One of the most overlooked responsibilities of Muslim leaders is that they are answerable for the faith and beliefs of the Muslims that they lead and as well as the position and dignity of Islam. It is especially so for Malaysia, whose Federal Constitution has stated that Islam is the religion of the federation (NOT the official religion).
This is the fact that Dr. Reza Aslan, a confused outsider with a skewed idea of how Islam should be, but claimed himself as a theology expert could never understand.
From The Malaysian Insider:
Putrajaya is setting itself up as a “parent” rather than an elected government, in banning the use of the word Allah among non-Muslims and dictating how Malaysian Muslims should practise their faith, prominent Iranian-American theologian Reza Aslan said.
In October, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) said that Malaysia as a nation “officially” adhered to the Shafie school of thought, in response to the backlash over the “I want to touch a dog” event which proved popular among Muslims.
(read the rest here: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/putrajaya-should-not-dictate-muslims-beliefs-says-reza-aslan)
It is also interesting how Dr. Aslan blamed the Putrajaya for the Allah issue when the Head of the Religion of Islam is in fact the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong. By pointing his finger at Putrajaya instead of Jakim alone, it is safe to assume that either Dr. Aslan or The Malaysian Insider or both of them, were politically biased (not that it’s a big surprise).
Please take notice the words coloured in red where The Malaysian Insider wrote, “…in banning the use of the word Allah among non-Muslims…”. That statement is incorrect. The word Allah is not banned from use among non-Muslims but instead they are banned from referring Allah to anything but the Muslim God alone.
The article also mentioned:
He said that centralised religious authorities should not exist in countries that profess to adhere to Islam, adding that such a practise was akin to usurping the authority of the Prophet Muhammad.
“Islam allows me to follow any mufti that I please. We don’t have a pope, we don’t have a bishop who tells us what we can do.
“The very notion that a group of old men gets to decide for me or for you what is the proper interpretation of my faith, that goes against the very fabric and nature of Islam,” Reza told The Malaysian Insider in a phone interview.
“Anyone who tells you there is only one version of Islamic behaviour or ideology or morality is speaking out of pure ignorance,” said Reza.
As you can see from his statement above, it is obvious that his views are that of a liberal and of a person who seems to be so egotistic to believe that only he knows what Islam really is. He is apparently ignorant of the fact that the Muslims in Malaysia are Sunni Muslims;”people of the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad and the consensus of the Ummah”, meaning that we follow a consensus and not make up our own rules as he did.
And atop of that, he declared in another interview that Islam is simply nothing but a man made institution.
See 19:42 of the video:
Islam is a man-made institution. It’s a set of symbols and metaphors that provides a language for which to express what is inexpressible, and that is faith. It’s symbols and metaphors that I prefer, but it’s not more right or more wrong than any other symbols and metaphors. It’s a language, that’s all it is.
Also, at 05:14 of the video, he said:
Somehow Harris is a better expert at what Islam is or means than the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world.
When (Sam) Harris shares his imaginary idea of Islam, Dr. Reza says that this one person is better than “the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world”; but when commenting about the Islamic authorities of Malaysia; he argues how the minority voice can claim that they are right. Remember what he said earlier in The Malaysian Insider article?
and then you tell me that 99.9% of Muslims who don’t think what you think, who don’t feel what you feel, are not Muslims. That only you and your version is the correct one.
If he does not believe that his version of Islam is the correct one, he would not enforce its principles now, would he?
This is not the first time Reza Aslan has shared (or forced) his opinions on Islamic matters in Malaysia, especially on the Kalimah Allah issue despite he believes that Islam could be interpreted as any way a person wishes to. And as before, his statements had been very self contradicting as well as embodying the voice of a liberal Muslim.
I wonder what is the opposition media ‘The Malaysian’s Insider’s motive in featuring such an ‘expert’? This certainly says a lot about the supporters of the oppositions’ stances on the principles of Islam.