Everyone is aware that PAS members take their party as their religion. However, do you know that even 'PAS religion' has different sects? The sects differ according to the mood of its leaders other than time, place and the current situation.
We cannot really say how many sects are there in PAS but the ones which we can see is three, Mazhab Hadi, Mazhab Nik Aziz and Mazhab Azizan.
Few of the differences on these three teachings would be the status of statues.
Mazhab Azizan seem to have the belief that statues is okay to be built. That is why, after taking over Kedah, PAS never really touched upon the matter of the gigantic eagle statue in Langkawi as something syirik. This is different than mazhab Nik Aziz dan mazhab Hadi where both these teachings believe that statues is a serious thing and it should be brought to the ground as soon as possible.
That is why, the history of PAS's era in Kelantan which practices mazhab Nik Aziz, began with the 'beheading' of deer statues at Sultan Yahya bridge soon after taking over the state back in 1990.
Mazhab Hadi holds the same belief where in March 3rd, 2000, after PAS took over Terengganu, Terengganu Exco, Wan Hassan Mohd Ramli made a statement saying that all statues of animals including the squid and prawn statues in Bandar Marang, will be destroyed. The action is taken as a follow-up from PAS Kelantan's decision to bring down their deer statues at Tuan Padang roundabout in Kota Bharu as soon as they took over.
This belief, however, began to turn a little loose as there are still a few other statues around Terengganu which were not brought down. Thus, in May 31, 2000, Haji Hadi made a statement saying that statues in other areas of this state will be brought down in stages when the society begin to understand the law."
This loose stand on this matter goes as same to mazhab Nik Aziz as Kelantan saw the development in various statues after 1990. Few of them include the Buddha statue in Bachok where was built in 2002 thanks to the contributions from the public which resulted to a statue reaching the heights of 36 meter and 30 meter in diameter. The state government approved the project and contributed RM60,000 through its representative, Anuar Tan. Besides that, there are also 100 small statues in varius shapes and two dragon statues.
Meanwhile, the statue of the Sitting Buddha in Jong Bakar, Tumpat, reaches the heights of a five or six storey building.
There was a time where the world was brought to shock when Taliban destroyed a Buddha statue in Bumiyan. Malaysians then linked the incident with mazhab Hadi and mazhab Nik Aziz which did not wait long before destroying the statue as soon as they got the mandate.
However, it has been proven that the stand on both the mazhab really changed to go in line with mazhab Azizan when Hassan Shukri, through Harakahdaily on August 25, 2001 stated that "they want to desribe as if PAS is as same as Taliban in Afghanistan when they destroyed a Buddha's statue in Bamiyan previously." It is clear that PAS is disturbed and they do not like to be criticized for destroyed the statues before the incident.
Barisan Nasional, even as it is often accused by PAS as not Islamic, always take things seriously when it comes to people building statues which can be syirik. That is why, when BN was the government in Kelantan, the request from Siamese in building a giant temple was not approved by the state government (BN) at first, considering that the scale was too big and tall. However, after a few more applications, the temple project was approved with a few terms, where it should be developed in form of lying down, instead of standing up like the original plan, and it should be secluded so that it would not disturb Malay Muslim community at the area.
However, those terms seem irrelevant for PAS today as they would simply allow the Buddha statue to be developed without putting any terms, other than asking people to vote for PAS during elections.
Today, we can see that all of PAS's mazhab have agreed that 'statues' are no longer an issue in 'PAS religion', hence, the matter of syirik in Islam will never be raised. PAS followers has never raised this matter and they would simply obey any fatwa that is released by their leaders. As same as the cooperation with non-Muslim, secular laws, alcohol, gambling etc where back then it is seen as haram, only to be declared as halal today.
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Intolerance is rampant at every level and in all age groups of the society, but it is more visible amongst the younger generation as our youth can be seen losing their altitude of patience over petty issues. We seriously need to think over it as what we are going to inculcate in them, which may help them seek success in future. Will it be tolerance or intolerance?
By Samra Arshad
International Conference "Expose War Crimes – Criminalise War"
“Wars increasingly involve the killings of innocent people and are therefore, abhorrent and criminal. Killings in war are as criminal as the killings within societies in times of peace. Since killings in peace time are subject to the domestic law of crime, killings in war must likewise be subject to the international law of crimes. This should be so irrespective of whether these killings in war are authorised or permitted by domestic laws.”