I am getting uneasy by the day. Exasperated would be a benign word to describe the emotion I am experiencing towards this group of religious people who issues edicts as they like to protect their extreme and uncompromising beliefs. This is not good at all for this country. It will be the beginning of an end to our society built on cultural diversity and tolerance of ideas for the benefits of all.
As to why this government is letting this group go on their merry ways in labelling others ‘unreligious” or “deviating” from religion is beyond me. The report on this group’s witch-hunting the women’s group “Sisters in Islam”( SIS )is disturbing. And for a politician to support it is highly unfortunate. And for the leader of the opposition, currently on trial for sodomy, to remark positively (here) for Sister in Islam shows an opportunistic leadership at play here.Apparently PM Najib who has been styling himself as a moderate on the world stage but something else domestically, is keeping silent. In fact he is out of the country while waiting for Anwar Ibrahim’s trial to be over. So you can make an inference as to what kind of a government leader we have in Malaysia.
For Sisters in Islam to bring this issue of having been labelled as a deviant organisation to court is in effect a desperate act as we all know what the final verdict would be. But let the world know what kind of country Malaysia is morphing into. Before long this same group is going to issue edicts such as banning the traditional institutions of this country calling these as “unIslamic”. It will not be beyond them and so those in this hereditary elite class had better be warned.
If we allowed this group to have their ways, our freedom and traditional way of life will soon be gone. Please don’t think that it doesn’t apply to those of us who are of other faiths, because the day will come when they will issue edicts to control us or harm us like the fatwa of the late Iran’s Imam Khomeini against Salman Rushdie the writer who wrote negative narrative on Prophet Muhammad, in his book the “Satanic Verses”.
Some past fatwas include “smoking is forbidden”, “wearing tight jeans is forbidden” and “Yogas is forbidden” . Before long women of the faith will be forbidden from driving like in Saudi Arabia… Goodness gracious!
Heck, they could issue fatwas on all things that they are unhappy with and which they think would threaten their understanding of the religion.
An Update today 05 Nov 2014
Strangely these rational comments on the fatwa against SIS come from a trio of Opposition MPs from an Islamic based party. The government MPs are dead silent.
Reposted below from Staronline:
PAS MPs question fatwa ruling
Published: Wednesday November 5, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday November 5, 2014 MYT 7:41:52 AM
KUALA LUMPUR: Three PAS MPs have questioned whether the Selangor Fatwa Committee had provided any recourse for groups that allegedly practise pluralism and liberalism to state their stand, before ruling they had violated Islamic teachings.
The MPs – Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa (Parit Buntar), Hanipa Maidin (Sepang) and Khalid Samad (Shah Alam) – were of the opinion that any edict passed by the committee cannot be used to ban any particular organisation and any fatwa is to be decided only after adequate discussion and scrutiny.
The three parliamentarians, in a joint statement here, contend that a fatwa is not to be made for the banning of a particular organisation and doing that would actually mean going against the spirit of the fatwa.
The joint statement followed a move on Oct 31 by Sisters In Islam to file for a judicial review on a gazetted fatwa in Selangor titled Pemikiran Liberalisme dan Pluralisme Agama, which suggested that SIS had deviated from Islam.
The group filed the review at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, naming the fatwacommittee, the Selangor Islamic Affairs Council (Mais) and the Selangor government as respondents.
The fatwa, which was gazetted in July, also allows for any publication deemed liberal and plural to be banned and seized.
In addition, it calls for any form of social media that promotes such content to be monitored and restricted by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commissions.
The PAS MPs said the edict did not clarify what “liberalism” and “pluralism” meant.
“Would it be saying that all religions are equal or that truths are only relative when comparisons are being made of the different faiths?
“Does ‘liberalism’ and ‘pluralism’ denote a belief that all aspects of religion are inclusive in the context of inter-faith relations or inclusive only in the moral aspect, but exclusive within each religious belief?”
The MPs also wondered what the implications would be if the different religious beliefs are misconstrued to be pluralism and liberalism as there is neither any solid definition nor room for discussion to hear differing views within permissible limits.
Taking Mais to task over its apparent lack of muzakarah (discussion) with the concerned parties, the MPs said PAS was ready to help hold such dialogues in accordance with the commands of Allah.
Online source : http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/11/05/PAS-MPs-question-fatwa-ruling-Selangor-Islamic-Affairs-Council-also-taken-to-task-for-lack-of-muzak/