Assalaamu'alaikum Warahmatullaahi Wabarakaatuh
MUSLIM UNITY IN THE 21st CENTURY
Below is a speech delivered 10 years ago which is still relevant today. Muslim politicians in Malaysia today are compromising their aqidah in their attempt to be elected by a multi-racial, multilingual dan multi-religious voters. Pluralisme, liberalisme, the replacement of the 'syariah' with a 'welfare' state, the acceptance of LGBTs and the drive to allow the use of 'Allah' for all the gods of other religions including the Trinity of the Nicene Creed and the pagan gods, are really signs of desperation in the crave of power, which has driven such leaders into moral decadence.
In desperate craze for power Muslim Malay leaders are used by those who intend to split the Muslims to the extent of having the courage of declaring that (a) the Syariah will only be introduced over my dead body and (b) I will spend all my remaining life to see that a non Malay will be the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
While the National Front ruling party has never denied the right of any citizen to be elected to become a Prime Minister, the above statements are certainly uttered based on the legal expertise of the arrogant politician as he knows that the Malay leadership in the opposition is dependent on him for winning the legal battles in the courts of law.
Keynote Address by Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Sanusi bin Junid in The International Conference on Muslim Unity in the 21st Century: Opportunities and Challenges, Nikko Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 1st October 2003
MUSLIM UNITY IN THE 21st CENTURY
Assalaamu’alaikum Warahmatullaahi Wabarakaatuh
Rector of International Islamic University Malaysia,
Fellow participants of the seminar,
Ladies and gentlemen
As Chairman of the International Institute for Muslim Unity (IIMU) at the International Islamic University Malaysia, I take this opportunity to welcome all of you to this conference.
The subjects for our deliberations at this conference are centred upon the word ‘unity’.
The day before yesterday, there was another conference on finding solutions to our economic problems via the use of gold as currency. The most important word for that conference was ‘usury’. Usury is, at different rates of tolerability and with different names, at the centre of the current world banking and financial system.
While we are about to implement the usage of gold in international trade, our biggest obstacle is unity or disunity among us.
Before we adopt or harbour negative views on Muslim unity, let us admit that we are better off today than we were before the fall of the Berlin Wall, the eviction of communism from Russia and the improvisation of communism in China.
In the second half of the twentieth century, we have been united enough to enable us to establish the following institutions:
1. The Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC)
2. The Islamic Development Bank (IDB)
3. The International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)
4. The International Institute for Muslim Unity (IIMU)
4. The International Institute for Muslim Unity (IIMU)
5. The Islamic Gold Dinar for International Trade (GIT)
The second last is a growing institution while the last is ready for launching.
FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL
In the past i.e. before the fall of the Berlin Wall, we used to cooperate with the Western Commission, a name we give to those who are against Islam, to fight against the ungodly communism. Let us look at some of those reports that show the situation before the collapse of communism.
WHAT ENEMIES SAY?
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (CIA) AND ISRAEL
A former CIA official, Cord Meyer, put it in early 1979 as follows:
“The disintegration of the Iranian army is seen as an accomplished fact that has already caused a seismic shift in the power balance throughout the entire region. For many years, Iran’s army served to keep in check Iraqi ambitions against Israel and Kuwait, protected the Sultan of Oman against the Dhofar guerrillas, armed by South Yemen and reaasured Sadat in Egypt and the Saudi princes. A tempting vacuum now yawns where once the Shah’s army stood.”
At the end of 1979, former Israeli ambassador to the United States, Chaim Herzog summed up part of the record for political instability:
“In the past 18 months alone, four Arab Presidents were removed, one assassinated in Yemen, one executed by assassins in Southern Yemen, one removed by a coup in Mauritania and one recently by a coup in Iraq. Thirteen of the current heads of Arab states, over 50 percent of them, have succeeded immediate predecessors who were violently removed from office, in most cases from this life. In the past 15 years, there have been 12 fierce and bitter wars in which Arabs were pitted against Arabs in bloody internecine strife.”
THE PERSIAN GULF
All these happened because of the following prevailing views:
“No arm of the sea has been or is of greater interest alike to the geologist and archaeologist, the historian and geographer, the merchant, and the student of strategy than the inland water known as the Persian Gulf” Sir Arnold Wilson (Richard Nixon – The Real War-Warner Books-1980)
In other words, because of the importance of the land surrounding the Persian Gulf, with oil resources, it is important for the enemies of Islam to ensure that all leaders and governments in the neighbouring countries around the Persian Gulf are friendly to, or installed by the Western Commission or those who are against Islam.
THE WESTERN COMMISSION
I am using the term ‘Western Commission’ instead of the West because not all western governments are against Islam and not all thinking citizens of countries whose governments are against Islam share the same sentiments towards Islam, just as not all citizens in Islamic nations are not against Islam.
There are ambassadors and high commissioners of nations whose governments are against Islam who cannot reveal their true feeling towards Islam even if they do not share their governments’ sentiment, as some of them know better about Islam than their leaders.
Sometimes even in nation where the governments appear to be anti-Islam, only one or two in the leadership of those nations are really against Islam. The rest do not speak out in case they jeopardise their profitable positions.
FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE THE LEADERSHIP IN THE WESTERN COMMISSION
Whether Christians or Jews, members of the Western Commission put reason above all religions and those who stand only for reasons are regarded as being mentally with, and supportive of, them.
Three western thinkers have classified adventurous leaders in history into three categories. And that all their adventures are driven by three main factors: sex, wealth and power.
Sigmund Freud attributed sex to be the influential factor determining the aggressive behaviour of man in any venture. Men with strong sexual drive tend to be aggressively driven while in war and in politics. Julius Caesar was driven into battles by Cleopatra in his effort to impress and win her, while Napoleon was penning off many short love letters to Josephine during battles in the intervals when the artillery were firing with their canons.
Karl Marx, on the other hand, attributed the aggressive attitude to the madness for wealth. When the rich becomes richer and the poor becomes poorer, the glaring disparity between the two could result in revolutions, in battles and in wars that would cause bloodshed resulting in everybody being poorer. Malaysia had very little experience, the famous 13th May 1969, although it was not to the level of Bolshevik revolution.
Bertrand Russell attributed the aggressive driving force in war and politics to the craze for power. Political conflicts in our own country are not only happening nationally but also down to the village level. This is also happening in many Muslim nations worldwide. We are obsessed in the democratic practices of competing for positions everywhere although no Muslim thinker, since Aristotle defined democracy, has contributed in any way to the improvement or adjustments in the original Greek idea of democracy.
Islam on the other hand is not opposed to sex, wealth and power provided they are experienced, earned and acquired legitimately in a way which allowed by Islam and not opposed to Islamic teachings.
In the case of the Persian Gulf, the Western Commission’s interest is definitely in wealth, in the form of oil, which leads to power. But the leaders involved directly and distantly in battle could be sexually driven.
At this juncture, we should not just look into the nations or the companies who are causing all the problems either in any geographical area or battles. We should look for the man behind the action, for nations, as organisations and companies can change their policies with changes in their leadership.
This does not mean that in many cases, battles are stopped just by a change in leadership. But if the leadership in any nation, whatever the leader’s motivation may be, is driven by other forces with their own agendas, then a change in leadership will not bring about changes in policies.
As such, terrorism against Islam will not change with the leadership changes in Israel or the United States. These leaders do not set their national agendas. They are puppets on the political stage. Muslims must therefore prepare for a long struggle.
WHAT WE AGREE UPON
Many suggestions have been made and many ideas have been promoted for the Muslims in their preparation for the long struggle.
Everyone agrees that the struggle will be long.
Every Muslim is also agreeable that to succeed we need to be strong economically.
We also agree that to defend ourselves from the onslaught of western technology we should educate ourselves and acquire those technologies.
But the Russians have the technologies and are capable of facing the Western Commission. Are we educating ourselves, then, in the hope of becoming Russians or Americans, godless and immoral respectively?
Certainly the answer is ‘no’.
We wish to be a courageous and wealthy Muslims with the unsurpassable knowledge and practical ability in the various field of science and technology. But we must remain Muslims.
We do have courage without discipline.
We do have wealth without moral.
We do have a limited amount of knowledge and technology.
It is due to indiscipline and immorality, coupled with the limited of knowledge and possibly because of the lack of it, that the Muslims are not united.
We therefore need to keep on pounding on the subject of unity by as many means and methods as we could think of. We should not allow any leaf unturned in our search for unity. There is no one formula, one champion for its achievement. We need all the brains of the Muslims of the world to drive the idea of unity to a level of obsession that no army on earth, however big, can stop Muslim unity when the time comes.
I noted that this is the first conference ever held in the world which covers so many subjects which are needed to be discussed in our journey towards unity.
I will only focus on what Islam calls for, as I have for 30 years been in active politics, as elected representatives, in and out of the government, and observed how Muslims forget being good Muslims as they acquire more wealth and power and how they return to Islam when they lose those wealth and power, while others keep on praying.
Let us therefore acquire more knowledge, wealth and power but we must not forget what the Quran says.
WHAT ISLAM CALLS FOR
“This, your religion (nation), is one religion (nation) and I am your Lord, so worship Me” (Quran 21:92 and 23:52)
You will see that the faithful, in their having mercy for one another and in their love for one another and in their kindness towards one another are like the body, when one member of it ails, the entire body ails, as one part calls out to the other with sleeplessness and fever. (Hadith)
The difference between Islam and most other religions is that it does not content itself with merely establishing acts of worship and abandoning the needs of society to a Caesar or any form of temporal governing body.
Islam established ways of conduct, relationships, rights and obligations for the individual vis-à-vis members of his family, the nation and for the nation vis-à-vis other nations.
The reform of society is the main target of Islam. Even acts of worship contribute to this reform.
Within the framework of human society, the Islamic nation is a compact union having recourse to it, possessing an inner sense of responsibility for its own members and resisting decay, both individually and collectively.
The social solidarity (takaful) is apparent in all aspects of our Prophet Muhammad s.a.w .’s message.
“The believers are naught else than brothers. Therefore make peace between your brethren. “ Quran 49:10)
The Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said, “The blood of the Muslims shall be answered for; for the least worthy among them is entitled to their protection and their hands are lifted against those who are against them. Help your brother whether he is the doer of the wrong or the wrong is done to him.”
The Prophet’s companions enquired, “Oh messenger of all! We can help a man to whom wrong is done but how could we help him when he is the doer of wrong?”
The Prophet replied, “Hold him back from doing wrong.”
A parable was told by Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. to demonstrate this stand:
A party of men went into a boat and each occupies a position in the boat. One man began to chop a hole in his spot with an axe. They said to him, “What are you doing?” He replied, “This is my position and I will do with it as I please.”
Now, if they should hold back his hand, he and they would be saved but if they should leave him alone, he and they would be doomed.
Focus not only on acts of worship but also on relations between individuals.
Demand for individual’s responsibility for the community and the community’s responsibility to the individual.
Respect for common interest between individual and society.
Awaken the conscience of the individual towards the community and the conscience of the community towards the individual.
Make righteous public opinion, which is right in the eyes of God, the guardian against the individual’s deviations and the community’s excesses, enjoin the right and forbid the wrong.
Preach with wisdom and fair exhortation in order to reach the depth of man’s soul, to sow the seeds of the goodness and love the truth in him and to extirpate the roots of evil and the causes of ill.
Build social education by persuasion to achieve social righteousness.
Abandon haste in favour of a gradual process of legislation in order to prepare the atmosphere and make society ready to receive orders and accepts commitments.
Make faith and right doing the principal goal of every facet of life.
Preach truth and cooperation in order to achieve beneficence and piety.
Make every individual in the Islamic community responsible for the rectitude of the entire community.
Put emphasis on individual and collective responsibility as part and parcel of the teaching of right doing, which is the second fundamental of Islam after the belief in the one God.
Promote interdependence and solidarity among the newly converted.
Promote mercy and love for one another.
Lieutenant General Sir John Bagot Glubb, in his book “The Great Arab Conquest” wrote:
In Muslim society, the family will always care for its old people, its orphans, its idiot, its ne’er-do-wells and even its delinquents. In this, it offers a marked contrast to the modern west where relatives are all too often looked upon as disagreeable acquaintances and where the misfits are frequently left to their fate or thrust into public institutions. If Islam is not a welfare state, it at least produces whole welfare families where everyone is cared for whether they deserve it or not.
This is what the Western Commission fears and what they intended to break up, the brotherhood and the family. This therefore, should be the basis for Muslim unity.
May Allah s.w.t. shower on us His many blessings on our long journey in the fulfilment of His commandments.
Wabillaahi Taufik Wassalaamu'alaikum