Saturday, November 1, 2014

Sisters in Islam are Unlawful since July 2014

Yesterday, Sisters in Islam filed a judicial review against a Selangor decree declaring the organization as one that promotes deviant teaching. SIS is seeking to nullify the decree and also a declaration that it is an organization protected under the Companies Act 1965. SIS named the Selangor Fatwa Committee, Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) and the state government as respondents.
The Selangor decree in July this year gazetted – under Section 111 of the Islamic Administration Enactment (Selangor) 2003 – any individual, association or institution that promoted religious liberalism and plurality as being deviant of the teaching of Islam. In addition, any publication that promoted liberal and pluralistic religious thinking would be declared unlawful and confiscated.
The decree also ordered the Multimedia and Communications Commission to block any website that went against Islamic teachings.
The fatwa also said those who had deviated towards religious liberalism and pluralism needed to repent and return to Islam's path.
And it is very odd that SIS was not informed that it has been declared unlawful. Instead, they had found out, by chance, through Jakim's website on decrees only on October 20, 2014.
PAS Youth was quick to attack SIS, saying the latter's move to challenge the decree council was the same as challenging the Malay royalty and the constitution that placed Islam as the religion of the federation. Its deputy head, Muhammad Khalil Abdul Hadi, said SIS, which led the movement to spread deviant Islamic teachings, was guided by liberal and pluralistic understanding.
"These are the religious extremists that the government must stem so that they do not poison the people,” he said.
In this matter, PAS and UMNO share the same narrow platform – they reject a pluralistic or liberal understanding of Islam. As such they will not brook any differences of opinion insofar as Islam is concerned.
This decree against SIS is nothing more than an abuse of power by a despotic religious entity – to maintain religious domination through dictatorship.
Interestingly, former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad made this statement yesterday: “The Quran provides answers for all problems faced by Muslims, but we must take them in a different context and not be paralyzed by the teachings we are used to.”
He explained that Muslims will endure difficulties “because those who interpreted (Islam) in the past insisted that there should be no other interpretations and if you reject them, you are (considered) an apostate and not Islamic.”
Is this where Malaysia is heading to? Feudalistic, intolerant, blinkered.
John Guidetti scored a hat-trick as Celtic cruised into the last four of the Scottish League Cup with a 6-0 thrashing of Partick Thistle on Wednesday. The other goal scorers were Emilio Izaguirre (48) and Leigh Griffiths (58, 68).

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