New Islamist party has higher purpose than hudud, says Mujahid

Looi Sue-Chern
The Malaysian Insider
11 July 2015

The new political party being mulled by a group of “purged” progressive PAS leaders will take the position that Islam is bigger than just the Islamic penal code or hudud.

Former PAS central committee member Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa said Islam instructed its believers to preserve the greater peace, instead of bulldozing laws.

“This was why the late spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat put hudud on hold. He understood this very well. He knew that the issue had not been settled.

“Is hudud everything? It is just a criminal law,” he told The Malaysian Insider in an interview at his office in Parit Buntar.

Mujahid, when asked about the new party’s stand concerning hudud, said that there were bigger things in Islam than hudud, such as creating a better life for the people.

“You do that not by introducing Islamic criminal laws to curb crime. You fight for causes like minimum wage and reducing crime rates. All that has to be made part of the agenda.

“That is our stand when it comes to hudud… that was why they branded me as anti-hudud,” he said.

Mujahid, who is one of the most recognisable PAS leaders and known for his interfaith work to promote unity and harmony between Muslims and non-Muslims, said hudud needed to be viewed within the legal framework of the country.

“You have to balance between the legal framework and hudud as a requirement within the shariah criminal code. To implement hudud, you must look at the legal framework. To do that you must go through the democratic process.

“Talking about the process, you need to know what is the authority and jurisdiction you have. A state has the power but it is limited by the Shariah Courts Act, which states that the maximum punishment a state’s shariah court can sentence is three years’ jail, RM5,000 fine and six strokes of the rotan (whipping).

“When you look at that, you have to be practical as to how to go about it. You have to go through the democratic process and once you do that, you will also have to accept the result whether it (hudud) can be implemented or not.

“For our ‘Gerakan Harapan Baru’ (new hope movement), we look at hudud in that context. Not just a rhetoric, emotional or sensational thing,” the Parit Buntar MP said.

In the hudud bill to amend the Kelantan Shariah Criminal Code II enactment, among the penalties were the amputation of limbs, stoning and death.

However, it was recently reported that PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill to the Dewan Rakyat to amend the Shariah Courts Act did not include those punishments.

The hudud issue was the straw that broke the camel’s back, leading to the recent collapse of the opposition pact Pakatan Rakyat made up of PAS, PKR and DAP.

In March, the PAS government in Kelantan tabled and passed its hudud bill at the state assembly and incurred the wrath of DAP, which had always been against the implementation of hudud.

After heated exchanges between the two parties, PAS at its muktamar last month “purged” its PR-friendly progressive leaders and replaced them with conservatives from the ulama faction, before severing ties with DAP, which in turn declared the PR coalition dead.

As the progressives move towards its new party ambition, Mujahid said its constitution would clearly define its Islamic base and policy, and that they would also honour the Federal Constitution, the multiracial and multicultural identity and the common interest of the people.

He said although the party would use Islam as its guide towards nation-building, it would be more inclusive, as dictated by Islam.

“We want to present Islam differently from PAS. The issue now is people look at PAS and feel that the party no longer promotes Islamic aspirations.” – July 11, 2015.

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