SOME estimates say that by the year 2020, Muslims will make up nearly half of all Europeans, not to mention a substantial part of the population of the Americans. (Ref: “Why ISLAM?” by Mrs K Sherman, a native of New York.)
“According to the World Christian Encyclopedia figures, the 962 million global Muslim population in 1990 has risen to 1.2 billion today, out of a total world population of 6.2 billion. That figure is expected to climb to 1.8 billion by 2025, and to 2.3 billion by 2060. According to Canadian Society of Muslims estimates, Muslims will comprise 30 per cent of the world population by 2015.” (Ref: Born in Mekah, Spreading across world”, The Brunei Times 24 Oct 2008).
Actually, this sublime spread of ISLAM was/is Promised by Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala in this verse 19 of Surah Al-Fath (The Victory)(48):
“And many gains which they will acquire. And Allah is ever Mighty and Wise.”
Ponder on this: “The more I read, the more convinced I became that ONLY ISLAM can bring peace and happiness. In ISLAM, we are not born in sin and do not need redemption, and our salvation depends entirely on our own actions.” (Lady Evelyn ZeinabCobbold in the book “Why ISLAM-The world’s fastest growing religion.”)
Wherever, whenever I could, I studied the various published explanations, comments, answers given by those religious professionals from our Religious Authorities. Having heard and read some of those explanations, comments, answers so proffered, they drove this cold surge of concern which chilled my head and spine. They prompted me to forewarn myself that “sooner or later they would recoil on us — that day would happen”,that “half-baked knowledge is self-destructive”, that “zealots are self-defeating, attracting ridicule”, that “a perfect tool can inflict self-injuries to its novice user — the family”, that “we would shoot our own foot”.
What’s sad and embarrassing is that it has happened, as per your various reports quoted above.
The Religious Authorities seemed to have been caught napping. This was a serious lapse; while the enemies were lurking, we were soundly sleeping. Simply “relying” on Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala’s protection that we have “implemented” His Syariah Law! What an over-confidence!
Subsequently, those lapses while we were off-guard have prompted the Monarch to personally, publicly make a royal command to the Religious Authorities to “end the confusion over the Syariah Law.” This very sad and embarrassing happening should have been promptly rectified by the Religious Authorities.
In my article published by your Paper on March 21, 2014, I openly stated that:
“The country’s religious officers must obviously possess deep and wide knowledge of Syariah: must not simply, perfunctorily read from prepared papers. This is because Bruneians nowadays are having agile minds and are being exposed, day and night, at their fingertips, to cyber information and disinformation about ISLAM and ISLAMIC authorities.”
I feel this Divine directive in the Quran regarding these lapses is apt:
“….ask those who have knowledge, if you yourselves do not know.” Verse 43: Surah Al-Nahl(The Bee)(16)
This “half-baked knowledge is self-destructive” prompted me to recall what Yang Berhormat Pehin Jawatan Dalam Seri Maharaja Dato Seri Utama Dr Hj Awang Mohd Jamil Al-Sufri, our venerable national historian had related to a group of us, while having a breakfast with him on 10 Sept 2013, the following colonial insolence in this quartet:
STRONG IN BONE,
WEAK IN HEAD.(!!!)
I feel that this an opportune juncture to spur us to seriously, courageously prick ourselves with introspective self-criticism. A bad wound heals, but insolent words fester. This colonial insolence on the Brunei Malays goads me to once again risk my neck by stating thus: My years of observation convince me that our socio-cultural-mental psyche of “bersopan-santun-pemalu” has unwittingly molded us as a docile race. Thus, what we have been experiencing regarding the onslaughts on our MIB is an indication, again and again, that our docility has been taken advantage of rendering us as easy prey. To the extent that when having been pushed to the corner by those opportunistic interests we meekly feel that it is in our best interests to just yield our head on a golden platter. Hence, what jolly nice, polite Malays, they are. We swallowed the laced bait!
But sadly, when it comes to any slight friction amongst ourselves, we the Malays bare our “strong bones” at each others’ throats. No quarters given. “Sudah jatuh di-timpa tangga; di-suruh lagi di-tunggap buaya. Perek-perek ya sampai inda berdaya.”
The Brunei Times/Letters
Wed, 4 June 2014