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Friday sermons to Islam’s rescue

“Marilah kita hidup di negara ini dengan hormat-menghormati antara satu sama lain. Budaya ini akan menjamin kesejahteraan dan kebahagiaan.

Jika ada pihak lain yang tidak mahu hidup hormat-menghormati, sudah pasti akan berlaku kemungkinan permusuhan, pergaduhan dan pembunuhan yang pastinya kesemua sekali akan rugi negara akan musnah.

Hentikanlah menghina Islam, kerana Islam adalah ciptaan Allah.”

THE Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais), via the text of the official Friday prayer khutbah (sermon) delivered at several Selangor mosques on 12 March 2010. The sermon singled out The Star‘s managing editor P Gunasegaram and Sisters in Islam (SIS) for questioning the 9 Feb caning of three women for “illicit sex” under syariah law. Previously, on 25 Feb, the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) lodged a police report against Gunasegaram and SIS for the same reasons. Mais manages and researches the administration of Islamic law, while Jais enforces it. (Source: Isu Menghina Sebatan Syarie, Jais official website, 12 March 2010)

“Religion is open to interpretation, [humans interpret] it and [humans] can — and [do] — make mistakes…

Religion is about persuasion not compulsion, about faith not certainty, and that is the way we should keep it. Otherwise, bigotry is going to get in the way and we won’t be following the tenets of religion but of those who choose to interpret it the way they want to.”

P Gunasegaram, in his 19 Feb 2010 commentary which angered Jais, Mais and other Muslim organisations. (Persuasion, not compulsion, The Star, 19 Feb 2010)

“Corporal punishments were common forms of punishments in many ancient and medieval societies, regardless of their religious faiths, both in the East and the West. Therefore, the fact that corporal punishments were also carried out in medieval Muslim societies does not mean that such punishments are especially ‘Islamic’ in nature.

In contemporary society, to enforce such punishments is merely to retain pre-Islamic understanding of justice and punishment in law.”

Dr Hamidah Marican, in her 17 Feb 2010 statement as SIS executive director. (Source: Press statement — Sisters in Islam condemns caning of three Muslim women under syariah law, SIS website, 17 Feb 2010)

“Berdasarkan kepada kenyataan-kenyataan yang menghina Islam ini, umat Islam hendaklah mengambil langkah-langkah berikut bagi menjaga kesucian dan kemuliaan Islam serta maruah umat Islam iaitu…

2. Mengambil tindakan undang-undang terhadap pihak-pihak yang menghina Islam dan bersifat menghasut;

3. Menyokong pihak berkuasa membuat siasatan terhadap P Gunasegara[m] di bawah Seksyen 4 Akta Hasutan dan/atau Seksyen 298 Kanun Keseksaan.”

Jais, again in the khutbah text, advocating legal penalties for Gunasegaram and SIS under the Sedition Act and Penal Code. The Home Ministry has already issued a show cause letter to The Star while the police have already started investigating SIS under Section 298(A) of the Penal Code. (Source: Isu Menghina Sebatan Syarie, Jais official website, 12 March 2010)

“JAIS melihat khutbah Jumaat adalah saluran terbaik untuk menyedarkan umat Islam tentang isu berbangkit yang berlaku sekarang kerana ia tidak boleh dipandang ringan…Khutbah hari ini seperti juga khutbah-khutbah lain bertujuan memberi keinsafan, kesedaran serta mengukuhkan ukhuwah di kalangan umat Islam lebih-lebih lagi dalam keadaan sekarang, semakin banyak yang mencabarnya secara terang-terangan.”

Mohamad Hidayat Abdul Rani, Jais’s public relations and publications assistant director, on why the khutbah was necessary. He also said Jais wanted the public to know that those who questioned the canings had “hurt the feelings and sensitivities” of all Muslims in Malaysia. (Source: Khutbah Jumaat selar pihak pertikai sebat pesalah wanita, Utusan Malaysia, 13 March 2010) favicon

Disclosure: Shanon Shah is a Sisters in Islam associate member.

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12 Responses to “Friday sermons to Islam’s rescue”

  1. bibliobibuli says:

    “He also said Jais wanted the public to know that those who questioned the canings had ‘hurt the feelings and sensitivities’ of all Muslims in Malaysia.”

    Well for some very strange reason not the Muslims I happen to know (educated, middle-class, intelligent, articulate). And certainly my feelings were not hurt, in fact with many of my Muslim brothers and sisters I joined in the chorus of dissent. The folks who want to push Malaysia back to some imaginary dark ages are the people who are upsetting our feelings!

  2. ohmak says:

    The Nut Graph ini mmg banyak betul agenda liberal. Khutbah Jumaat pun dijadikan cerita. Dunia mmg nak kiamat. Bila orang yg ilmu tak kemana buat tomahan kepada ulamak. Kenape suka sgt nak bela [SIS]? Apa yg dia faham pasal islam? Asyik guna ayat compulsion in religion…kalau camtu takyah la solat, takyah pegi khutbah…boleh buat apa saja! Islam tak sama dgn agama lain, kalau dah dilahirkan Islam kenalah buat apa yg disuruh oleh Quran dan Sunnah. Mana boleh pilih2?


    Betul, semua yang anda sebut itu merupakan tanggungjawab kepada Allah s.w.t. sebagai orang Islam. Tapi nampaknya ada kekeliruan tentang apa itu ibadat fardhu, dsbg, dan apa itu jenayah. Silalah kemukakan ayat Al-Quran di mana Allah berfirman bahawa sesiapa yang tidak menunaikan solat mesti dipenjarakan atau didenda oleh kerajaan. Hukuman tersebut di bawah kuasa Allah sahaja.

    Lagipun, artikel di atas ini bukan bersifat “tohmahan” terhadap ulama. Ia hanya mengetengahkan perbezaan atau kontradiksi di antara teks khutbah solat Jumaat dan juga tulisan/kenyataan daripada The Star dan SIS, semuanya untuk renungan para pembaca yang bijaksana.

    Shanon Shah
    Pengarang Kolum dan Komen

  3. babihutan says:

    SIS – perempuan tak sedar diri. Moden sangat sampai tak ingat dunia. Sokongan drp Yahudi Zionist dan Amerika. Insaflah.


    Bukti kukuh bahawa SIS “disokong Yahudi Zionist dan Amerika” di mana?

    Shanon Shah
    Pengarang Kolum dan Komen

  4. Adam says:

    Gone are the days when women could be subjugated and treated like slaves to men. Nowadays, women are the ones holding the family together by contributing to the upkeep and wellbeing of the family unit. They have to work at a career as well as bringing up children. They have to take care of their husbands’ needs too. I must say they are very good at multi-tasking.

    It would be very sad if men could not appreciate the contributions of their womenfolk and do not treat them as equal partners in family building. Hear them out and initiate changes to laws and regulations which are unfair to them. What is the use of forcing them to accept unfair practices and yet expect them to be obedient and nice to you too? You cannot have your cake and eat it too.

    Most women are very faithful, responsible and conscientious souls who would sacrifice their life for the family. How many of us have mothers who still dote over us even when we are 60? Mine still does. Thank God for women.

    So men of Islam, please hear and consider the views and grievances of your womenfolk and do whatever is needed to make them happy. It would definitely pay dividends. SIS like their counterparts WAO, Awam and JAG are just doing their duty to safeguard against any discrimination. And since you cannot afford to let them leave (not that they want to), please give them a fair deal and all should be fine and dandy. Deal?

  5. Merah Silu says:

    Well, a lot of Malay [Malaysians] have forgotten who they are and where they came from. I am still a Malay and will never forget my religion, which is the religion of my father, my grandfather, and my great great grandfathers since 550 years ago. Yes, we seek for modernity, but I will never be influenced by this liberal view of Islam. They can create their own religion, or just follow Qadiani, Ayah Pin, Bahai or others.


    Actually, they can’t, because when they try, they are harassed by the authorities or taken to court, e.g. Ayah Pin’s followers and the Ahmadiyah. Besides, this is a red herring. “Liberal Islam” is not a separate sect.

    Shanon Shah
    Columns and Comments Editor

  6. rashdie says:

    Oh no you don’t, not in the name of MY islam.

    It’s when the mute, incoherent majority allow themselves to be fronted by extremists that the former are force-fed the barfed out backlash.

    The Sultan of Selangor himself, all august in his high majesty, of which JAIS is arguably his agency in Islamic rule, is not God now is he?

    I may reside in KL but I’d be happy to put my name to a petition stating that “You don’t represent me, JAIS.”

  7. naked says:

    We migrate.

  8. sambal muncha says:

    Thanks Shanon for highlighting Jais’ abuse of the Friday khutbah as means to disseminate slanted political messages. Shame.

  9. Daasaratan J says:

    I am a Hindu, but I believe in and respect all other religions such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Mormonism, Sikhism, Rastafari, etc.

    I have a question: Religion is a cultural aspect, and ethnic groups are not cultural groups. Why is religion in Malaysia always associated with ethnicity?

  10. Ida Bakar says:

    In an ideal world belonging to Jais and Mais, there shall be total compliance to their diktats. Anything else is a sin and therefore punishable by law.

    Shariah Criminal Offences Bill 1996 pg 10

    “Any person who acts in comtempt of religious authority ….or disputes the orders or directions… expressed or given by way of fatwa, shall be to a fine not exceeding three thousand ringgit or to imprisonment not exceeding two thousand years or both.”

    Therefore, the sermons upheld what is already in black and white. For some of us Malaysians, we are already living under a theocracy that we did not elect but which see fit to impose their will upon us. Scary thought!

  11. Daas says:

    What if the Bible were written by women? Or the Veda? What if all the religious books and guidance were written by women? In every civilisation, its always men who receive the responsibility… But the interesting thing to consider is what if women were the ones who wrote all these books?

  12. Pakcik Pat says:

    Thanks Shanon for your refreshing view on this issue. Wonder what is Guna doing now? Still writing for Star?

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