Is the PAS official stand on Christmas represented by the PAS Secretary-General or the PAS Youth Leader and Hadi’s son?

Is the warning by the PAS Youth Leader and the son of the PAS President, Muhammad Khalil Abdul Hadi, warning Muslims not to post Christmas greetings on Facebook because the Christian celebration is against the teachings of Islam and that there should not be any acknowledgement of the Christian religion the official stand of PAS or is it merely the personal view of the son of the President?

This question arises after the PAS Secretary-General Takiyuddin Hassan sent out festive greetings in conjunction with Christmas after Khalil’s warning.

Who has the bigger say in PAS – the PAS Secretary-General or the PAS Youth Leader who is also the son of the PAS President?

What is the stand of the PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang, the PAS Mursyidul Am Hashim Jasiin and the PAS Dewan Syura on this issue?

Yesterday, I pointed out that in Malaysia, the Sultan of Johore Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, Permaisuri Johor Raja Zarith Sultan Idris Shah, the Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr.Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the PKR President Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and outside Malaysia, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and the Palestinian President Mohmoud Abbas gave Christmas greetings and partake in Christmas celebrations.

Are they any less a Muslim as a result?

An ally of the Muhamad Khalil Hadi, in an attempt to distract attention from the controversy sparked by the primitive warning of the PAS Youth Leader, has claimed that “Amanah Kit Siang” is more dangerous than Amanat Hadi.

I am most flattered for two reasons, firstly, that there is an Amanat Kit Siang without my knowing it or anybody else knowing it; and secondly, that some 15 years after Hadi had dismissed me as “expired medicine” which had “outlived its usefulness”, I am still capable of conjuring the image of an “Amanat Kit Siang”.

Did this PAS leader consult Hadi before making such a statement, which would make the PAS President look so foolish as long ago as 15 years ago!

But such gambit cannot hide the fact that the PAS leadership had failed to answer many pertinent questions.

Here is one such question:

PAS President Hadi has said that all Muslims must oppose the ratification of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), alleging ICERD is a “Freemason agenda” with the intention to destroy the religion, nation and society.

However, some 99 per cent of the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world are living in 179 countries which have ratified ICERD, including 55 of the 57 member nations of Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), such as Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Turkey, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Palestine, Algeria, Morocco, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Is PAS going to be the saviour of Muslims in the world, including Muslims in the Islamic heartlands centred in Saudi Arabia, and launch an international campaign to get the 1.3 billion Muslims to oppose ICERD?

It is sad and pathetic that more and more PAS leaders are showing their primitive mindset – like the PAS Selangor Ulama who shared a video of an Indonesian pop band shortly before being swept away by the recent tsunami.

Such primitive mindset may have some influence, like on the UMNO President Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi, who has gone of “garden leave”, as to influence his thinking as evidenced by his parliamentary utterance, but it does not raise the stocks of the PAS leaders among thinking Malaysians.

PAS leaders would learn more from the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who spoke at a Christmas hi-tea reception yesterday and shared her experience studying at convent schools, thanking her nun teachers for inculcating good values that shaped her into being a better person or the touching Malaysiakini article by writer Fa Abdul, “My first Sunday mass before Christmas”, for it is clear that what is sorely lacking among these PAS leaders is the four-lettered word “love” to stem the distrust and hate in our society.

Eleven years ago, in December 2007, 129 prominent Muslims from all around the world issued Christmas greetings from Amman to the world’s Christians, following up on an October call earlier that year for greater dialogue between the two faiths.

The Islamic statement thanked the many Christians who have responded to the October call – entitled “A Common Word”– which was issued by many of the same Muslim leaders. The “Common Word” initiative is supported by the Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, headed by Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal of Jordan.

The “Common Word” leaders noted the moral principles shared by the “Abrahamic faiths,” including the determination to uphold the sanctity of human life. The Christmas greeting includes a plea for Christians and Muslims to join to “do their utmost to save, uphold, and treasure every single human life and especially the life of every single child.”

Is there an Amanat Kit Siang?

If there is, let it be the following: Let Malaysians, whether Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus or other faiths resolve that one of the objectives of a New Malaysia is to make Malaysia one of the foremost nations in the world in interfaith dialogue, understanding and tolerance.

Will PAS support this objective?

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri