1. I am not a European, nor am i a Swiss. I am a Malaysian, with Japanese genes.

2. But i want to busy my own body to talk about the recent ban on minarets in Switzerland which left some people so emotionally charged up.

3. The first mosque or masjid ever built was the Masjid Quba, which was an open air mosque, which could be barely qualified as an architectural unit back then. The construction was completed years after the Prophet passed away and the 108th verse of chapter 9, surah at-tawbah, is widely believed to refer to this masjid.

9 : 108 .......There is a mosque whose foundation was laid from the first day on piety; it is more worthy of the standing forth (for prayer) therein. In it are men who love to be purified; and Allah loveth those who make themselves pure.

No minarets. No domes. No whatsoever. The foundation is piety.

4. The minaret comes from Islam's origins in Arab. If the Prophet Muhammad were a Chinese, then our mosques might look something like this.

5. We should separate what is culture and what is religion, because at times we are totally mixed up about things. For example, Malays long time ago started reading the chapter Yaasin from the Qur'an on the night before Friday , which we would usually recite for the dead based on this hadith here, because they thought they were seeing ghosts of the dead coming back to haunt them. In actuality, we should be reading al-kahf on nights before Friday based on this hadith here. But both hadeeths in those 2 links i have given have a weak transmission chain (i could not find them either in Sahih Bukhari or Muslim), but you could see how culture is intertwined with religion.

6. The same should be said of minarets. It is purely a form of architecture unrelated to Islam directly. There was no mentioning of minarets as the de facto architectural style to accompany each mosque. The lollipop minarets in Moscow is actually a cathedral.

7. When we talk about freedom, about rights, we tend to be more emotional rather than rational. Instead, we should confront these detractors with wisdom, with an insight worth listening to. Tell them this, 'Ah.Uhm.Whatever.' In a better way, of course. A gentleman's reply.


Peace be upon you, my brothers and sisters of different faiths across Switzerland. We are well aware of the referendum and the voice of the majority has spoken. The majority has decided to ban the construction of new minarets here in Switzerland. Minarets have been the identity of most mosques in the world due to the Arabic architectural basis, but there is no relation of our faith with minarets. Take China for example, they apply Chinese architecture for the mosques, while in Spain, they preferred Moorish style in the days of the Islamic empire. In the the laymen's term, a mosque is just a place where we congregate for prayers, regardless of external manifestations.

Henceforth, we accept your decision with arms wide open, for our mosque is built on the foundations of piety, brick walls made of tolerance, coloured by principles of unity, with the rooftops of faith, which renders this house of worship indestructible. Therefore, we hope we have cleared your minds of the image on your posters depicting those minarets as nuclear missiles. We are a religion of peace, as Islam itself means 'peace' in Arabic.

Ya dig me? Cuz, if you don't, then go back home and Wikipedia ya'll.Peace out. Salam.

8. If that was the reply, then those detractors would go home and shut up and sleep. Ultimately making their protests a failure. The problem is this, we easily fooled to play their game. They are dangling the carrot, and most people are jumping for it. They say jump and we ask how high.

9. The problem is nothing new. Athens, for example was the last EU capital to have a house of worship for Muslims. The problem lies deeper than minarets or mosques. For example, the protests in Switzerland were accompanied with accusations of Islamic oppression on women. So, do they consider women with bikini, half naked with guys all around as being full of freedom? You see, that's why this freedom vs oppression thing don't exist. What we consider as freedom might be deemed as oppression by someone else. I would certainly react differently to bans on the hijab, as it is connected directly to our faith.

10.This stems from their misunderstanding of Islamic teachings, which could equally be blamed to some Muslims who have not shown the true identity of Islam. All they see is the Islam in the mainstream media. Taliban, Al-Qaeda. All the lies in prime time television. Islamophobia is on the rise, and if we don't clarify the situation, the condition will become worse.

11.About mosques in Malaysia, there exists, let's say, a minor discrimination of sorts due to the racial tensions there. I heard a lecture by a Chinese convert to Islam, Hussein Ye it was, if i am not mistaken, who suggested a Chinese Mosque to be built in Malaysia because those Chinese people who are interested about Islam shy away from the Malay mosques because they believed that Islam is exclusive to Malays alone. That they are not welcomed there at all.

12. Some people think that mosques are exclusive to Muslims alone. Well, they are wrong. According to one of Ahmad Deedat's lectures, the Arabs who are not that tolerant started this tradition of not allowing non Muslims to enter the mosque. The Prophet himself allowed a Christian group 'to sleep, eat and discuss' in Masjid Nabawi, and even offered them some time to pray there on the final day of their visit. Are we turning into Arabs, or are we becoming Muslims the way the prophet taught us to?

13. There are times when we should play the defensive game, and i think with the hostile atmosphere in Europe, they have to humbly accept the rulings, unless it contradicts Islamic beliefs. And if the law contradicts Islamic beliefs, try to explain to them in a good diplomatic manner, a moderate voice which neither demands nor asks, but a voice of wisdom.

14. Wallahualam.


Aiza Fareena said...

Easier said than done, Apit. I suppose only a Prophet could perform such a difficult & challenging task. To me, it's very upsetting because, the very people who are actually against the true & basic teaching of Islam are actually Muslims who claim that they are indeed the purest Muslims, so to speak, or Muslims who are merely by appearance or name but hardly by heart & mind.
So in nutshell, the fight is actually between the differing Muslims school of thoughts entirely.
This is the explicit reason which leads to the misinterpretation & misinformation from the non-Muslim world at large.
No offence but that's how I'm seeing this particular kind of issue though ... I might be wrong, but I stand to be corrected.

QifA said...

yes.It could be partly due to the obsessive nature of each school of thought and sects in Islam, who only think of their teachings being the sole righteous path. There's only one Islam, but ideas differ between human beings because the Qur'an might be interpreted in various ways.