In my mind, there is no mistaking that this fella is an extremist.
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary definition
: either one of two opposite conditions, feelings, positions, etc., that are thought of as being far from what is normal or reasonable
Online dictionary.reference.com definition
Nowadays, I listen to khutbah Jumaat at Masjid Negara every Friday on TV1, and there was nothing extreme about what was being preached in the khutbah.
The nearest I could consider as political were the calls to strengthen the ummah, for the ummah to be united against any forms of aggression, to strengthen our aqidah, and not to forget the economic empowerment of Muslims, which were all important messages since the times of Muhammad S.A.W. who was himself involved in trade/business.
Is he then implying that Islamic traditions itself is preaching extremism?
Extremism is not just about taking up arms and killing people.
It is also about one's world view, state of mind, shared opinions, belief system and even faith that take one's perspectives of what is right and what is wrong, and to take that to the extreme ends from the middle point of non-commitment such that they are willing to kill or die for their extreme commitment.
All the more reason why the Moderation Movement being headed by Saifuddin Abdullah and The Star should be viewed with caution if not alarm as to what exactly are they trying to define as the middle point from where extremism is going to be measured in this country.
The problem with the majority of us Malaysians is that we rarely think about the true meaning of extremism; instead, we tend to take in whatever we read or hear and form our opinions and judgments from there.
In some instances, even the opinions or judgments were not ours, but fed into our belief system by others whom we thought to be cleverer than us.
We are just plain lazy to think about what really matters - one can be too lazy to write, too lazy to speak, too lazy to go clubbing, but a human being of the faith should never be too lazy to read and to think.
Thinking is the basis of how we make our decisions on how to live our lives, so if one were to leave the thinking to others, we are no different than a herd of cattle being herded to the slaughterhouse.
Leaving our thinking to others is akin to refusing to utilise the 'akal that Allah gave us as human beings to think for ourselves, the one characteristic that distinguishes human from animal.
We were encouraged to listen to and take guidance from teachers, yes, but we were also encouraged to learn from as many sources as possible and form an educated opinion about matters pertaining to our faith and our way of life and referring to teachers who are knowledgeable.
My wish is for Malaysians to begin looking at things from multiple perspectives, from worldviews that are different from our traditional ones, to put ourselves in other people shoes, and form our opinions based on what is right and wrong according to our faith in its basic form, not the one that have been corrupted by prejudices and bias.