Archive for the ‘Islam’ Category

47 Prominent Sabahans Open Letter Urging Govt to Act Against Islamic Extremism

April 8, 2015

Excerpt from Open Letter: WE, a group of concerned Malaysian citizens in Sabah, would like to express our deep concerns at the Government’s response to the violations of religious freedom occurring in the context of misguided and extreme actions undertaken in the implementation of what is claimed to be policies for the inculcation of Islamic values.

We speak against the violation of our fundamental right and freedom of religion that has been promised and guaranteed to the people of Sabah.

Upsetting judicial decisions, unclear Government policies and aggressiveness of certain parties in promoting restrictions to our freedom of religion have caused uneasiness to Sabahans.

In Sabah and particularly in the interior, aggressive Islamisation activities are being carried out by both covert and overt means to convert especially natives through intimidation, deception, or inducement particularly targeting remote and poor villagers.

We Sabahans know that at the heart of it all is an exercise to suppress the voice of the majority genuine non-Muslim Sabahans, and to degenerate our native population and our freedom of religion.

Government departments and religious bodies have been asserting authority beyond their powers for far too long and such unlawful and oppressive practices simply must cease immediately.

Extreme and misguided actions in the name of Islamisation and religious intolerance is nothing but a threat to our national peace and stability. (more…)

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Kelantan Hudud Enactment Betrayal of Malaysia Agreement

March 27, 2015

PRESS STATEMENT

SABAH COUNCIL OF CHURCHES

 

Press Statement
Press Statement on Kelantans Shariah Criminal Code II Enactment 1993 (amended 2015) passed by the Kelantan State Legislative Assembly on 19 March 2015 (“Kelantan’s Hudud Enactment”)

imagesSabah Council of Churches _Press Statement on Kelantans Hudud Enactment_27 March 2015

We acknowledge the aspirations of some of our Muslim brothers and sisters, who consider the implementation of Hudud laws as a divine duty. However, there appears to be a divergence of opinion among our Muslim brothers and sisters on the proper innterpretations of Hudud laws, on whether such implementation is a religious imperative and if so, on the manner of its implementation.

Given the severity of the corporal punishments provided under recent Kelantan’s Hudud Enactment, it has inevitably generated much controversies. Among them are the legal difficulties arising from the conflict of laws, double jeopardy, qualifications of witnesses, federal versus state jurisdiction over criminal laws, etc. Although the Hudud Enactment is presently stated to be only applicable to the Muslims, we feel duty bound to express the deep concerns and anxieties of the Christian community in Sabah, who in recent years have struggled to navigate the ambiguous and uncertain state of the law on religious freedom. (more…)

Champion Open Debate and Discourse on Islamic law — 25 Prominent Malays

December 8, 2014

I salute moderate Muslims who voice their deep dismay over Islamic religious bodies asserting their authority beyond the jurisdiction laid down by the Federal Constitution.

The call for rational discourse and open debate goes beyond the Muslim community as the statement recognizes “a real need for a consultative process that will bring together experts in various fields, including Islamic and Constitutional laws, and those affected by the application of Islamic laws in adverse ways [emphasis added].” Indeed, non-Muslims are grievously affected when Shariah authorities impose policies that violate their fundamental liberties in the name of supremacy of Islam.

All concerned Malaysians should voice their support for this call for moderation and dialogue. Let’s remember, “all tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent,” and “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” [Edmund Burke]

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Champion open debate and discourse on Islamic law — 25 prominent Malays The Malay Mail Online  8 Dec 2014

 

DECEMBER 8 — We, a group of concerned citizens of Malaysia, would like to express how disturbed and deeply dismayed we are over the continuing unresolved disputes on the position and application of Islamic laws in this country. The on-going debate over these matters display a lack of clarity and understanding on the place of Islam within our constitutional democracy. Moreover, they reflect a serious breakdown of federal-state division of powers, both in the areas of civil and criminal jurisdictions. (more…)

Constitution Supreme Over Syariah

November 13, 2014

Precis – In a nutshell, the constitutional position is that it is not enough for public authorities, whether civil or ecclesiastical, to have noble intentions. It is not enough for them to act in the name of God or religion. They must also stay within the substantive limits of their powers and observe all procedural requirements.

In a country with a supreme constitution, there is the additional requirement that the law under which their action was taken must not be in violation of the supreme Constitution, specifically of the provisions on fundamental rights, federal-state division of powers and legislative procedures.

The Constitution includes many fundamental rights in Articles 5-13.

Though Islam has the exalted position of being the religion of the federation, Article 3(4) says, “Nothing in this Article derogates from any other provision of this Constitution”. This means that Article 3(1) does not override any other provision of the Constitution. The decision in Che Omar Che Soh (1988) followed this provision: the Constitution, and not the syariah, is the litmus test of constitutionality. (more…)

‘Allah’ Controversy Resurfaces in Another Court

June 30, 2014

Highlights: [Lead Counsel] Lim said Jill Ireland is seeking justice from the court. “This case is not about Christians pitting themselves against Muslims; Christianity against Islam…but a native Bumiputera Chritian seeking her constitutional rights…

Lim pointed out that the supremacy of the constitution and the rule of law appear to have been seriously subverted and transplanted by the alien doctrine of supremacy of the religious bureaucracy and the rule and dictates of the religious authority…the involvement of JAKIM, the federal Islamic Development agency, brings another objectionable feature of the administration of the Printing Presses and Publicatins Act 1984 (PPPA) by the minister and government into focus.

“There is clear evidence of surrender of discretionary power to an extraneous third party. As noted above, one of the three (3) grounds cited is “Melanggar Garis Panduan JAKIM”. Here we have a department which is not vested with any lawful authority in the administration of the PPPA dictating and directing how an officer under the PPPA is to exercise his powers,” he said.

Lim asked, “Are we governed by rule of law or religious bureaucracy?”

“Are we a nation governed by rule of law or religious bureaucracy?” – See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/even-the-quran-says-allah-used-by-christians-and-jews-high-court-told#sthash.WY5kyjbV.dpuf“It is submitted that viewed objectively it is evident that rather than exercising an independent statutory discretionary power, the Minister had acted under the dictation of JAKIM.”.

He also said the Respondents who are Federal Government and a Federal Minister have taken upon themselves the constitutional power to control or restrict propagation of religious doctrine or faith among Muslims. This is a jurisdiction vested in the various state legislative assemblies pursuant to Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution.

“The Respondent’s action constitutes an act on the part of the Federal Government and its officials using the PPPA to enforce the several state enactments controlling and restricting propagation. Enforcement of the enactment with regard to Selangor is by “authorized officers” appointed by the Ruler in Council. This is tantamount to a collateral use of the PPPA by federal agencies to enforce state enactments which are for the states to determine and not the Federal Government. Thus, the disputed decision constitutes not only unlawful and unconstitutional usurpation of state powers under the guise of the PPPA but also a colourable excuse and collateral use of the PPPA,”Lim said.

(more…)

Judge Rules Civil Court Superior to Syariah

May 30, 2014

Malaysiakini 20 May 2014
The civil High Court has a higher jurisdiction than the syariah court on the religious dispute of a spouse who does not convert to Islam, the High Court in Ipoh ruled today.
In giving convert father K Pathmanathan @ Muhammad Ridhuan Abdullah one week to return his six-year-old daughter to the non-Muslim mother, M Indira Gandhi, the court also found the father guilty of contempt.

Judge Lee Swee Seng said failure to hand over the child would require the police to enforce a warrant of arrest on Pathmanathan for committing contempt and not abiding by the court order.

Reading out his two-and-a-half hour judgment, Justice Lee said the supervisory jurisdiction of the civil High Court is based on the fact that a syariah court decision cannot bind a non-Muslim party in a marriage.

He said the country practises secular law under which the civil High Court has unlimited jurisdiction and is superior in nature to the syariah court. (more…)

Sabahans Slam their Christian leaders in Cabinet for Remaining Silent on Religious Issues

February 22, 2014

PRESS STATEMENT (22 Feb 2014) by Perpaduan Anak Negeri Sabah

Officiated by Bishop Datuk Cornelius Piong.

Precis: History tells us that on 1 August 1972, the then Chief Minister of Sabah, Tun Mustapha Harun announced the policy of unity under the USNO government as “one language, one culture, one religion” in Kota Kinabalu in the presence of the then Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman and his deputy Tun Razak Hussein.

The following year on 27 Sept 1973, the State Constitution of Sabah was amended to make Islam the religion of Sabah.

This is in gross violation of the 20-point agreement that Sabah insisted before consenting to confederate with Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore to form Malaysia. The first point is that there should be complete freedom of religion in Sabah. We only agree to Islam being the religion of the Federation and not Sabah and that Malaysia is to be a secular country.

Today, after 42 years of the “one language, one culture, one religion” policy, the Anak Negeri has become restless wanderers and aliens worst that second -class citizens in our own land. This is our history, a history of a betrayed people. If we forget our history, we forfeit our destiny as a people called forth by God for His glory alone. (more…)

Media Statement 15 Jan 2014: CFM Deeply Concerned Over Recent Acts of Escalating Tensions

January 15, 2014

The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) notes with deep concern the recent acts of escalating tensions on the part of certain groups in respect of the use of the term “Allah” by the Christian community in Malaysia.

In particular we refer to four incidents: the continued singling out of Father Lawrence Andrew, the editor of The Herald, for criticism and threats of “mega demonstrations” against him; the advertisement placed in The Star on Saturday 11 January 2014 by the head of the Majlis Agama Islam Selangor attempting to justify the raid by the Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor on the premises of the Bible Society of Malaysia on 2 January 2014; the demonstration near Shekinah Glory AG Church, Klang on Saturday morning 4 January 2014; and the demonstration by a group of approximately 100 people outside Metro Tabernacle Church in Gombak on Sunday morning 12 January 2014.

We are of the view that none of these incidents was either helpful or prudent in the current environment. (more…)

What to Do When JAIS/JAKIM Islamic Officials Act Against Churches

January 4, 2014

NECF Advisory 3 Jan 2014

Summary:

There was also news JAIS plans to send letters to all Selangor churches reminding them to comply with the ban on a list of Arabic words, including “Allah”, under a state law. This law is the Selangor Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988.

There are also news reports that Umno Selangor is threatening to protest outside different churches in Selangor.

Given these developments, we wish to remind churches of the following:-

I. On non-jurisdiction over non-Muslims
II. On protests outside churches
III. On possible attempts to raid a church or premises of a Christian organisation (more…)

Najib Vows to Defend use of Allah as Exclusive to Muslims

November 5, 2013

Najib vows to defend use of Allah as exclusive to Muslims

Malaysian Insider 5 Nov 2013

Putrajaya has pledged to defend the use of the word Allah as the exclusive right of Muslims, even as the debate continued following the October 14 Court of Appeal ruling banning the use of the word in a Catholic weekly.

In his message marking the Islamic new year or Maal Hijrah today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said while Malaysia upholds the Federal Constitution and the position of Islam, it also subscribed to the concept of moderation, or Wasatiyyah, saying it is the foundation of the country’s harmony.

“To appreciate the wider meaning of migration, we still uphold our religion and defend the name of Allah for religion, race and our beloved country.

“Malaysia which upholds the Constitution and Islam as the official religion of the country, will remain steadfast in defending the position of Islam in the country in line with Maqasid Syariah and the concept of Wasatiyyah,” Najib said in his message posted on his 1Malaysia blog today.

You can read my comment at Krisis & Praxis “Will the Real Prime Minister Please Stand Up?- Defending Kalimah AllahLINK (more…)