Ahad, 25 Januari 2015

Let Us Be Conservatives


I was reflecting on Scruton's work above which I found very enlightening on how Scruton tried his best to defend the traditional values against the rapid secularization in the West.

I have been contemplating hard, bouncing ideas with my teachers on how best to defend our ground - our Malay Islamic heritage - from the impending siege of the Barbarians at the gate as well as the convulated, apologetics among the Modernist/Secular Malays.

ISMA, PAS, PERKASA all failed in articulating this narrative of ours especially to those who are estranged to our civilization: the non-Malays.

Most often than not, these groups are viewed as extremists because people misunderstood their positions.

How do we present and argue our case in a time where secular-liberal democratic ideas are the grand narrative of the day?

How do we really, dialectically engage with our adversaries?

First, we must have a very solid and dynamic thought-system. This of course, must be made from our very own Malay-Islamic tradition.

Second, we must possess the skill and "artisanship of the mind" to wrap, package and present our ideals using the modern lingo - especially to the English speaking crowd - in conveying our firm conviction and aspirations.

Only then we are able to effectively challenge the hegemony of secular liberal ideals that currently wreck havoc in our multicultral-religious society.

From my part I have found a way how to do this: learn from the Conservatives in the West.

They have fought in this same battleground at least half a century ago. They derived their ideals and aspirations from their Judaic-Christian tradition and packaged them into modern political lingo of the day.

They have both substance and style. To me what they posited, especially by this eminent English philosopher, Roger Scruton are persuasive enough for those who uphold religious traditions and at odds with secularism and liberalism.

Since we know very well the non Muslims could not stomach any Islamic-laced rhetorics and logics, we must be more creative in putting forth our ideals in a new form without ever compromising and diluting the substance.

But for this to be realized, I cannot but to invite you to walk with me into the labyrinth of thoughts erected by Prof. Syed Muhamnad Naquib Al-Attas. Thus far I could only see through his thought-system alone we could revive our maligned Malay-Islamic grand narrative in politics and civilizational building.

Because he knew our own heritage as well as our adversaries' to its very core - something deeply missing in Ikhwaniyyun-type Islamic movements what more noisy and boisterous Malay right wing groups.

Both have failed to "wazinū bi'l-qistāṣ al-mustaqīm" - weighing the matters at hand with "the Just Balance" hence why they are easily trapped in the "us versus them" language.

Since I am not directly in politics so my outreach is pretty limited but I will continue harnessing every opportunities given to convey these ideals and realities.


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