The Pahang Mufti Datuk Seri Dr. Abdul Rahman Osman is trying to pull the wool over the people’s eyes, by inventing a new category of “kafir harbi” who need not be slain or put to death, following religiously the Prime Minister’s Office’s statement last Wednesday which “whitewashed” instead of condemning the mufti’s statement by coining a new category of “kafir harbi”.
Does the Najib government accept Merdeka Constitution 1957, Malaysia Agreement 1963 and Rukunegara 1970 that provide that all Malaysians are citizens and not “kafir harbi” or “kafir dhimmi” and what it proposes to do with official religious officers who preach the dangerous message of hate, intolerance and bigotry in plural Malaysia by classifying DAP and non-Muslims who disagree with Hadi’s hudud motion or hudud law as “kafir harbi”?
Three days ago, the Christian Federation of Malaysia chairperson Eu Hong Seng expressed dismay at the “silence over the years as our society is hit by the divisive issues of race and religion” and called for the Prime Minister’s leadership at such an “incendiary” statement by the Pahang mufti by eradicating such rhetoric.
Eu stressed that Malaysians had a constitutional right to question implementation of Islamic laws as “Questioning, doubting, or rejecting any change in laws or policy – such as with establishing hudud – is the fundamental constitutional right of all Malaysians”.
Eu said hudud is a small part of the syariah, not even constantly or consistently applied throughout the history of Islam, so how can such Malaysians be designated as enemies of Islam?
Five days ago, 55 NGOs of the Malaysian’s multi-racial and multi-religious civil society, in a joint declaration, stressed that all Malaysians are citizens, and no more “kafir harbi” or “kafir dhimmi”.
The joint declaration said:
“1. The categorisation of humans into ‘kafir harbi’ (non-Muslims who fight against Muslim rulers) and ‘kafir dhimmi’ (non-Muslims who accept the supremacy of and protection from Muslim rulers) happened in the ancient time. In such times, when countries waged wars against each other, wars between countries appeared as wars between religions.
“In fact, some wars were fought in the name of faith when the strongest motivation was often territorial conquest in the pursuit of power and wealth. Due to the lack of religious freedom, whether or not Muslims could profess Islam often depended on the strength of Muslim political power.
“The dichotomic division of non-Muslims into ‘kafir harbi’ who must be killed or ‘kafir dhimmi’ who are subservient to Muslim rulers, must be understood in the context of deep inter-religious enmity.”
The Joint Declaration stated:
“Great Muslim thinkers like Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawy have urged that terms like ‘dhimmi’ be abandoned and for non-Muslim members of a nation to be recognised as ‘muwatinun’ (citizens) just like their Muslim counterparts.
“This is in fact nothing new. According to Egyptian scholar Dr Fathi Osman, Muslims and non-Muslims indeed enjoyed equal citizenship in Madinah under the leadership of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. because Madinah itself was also a multi-religious society. In fact, according legal scholar Al Ghunaimi Mohammad Talaat, the ‘dhimmi’ status for the non-Muslims disappeared when the Ottoman Empire – the last Caliphate – proclaimed in 1839 the principle of equality between Muslims and Christians.
“Born in 1963 with the merger of Malaya, Singapore (left in 1965), Sabah dan Sarawak as equal partners, Malaysia is a civil federation hosting a plural society. The relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims are one of fellow citizens (muwatinun) with equal rights and equal responsibilities. They are neither enemies to each other nor ‘the protector’ on one side and ‘the protected’ on the other side.”
Pro-reform group G25 has likened Abdul Rahman Osman’s kafir harbi allegations against non-Muslims to calls made by militant group Islamic State that uses religion as a purported tool for terror.
It said: “This understanding is very dangerous for our country that is multi-racial and multi-religious. The government and authorities should urgently crack down on this matter.”
Muslim scholars in Malaysia, like Maslee Malik and Dr. Musa Mohd Nordin warned:
“Never before has our beloved nation witnessed such an excess of religious and racial strife since the bloody days of May 13, 1969.
“The latest fatwa (religious edict) of the mufti of Pahang is one such gross aberration to the values of equality, diversity, mutual respect and harmony espoused by the teachings of the Quran and the authentic traditions of the Prophet (pbuh).
“And unless this malicious abuse of religious authority is checked with an effective and just political and societal governance, we are surely on the slippery slope towards anarchy.”
They added: “Many contemporary Muslim scholars, the likes of Syaikh Muhamamd Abu Zahrah, Syaikh Abdullah bin Bayyah, Syaikh Dr Yusuf Qaradawi, Syeikh Wahbah al-Zuhayli, Dr Fahmi Huwaidi and Dr Muhammad Emarah Syakh have opined that the categories of kafir harbi and kafir dhimmi are no longer relevant and applicable within the socio-political structure of the modern world today.
“Instead, under the framework of constitutional modern state that has been acknowledged by most Muslim prominent scholars (except al-Qaeda, IS, Boko Haram, et al) it should be replaced by the term Muwatin which denotes citizens, who are granted equal rights, similar to the majority Muslim population of the contemporary Islamic state.”
Yesterday, the police confirmed that the attack on Movida nightclub in Puchong last Tuesday was the first act of terror by Islamic State (IS) elements in the country.
In the past week, the Police have arrested 15 IS militants, including low-ranked police officers, who were plotting robberies in Kuala Lumpur to raise funds for IS cells in Malaysia.
The war against IS in Malaysia must not be confined to IS militants but must target ISIS-minded religious officers who spread the message of hate, intolerance and bigotry, and repudiate the fundamental principles in the Merdeka Constitution 1957, Malaysia Agreement 1963 and Rukunegara which provide that all Malaysians are citizens and not “kafir harbi” or “kafir dhimmi”.