Sunday, September 11, 2011

MAIS, Khalid Samad and the right to speak on Islam

The recent spate of events concerning MAIS and YB Khalid Samad raises interesting and important issues. It is reported that MAIS is acting against Khalid Samad for "talking" on Islam in the mosque without permission from MAIS. 

The MalaysianInsider reports that "Khalid was charge under Section 119 of the Selangor Islamic Religious Administration Enactment for giving a sermon in a surau at Taman Seri Sementa, Kapar in Klang on August 16 without prior permission". Apparently Khalid Samad is going to challenge this on the basis that it is unconstitutional.

I can understand and support the fact that allowing politics to dominate "places of worship" can be dangerous and even develop into a security threat. In fact I strongly hold the view that there should not be any politicisation of any religion. In our conutry, I feel that there has been too much politicisation of Islam to the point that "true Islam" has been given a backseat. I have written on the politico-Islamisation process in Malaysia in my book "Rapera: Urgently wanted" .You only need to look around the world to see and appreciate the poisonous mix of religion and politics on society.

Having said the above, the right of a Muslim citizen to speak his views on his faith is another matter altogether. I have written on this quite comprehensively here when Datuk Dr Asri was faced with a similar predicament.

The issues will go back to the Federal Constitution, the State Laws on Syariah and the Quran. 

Article 11 (1) is often quoted by many Muslims to defend their right to practice and profess their religion as this article clearly gives them that freedom subject to artcile 11(4) of the Federal Constitution. 

Art 11 (4) provides that state and federal laws may control or restrict the propagation of any religious beliefs or doctrines among persons professing the religion of Islam. As I have written before, this could very well be interpreted to mean even a Muslim may be restricted to propagate Islamic doctrines and beliefs to another Muslim or group of Muslims? Possibly the “correct” interpretation is that only authorized persons can propagate “Islamic beliefs and doctrines” to Muslims citizens.

If this is the interpretation that the courts adopt, then, the State Laws that require anyone to obtain permission from them before "propagating" Islam to Muslims may very well be in line with the Constitution!

Think about it.

1 comment:

Rashid Embong said...

Salam Dato,

I have read your writings before. I believe that you understanding is that according to the Quran, there is no force on anyone's faith. If this is so, then how could controlling anyone to speak about their faith be in line with Islam?


Rashid Embong