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Zulkifli’s choice

“If there is a need to appoint one, I would suggest non-partisan ulama, like Datuk Seri Harussani Zakaria.”

KULIM-Bandar Baru Member of Parliament Zulkifli Noordin names the Perak mufti as his candidate of choice to lead Pakatan Rakyat. Zulkifli, no stranger to controversy, was responding to a blog posting by Datuk Zaid Ibrahim. Zaid had said that PAS spiritual advisor Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat was the right candidate to helm the yet-to-be registered Pakatan Rakyat as its spiritual leader.

Zulkifli disagreed and endorsed Harussani instead. (Source: Zaid says coalition needs a spiritual leader, New Straits Times, 18 Nov 2009)

“Sepatutnya kesalahan minum arak ini dihukum 80 kali rotan.”

Harussani recommends a harsher punishment for Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, compared with the six strokes sentenced by the Kuantan Syariah High Court, for consuming alcohol in public. Muslim scholars have pointed out that the caning sentence for alcohol consumption is inconsistent with the Quran and with the spirit of Islamic teaching. Human rights advocates have also said the punishment violates international norms because it was a form of torture, and was humiliating and degrading. (Source: Mufti: Sepatutnya dirotan 80 sebatan, Malaysiakini, 26 Aug 2009)

“Mengapa hendak bertolak-ansur sangat dalam hal ini? Kalau ikut enakmen jabatan agama islam negeri pun memang tidak dibenarkan.”

Harussani speaking on the use of the word “Allah” in Christian publications in Malaysia. The government has banned non-Muslims in Malaysia from using the pre-Islamic word for God in their holy scriptures, and has also confiscated Malay bibles which use “Allah”. (Source: Bantah guna perkataan “Allah”, Utusan Malaysia, 28 Feb 2009)

“So, when news such as these emerge, it is necessary for me to act to contain them. That is my responsibility, similar to the responsibility of police in maintaining security. If there are people who have been angered, it is a mistake.”

Harussani responding to criticisms against him over the Jalan Silibin church protest.

The protest occurred after an SMS, claiming that Harussani himself had verified that Muslims would be baptised at the church, was widely circulated. This led to Muslims surrounding the church in Ipoh to protest the baptisms. No such baptisms happened. (Source: Perak Mufti tells how he got controversial SMS, Bernama as quoted in the Daily Express, 13 Nov 2006)

“This matter (the Fatwa Committee’s decision), however, is still in the written form and has yet to be forwarded to the Government for action.”

Harussani speaking as Ulama Conference 2006 working committee chairperson. Ulama at the conference wanted the “kongsi raya” celebrations reviewed, citing “erosion of faith” and “blasphemy”. (Source: Ulamas want kongsi raya celebrations reviewed, Bernama as quoted in The Star, 14 Jun 2006)

“If left unchecked, liberalism and pluralism will be difficult to control.”

Harussani warns of the “threats to Islam”, such as discussions on polygamy and the setting up of an Interfaith Commission. (Source: Mufti: Beware of pluralism and liberalism, The Star, 13 Jun 2006)

“It’s a form of prayer to enhance memory, just like ginkgo biloba is a memory booster.”

Harussani condoning an uztaz’s alleged sale of holy water to improve students’ memory. Then Perak education, human resources and multimedia committee chairperson Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir had said earlier that action should be taken to immediately stop the sale of such water to students. (Source: Stop sale of holy water to students, says exco member, The Star, 1 Mar 2006)

“Those with AIDS, avian influenza and any other dangerous disease, should be isolated so that the disease or virus they carry will not threaten others.”

Harussani, in suggesting that those with contagious diseases should be banished to an island. (Source: Mufti: Place AIDS patients on island, The Star, 22 Apr 2005)

“Kita tidak perlu menunggu fatwa, apabila itu sesuatu yang jelas bertentangan dengan kehendak syarak, ia adalah haram sekali pun ia tidak difatwakan. Ini termasuklah budaya berhibur yang keterlaluan seperti yang dipaparkan melalui rancangan seperti Akademi Fantasia, Audition, Malaysian Idol dan sebagainya yang jelas bertentangan dengan hukum syarak.”

Harussani explaining the Council of Mufti Malaysia’s decision to declare TV3′s Sure Heboh concert carnival “haram”. (Source: Konsert bertentangan kehendak syarak haram — Mufti Perak, Utusan Malaysia, 3 Aug 2004)

“Kita umat Islam tidak perlukan budaya atau amalan seperti ini yang jelas bertentangan dengan agama kita. Lagipun ajaran Islam sudah lengkap, sempurna dan diyakini.”

Harussani declares celebration of St Valentine’s Day by Muslims an act of apostasy. (Source: Murtad sambut hari kekasih mirip agama Kristian, Utusan Malaysia, 12 Feb 2004) favicon

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4 Responses to “Zulkifli’s choice”

  1. Karcy says:

    To be frank, some of the things he says is in accordance with Islamic jurisprudence as I (a non-Muslim) understand it. The Kongsi Raya celebrations may affect a Muslim’s praxis of the faith, because the Eid celebrations are not just supposed to be celebrations, they are meant to be religious observations as well.

    With regards to Jom Heboh and the like, the declaration of them as haram is in line with various hadith that point to the outlawing of music. The majority of Islamic scholars conclude that it is not music qua music that is haram, but music that distracts the soul from that which is important and good that is haram. As Jom Heboh and reality TV shows can be addictive, therefore it is reasonable to consider them haram. (This is their opinion, I am only relaying what I have read.)

    Furthermore, if we compare Harussani’s own religious viewpoints, how different are they from Tok Guru’s? Tok Guru may be a more peaceful man, but at no point is he a liberal. Please, don’t fool ourselves into thinking that just because he is not the one acting like a religious supremacist gloating at other people, that his own theological opinions are any different.

    If we who are non-Muslims are to live in a world where the line of discourse is to be determined by Islam, either directly (like declaring Malaysia an Islamic state) or indirectly (like having a lot of public policies and issues shaped by Islamic matters) then we must know Islamic jurisprudence and theology. Theology matters and some of the theological conditions are very difficult to get around. Because theology matters, we will have to deal with people like Harussani, whose understanding of Islamic legalism is excellent but whose empathy with other human beings is probably near zero.

    Islam had champions like Imam Ghazali — we must remember that not everyone is Imam Ghazali.

  2. Doubt in It says:

    I wonder what ZN is smoking? Let me have some of that too, please! No one sane would agree to the appointment of Harussani. He is the poster child of what is wrong with Islam specifically and religion generally in Malaysia!

  3. akhoo says:

    This man should have been in Kamunting for the Silibin Church fiasco! Not that I support the ISA but that act was meant for such people. He is leading many people the wrong way and he will pay for his sins in the days ahead.

  4. akhoo I respectfully disagree. The Sibilin church fiasco is not his fault alone, but also the fault of the 300 or so folk who never bothered to fact check that (a) Azhar Mansor never converted to Christianity in Australia and was instead running a business in Langkawi, and (b) that the Catholic church has strict guidelines on how to conduct a baptism, and would not have it done by a non-ordained member of the laity in a church.

    You can’t just hit the “batu api” — ignorance and paranoia makes people easily become conduits of a flame. Jailing people, accusing them of sedition, etc. will not solve the problem. We need to continue to open up discourse, and help other people of other faiths understand us, just as we need to understand others.


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