Let’s make things clear first. Most non-Muslims do not gamble nor get drunk. As such I find the constant harping on these issues and the call for banning rather disturbing. Is PAS suggesting that Muslims are more righteous than non-Muslims by focusing on these relatively minor issues? I think PAS should do better by focusing on bigger matters like corruption of public officials, power abuse among religious enforcement officials and the breakdown of marriages and families in their own community. Show us your moral teachings work and we are more likely to adopt some of your moral recommendations. Otherwise we can only see your moralizing as sheer hypocrisy.
In any case, this is a democratic society. No one community has the right to impose it’s morals onto others.
Call to abolish gambling in PR-led states
New Straits Times 8 Aug 2008 LINK
IPOH: Pas wants all Pakatan Rakyat-led states to follow the Kelantan government’s example in abolishing gambling and restricting the sale of alcohol to certain areas.
The party’s Dewan Ulama chief, Datuk Mohd Daud Iraqi, said the Pas way of running Kelantan for the past 18 years should be emulated by others as it was well received even by non-Muslims.
“For starters, states under Pakatan Rakyat can reduce the number of gambling premises as gambling is strictly prohibited by all religions.
“Permits or licences to sell alcohol should either be limited or only allowed for areas inhabited by non-Muslims and such premises should not be allowed to operate in predominantly Muslim areas,” he said.
He was speaking to reporters after opening the movement’s annual gathering held in conjunction with the party’s 54th general assembly here yesterday. Mohd Daud, however, said it was up to the respective state governments to adopt the proposal.
“The permits (to sell alcohol) also should only be given to non-Muslims as Malays are forbidden from consuming alcohol in the first place.
“At the end of the day, it is up to them to decide whether to reduce or totally ban the sale of alcohol and gambling.”
On whether Pas would be part of a PR-led federal government should the majority of the members of parliament be non-Muslims, he said: “We will hold a meeting first before submitting our views to the party leadership.”
The party’s Dewan Muslimah chief Nuridah Mohd Salleh said Pas would not compromise if a PR federal government introduced policies which went against Pas principles and constitution.
“Should policies that do not promote Islam as an agenda (are introduced) or if it is sidelined, obviously we will not be able to cooperate fully with Pakatan Rakyat.
Malaysia cancels ‘too sexy’ Avril Lavigne concert
By JULIA ZAPPEI – Associated Press LINK
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia on Tuesday canceled a concert by Canadian rock singer Avril Lavigne, saying it may taint the Muslim-majority country’s independence day celebrations after the Islamic opposition slammed her show as being “too sexy.”
The Arts, Culture and Heritage Ministry said it had decided not to permit Lavigne’s show because it was unsuitable to Malaysian culture and could not be held on Aug. 29, two days ahead of independence day.
“It is not timely. It’s not in the good spirit of our National Day. If we go ahead with the concert, it is contrary to what we are preparing for,” said Shukran Ibrahim, a senior official from the culture ministry’s department that vets all foreign artists.
The decision came after the youth wing of a fundamentalist opposition party, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, called for the show’s cancellation.
Kamarulzaman Mohamed, a party youth official, told The Associated Press on Monday that Lavigne’s show was “considered too sexy for us” and would promote the wrong values just before independence day.
“We don’t want our people, our teenagers, influenced by their performance. We want clean artists, artists that are good role models,” he said.
Lavigne, who became famous with her 2002 debut album “Let’s Go,” had planned to launch her monthlong Asia tour in Kuala Lumpur.
The show’s promoter, Galaxy Group, can request a new date for the concert, which will be considered by the ministry, Shukran said. Galaxy officials couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.
Galaxy began advertising the Grammy-nominated rock singer’s concert this month even though it had yet to obtain a government permit, which is mandatory for all foreign music shows. It said Monday about half the concert tickets had been sold.
Last year, R&B singer Beyonce moved her show from Malaysia to Indonesia, and Christina Aguilera skipped the country on an Asian tour after a controversy erupted over a dress code for foreign artists.
Malaysia requires all performers to wear clothes without obscene or drug-related images and be covered from the chest to the knees. They must also refrain from jumping, shouting, hugging and kissing on stage.
Still, members of PAS and other conservative Muslims often protest against Western and even Malaysian music shows that they deem to be inappropriate.
The local organizer of a Pussycat Dolls concert in 2006 was fined 10,000 ringgit (US$2,857) after the U.S. girl group was accused of flouting decency regulations.