked up this news from, commented, this is rather insulting to the female students who attended the event. If anything, they’re the ones who deserve an apology from that PAS MP. As a Malaysian, I’m convinced that PAS is a far better alternative than the ruling National Front but cheap shots like this for the conservative crowd are making the party lose points among moderates. There certainly are PAS politicians who sound intelligent, reasonable and can act as an advocate for Islamic values without coming across as a barbarian. Take this opinion piece by Khalid Samad, PAS MP for Shah Alam for example. He writes:
I remember Datuk Seri Tuan Guru Abdul Hadi Awang’s lecture where he told us of a case in the time of the Prophet. A man came and admitted to the Prophet that he had committed adultery and requested that he be punished. The Holy Prophet remained silent and turned away from him. The man came in front of the Prophet and repeated his admission and request. The Holy Prophet responded in the same manner, turning away from him. The man came in front of the Prophet again and repeated the admission and request for the third time. The Prophet then asked the companions who were there witnessing this incident to take the man away and punish him as he requested.
Later the companions returned and reported to the Prophet that the man, prior to being punished, had a change of heart and ran away. They chased him and meted out the punishment. The Holy Prophet looked at his companions and asked: “Why did you chase him? You should have let him go”.
From the short story it is clear that there is no zealousness in the meting out of punishment. The Prophet only consented when the man showed great remorse for having sinned and wished himself to be cleansed. However, if that was no longer the case, the need was no longer there. Note also how the man was not questioned who his partner was. No thumbscrews. No witch hunt.
Actually it is this kind of zealousness which the non-Muslims fear from Pas and this is where we must emulate the spirit of the Islam more accurately. We should not become zealous moralists who wish to enforce their moral code on others. As I always say, preach, reason and argue with them in the best of ways. Never give them the impression that we wish to impose something on them irrespective of how noble the intentions. That was the way of the Prophet and that too must be our way.
If only all PAS politicians would heed those words.