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    Sunday, October 19, 2008

    Can Some Violence Be Justified Under Islam?

    "But guys like me get involved in things sometimes because nobody else will... Because it's not in the rule book, or it's politically inconvenient, or it's too weird, or -- or simply because nobody else cares.

    The government, the big corporations, the money guys... they all have plenty of people willing to put it all on the line to defend them. But somebody in trouble... the kind of guy wiser minds would say should be left to solve his own problems, who does he go to?

    Lots of the other super-guys live in shadows because what they do is stuff you'd never, ever want to know about... because you'd never sleep well again. Leaving them alone to operate as they see fit give you deniability, and lets them dive in where logic would say "stay away".

    So maybe the best solution would be a kind of good samaritan law, like they have for drivers, where you can protect everybody when one person dives in to do something to help, while everybody else just drives past."
    - Spider-Man in Civil War (Amazing Spider-Man # 531)

    [This afternoon, my family and I went for halal-bihalal - an Indonesian unique tradition of mutual begging of pardon performed after Eid al-Fitr celebration - with our extended family members. I haven't seen most of them (or rather, most of them haven't seen me) for years since before I went abroad.

    What I found most interesting was the discussion I had with the clergyman during lunch after the short sermon regarding the story of Prophet Muhammad and a blind jewish beggar. You can read the story here. I asked the clergyman why the Prophet's thoughtful behavior, as told in the story, stands at a stark contrast to some of the modern Muslim organizations' actions - since they proclaim to be acting under the guidance of Holy Quran and the Prophet's example - against what are deemed as society's moral decay. Violent raids targeting night clubs and bars, for example, have occurred in various parts of the country. Such as this, recorded by the media:

    Such acts are justified, according to the clergyman, since there are no law enforcement or other forces be it political or social that are capable and willing to stop the morality decay which is happening in society today. Someone have to act on their behalf, and willing to assume the bad press, in order to protect the society's moral values. Just like what Spider-Man told the judges, "...they get involved in things sometimes because nobody else will... or simply because nobody else cares."

    What can I say? ]

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