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Zulkifli: SIS should drop “Islam”

Corrected at 12 noon on 10 June 2009

PETALING JAYA, 9 June 2009: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Member of Parliament for Kulim-Bandar Baru, Zulkifli Noordin, has called on the (corrected) Companies Commission of Malaysia to force Muslim women’s group Sisters in Islam (SIS) to drop the word “Islam” from their name.

Zulkifli Noordin
In a press statement today, he accused SIS of misappropriating the word “Islam” through their position that wearing the tudung was a personal choice, and their criticisms of injustice in polygamous marriages in Malaysia. 

“In fact, I suggest that this group change its name to the Cosmopolitan Women’s Alliance, in line with their image since most of them do not wear tudung and some of them are not even married,” he said.

Zulkifli, who is also a lawyer, recommended five other actions to be taken against SIS:

For the police and Attorney-General’s Chambers to investigate if there have been any police reports lodged against SIS, and if there are, to charge SIS under Section 298A of the Penal Code.

For the Islamic departments to investigate SIS and its members in order to take punitive action if they have violated the Syariah Criminal Offences Enactments.

For the National Fatwa Council to call for a muzakarah (discussion) to decide on what to do with SIS, and also call SIS to explain themselves. Zulkifli said if SIS failed to explain satisfactorily, the National Fatwa Council “should declare them deviants as it did with (Sky Kingdom cult leader) Ayah Pin (Ariffin Mohamed), the Al Arqam group and so on.”

For SIS to cease and desist “using” the daughters of ex-Umno leaders in their activities because “this would weaken the resolve of the authorities to take action against them”.

For PAS to challenge SIS to a muzakarah or open dialogue.

Zulkifli was responding to the 55th PAS muktamar’s resolution calling for the National Fatwa Council to investigate and possibly ban SIS and rehabilitate its members.

He stressed, however, that he disagreed with any efforts to ban SIS.

“This is because banning the group would only create excessive sympathy towards them,” he said, adding that this would only add fuel for “narrow-minded persons to ridicule Islam”.

Disclosure: Shanon Shah is an associate member of Sisters in Islam.

See also:
Public petition against PAS resolution  
PKR, DAP urge PAS to retract resolution on SIS

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22 Responses to “Zulkifli: SIS should drop “Islam””

  1. outraged says:

    What is the problem with him (and PAS)?

    Come on SIS, challenge him (and PAS) to a public debate!

  2. Perhaps En Zulkifli Noordin would like to explain point number 4 for further clarity, because I doubt SIS is “using daughters of ex-Umno leaders”, who are probably members or supporters as well.

    And what he’s implying in his words, if those are his exact words, is that ex-Umno leaders’ daughters should be denied participation to these NGOs, which is downright unconstitutional.

  3. Jason says:

    PKR please drop this lemon.

  4. Rikhraj says:

    Is this the face of PKR the rakyat overwhelmingly voted for? I think NOT, and he seems to want to belong to the extremist ulama group within PAS. PKR should advise him to move camps! Voting Pakatan Rakyat becomes more difficult with people like this making scary noises.

  5. dunne10 says:

    “..and some of them are not even married,”

    Since when is being married a prerequisite to calling yourself Muslim or being a member of a Muslim group?

  6. Cromwell says:

    What a hypocrite, at the same time, he should have called for PAS to drop the word “Islam” from their name too. Typical PKR politician.

  7. I am also curious about point no 4 mentioned above. For if the term “daughters of ex-Umno leaders” was to be taken in the widest sense, would this not also include Nurul Izzah, who happens to be the daughter of an ex-Umno leader? Is that meant to imply that she has been used by PKR to protect the party as well?

  8. menj says:

    @ Dr Farish Noor, here is what YB Zulkifli Noordin meant:

    With all due respect, Dr Farish, please do not feign ignorance and pretend that this is not happening. It’s an open secret that SIS have been in cahoots with the daughters of ex-Umno and current Umno leaders for some time.

    – MENJ

  9. Mlle Monster says:

    With the number of pressing matters from the economy to crime, how is it that prosecuting NGOs with “controversial” views on the tudung and polygamy become something deserving of an MP to call upon the AG and the police to investigate?

    And what exactly is SIS to explain itself of? From his language, it appears he is all out to hang SIS, muzakarah or not.

  10. PaulineL says:

    I’m also intrigued by Pt 4. Does it mean that as long as one is associated with Umno, one gets special treatment e.g. escaping from punishment and the long arms of the law? That’s how I read it, although I might be wrong.

    If so, justice is indeed NOT blind in Malaysia

  11. James Kay says:

    Zukifli interprets that Islam belongs to him alone! Trying to play God most of the time but best he resigns from PKR and sleeps with PAS.

  12. Zulkifli Noordin is actually an ex-PAS member.

  13. KUMAR says:

    This guy could single handedly damage the multi-racial support for Pakatan. He should seriously consider his position to be Kulim MP. Be more responsible before open your mouth Mr Zul.

  14. shaff says:

    Looks like it’s the practice in Malaysia that every political party needs to have an elected clown for the ministry of silly pronouncements. Umno started the trend with Nazri, now with Rais Yatim and Hishammuddin. PKR has this clown and now PAS has Hadi Awang and Nasharudin. Good luck Malaysia!

  15. Hong says:

    Right. We shouldn’t ban SIS but we should investigate them under Section 298A? That section carries with it a two- to five-year jail sentence upon conviction for actions that ‘[cause], or attempts to cause, or is likely to cause disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will; or [prejudice], or attempts to prejudice, or is likely to prejudice, the maintenance of harmony or unity on grounds of religion, between persons or groups of persons professing the same or different religions’.

    And didn’t Ayah Pin’s Sky Kingdom compound get demolished by bulldozers after he was declared a deviant, and weren’t his supporters subsequently driven out of their homes by force?

    Sure, this won’t bring any ridicule at all.

  16. John Bastille says:

    I like the people in SIS. They represent a type of rational, educated, and progressive human being. I truly believe that SIS truly believes in equality for women and that God is all just and loving.

    Inasmuch as I love to defend SIS, I have to admit that their beliefs are contradictory to Islam. Inasmuch as I dislike Zulkifli Noordin as I find him boorish, rude, and well, Islamic, I have to admit that his interpretation about Islam is correct. The SIS could not call themselves devout Muslimah because some of them do not wear the tudung and are not married.

    They must understand that women’s intelligence is only half of men’s. This is in accordance to Christianity, oops sorry. Buddhism, oops sorry again.

  17. sapu says:

    So Zul, why don’t you ask PM’s wife to wear the tudung? Why are you so narrow-minded and against women? Who gave birth to you?

  18. Mohani Niza says:

    I would like to address Zulkifli Noordin’s personal attacks against members of SiS on the issue of their tudung and relationship status:

    A woman’s worth is not defined by what is or what is not on her head. As a young Muslim woman who’s had the privilege to experience wearing the tudung and then living life without it, I must say that it has had no bearing on what I can or cannot bring to the table. People who criticise women who don’t wear the hijab are as bad as those who criticise women who do wear the hijab — both parties fail to address women as human beings who have the ability to be analytical and determine their own fate. I have had the privilege to meet some members of SiS and have personally seen myself that they are comprised of women who wear the tudung and those who do not. They unite for a single cause without discrimination: uplifting the status of Muslim women.

    And regarding most SIS members not being married: I am unsure about their marital status nor do I bother to know. But what I’m sure is this: Zulkifli’s comment reeks of sexism as he only sees a woman’s worth by their relationship to men. To him, single women are worthless.

    It’s a shame that this is the kind of political rhetoric politicians use to undermine whoever they disagree with. It does no justice to gender relations in Malaysia.

  19. The Lord Panda says:

    Change the name la.

    Chicks for Al.

  20. tanah puteh says:

    This type of PKR people must not be voted in. This is not the first time. When he opens his mouth it is for the downfall of PKR.

  21. Fikri Hakim says:

    Wow, Shanon is also an associate member of Sisters of Islam. Well I think SIS should be dissolved and expanded to be Brothers and Sisters of Islam or BOSIS. BOSIS should then join PKR to be the Islamic wing of PR.

  22. Curmudegon, Subang Jaya says:

    Perhaps a Police Report or two into YB En Zulkilfli’s repeated incitement would not be out of place. If he persists in his provocative stance, then the party that, so embarrassingly, he represents in Parliament may earn itself an unwelcome change of name to “Parti Anti-Keadilan Rakayat”. Will that please En Zulkifli?

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