Archive for category Islam

Umno playing politics with hudud push, Saifuddin tells students in Australia

by Shaun Tan
Malay Mail Online
April 10, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Support for hudud exists only on the fringes despite the high-profile coverage on the controversy over the Islamic penal law in Malaysia, said Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

Speaking during a summit organised by the Malaysian Students Council of Australia (MASCA) in Brisbane, Australia yesterday, the Umno leader also said his party’s apparent support for hudud was “just politics”.

“Hudud isn’t mainstream. The mainstream is moderation and democracy,” he said.

During discussions on the topic, he said while the Quran uses the word “hudud” 14 times, none of the mentions involves a fixed punishment, but instead appears in relation to marriage, divorce and kindness to orphans. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kelantan’s hudud breaks basis of secular Malaysia, Sarawak churches say

The Malay Mail Online
April 8, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 — Kelantan’s hudud enactment violates the secular foundation upon which Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak had formed Malaysia, Sarawak churches said today.

The Kuching Ministers’ Fellowship (KMF), a network of church pastors and leaders in Sarawak, joined the Sabah Council of Churches in criticising the passing of the Kelantan Shariah Criminal Code II Enactment 1993 (amendment 2015) last month in the east coast state run by Islamist party PAS.

“The recently-passed Kelantan hudud enactment is in direct contradiction to the aspirations of founding fathers of our nation to keep Malaysia a secular state as evidenced in several historical documents that explicitly state this,” KMF chairman Pastor Daron Tan said in a statement.

“The introduction of hudud law is a fundamental breach and deviation from the expressed commitment to complete religious freedom, a key term underpinning the Malaysia Agreement signed in July 1963 between Sarawak, Sabah and Malaya,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »

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Renegotiate Federal Constitution if Kelantan must have hudud

— Civil Society Organisations of Sabah and Sarawak
The Malay Mail Online
April 8, 2015

APRIL 8 — We — Civil Society Organisations of Sabah and Sarawak — hereby call for a thorough renegotiation of the Federal Constitution if Kelantan insists to enforce its Shariah Criminal Code II (1993) 2015.

We solemnly hold the following positions:

1. In forming Malaysia with Malaya and Singapore in 1963, Sabah and Sarawak signed up for a secular federation, not a theocratic one where any religious criminal justice system may be in force in any part of the Federation.

2. Religious freedom was amongst the top demands of Sabah and Sarawak in the Malaysia negotiations which produced the Inter-Governmental Committee Report and eventually the 1963 Malaysia Agreement. Sabah and Sarawak would not have been part of Malaysia if Shariah criminal law was an item in the negotiation.

3. Secular justice system on crimes as a federal jurisdiction is part of the entire constitutional package embodied in the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution. Any fundamental change to this packaged deal requires a thorough renegotiation of the Federal Constitution. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hadi prepared to destroy Pakatan Rakyat with hudud private member’s bill although BN will be ousted from power if it loses just two per cent of support in next general election

I was shocked and outraged to see the PAS President and MP for Marang, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s motion on private member’s bill on hudud implementatilon on the Dewan Rakyat Order Paper today.

This is the first time any leader or MP from DAP and PKR has sight of Hadi’s private member’s bill although Hadi had agreed and promised at the Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council meeting on February 8, 2015 that any private member’s bill on hudud implementation must and will be presented to the PR Leadership Council first.

Today we see proof of this undertaking by Hadi on behalf of the PAS at the Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council broken and violated.

Hadi’s word is not his bond and he has proved that he cannot be trusted with his promise, undertaking and commitment as PAS President.

This has destroyed the basis of co-operation and even the very accord in the formation seven years ago of the Pakatan Rakyat, which was founded on the Common Policy Framework and the operational consensus principle that every decision in the name of PR could only be made with the consensus of all three parties and no one political party or party leader can veto or overrule the consensus reached by Pakatan Rakyat.

Hadi has violated this consensus principle more than once, the latest being his Feb. 8 undertaking and the PR consensus decision that any private member’s bill on hudud would first be presented to the PR Leadership Council.

Hadi’s private member’s bill motion on the Order Paper today also raises the question of where is the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s statement that UMNO/BN opposes Hadi’s private member’s bill on hudud implementation, which had suffered 18 days of “labour pains”. Read the rest of this entry »

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The final stillbirth after 17 days of “labour pains” of the Prime Minister’s statement declaring UMNO/BN opposition to Hadi’s private member’s bill on hudud implementation – and the five-step metamorphosis of MCA stand

Has the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s statement declaring UMNO/Barisan Nasional opposition to PAS President and MP for Marang, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill on hudud implementation suffered “still birth” after 17 days of prolonged “labour pain”?

Seventeen days ago, the MCA President was so cocksure that the Prime Minister would declare the UMNO/BN stand opposing Hadi’s private member’s bill that the “news” was leaked to a Chinese national daily which published the “exclusive news” on the front page, but which proved to be the major false news leak in the history of Malaysian journalism.

The MCA President’s cocksure confidence that Najib would be making a statement within 24 hours on UMNO/BN’s opposition to Hadi’s private member’s bill has under gone a five-step metamorphosis in the past 17 days of “labour pains” of the Prime Minister, viz: Read the rest of this entry »

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Exposing Anti-Islam Author Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Latest Deception

By Max Blumenthal
AlterNet
March 26, 2015

One of America’s most prominent Islam bashers has a long history of making things up.

While promoting her new book, Heretic, on a March 23 episode of “The Daily Show,” Somali-born author and anti-Islam activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali made a staggering claim: “If you look at 70 percent of the violence in the world today, Muslims are responsible,” she told host Jon Stewart.

Stewart did not demand any evidence and Hirsi Ali provided no citation. However, she made a strikingly similar statement in a March 20 essay previewing her new book for the Wall Street Journal: “According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies,” Hirsi Ali wrote in WSJ’s Saturday Essay, “at least 70% of all the fatalities in armed conflicts around the world last year were in wars involving Muslims.”

I contacted the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), a leading British foreign policy think tank, to inquire about the source of Hirsi Ali’s statistic. According to IISS Media Relations and Communications Officer Kat Slowe, IISS did not explicitly state such a figure in its research.

“I have spoken to a number of our experts and they cannot identify where this statistic may have come from,” Slowe told me.

“Their best guess is that the journalist in question [Hirsi Ali] may have access/a subscription to the [IISS] Armed Conflict Database and may have calculated this statistic independently. There are some concerns that it could be misleading as, without Syria (near 200,000 total deaths, and almost half of last year’s global conflict deaths) the figure would look massively different (and of course, this conflict did not have its root in religion),” Slowe added. Read the rest of this entry »

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To Ayaan Hirsi Ali – The Problem is Not with Islam, but with the Author

By Zainab Chaudry
Patheos
March 31, 2015

Authors who publish books generally want to sell them. Well, what sells better then timely, dramatized sensationalism with a personal angle, which reinforces readers’ latent fears and beliefs?

After reading Somali-born author and anti-Islam activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s disturbingly deceptive new book, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now, I can confidently vouch that this read is exactly that: Dramatized sensationalism with a personal angle that reinforces the larger audience’s fears and suspicions.

The book’s abject flaws begin with the introduction, which doggedly fixates on media reports disproportionately covering slanted stories of terrorist acts involving Muslims in destabilized and conflict-ridden regions of the world — without providing any crucially relevant context or background.

All, of course, to make the case that Islam is not a religion of peace. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Islam Needs a Reformation

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Wall Street Journal
March 20, 2015

To defeat the extremists for good, Muslims must reject those aspects of their tradition that prompt some believers to resort to oppression and holy war.

“Islam’s borders are bloody,” wrote the late political scientist Samuel Huntington in 1996, “and so are its innards.” Nearly 20 years later, Huntington looks more right than ever before. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, at least 70% of all the fatalities in armed conflicts around the world last year were in wars involving Muslims. In 2013, there were nearly 12,000 terrorist attacks world-wide. The lion’s share were in Muslim-majority countries, and many of the others were carried out by Muslims. By far the most numerous victims of Muslim violence—including executions and lynchings not captured in these statistics—are Muslims themselves.

Not all of this violence is explicitly motivated by religion, but a great deal of it is. I believe that it is foolish to insist, as Western leaders habitually do, that the violent acts committed in the name of Islam can somehow be divorced from the religion itself. For more than a decade, my message has been simple: Islam is not a religion of peace.

When I assert this, I do not mean that Islamic belief makes all Muslims violent. This is manifestly not the case: There are many millions of peaceful Muslims in the world. What I do say is that the call to violence and the justification for it are explicitly stated in the sacred texts of Islam. Moreover, this theologically sanctioned violence is there to be activated by any number of offenses, including but not limited to apostasy, adultery, blasphemy and even something as vague as threats to family honor or to the honor of Islam itself. Read the rest of this entry »

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Teach the virtue of radical moderation

– Jakarta Globe
31 March 2015

The latest survey of Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace should come as a dire warning: The poll of nearly 700 students from 76 high schools in Jakarta and 38 high schools in Bandung shows that 7% of respondents agreed with the Islamic State movement’s aim of establishing a global Islamic State – meaning one in every 14 students agrees with the militants’ aims.

Those surveyed who agreed with Isis’s mission said they did so because they believe the IS has established an Islamic caliphate.

More worrisome, the students said they agreed that Indonesia’s five founding principles, Pancasila – which enshrine the right to religious freedom and tolerance of others’ beliefs – should be replaced with a universal Islamic ideology.

The ability to accept others’ beliefs as equally valid to one’s own is perhaps the highest virtue – and one we must teach in schools. Read the rest of this entry »

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No Evidence that Harsher Punishment = Less Crimes!

By Martin Jalleh

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Three possible outcomes in Parliament for Hadi’s private member’s bill on hudud implementation

There are three possible outcomes in Parliament for PAS President and MP for Marang Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill on hudud implemention which was submitted on March 18, totally against the Pakatan Rakyat Leaderhip Council decision on February 8, where Hadi was present, that any private member’s bill on hudud implemenation should first be presented to the PR Leadership Council for discussion.

Up to now, despite the passage of 12 days, DAP and PKR MPs have not seen or any idea about Hadi’s private member’s bill.

These three scenarios are:

Firstly, Hadi’s private member’s bill will be ruled out of order as being against the Federal Constitution and not appear on the Parliamentary Order Paper on April 2, 2015, after fulfilling the 14-day requirement for private member’s bill as provided by the Parliamentary Standing Orders.

Secondly, Hadi’s private member’s bill will appear on the daily Parliamentary Order Paper from April 2 until the end of the current meeting on April 9, but will not be given time for debate as the official business of various government bills, in particular the trove of six Bills dealing with terrorism and related laws, i.e. Prevention of Terrorism Bill 2015, Special Measures Against Terrorism in Foreign Countries Bill 2015, the Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Bi8lll 2015, the Prevention of Crime (Amendment) Bill 1959, the Security Offences (Special Measures) Amendment Bill 2015, and the Penal Code (Amendment Bill) will take up all the parliamentary time up to April 9.

Thirdly, a debate and vote on Hadi’s private member’s bill. Read the rest of this entry »

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Half-hour row in Parliament yesterday marked the end of one-year UMNO trap for PAS set by Jamil Khir in Parliament on March 27 last year claiming that Federal government ready to work with PAS Kelantan state government to implement hudud in Kelantan

The half-hour row in Parliament yesterday between the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom and the PAS MP for Pokok Sena, Datuk Mahfuz Omar, resulting in the latter’s ejection from the Dewan Rakyat, marked the end of the one-year UMNO trap for PAS set by Jamil in Parliament on March 27 last year claiming that the Federal government was ready to work with PAS Kelantan State Government to implement hudud in Kelantan.

Cleary, there was no such intention, but all Jamil Khir and the UMNO conspirators really wanted was to achieve their objective to destabilize, divide and destroy PAS and Pakatan Rakyat, which they had achieved to a great extent in the past 12 months.

But what Jamil Khir and the entire UMNO/Barisan Nasional leadership did not realise was that the trap they set directly for PAS and indirectly for Pakatan Rakyat was in fact a double-edged sword which could not only cause grave damage to Pakatan Rakyat but also to Barisan Nasional as well.

The UMNO conspirators have succeeded in their damage for Pakatan Rakyat, but they suddenly realized that the price of the success of such a plot against PAS and Pakatan Rakyat was to create a situation where the UMNO/BN coalition is also on the brink of unprecedented disaster. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why is secularism a ‘non-argument’?

By Wong Chin Huat
Malaysiakini
Mar 23, 2015

COMMENT Many human right lawyers, minority rights advocates, women right advocates and liberals have vigorously and rigorously defended the secular nature of the Malaysian state.

The most outstanding examples include the late parliamentarian Karpal Singh, Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) chairperson Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa and Noor Farida Arifin who leads the Group of 25 Eminent Malays (G25).

Their courageous defence of secularism, while cheered by many members of minorities and liberals, change little the debate amongst the Malay-Muslims.

As the ultimate defence on secularism lies with the judiciary, that increasingly Muslim judges are observing a trend of religious political correctness suggests this may be a losing battle.

Former top judges championing Malay-Muslim ultra-nationalism certainly leaves no room for optimism. Read the rest of this entry »

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Proposal of a new coalition government post-BN and post-PR with new Prime Minister to “Save Malaysia” has drawn interest, support and encouragement from MPs from both BN and PR, former Ministers and public intellectuals

The proposal of a new coalition government post-BN and post-PR with a new Prime Minister to “Save Malaysia” has drawn interest, support and encouragement from MPs from both BN and PR divide, former Ministers and public intellectuals.

For instance, this is one of the messages of support and encouragement which I have received for the idea of a new coalition government post-BN and post PR:

“I read your five fundamental principles for a new government. I fully support them. You might also need an agenda to address inequalities and opportunities for all. All the best.”

I fully agree. Read the rest of this entry »

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Who can be the new Prime Minister of a new coalition government in Malaysia to defend the Malaysian Constitution?

DAP fully endorses the stand of G25 of prominent Malay former civil servants urging Putrajaya to uphold the Federal Constitution and that the implementation of hudud law means the abandonment of the path of moderation chosen by the country since Independence in 1957 and the formation of Malaysia in 1963.

The G25 statement said:

“The imposition of PAS’ hudud laws will signify to the world that Malaysia has abandoned the moderate path.

“We will be seen as a country governed by religious laws which are subjected to the vagaries of interpretation of the ulama who are also fallible human beings.”

I am not a Muslim but I am fortified by the G25 group’s citation of Islamic scholars for this position, especially Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi, who is chairperson of the World Union of Muslim Scholars, who said the application of Syariah must be governed by Ijtihad or creative thought, to determine how it would be enforced today as it would not be helpful to take rulings from ancient texts and apply them in totality to modern societies. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib should be given another 48 hours to make his statement on the stand of UMNO/BN MPs on Hadi’s private member’s bill on hudud implementation in Kelantan

MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Liow Tiong Lai seems to be having the “shivers” causing him yesterday to urge all to give the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak more time to make public the government’s stand on the PAS President and MP for Marang, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill on the implementation of hudud laws in Kelantan.

What is clear is that Liow is no more the confident self six days ago when he gave “exclusive leaks” to the media that Najib would announce the UMNO/BN’s stand on Hadi’s private members bill last Friday – and six days have come and gone, and Najib continues to suffer from “labour pains” without any sign that Najib would be opening his “golden mouth” on this issue.

In the past week, Malaysians have been told that the 13 Barisan Nasional component parties last Thursday and the Cabinet last Friday have reached a consensus to oppose Hadi’s private member’s bill on hudud implementation as it is against the Federal Constitution, unsuitable for a multi-racial and multi-religious nation like Malaysia and would have an adverse impact on the nation’s economy, foreign investment and development.

Why have the confidence expressed by the MCA and Gerakan Presidents and leaders that Najib would come out with a statement declaring UMNO/BN opposition to Hadi’s private member’s bill suddenly evaporated in the past week? Read the rest of this entry »

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“Pas’ hudud law not divine, open to criticism”

By Martin Jalleh

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Going beyond the obvious in hudud discourse

By Wong Chin Huat
Malaysiakini
Mar 21, 2015

COMMENT There is perhaps no political debate more mislabelled and misleading in Malaysia than that of the so-called “hudud” law.

Hudud, an Arabic word, is the plural form of hadd (had in Malay), which means ‘limit’. It refers to fixed punishments mentioned in the Quran for certain crimes.

Section 4 of Kelantan’s Syariah Criminal Code II (1993) 2015 listed six types of crimes: sariqah (theft), hirabah (robbery), zina (adultery), qazaf (accusation of adultery without four credible witnesses), syurb (intoxication), and irtidad/riddah (apostasy).

The same is listed in Section 4 of Terengganu’s Syariah Criminal Offences (Hudud and Qisas) Enactment 2002 [Enakmen Kesalahan Jenayah Syariah (Hudud Dan Qisas) 2002].

The Brunei Syariah Penal Code Order 2013 lists two more types of crimes: zina bil-jabar (non-consensual adultery) and liwat (sodomy).

The most well-known of hudud punishments are stoning to death for adultery, and amputation for theft and robbery. Read the rest of this entry »

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Stoning law sees Umno, PAS chase Islamic vote

By Bloomberg
Malaysiakini
Mar 23, 2015

Six months after Prime Minister Najib Razak stood before the United Nations and urged Muslims worldwide to be moderate in their religion, members of his own party are supporting a law that punishes adulterers with death and thieves with amputation.

Lawmakers from Najib’s Umno joined the opposition PAS to pass Islamic criminal law, or hudud, in the opposition-held state of Kelantan. The move has drawn criticism from other parties in their respective coalitions, while human rights groups say it’s an unconstitutional step for secular Malaysia.

Umno officials are burnishing their Islamic credentials to safeguard support among the ethnic Malay majority after the coalition retained power in 2013 by the narrowest margin since independence. The swing by Najib’s party to the right risks worsening race relations at a time economic growth is forecast to slow.

“What Umno and PAS are doing on hudud is not about Islam, it is about politics and staying in power,” said Noraini Othman, a retired sociology professor who co-founded a group promoting progressive views of Islam.

“Religious indoctrination has created extremist voices in these parties, in these governments, that have succeeded in becoming louder while the so-called moderates are now a silent majority.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Seeing through the hudud controversy

By Liew Chin Tong
Malaysiakini
Mar 23, 2015

MP SPEAKS First of all let me stress that Muslims have the right to believe in hudud law. I respect that right, as much as I believe Muslims respect the rights of people of other faiths.

However in the case of the Kelantan hudud enactment, it is more than just a legal matter but rather as a political ploy meant to eliminate the progressives in PAS and to break Pakatan Rakyat in the process.

Worse than that, albeit unintentionally, the bickering and anger arising from the fiery emotional arguments could tear the nation apart.

The end game for those who designed the plot is to draw the battle line along a ‘Muslims versus non-Muslims’ conflict. Read the rest of this entry »

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