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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Un-Islamic rape cartoon: Utusan tries to wriggle free

Sulaiman Kamal | 1:42 AM | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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Un-Islamic rape cartoon: Utusan tries to wriggle free
Utusan has outdone itself this time. After the last fiasco with a cartoon of Ultraman running away from the Tsunami, it still has not learnt its lesson. Either the cartoonist or the editor is sleeping on the job. And unlike the Ultraman cartoon, this time Utusan will not get away with it so easily.
PAS Youth Chief Nasrudin Hassan has given Utusan Malaysia seven days to publicly apologise for publishing the cartoon strip that it claims insulted Islam. Commenting that the cartoon was shallow and misleading he added that the movement would hold a mass protest if the daily failed to tender an apology.
"It ridicules Islamic law as the cartoon implies that the procedures for rape and adultery cases are similar. We want Utusan to publicly apologise to all Muslim in the country and also to take the necessary action against the cartoonist within seven days," he said while handing a memorandum to Utusan accompanied by other PAS Youth leaders.
Muslim insulting Islam
ABIM has also demanded that Utusan Malaysia issue a public apology to Muslims nationwide over its comic strip entitled “Kekeliruan kes rogol” [“Confusion in rape cases”], while charging that it insulted Islamic laws and gave the false impression that the religion did not defend rape victims.
ABIM also said that; “This should not happen in our society and should not be carried by a media organisation which fights for Malays and Islam” because we do not want Islamic laws to be seen as victimising rape victims, like this comic strip has.”
Nik Aziz has also commented that the controversial cartoon is akin to the caricatures that appeared in a number of Danish bulletins that caused an international uproar. Some Islamic countries refused to import or trade in any Danish products unless Denmark issues an immediate apology to the Muslims, and withdraw the bulletin from circulation.
And yes, the cartoon strip is an insult to the Muslims in this country as it is seen to be making fun of Islamic laws, and that is really not very funny at all. Not even by Utusan’s standards of Press freedom. Someone has got to take the fall and it should not be just a reprimand letter from the Home Ministry this time.
This also reminds us of the time, when ex-premier Mahathir gave a damning statement to justify his views in regards to the laws on Rape many years ago, he was frowned upon by Islamic puritans nationwide.
Pandora's box
But Utusan’s blunder has opened up a Pandora’s box concerning our Islamic Laws.
In the eyes of non-Muslims our Syariah Laws seem to be inferior to the Civil Law. But non-Muslims fail to see that many of the Laws of Syariah are actually more compassionate and provides adequate protection to both the criminal and the victim. The cartoonist in his eagerness to publish the cartoon also fails to recognize that laws that govern Adultery and Rape are totally different.
To subject our Islamic Laws to ridicule in the eyes of the world is simply uncalled for. It is not only un-Islamic but it is sinful. It is best left to the Syariah Courts to dispense these laws without anyone trying to question its authenticity.
But of late, there have been complaints of Syariah Court judges taking too much time to dispense judgement, leading to unnecessary delays for victims to get justice. We hope the Islamic authorities will investigate this anomaly and redress the situation.
There are also calls by many political leaders that condemn the Bersih Rally as un-Islamic without giving ample reasons as to why it goes against Islam.
We hope ABIM and Persatuan Ulamak Malaysia (PUM) will come up with a statement to diffuse this confusion. Is the Rally really against Islamic teaching? Muslims in this country would like to know as many Muslims in this country would like to participate in this Rally too.
Lastly, this cartoon fiasco is a slap in the face for UMNO, as Utusan which is its mouthpiece, has disgraced the religion unwittingly. For sure the Malays and Musllims in UMNO are not very happy about it.

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