I visited an old friend in Petaling Jaya yesterday. Born in Machang and brought up in Kuala Lumpur, he is a Pas member. In fact, he is quite popular among the party's youths.
We met in Baghdad in 1982 - he was a final year student at the Baghdad University while I was a journalist reporting the Iran-Iraq Gulf War. Young and slim then, he is now bloated after having his 6th kid.
A lecturer in the Islamic 'usuluddin' at a government's university, he didnt hide his intention to lure as many Malay students into 'embracing' PAS. And some of them did take part in the July 9 Bersih 2.0 rally for RM200 each.
His semi-D house is filled up with pictures of PAS leaders - Asri Muda, Nik Aziz, Hadi Awang, Abu Bakar Hamzah and others - hanging onto the walls, neat and eye-catching. His graduation photo in 1983 is in between Hadi and Nik Aziz.
"Nope! I dont want to be a party leader. I just want to recruit as many youngsters to join the party. You know, more and more university students are joining PAS because of its Islamisation. BN is so secular that it cannot treat Islam like we do."
I didnt say much as I didnt want to offend him. I was in his house, anyway.
So, during coffee, we were serenaded by some Arab songs.
"Do you know that all this songs are about Islam, the beauty of the religion and what Muslim brotherhood means? I only listen to Arabic songs because its all about Islam and Muslims. Many PAS leaders and members listen to Arabic songs," he said.
I know that he speaks fluent Arabic. However, I didnt think he was aware that I do speak and understand the language too, in a 'bahasa pasar' way.
Yup, I understood the song. The artiste is a Lebanese beauty Amal Hijazi (picture) and the song was 'Akher Gharam' or 'The Last Love'. There wasnt any Islamic element in the song. It was all about love, frustration and heart-sick.
And again, I didnt protest that it was 'an Islamic' song. I just wondered all the way while driving to Ampang. When I was in Sidon, Lebanon in 1984, I met some Arabs who were not Muslims... they were Christians.
However, in Malaysia, all Malays are Muslims.