PAS can be baffling. With statements made by its leaders that is. I’m not talking about Nik Abduh Aziz and his the latest remarks.
The PAS youth chief, as you know, has said that PAS will work with Umno but stay in the opposition. I won’t go into details but suffice to say that is one baffling statement. Agree?
Like I said earlier I do not want to talk about that.
Instead, the focus this time is on remarks made by another PAS leader, Datuk Dr Khairddin Aman Razali, the information chief of PAS’ ulama wing.
In a statement published in PAS portal HarakahDaily recently, Dr Khairuddin accused non-Muslims of interfering with Islamic jurisprudence in protesting against Perlis amending its Shariah law to allow unilateral child conversions.
“This gives a bad signal in the eyes of Muslims that are majority citizens of this country when non-Muslims are seen to be braver to meddle in any amendments of Islamic laws at state level that is in line with the Federal Constitution,” said the PAS leader.
Now that’s both baffling and hurtful.
Baffling because just how are non-Muslims meddling, may I know? Hurtful because such allegation is like a sharp knife cutting into the feelings of non-Muslims.
I’m Muslim. Perhaps not a “good” Muslim if going by the high standards set by the ulamas of PAS. But a Muslim nonetheless. And I do not see any “bad signal” that non-Muslims are now brave and bold enough to meddle with Islamic laws.
By voicing their displeasure and protesting against the Perlis amendments does not mean non-Muslims are interfering with Islamic jurisprudence.
In fact, non-Muslims have the right to voice out their concerns as the laws especially with regards to unilateral child conversions do have a direct effect on them.
So, it’s simply wrong for PAS to say non-Muslims now are brave in challenging Islam. That what PAS meant anyway when Dr Khairuddin said what he said although he “only touched” on Islamic jurisprudence and not the religion per se.
But lest we forget, last month PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan also warned non-Muslims “to play fair” by not interfering with Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill to upgrade the Shariah courts.
And lest PAS itself forget, Perlis mufti Datuk Dr Mohamad Asri Zainul Abidin had himself criticized the Perlis amendment, saying it was against an edict or fatwa issued in 2015.
A quick recap. Recently Perlis amended its Administration of Religion of Islam Enactment 2006 from requiring the consent of both parents or guardians to the consent of one parent or a guardian.
Now, how’s this for baffling? The move by Perlis came after Putrajaya tabled an amendment to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 last month that would prohibit unilateral conversions.
To former de facto law minister Datuk Zaid ibrahim, Perlis lawmakers who passed the amendment have shown disregard to the suffering that the practice could cause.
According to Zaid, while the Muslim assemblymen who voted in favour of the change may believe they were acting for the benefit of their faith, they were being unfair to the families who could be affected.
Said Zaid, “There are clear passages in the Quran enjoining us to feel the pain and misery of other human beings and to empathise and sympathise.
“Verse after verse demands that we love humankind and do justice to all, regardless of creed. Only those who do this will receive the blessings from Allah.”