Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Kota Bharu an Islamic City


The PAS led state governmet of Kelantan plans to declare Kota Bharu as an Islamic City next March 2005. What is an Islamic City? Will it be any different from other cities in Malaysia? Will it be any different from Kuala Lumpur the capital city of NEGARA ISLAM Malaysia?

According to Kelantan EXCO member Takiyuddin Hassan as quoted by MALAYSIAKINI recently:

Under the concept, an Islamic city’s leaders and administrators should be trustworthy, possess good knowledge of Islam and be sensitive to the people’s welfare. It also aims to promote the e-government concept and allow space for the public to criticise and advise the administrators.

He said the Islamic city concept is being introduced to ‘upgrade’ the city and this relates to the motto, ‘Develop Together With Islam’, mooted by Kelantan Menteri Besar and PAS spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.

He added that the municipal council will also encourage new buildings in the town to reflect Islamic architecture, which will also serve as tourist attractions. “Islamic architectural buildings are advisable, but not compulsory,” he said.

Elaborating, Takuyuddin said the PAS state government established Islamic management of Kelantan after winning it in the 1990 general elections and several policies in accordance to this have been implemented.

These include a freeze on gambling licences, the requirement for Muslims to dress according to what is prescribed by the religion and non-Muslims to dress decently at the workplace.

That certaintly seems like somethig to look forward to. Hopefully the leaders in the state would be able to truly transform Kota Bharu into an Islamic City as mentioned. Hopefully it wont be mere political rhetoric nor applying artificial cosmetic change to please political supporters.

On the other had we have seen what has become of Kuala Lumpur. Despite being the capital city of NEGARA ISLAM Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur boasts of having the most pubs, discos, entertainment outlets, licensed and unlicensed ones, that operates up to the wee hours each day. Prostitution is in abundance, readily available day or night, from five star down to Chow Kit standard.

Infact just recently the Federal Territory Mufti anounced that large numbers of GRO in the city are Muslim/Malay women. This despite a fatwa that prohibits Muslim women from becomig a one.

Of course meanwhile KL as NEGARA ISLAM Malaysia's capital city also boasts of having beautiful Islamic MONUMENTS such as the National mosque, the FT mosque, IKIM complex, Islamic museum and so on. Not forgeting loads of licensed gambling outlets that of course prohibits Muslims from participating.

All in all we hope Kota Bharu could really become a model Islamic City true to its meaning and philosophy. On this matter I recently got an email from a friend whose suggestions, findings and ideas are something that I feel the state should seriously look into, thank you Abu Hafidz:

Assalamu'alaikum wr wb

I picked up this piece of news item from MalaysiaKini early today attributed to Taqiyuddin Hasan. Kudos to the State Government of Kelantan under the guidance of YAB Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz.

I stayed at Hotel Ansar during the recent PAS Muqtamar and found it to be very much wanting. It did not reflect, what more exude, the spirits of Islam which promote excellence in service quality and ambience.So the State, particularly the Municipal (City?) Council should ensure that public facilities such as mosques, hotels, bus terminals, streets, toilets are maintained at a high level of cleanliness and hygiene as espoused by Islam.

If this is upheld, then Kota Bharu is essentially an Islamic City. Allahu Akbar !!

Fi amanillah, wassalam

Abu Hafidz

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