KUALA LUMPUR -It makes no difference whether you are living in states led by PKR, PAS or Umno when it comes to matters of Islam as none of these parties are interested in pushing for a more progressive interpretation of Islam, former de facto law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said.
Commenting on the recent decision by the Selangor Shariah High Court in affirming the conviction of Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad for teaching Islam without credentials, Zaid said it was “disappointing” that this case was brought up in a state led by “a reformist party like PKR”.
“It’s clear that when it comes to matters of Islam and Islamic institutions, it matters very little if you are living in states led by PKR or PAS or UMNO.
“None of them are willing to approach the Ruler for a more progressive, responsible and open-minded interpretation of Islam that is consistent with the democratic rights of Muslims in a modern world,” he said in his latest blog post.
“None of them are willing to engage with JAIS or JAKIM on Islamic reforms. Votes are obviously more important, especially now, so ‘why stir the hornet’s nest’ seems to be the code practical politicians live by — even in a reformist party like PKR,” he added.
The DAP politician said that Khalid’s case is proof that no one can engage in a constructive discussion on Islam unless it is approved by religious authorities, and therefore the only alternative is to just keep quiet.
“JAIS and the Shariah Court are not interested in explaining what the term ‘teaching’ means here. Unlike the discipline imposed in the training of lawyers under the common law system, where terms are exhaustively defined to give clarity, Shariah institutions and the Shariah Court need not bother about such methods.
“You see, since the law and the courts are labelled ‘shariah’, justice is done ipso facto because it’s a superior law.”
Last week, the Selangor Shariah High Court affirmed Khalid’s conviction for teaching Islam without credentials, but reduced the amount of the fine from the RM2,900 imposed by the lower Shariah Court in Klang to RM1,900.
This means that Khalid will still be eligible to contest in the next general election.
– Malay mail