Monday, May 7, 2012

Think before you speak

May 7: The National Fatwa Council  continues to draw flak over a statement by its head who said any rally against an elected government was "forbidden in Islam".

PAS Murshidul Am Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, the head of the Islamic party's Shura (Consultative) Council, advised the members of the fatwa committee to understand an issue before commenting.

“Have they not realised that Bersih 3.0 rally is not meant to create chaos. This rally is to outline the eight demands to realise a clean electoral system, not to create chaos, far be it to topple the government,” he said in his response to Abdul Shukor Husin who heads the government-controlled Fatwa Council.

Shukor yesterday declared as haram (forbidden) any gathering or demonstration against the law, and accused participants of the Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28 of "rioting". His statement has been compared to Egypt's government-funded Islamic authorities in January last year forbidding protests against the regime of Hosni Mubarak, just days before the dictator announced his resignation amid widescale protests.

PAS's Ulama Wing head Ustaz Harun Taib defended the protestors saying their action was based on the Islamic obligation to enjoin good and forbid evil.

"This is a duty of enjoining good and forbidding evil which is incumbent on the people, especially Muslims," Harun stressed.

Shukor had also pointed out that the citizens must seek redress "in a proper manner".

“What could be more proper than a sit-in rally? Has the [Fatwa] council examined Bersih's 8 demands including the demand to solve the issue of phantom voters and fraud in the election, which will have bigger implication for the country?” asked Nik Aziz.

The Kelantan Menteri Besar said he was convinced that the ruling by Shukor was made without consultation or hearing an explanation from organisers of the Bersih 3.0 rally.

“My next question is, what sort of fatwa is this if no explanation had been sought from both sides?" added Nik Aziz.

He said the Fatwa council's conclusion was due to its 'one-eyed' vision "made 

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