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Asri may join politics

KOTA BARU, 9 Nov 2009: Former Perlis Mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainol Abidin today indicated he may join politics so that he can continue with his dakwah (preaching) activities.

Although he had no prior intention of joining politics as he was more interested in the propagation of Islamic thinking, he said he would do so as a last resort if that could provide him with a platform to continue preaching.

“If all avenues are closed and I cannot speak unless I am doing so on a political platform, then I will have to rethink my next move. I hope this won’t happen,” he told reporters after meeting Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat in the Kelantan menteri besar’s office in Kota Darulnaim today.

Asri was responding to reporters’ questions about whether he would join politics to pursue his preaching activities following his detention by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) on 1 Nov 2009 for conducting a religious class without a certification of authority.

Asri denied that the meeting with Nik Aziz was a prelude for him joining politics. Rather, he met Nik Aziz out of respect as the Kelantan menteri besar was supportive of his dakwah movement, Asri said.

He also denied that he subscribed to Wahhabism, saying the accusation was not new. — Bernama

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2 Responses to “Asri may join politics”

  1. Kamal says:

    I hope Dr Asri doesn’t join politics. Too many have gone down that path only to be forgotten for the religious reforms that they started out with.

    Anyway, there are not enough people who speak out who at the same time do so without fear or favour and without expectations for higher office. We need these voices to be there for whatever views (that may or may not be popular). If the authorities prevent Dr Asri for speaking then he should start by speaking where he is welcome. I am sure there are states that will readily welcome him. Besides, if he is invited to a private home for a ‘chit-chat’ with a small group of friends, I am sure it would appear ridiculous even for Jais to make an arrests. In the end, will Jais arrest Dr Asri if he was attending a house warming, Raya or wedding function and is asked to do the honours of ‘baca doa’?

    Dr Asri, there are avenues for you to preach your message. If you do want to give sermons and lectures – there are the universities where you teach, and if you want to preach beyond the comforts of academia, well and fine. Apply for the permit, and if they reject your application, let the public and leadership know. Let people know the kind of ridiculous practice imposed so we know that even a scholar on Islam (and a former Mufti at that) may be denied a permit to give a sermon on the religion. Let us see what excuse they come up with to deny the permit. And if, they approve the permit, well and fine! You can still talk about the absurdity of needing to apply for a permit as you have said Islam doesn’t curtail the freedom of speech! Also, there are the newspapers. You have a column in the BM dailies and a TV programme. Why not extent your conversation to the English speaking audience? Why not be a guest columnist or have a regular column in one of the English dailies or internet newspapers to speak your mind and help inform more of us as well as participate in opening up space for civil engagement as what Mr Wong Chin Huat, Dr Farish Noor, and others have done so well.

    I believe of course that politicians (be they in the government or out of government) have a role to play in our society, but it is about time (or perhaps – we need to revive what we had in the past) we have credible, intelligent and articulate voices from the public that do not represent political interests, and do not represent any lobby or pressure groups. This represents a different moral position if you may, one where we engage each other without the banners and support of groups to stand as individuals asserting our democratic rights.

  2. forex robot says:

    Good article as usual!

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