Marina Mahathir’s demand for Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia to retract allegations contained in their flyer as well as her threat of legal action against the organization elicit a response from Isma activist Dr Muhammad Hasbullah.
The Bangsar Malaysia icon has finally met her match in Isma, an organizationally savvy bunch of urban professionals. For too long Madam ‘Liberal Doses’ Marina has ridden roughshod over the country’s Muslim NGOs (the serban dan jubah types) due to her polish and worldliness in contrast to their corresponding lack of sophistication.
But Isma is a different kettle of fish.
Not only are the Isma members intelligent and articulate but they can communicate in English as well as she can. All this while the cosmopolitan Marina has had an easy walkover through successfully managing to portray her Muslim critics as country bumpkin clerics and winning the debate in the Western (read international) eyes.
So for once in the present face-off with Isma, Marina Mahathir will find herself on a level playing field instead of the usual advantage she enjoys over language-and-exposure handicapped opponents who are deferential to her status as the (then) Prime Minister’s eldest daughter and media darling.
And best of all, the well-funded Isma shows no sign of backing down or backing off in the face of her bullying and waving the lawsuit at them.
Dr Muhammad Hasbullah retorts that Marina Mahathir has not denied the fact that her NGO Sisters In Islam is involved in Comango — the Coalition of Malaysian NGOs in the Universal Periodic Review Process.
SIS is indeed and undoubtedly a part of Comango.
Dr Muhammad Hasbullah further points put that Marina has not stated her stand with regard to Comango’s demands. Which she should, given how Marina’s reputation as a leading liberal and her many past kumbayah writings have made her a Firster poster girl.
In view of her theatrics and playing the victim of slander, Dr Muhammad Hasbullah suggests that it would be more convincing if Marina were to slam those in SIS who are involved in the coalition. “But no, she did not. If she is so angry to be related to the coalition, she should be angry that her group is involved in it too,” the doctor adds.
He thus issues the following challenge to the SIS bigwig:
“In the eyes of the masses, to be a board member of an association which forms part of Comango is evidence enough that you are involved in it. How can a leader be isolated from the action of its subordinates and claims uninvolvement? If you are not happy about it, tell the media. Tell your underlings to stop this nonsense. We cannot read your mind. State your stand!”
True enough. If the buck doesn’t stop with the SIS bosses, then is it the underlings and the volunteers who are to be held culpable?
59 thoughts on “Isma challenges Marina to state her stand”
So, what’s the big deal about Comango?
Seems to me that certain pious worthies seem to get their knickers (or is it seller dalam) in a twist every time the “liberalistas” voice their opinions.
So these pious worthies, who may or may not operate from a worldview of inferiority complexes, should not object when their views are criticised and rebutted. Robustly.
As Marina has done.
I guess the temerity of a Western-educated Muslim female “liberal” is too much for these pious worthies to stomach.
And ain’t that the truth?
Let me try to get you with some degree of accuracy. You’re saying:
(1) Certain pious worthies (Isma and ilk) get into a tizzy every time the Bangsarians voice their liberal opinions.
(2) However, they should not object when their views are criticised and rebutted.
(3) Marina has robustly criticised and rebutted their illiberal views.
(4) They’re unable to stomach her Western-educated, Muslim female liberal viewpoints.
Nonetheless this current flap arose because it is Marina who has gotten her knickers in a twist. She is the one threatening “I’ll sue you, I’ll sue you”.
Isma, as the party threatened with the lawsuit, are quite within their rights to request that Marina state her stand with regard to points (1) to (6) — see https://helenang.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/marina-is-beginning-to-sound-like-guan-eng/ contained in the Comango petition.
Does Marina agree with Malaysians being given
(1) the freedom to apostasize? Yes or No? Nurul Izzah appeared to have said ‘Yes’ at one time before she quickly backtracked.
(2) Legitimizing same sex relations (LGBT). Yes or No? Considering her extensive NGO involvement with HIV-positive people, this is a question pertinent to her.
(3) Abolishing the Malay ‘special position’. Yes or No? Does she support Article 153 or would she agree to its abolishment?
(4) Defining “racism” according to secular Western understanding. What is Marina’s definition? She has used the word in many of her own writings after all.
(5) Rejection of hudud / syariah criminal law. Is her stand consonant with SIS’s stand? SIS is against the implementation of hudud in Malaysia.
(6) Allowing the spread of Syiah and defending the propaganda (presumably the ‘Allah’ word) spread by other religions? The soalan cepumas.
Her Bangsar friends say that the Muslims are so easily confused by Christians using the word. Is Marina of the same mind as her arty-farty coterie?
Helen, your answer and questions in replying to RiverSong is not only well said. It is supposed to be answered by Marina herself.
I wonder what is Tun M opinion regarding his daughter…..!
RE I wonder what is Tun M opinion regarding his daughter…..!
Put it this way. If she is YOUR daughter, what is YOUR opinion ?
To answer your questions, from my perspective:
(1) Is “freedom of religion” and “freedom to freely profess a religion of your choice, without coercion” the same as “freedom to apostasise”. If yes, why not?
(2) LGBT rights. Yes. And why not? Does The Almighty differentiate between LGBTs and “straights”?
(3) Applicable in this day and age? I look at the Twitter IPO and think – this could never happen in Malaysia. Why? Because X per cent will be reserved/allocated to you-know-who.
(4) What’s wrong with the secular Western understanding of racism? Racism is racism, be it in Asia, Australia, Europe or the US.
(5) Islamic justice, aka shariah or hudud. The rest of the world, where syariah/hudud is not practised or enforced, seem to be doing just fine. So why make a big deal about it?
(6) Freedom of religion again. You can’t claim special protection for one and deny the rights of the others. For example, Christianity says that it is it’s mission to evangelise. Is this to be denied or proscribed?
As for me, I’d back a Western-educated “liberal” against a tub-thumping Taliban wannabe.
re: “Racism is racism, be it in Asia, Australia, Europe or the US.”
‘Racism 3.0’ in Malaysia is what the perpetually hysterical Dapsters are screaming it to be.
Really, Helen – are you ducking answering my answers to your questions?
And I didn’t know that we have “Racism 3.0” in Malaysia! What, then, is V1.0 and V2.0?
And didn’t a recent report from a reputable international institution mention a “brain drain” from Malaysia?
Perish the thought that could be caused by Racism 1.0, 2.0 or 3.0!!
To revert to your original question — “So, what’s the big deal about Comango?”
If there’s no big deal to Comango, why is Marina Mahathir so quick to threaten to sue anyone daring to link her to “the process”?
Well, Helen, I can’t presume to answer on behalf of Marina Mahathir. But I do know about closet bigots who are full of ideological and religious zeal and who have no qualms in browbeating those with a more liberal mindset.
As for Comango, time will tell if it’s views are going to be accepted. By reasoned debate, not by demonising.
And what about rebutting (1) – (6) in my earlier post?
Btw, I did ask you about Racism 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0. Would you care to expand on your thesis?
re: “But I do know about closet bigots who are full of ideological and religious zeal and who have no qualms in browbeating those with a more liberal mindset.”
It sounds to me like you’re talking about the Jerusubang evangelistas.
‘And didn’t a recent report from a reputable international institution mention a “brain drain” from Malaysia?’
Ah, here we go again, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Brain drain is a world phenomenon, it is called globalized economy. BBC yesterday had reported about some European youths founding jobs in Australia. So there you go!
Geez, where have you been?!
that’s the link, for you, Riversong
Re (2) LGBT rights. Yes. And why not? Does The Almighty differentiate between LGBTs and “straights”?
You’re obviously an atheist. No religion condones homosexuality.
Re As for me, I’d back a Western-educated “liberal” against a tub-thumping Taliban wannabe.
Too bad for you then because the so called liberals of yours are not so liberal after all. As I have said, and I will copy and paste what I have said below
“Just tell our lawmakers to table a bill in Parliament that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman and see how many of our Members of Parliament will vote yes.
To add a bit of excitement I would suggest that the names of Members of Parliament voting Yes, No and those who abstained be published. After all, we have a right to know where our representatives stand on this issue.
The evangelists have been projecting an image of being liberal and open minded. But I have a funny feeling that if such a bill is ever tabled and put to a vote, these evangelists will no doubt vote yes in support of defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman unless of course their evangelism is based on something else.”
Why don’t you ask these liberals their position on gay marriage ? Ask Hannah Y and her husband. Ask those young Turks of the D A P and P K R. The only thing liberal about them is filing lawsuits. Sorry. there’s one more thing liberal about them. You know what is it ? The work has 6 letters. F I T N A H.
I think river song is rubbish. Don’t think he even read the comanggo report. This kind of people always take moral high ground without any inkling of knowledge. Comanggo made some rubbish assertion on human rights. Don’t even know what’s in the universal declaration of human rights. Go read yourself some of the assertion. This pompous comanngo think they hold the view of everyone here. About time they be accountable.
Why don’t you enlighten us by quoting chapter and verse from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? The original text, mind you, without add-ons or embellishments.
Riffat Hassan on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
“What needs to be pointed out to those who uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to be the highest, or sole, model, of a charter of equality and liberty for all human beings, is that given the Western origin and orientation of this Declaration, the “universality” of the assumptions on which it is based is – at the very least – problematic and subject to questioning. Furthermore, the alleged incompatibility between the concept of human rights and religion in general, or particular religions such as Islam, needs to be examined in an unbiased way.”
Furthermore, Faisal Kutty writes that
A strong argument can be made that the current formulation of international human rights constitutes a cultural structure in which western society finds itself easily at home … It is important to acknowledge and appreciate that other societies may have equally valid alternative conceptions of human rights.”
Ah, yes – how very convenient.
By quoting non-Western commentators, are you implying that the UDHR is only applicable to Western democracies?
Because, if that’s the case, Malaysia should up and withdraw from the UDHR. That is if it ratified it in the first place.
You don’t get to ratify something and then claim it doesn’t apply to you because……
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was drafted with the inclusion of commission members included from non Western nations; China, Egypt, India, Iran, Lebanon, and Philippines. So Mr. Riffat’s argument is incorrect.
I wonder though if someone Riffat Hassan would be welcome in the Islamic milieu of Malaysia. From the same article:
“Women are the targets of the most serious violations of
human rights which occur in Muslim societies in general. Muslims say with great pride that Islam abolished female infanticide; true, but, it must also be mentioned that one of the most common crimes in a number of Muslim countries (e.g., in Pakistan) is the murder of women by their husbands. These so-called “honor-killings” are, in fact, extremely dishonorable and are frequently used to camouflage other kinds of crimes.”
Furthermore it may be of interest to you that SIS reference Riffat Hassan on their site :
“In Indonesia, besides the abundance of progressive scholarship by their own thinkers, new writings by Muslim scholars in English, French, Arabic and Persian, are translated into Bahasa Indonesia within months of publication.
They are consumed voraciously by students, scholars and activists, huddled together in numerous “diskusi” (discussion) groups on campuses, in pesantren and in the community.
The writings of feminist Islamic scholars such as Amina Wadud, Ziba Mir-Hosseini, Asma Barlas, Leila Ahmad, Fatima Mernissi and Riffat Hassan, and even Sisters in Islam’s letters-to-the-editor and Question and Answer booklets are among student reading materials in courses on Islam and gender, contemporary Islamic thought, Islamic jurisprudence and Quranic Interpretation.”
Faisal Kutty is another interesting human rights campaigner. Ironically considering the political persuasion of this site and your past comments, from the same article:
“The call for a more inclusive conception is laudable, particularly given that even proponents of the other views acknowledge that there are certain universal values. For instance, the jailed former deputy prime minister of Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim, a proponent of both Asian values and Islam, writes in his book, The Asian Renaissance, “To say that freedom is western … is to offend our own traditions as well as our forefathers, who gave their lives in the struggle against tyranny and injustice.”
However I do think you are simplifying the complex arguments of these two writers as some kind of anti Western polemic which they are most certainy not.
The last word should go to Kutty, when he writes (from the same article) :
“The only way to ensure universal acceptance of and compliance with international human rights law is by removing the crutch used for so long by human rights violators — that human rights as we know it today is a western construct.”
Edit to add:
Both I suppose are attempting to in their own ways to depart from Western pedagogy when it comes to the issue of human rights.
As Kutty (correctly) points out that both Western and “Other” concepts of the universality of human rights are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
This of course (for me anyway) is reflected in the works of Riffat, the self described Islamic feminist, who ironically had two of her “peace building programmes” post 9/11 funded by the US Department of State.
Edit for clarification:
Both these comments are in response to The International Jew’s post.
Rubbish. obviously youve not applied any brains of yours to the You are one of the many who is malas membaca. Go read the comanngo report and the declaration.
Tell me how does segregation of our children by race be justified under the human rights declaration? Please tell us all the rubbish ignorant justification that they gave. Tak masuk akal.
Certain people thinks anything Western must be good. Just like the opium and toddies thrown by the British, the last time they roamed the east with kukubesi, to some.
It ain’t no small deal for sure when you’re deciding whether it should be written into the country’s legal constitution this:
“It’s OK for Ms. Panties to frolick with Ms Knickers (and “marry each other tooo) and be blessed by God on High and all humankind!” —- with a Superior-Complexed Under-Standing or otherwise, …. one sex or the other.
Just tell our lawmakers to table a bill in Parliament that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman and see how many of our Members of Parliament will vote yes.
To add a bit of excitement I would suggest that the names of Members of Parliament voting Yes, No and those who abstained be published. After all, we have a right to know where our representatives stand on this issue.
The evangelists have been projecting an image of being liberal and open minded. But I have a funny feeling that if such a bill is ever tabled and put to a vote, these evangelists will no doubt vote yes in support of defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman unless of course their evangelism is based on something else.
An interesting note. Helen Ang takes sides with Isma, an extremist religious group who is hostile to other cultural and religious groups. Recently, they have objected to plans to renovate a Hindu temple in Klang, among other things. To Isma, other races and religions need to take a back seat, or be made to sit on the floor with no seat for them.
Yet, these are the people that Helen positively considers “intelligent and articulate”.
re: “Recently, they have objected to plans to renovate a Hindu temple in Klang, among other things. To Isma, other races and religions need to take a back seat, or be made to sit on the floor with no seat for them.”
Are you dense or what, AD-DC? I had already blogged (copypasted below) about the Hindu temple in Klang on Nov 3.
re: “Yet, these are the people that Helen positively considers ‘intelligent and articulate’.”
Yes, and I’ll reiterate: Not only is Isma intelligent and articulate, they’re also darn effective. And I am impressed by their efficient rebuttal to Mujahid Yusof Rawa, which I duly reproduced in my blog.
Isma is more to be feared that even that at-Tantawi guy (Nasrudin Hassan) who wants this concert banned, and that concert banned.
Umno should be afraid, very afraid of Isma. Why? Because Isma is intelligent and articulate. And Isma is willing to create three-corner fights and cause upsets in the seats that the group chooses to contest.
Isma is “darn effective” in receiving derision from Hindus, other religions, and even a big number of Muslims. A lot of people regard them as religious extremists. Perkasa are mostly offshoots from UMNO who think UMNO is a little too liberal. Isma tries to lower the bar.
“Umno should be afraid, very afraid of Isma. Why? Because Isma is intelligent and articulate. And Isma is willing to create three-corner fights and cause upsets in the seats that the group chooses to contest.”
Isma and its political wing Berjasa, will not be getting a shred of support from the Chinese, East Malaysians, and certainly not from the Indians. Even many Malays are reluctant to vote for Berjasa. You are partly right that Berjasa can potentially draw away more votes from UMNO.
re: “Isma and its political wing Berjasa, will not be getting a shred of support from the Chinese”
Please compute. The ruling party (read Umno) is no longer banking on any shred of voter support from the Chinese in GE14 and into the future. Haven’t you figured this out already from the recently announced 2014 Budget?
Oh, well – if the ruling coalition (aka Umno), thinks it can do without Chinese support, then let it go ahead and disenfranchise Malaysian Chinese voters.
That would be the ultimate measure, right?
Of course, that would be preceded by a full-blown capital controls regime, so as funds belonging to you-know-who will not flee the country for more hospitable locations.
So, Helen – are you up for the ultimate measure?
re: “funds belonging to you-know-who will not flee the country”
It’s happening even as we speak. Huge amounts. Black money (belonging to the Chinese) is migrating.
To some, dumbing down is their favorite past time!
Kesian Marina ni kan.
She is no longer relevant and trying very hard to grab on whatever platform that she could hold on to. She doesn’t have the look, style or even an aura of any sort to begin with. Without Tun M, she is just nobody daughter.
I just watched a program on TV3 about Mercy Malaysia humanitarian work in Syria over Dinner today, and there was this Malay Doctor with typical “Makcik-Makcik” look explaining her work to the reporter while treating the conflict victims and patients in the hospital there.
What is Marina’s contribution to this country and society at large actually?
In LIberal Dosa!
She is going through a mid life crisis perhaps ? A friend of mine used to say that when people are becoming increasingly irrelevant, they will do outlandish things in the hope that people will notice them and thus keep them relevant. Could it be that MM is doing the same with her outlandish stunts ?
It’s a checkmate for marina. sooner or later she neeed to draw the line or facing credibility issue. I quest what malay says is correct; dalam setiap tandan pisang, ada yang elok dan yg tak elok.
I’m not implying she is bad blood or what so ever ok. Just consider this, your father is the 4th PM and very prominent man in our country and yet, still alive. Do you think is it ok to hang out with his enemy?
oo well… at least she be truth to herself. A good quality of her which something Nurul Izzah doesnt have.
‘A good quality of her which something Nurul Izzah doesnt have.’
She’s very thick skinned, I gave that to her. Still can’t forget her rather cool demeanor when Hishamudin Rais bashed Tun M at one Bar Council event years back, with Marina in the audience!
Things like this make you wondering what’s in Tun’s mind on Marina. I mean if I have daughter like marina, the phrase “what did i do wrong?” will keep on spinning in my head and that’s for sure
Well Tun Hasmah had said that Tun M had to constantly nasihat her on her associations with certain NGOs. She’s the strong headed and the most outspoken one among all of her children!
Memang kesian. Poor woman is a publicity seeker trying to relive her years as a Aids acitivist. Anything to get publicity whether doing street protests or law suits.
Re. trying to relive her years as a Aids activist.
Wasn’t there a “controversial statement” made by her which resulted in she being unceremoniously asked to step down from the foundation before? I thought I read it in J-star long ago but can’t remember which year.
Mahathir’s children are weird bunch, Marina is while one of the adopted Pakistani son is an openly [deleted] but he is apparently being sent away to study abroad.
Marina is a classic anglophile. Once on Al Jazeera The Stream, a tweet ask her and another panel why both BN and PR cannot agree on a single school system to unite Malaysia and she went on whacking the national school as inferior. Very rich comment from a woman who probably could afford to send her children to international school and the fact her father was a Minister for Education that oversee the low quality school system is ironic.
Marina is one woman who cannot debate, she is convicted to her liberal ideals uncompromisingly.
As for ISMA, I have no love for that organization because they have the same Katak Bawah Tempurung mentality and oppose and liberal ideals, not just Marina, probably they will jihad againts moderate Muslims as well. This fight between ISMA and Marina is just ribut dalam cawan.
ISMA and Marina are [deleted]. Both are doing sandiwara….. if Marina is sincere, she should have relinquish her post in SIS because her name was misused to a hideous agenda. As for ISMA they are the equivalent of Ikhwan Muslimin of Malaysia which is led by extremist Salafi Wahhabi, which do not enjoy any support in the Arab world. Both are trouble makers.
Sorry, I deleted a bit of your comment. MM is on a warpath and trigger happy with her lawsuits. We can see that her loud threats do have a chilling effect. She will make a good general of the DAP SuperCyber Bullies army.
Strange that Marina’s ardent fans in Bangsar Sentral like to call the Tun a “dictator”. Don’t recall Dr M going around brandishing a big stick like the daughter.
‘Strange that Marina’s ardent fans in Bangsar Sentral like to call the Tun a “dictator”. Don’t recall Dr M going around brandishing a big stick like the daughter.’
I used to like MM. Now I couldn’t even be bothered to read her writings.
I personally think that she is a disgrace to Tun M and Tun SH.
What ISMA asked of her is very reasonable. She should make her stand clear. Takkan nak jadi lidah bercabang macam Firsters and Anwar kot? I think she is one confused lady.. maybe due to too much talking (with Firsters as her cheerleaders) and less thinking.
Agreed with u.
Not only “due to too much talking (with Firsters..)” but seemingly her small circle of friends are made of “b****h” lot. Otak tak berkembang. Retarded opinions circulated among friends.
Re: “How can a leader be isolated from the action of its subordinates and claims uninvolvement?”
But isn’t this what former PM Mahathir does all the time?
Re:”What is Marina’s contribution to this country and society at large actually?”
On the bumpkis scale of nada to zilch, she’s somewhere on the higher end.
Since there is not really any progressive forces in this country, this faux liberal who peddles week sauce platitudes has gotten high on the esteem of the glitterati funded by the cottage industry non governmental shams, which are part and parcel of the larger money making operations of this country and a myopic English educated middle class, who can’t see beyond the environs of their urban suburbs.
Isma on the other hand are a bunch of disingenuous zealots (is there any other kind ?) that have no problems enjoying the fruits of Western Social, Political and Economic Enterprise but attempt to subvert the very same in the name of their Religion. Of course in any real debate they would be exposed for the religious shysters that they are.
Helen, I would be interested in knowing your stand on the six issues you highlighted.
‘this faux liberal who peddles week sauce platitudes’
The same can be said about you.
http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/malay-history-twisted-by-western-christian-conspiracy-claims-isma Seems like we need to rewrite history, apparently the conspiracy started hundred years earlier.
Apparently your attempts to twist history is okay.
You don’t need to rewrite history. You just need to read from a broader spectrum of historians or writers. Just look at the history of the Malay archipelago from the indonesian, malaysian and singapore perspective and you’ll know what it means by the phrase history is written by the victorious. You don’t even have to go that far back into the past. Just pick up the various books on 9-11 or May 13.
On MM, I find her views narrowed to her lifestyle and she’s typical of the liberal set, HannahY, KJ included. They think they are the standard for the new Malaysians, and we should all follow their liberal, anglophile narrative. They forget their lifestyles is not that of the typical Malaysians. They forget they make up the probably 10% or less of the population. Do they know there are some Malaysians who have never watched TV, seen an escalator or experienced the luxury of running water and electricity? So please let’s talk basic human rights first (right to education, right to vote) before you bring in the more exotic rights like free sex and whatever.
using the logic of Halen’s way of associating the news and linking the subjects, Dr M is also the liberal malay and should be considered as kafir by the UMNO Malay standard.
Yes, Dr M certainly is a liberal in that he allows his daughter to disagree with him and did not scold her as a “DAP agent” for participating in the Bersih walk.
On the other hand, Dapsters are not liberal at all. They branded their party vice chairman Tunku Aziz as an “Umno agent” for disagreeing with Bersih due to security reasons.
Karpal was labelled an “Umno agent” by Guan Eng’s supporters during his (Karpal’s) famous spat dubbed ‘Warlord vs Godfather’ with Dr Ramasamy, the Penang Deputy Chief Minister II.
Guan Eng himself alluded to the president of the Consumer Association of Penang, S.M. Mohd Idris as an Umno agent when the NGO chief questioned the viability and costing of the undersea tunnel project.
I think you definition is incorrect. The DAPsters is defined as someone especially Chinese who do not agree with or opposing or hating UMNO.
Spot on Helen.
Most of the time the liberals are not whom they think they are!
Yes Mahathir is a liberal. Otherwise PAS won’t call him as Maha Firaun insinuating him, among others, as being unIslamic!
Reblogged this on Istighfaar.
Marina Mahathir is a ‘C U Next Tuesday’ person.
Are you still laughing bro?
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