A brief response to the Malaysian Bar President’s media statement

LGBTIQs? What do these phrases mean? In Indonesia, the “Q” has been publicly called “queer”. What sort of language is THIS for legislation? Even Mr. Lim Chee Wee, President of the Malaysian Bar in his press statement on 3 December 2012, cannot explain the Malaysian meaning of “Q”, which he says is “questioning”. This matter has far transcended natural politics. It has become, in medical terms, morbid. It is a matter for doctors and psychiatrists to address, not politicians.

The United NationsUniversal Declaration of Human Rights” includes the following language about marriage and the family: [Article 16] “(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses. (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State”.

The meaning of “family” clearly inferred here is that conventional definition of that term, meaning heterosexual married couples with children issuing from their natural sexual union. In no way can this language be applied to homosexual or other deviant sexual practices. One indisputable point of Islam is that there are certain limits to human behaviour which the Almighty has seen fit to warn against, knowing that the human mind can justify almost anything on its own, without guidance. He has created the human mind, He should know. Therefore, in the case of Malaysia, in which all Malay citizens are mandated as MUSLIM, the laws and guidance of Al-Qur’an must continue to inspire to be the basis of legislation, not some secular western concept of “liberal humanism”.

The word “humanism” can itself be made to mean almost anything, without Divine Guidance. Let it therefore be known that many lawyers will not agree with Mr. Lim, or any phrasing of sexual categories originating in the western world. Make no mistake, the West, namely, the White Man, whether American, British, European, or Greek, is the origin of these ideas and campaigns. And the White Man was NOT chosen by Allah swt to receive the last and final Revelation. Our Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was the last of the prophets (actually, in correct translation from the Arabic, “the seal of the prophets”), to receive the Qur’an.

Subsequent developments may have tried to correct the excesses of either Roman or Muslim fanaticism, but Al Qur’an is the last and best book we have. And these “liberal humanists” are committing one of the greatest sins of all, that is, claiming what Allah swt has clearly stated as “haram” is actually “halal”. You can refer to any of several accounts of the Prophet Luth to find the unequivocal condemnation of homosexuality. In the story of Onan in the Old Testament, the Bible also condemns homosexuality in like manner.

Mr. Lim, in his doubtless well-meaning call for total “tolerance of sexual deviations and minorities”, is leading the Prime Minister in a direction which is the opposite of what we hope for. We really do not wish to imitate the secular west any further, or its spokesmen in the United Nations. Although our constitution may criminalize LGBT behaviour by defining all Malays as Muslim and therefore by clear implication subject to Islamic Law derived in turn from Al Qur’an, yet this condemnation can actually also be done in a humane way.

This can be done, such as, by developing mandatory rehabilitation programs for those identified as LGBTs. These rehabilitation programs may be drawn from those already in existence in the western social sciences (phobia reconditioning, “peak experience” therapy, empathy-inducing medications), or by further developing our own mosque-cantered addiction treatment centres and techniques, using various forms of “zikir” and special communities to rehabilitate the true “fitrah” of the human being, which is the married, heterosexual creation of children as a worshipful and sacred act. Only people with this attitude are protected by the further language of the UN “Universal Declaration”, as follows:

[Article 29] “In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society”.

The “fitrah” of the Human Being is the sole basis for determining “just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society”. The Malaysian Prime Minister will do well to call attention to this Islamic definition of these issues” The UN’s “Universal Declaration” must be subject to Divine Revelation, like all other human efforts in law, culture, and the sciences. We look to our Prime Minister to assist in this clarification, and resist the temptations of secularity as put forth by Mr. Lim. He does NOT speak for the consensus of lawyers in taking this stand. We must hope that our Prime Minister will take this issue as Malaysia’s “golden opportunity” to suggest an alternative to western liberal acceptance and protection for any and every sexual predisposition. It may also be the Muslim duty in general to discover and implement rehabilitation programs and methods for those sad human beings who have lost their original “fitrah” of a longing for heterosexual love and marriage.

AZRIL MOHD AMIN is vice president, Muslim Lawyers Association of Malaysia.

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