Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Future Kedah Fatwa Cannot Be Challenged.

The Star (17.4.2012) reports as such:
“Future fatwa by Kedah mufti or fatwa committee cannot be challenged in court
ALOR SETAR: Future fatwa issued by the Kedah mufti or Fatwa Committee cannot be challenged in court under an amendment to the Mufti and Fatwa (Kedah Darul Aman) Enactment 2008 passed by the Kedah State Assembly on Tuesday.
A new section - Section 22A - inserted in the enactment states that a fatwa decided by the mufti or Fatwa Committee, whether gazetted or not, cannot be challenged, appealed, reviewed, denied or questioned in any civil court or syariah court.
The insertion was among the amendments passed unanimously by the House on Tuesday.
In tabling the bill for the amendments, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak said it was to clarify the membership of the Fatwa Committee and to give conclusiveness to any fatwa decided by either the mufti or Fatwa Committee”.
If the above report is accurate, with one stroke of the pen, the PAS Government of Kedah has made the future fatwas of the Mufti or the Majlis Fatwa absolute.  
A few men, namely the Assemblymen of Kedah has decided for all the Muslims in Kedah that the fatwas (or legal opinions) of the Mufti or a group of people in the Majlis Fatwa is absolute and cannot be challenged by anyone.
There is no questioning the opinions or the legal reasoning of those paid to be in the religious authority in Kedah.  It cannot even be reviewed.
Fatwas in this sense carries a religious connotation and hence, it now becomes part of the Syariah Law of Kedah.  Please note how the Syariah Laws expands as a result of human handiwork.
Now let me ask if the Prime Minister, the most powerful man in the country can be questioned on his actions? Every constitutional and criminal law student will tell you that in certain occasions, he can not only be questioned but be charged in court if he had acted, for example, unconstitutionally or criminally in office.
Under administrative laws, you can challenge, appeal and review the decision of any civil servant in the Courts of Law in Malaysia. This is through a process called judicial review. This process is allowed because the law recognises that civil servants, even with the best of intentions may make mistakes or err in their judgement. Some may be influenced by irrelevant factors in making a decision or arriving at an opinion (fatwa!).
But obviously, the Kedah Assemblymen are confident that neither the Mufti nor the members of the Fatwa Committee can err in their judgement or make mistakes. They are held to be infallible.
The Muslim in Kedah, therefore has no choice in the matter. He has to dispense with his conscience and his reasoning and simply follow the fatwa which now has the power of “Syariah” Law.
A Muslim who knows the Quran, may want to ask where the following verse figures in this episode:

068.036  What is the matter with you? How judge you?

068.037  Or have you a book through which you learn-

068.038  That you shall have, through it whatever ye choose?

068.039  Or have you Covenants with Us to oath, reaching to the Day of Judgment,
(providing) that you shall have whatever you shall demand?

068.040  Ask you of them, which of them will stand surety (guarantee) for that!

068.041  Or have they some "Partners" (in Godhead)? Then let them produce their
"partners", if they are truthful!

Since no Malays in Kedah have protested against the Bill, it must mean that they are happy with it.