Kassim Ahmad: The Hero We Don’t Deserve!

We, Muslims, have come to a point where we revere scholars who push absurdities in the name of Islam, but slander those who seek to purify Islam from the dogmatic image it has acquired. Getting all our knowledge of Islam from these scholars instead of reading the Quran for ourselves, we, as a whole, have become so perplexed that we can’t even distinguish between concepts that are Islamic and concepts that are un-Islamic. So, our current condition is our karma. And, this is exactly what happens when people abandon their right to think for themselves, handing it over to others. What an ironic gift this is to the Creator of human intelligence!

Recently, Mr. Kassim Ahmad, who is one of the great Muslim thinkers of our times, was taken into custody by the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department (JAWI) over what they call “controversial statements” he made about Islam at a seminar held in February. (You can read his statements here)


JAWI, is this what your Islam teaches you? To imprison anybody who goes against your views on religion? It’s strange, because the Quran that I’ve read advocates absolute freedom of speech to express one’s opinions. What happened to, “Let there be no compulsion in matters of faith” (Quran, 2:256), and “The truth is from your Nourisher-Sustainer, so whoever wills — let him believe; and whoever wills — let him disbelieve.” (Quran, 18:29)

Was that not clear enough for you to stop going around imposing your authority on people who disagree with you? But, I would be naive to make such a plea. How could you stay silent? The truth of the matter is that you feel intimidated by him, and worry that you will lose your control over Muslims who may find that the “controversial statements” he made are in fact very Quranic indeed. After all, are you not in this for the power? Do you think that we’re stupid, and don’t realize your need to monopolize Islam for your petty purposes?

No, JAWI. We see perfectly well what is going on here. And this has been the case throughout the times when reform-minded individuals approached the established rulers. When Musa (Moses) approached Firaun (Pharoah), this is what he had to say:

Pharaoh said, “If you choose an authority other than me, I will surely put you in prison.” Quran, 26:29

Make no mistake about it; yours are the very institutions that Prophets and other futuristic individuals have fought against. So, enough already! Stop fooling people in the name of Islam, for your actions are anything but against it.

It saddens me, and breaks my heart to see the way we treat this noble man who only wishes that Muslims revert back to the Quran and stop mixing Islam with Arabic culture. Amidst the ridiculous Fatwas (religious rulings) and irrationalities of prominent Muslim scholars such as promoting child marriage, a truly commendable free-thinker like Mr. Kassim Ahmad comes off as a breath of fresh air. A sign that all hope is not lost for Islam, that maybe – just maybe we can trace our footsteps back to the Quran and become the Muslims God wants us to be.

But, no! How dare he question our beliefs? What right does he have to tell us to reform and get rid of the un-Quranic laws that the Ulema have imposed upon us? No, Mr. Kassim Ahmed, we all wish to remain in collective ignorance and celebrate our leaders that have put us in this honorable position. We, certainly, will not tolerate your call for reform. For realizing the need to reform, we must first realize that there is something wrong with the way we have understood Islam. And, we are simply not ready for that. Not when our scholars promise us heaven in exchange for simply uttering the Kalma (Proclamation of belief in Islam). We as always are right, and you are wrong! Let us live blissfully in our ignorance, and please don’t disturb us.


I am sorry, Mr. Kassim. But, we have failed you. Yet again, we have failed to honor a leader like yourself that would release us from the shackles these clergymen impose upon us. We don’t deserve you, sir.

We don’t deserve you.


This article was also featured in The Malay Mail Online and Free Malaysia Today


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38 thoughts on “Kassim Ahmad: The Hero We Don’t Deserve!

  1. Pingback: Quran: The Book That Weeps, Hidden Inside Its Shelf! | Muslim Reformation

  2. Hi.

    Your views resonate with me on so many levels. You’re much better at articulating them, though!

    Keep up the good work!



  3. satu artikel yg biasa, tiada nilai keilmuan…cuma kekecewaan atas kefanatikan dan pendewaan terhadap Kassim Ahmad. pemikiran yg jelas tidak matang, keanak anakan. Al-quran – banyak yg dapat hidayah melaluinya dan banyak juga yang disesatkan oleh Allah melalui nya. persoalan nya which one are you?


    • I did not censor your reply. I have been inactive for a couple of weeks, hence your comments which were awaiting moderation have been approved as of now.


  4. Hello everyone especially those who are avid readers of this blog,
    please sign this petition:


    Kassim Ahmad has been arrested by Malaysian bigoted Sunni authority for expressing his belief and saying that religious hierarchy in Traditional Islam is like ‘priest caste’ or ‘priesthood’ and priesthood is not part of Islam.

    And please spread this petition.


  5. Hi Ro,
    It’s not working.I didn’t received the update via my email.
    rajraman. If more people who practice organized Religion like you, the world will be very peaceful although i don’t practice any religion.Do good and don’t cheat enough for me. I like to provoked Malaysia Mullah when they say something doesn’t make sense. ( once upon a time,no longer blogging actively now)

    Thanks Ro.


    • Rajraman, did you try again? Maybe there was some technical issues when you sent the request.

      Do good and don’t cheat – I can totally respect that 🙂


      • Ro,
        It’s didn’t work. That’s why i keep posting.
        rajraman. Anyway can you please ask others whether theirs works or not please.I use chrome.

        Notify me of follow-up comments via email – was mark.


      • Salaam Rajraman. I get updates on people following me on a daily basis, so it’s definitely working. Please try a different browser, or maybe try subscribing from your mobile phone?


  6. Nice … no turning back, this karma. We solemnly and obediently follow Egypt, Irag, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and etc etc .. and those who are not blessed anymore!!!


    • Seems like there is no turning back, but at the same time I see some encouraging signs as well. People are gradually waking up to the truth and questioning authority. Hence, the rise in atheism and the likes.


  7. I am always cynical when people like to quote Quran misleadingly and not the actual message. You seem to be one of them. How can you quote ayat Quran setengah2. For example no compulsion in religion. If you care to read the surrounding verse and context of revelation, we cannot force non Muslims to convert. It doesn’t mean there is no compulsion for Muslims at all. Because this runs odd against the very nature that Islam is ad deen. There’s various verses for punishments for non compliance in the Quran itself. Thus simple things like traffic light taazir where if a country legislate a taazir that going against red light is wrong and punishable, it is Islamic to compel Muslims to follow. Really don’t follow why the need to mislead.


  8. Pingback: Kassim Ahmad – Charged for Thinking and Speaking Out | The Universe of My Mind

  9. I am deeply sadden by the way they treat an elderly man with such disrespect. It run counter to our Malaysian culture putting aside whatever religious difference he might have with the religious authority. This is just not acceptable conduct if you want others to respect Islam as a compassionate religion. I sincerely hope all the charges against him will be drop asap.


  10. Organized Politician rules the Organized Religion and your wring Ro gives me the glimpse of hope for a moment.
    rajraman. If only Politician leave Religion with controlling the thought of others world will be at peace.


  11. I am of the opinion that the Ustaz and the Ulamas are of much much lower ‘ grade ‘ , being ordinary mortals like all of us seeking for truths on a voyage to try and discover The Ultimate Truth through the Quranic journey of life. Our Beloved Prophet (pbh) who was ordained as The Mouthpiece as the Chosen Messenger, have been Vouchsafed by the Lord Al’Mighty, and are exempted from Sin.
    The Fatwas issued by these mere mortals are on a lower plane, and most are bereft of what the Prophet had brought via the Quran, and more often interspersed with the individual Ulama’s own prejudices and bias which may not be in sync with the Quran. That because it is human to play with Politics, they too get embroiled with power-play and cause Confusion in the various world Islamic communities – so it is, we observe most Islamic nations are currently in Turmoil…..


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