Thursday, October 6, 2011

Can socialism and religion co-exist?

1. What prompted me to post that may sound like a serious academic debate is when I saw a posting in my Facebook about a Muslim Malay holding the position as DAP Deputy Branch Chairman in Negeri Sembilan.

2. I must admit it is quite rare, at least in Negeri Sembilan, for a Muslim Malay to join DAP. The normal routine would be if a Muslim or a Malay supports opposition he would have been a member of PAS or PKR but never a DAP member.

3. I also do not deny that now DAP is encouraging and is opening its door wide to Muslims or Malays to become its members. Why? DAP‘s official statement would be they are striving for multiracial memberships which is aligned to its motto “Malaysian Malaysia". However, any political dick and harry knows that it is a part of DAP strategies to overcome the problem they faced in Perak.

4. Winning majority state seats in Perak during 2008 General Election made DAP thought they could have the first DAP Menteri Besar of Perak, like Pulau Pinang having a DAP Ketua Menteri. They were later caught by surprise when they read the Perak State Constitution that allows only Muslim Malay to be the Menteri Besar of Perak. DAP had to compromise its plan and put Dato’ Nizar from PAS to be the Perak Menteri Besar.

5. DAP had learned its' lesson from Perak experience and now it is planning ahead to have its' own Menteri Besar, should they win majority state seats in the coming General Election. DAP is eyeing states like Perak, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Selangor.

6. DAP embraces the idea Democratic Socialism and this is clearly stated in its' party constitution. At the other angle, can a Muslim, professing Islamic religion and believing in Islamic faith,subscribe to the idea of Socialism?

7. I have the opportunity to read the writings of Lenin regarding Socialism and Religion, the translation of course, in his collection of writings named “Novaya Zhizn”( Vol.10 pg 83-87) and Lenin wrote “

“Religion must be declared a private affair. In these words socialists usually express their attitude towards religion. But the meaning of these words should be accurately defined to prevent any misunderstanding. We demand that religion be held a private affair so far as the state is concerned. But by no means can we consider religion a private affair so far as our Party is concerned. Religion must be of no concern to the state, and religious societies must have no connection with governmental authority. Everyone must be absolutely free to profess any religion he pleases, or no religion whatever, i.e., to be an atheist, which every socialist is, as a rule. Discrimination among citizens on account of their religious convictions is wholly intolerable. Even the bare mention of a citizen’s religion in official documents should unquestionably be eliminated. No subsidies should be granted to the established church nor state allowances made to ecclesiastical and religious societies…..”

8. Lenin concluded by writing the following words “The revolutionary proletariat will succeed in making religion a really private affair, so far as the state is concerned. And in this political system, cleansed of medieval mildew, the proletariat will wage a broad and open struggle for the elimination of economic slavery, the true source of the religious humbugging of mankind."

9. By reading Lenin’s writing we would now understand why the mosques and surau in Pulau Pinang were ordered not to read Quran aloud in the midst of dawn during Ramadhan month this year. To a Socialist, religion is a private affair so the Quran should be read and heard only to Muslims and not to other people.

10. In Malaysia, Islam is the religion of the Federation and it is so embedded in the Federal Constitution. Same and similar provision can be found in many States constitutions. Socialism despises religion to be the concern of the State. Socialism also says that the bare mention of a citizen’s religion in official documents should unquestionably be eliminated.

11. A Menteri Besar in states like Perak, Negeri Sembilan and Selangor shall casually be appointed the Chairman for Islamic Religious Council of the State. He shall carry out the function as Islamic State Chief for and on behalf of the Sultans.The question now would be could a person who subscribes to the idea of Socialism can effectively carry out such function? Would the fate of those states be like Pulau Pinang, if DAP wins majority state seats in those states?

12. To those Malays either in UMNO or PAS, this is something worth to think about!

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