“If Muslims themselves do not respect the decision by the syariah court and offer contradicting views on the matter, how do we make non-Muslims respect our laws[?]”
SELANGOR mufti Datuk Mohd Tamyes Abdul Wahid, on why Muslims shouldn’t question the caning of Muslim women. (Source: Don’t question syariah caning sentence on women, New Straits Times, 21 Feb 2010)
“Dewan Pemuda PAS Pusat dengan ini menegaskan tindakan JAG (Joint Action Group for Gender Equality), SIS (Sisters in Islam), dan konco-konco mereka ini adalah tindakan biadap menceroboh bidangkuasa jenayah syariah negeri-negeri yang telah kita warisi sejak zaman silam dalam kanun undang-undang negeri-negeri Melayu.”
PAS Youth chief Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi, on women’s groups that had questioned a previous caning sentence on beer-drinking model Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno. PAS Youth took issue with demands that the Syariah Criminal Offences Act (SCOA) be abolished. (Source: Hukuman sebat: Kartika bukan yang pertama, PAS Youth website, 8 Sept 2009)
“Any person who orally or in writing or by visible representation or in any other manner –
(a) insults or brings into contempt the religion of Islam;
(b) derides, apes or ridicules the practices or ceremonies relating to the religion of Islam; or
(c) degrades or brings into contempt any law relating to the religion of Islam for the time being in force in the Federal Territories, shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding three thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both.”
The SCOA, defended by PAS Youth, criminalises “insulting or bringing into contempt”, etc., the religion of Islam. (Source: Section 7, Syariah Criminal Offences [Federal Territories] Act 1997)
“Any person who gives, propagates or disseminates any opinion concerning Islamic teachings, Islamic law or any issue contrary to any fatwa for the time being in force in the Federal Territories shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding three thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both.”
The SCOA also forbids opinions that are contrary to an official fatwa. In many Muslim societies, fatwa are non-binding legal opinions that are highly context-specific. There can be conflicting fatwa even on the same subject, and Muslims have more than one choice on a particular religious question.
In Malaysia, however, fatwa from state-appointed mufti are legally binding and carry the force of law. (Source: Section 12, Syariah Criminal Offences [Federal Territories] Act 1997)
“I’m warning them and will take stern action as it involves national security … This proves that they have no respect for other religions because the fatwa was issued for Muslims. Why do they have to be the one to demonstrate?”
Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan, warning Malaysians not to question the 2008 fatwa outlawing pengkid or tomboys. (Source: IGP warns NGOs against challenging fatwa, The Nut Graph, 13 Nov 2008)
“Jangan cuba bermain api, jangan cabar umat Islam, kita akan lakukan apa sahaja untuk pertahankan agama suci ini.”
Former de facto minister for religion Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, warning non-Muslims not to question Islam, this time regarding the usage of “Allah” by non-Muslims. (Source: Jangan cabar Islam, Utusan Malaysia, 1 Feb 2009)
“Kita sanggup bangkit mempertahankan hak ini dan Allah sendiri mewajibkan kita berjuang sekiranya kesucian Islam dicemari. Jangan sentuh semangat jihad kami.”
International Islamic University of Malaysia lecturer Prof Datuk Paduka Dr Mahmood Zuhdi Abdul Majid, warning of a jihad if non-Muslims continued questioning rulings in Malaysia regarding non-Muslims’ use of “Allah”. (Source: Jangan persenda guna nama Allah, Utusan Malaysia, 2 Feb 2009)
“I inform the proud Muslim people of the world that the author of the Satanic Verses book, which is against Islam, the prophet [Muhammad] and the [Quran], and all those involved in its publication who are aware of its content are sentenced to death.”
Iran’s spiritual leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, in his infamous 1989 fatwa calling for the death of British author Sir Salman Rushdie.
Rushdie responded: “I doubt very much Khomeini or anyone else in Iran has read this book or anything more than selected extracts taken out of context.” He also explained that the novel attempted to investigate conflicts between religious and secular viewpoints. His defence, however, was to no avail, and he soon had to go into hiding.
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