malaysia

In fiery speech, cleric tells forum only Malays fought invaders, communists

Chairman of the Ummah umbrella group for Muslim organisations Ismail Mina speaks during the ‘Konvensyen Kebangkitan Ummah 2018’ held at the Malaysia Islamic Centre in Kuala Lumpur January 13, 2018. ― Picture by Miera ZulyanaChairman of the Ummah umbrella group for Muslim organisations Ismail Mina speaks during the ‘Konvensyen Kebangkitan Ummah 2018’ held at the Malaysia Islamic Centre in Kuala Lumpur January 13, 2018. ― Picture by Miera ZulyanaKUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 — A Muslim cleric from a conservative Islamic coalition told a convention here today that only the Malay community had resisted British colonialists and Japanese occupiers, erasing the contributions of other ethnicities.

Ismail Mina Ahmad, the chairman of the Ummah umbrella group for Muslim organisations, also asserted that only the Malays had battled the communists, which he claimed made the community a target of the predominantly-Chinese Insurgency that lasted for forty years.

“I want to tell you now, despite other races having been in the country then, only the Malays fought against the Siamese, the British, the Japanese,” Ismail said in a speech peppered with religious and racial remarks.

“And most importantly — listen to this — only the Malays were targeted by the 'three stars,’” he added.

The “three stars” refer to the emblem worn by the defunct Communist Party of Malaya.

Historically, minority participation in the fight for independence against the British and the Japanese is well-documented, while Chinese police personnel had also been active participants in anti-communist action.

Ismail’s assertion are also contradicted by academics who previously noted in essays and commentaries that the latter community had also been a major victim of communist violence, which they said was driven primarily by ideology and not race.

Ummah's convention today is meant to galvanise what Ismail described as “Islamic forces” as well as gather intellectual and theological inputs for the group's effort to form a strategy against a purported offensive against Islam and ethnic Malays.

The cleric repeatedly suggested that outspoken minorities pose a danger to the position of Islam in the country and Malay political rule, claiming the communities are aiming to usurp power even after the Malays have showed generosity by allowing them to become Malaysians.

“We gave them the opportunity to become citizens.. but now they even want to be a prime minister,” Ismail claimed.

“The only thing they haven't demanded for is to be King,” he added.

Ismail said Ummah must focus its resources on establishing Malay political supremacy to avert the supposed minority takeover, a campaign which he claimed has divine blessing.

“When people talk about maqasid syarak they only mention the five… but there are more: one of them is to ensure the stability and harmony of society (at all cost),” he asserted.

The maqasid syarak in Islamic jurisprudence refers to the higher objective of the shariah, but the interpretation varies between conservative and progressive clerics.

The latter believes the aim of maqasid syarak — the protection of faith, life, property, lineage and intellect — must still be done within the context of shariah rule.

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