Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Two sets of criminal laws not for modern countries, says top Islamic scholar

BY ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH

Member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, and a founding member of International Union of Muslim Scholars Dr Jasser Auda with Global Movement of Moderates CEO Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, at a roundtable discussion on Maqasid Al-Syariah and its Relevance in Finding Common Ground in a Multicultural Society, in Kuala Lumpur today. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, May 25, 2015.


Member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, and a founding member of International Union of Muslim Scholars Dr Jasser Auda with Global Movement of Moderates CEO Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, at a roundtable discussion on Maqasid Al-Syariah and its Relevance in Finding Common Ground in a Multicultural Society, in Kuala Lumpur today. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, May 25, 2015.

















A top international Muslim scholar today shot down the idea of implementing the hudud law in Malaysia, saying that it was unfair as it allowed double standards for the same criminal offence in society.
Dr Jasser Auda, member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, however, said that it was justifiable to have two sets of family laws as that area was related to religion.
"There can be parallel laws when it comes to family law. It is a private area that has a lot to do with religion. I can see the wisdom in having that," he said at a roundtable discussion titled, Maqasid al-Syariah (The Higher Objectives of Shariah) in Kuala Lumpur today.
"From the legal perspective, I think having two criminal laws would be problematic. Modern countries don't have two criminal courts."
Jasser, who is also the founding member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, was commenting on the proposal by PAS to implement hudud in Kelantan.
The Kelantan legislature on March 18 passed amendments to the state's Shariah criminal enactment, which will only be enforced on Muslims.
The state is, however, unable to enforce the enhancements to the Islamic penal code as Federal law does not allow it to.
However, if society as a whole was consulted and agreed on the implementation of a single law for criminal offences, then it would not be a problem to have the hudud, he said.
"Implementing hudud is alright if it is passed and agreed upon through proper democratic channels and has gone through constitutional scrutiny. It should not be forced on anyone," he said, stressing on the importance of the constitution in a multi-religious society like Malaysia.
"It is the foundation of which the country is built and you can't compromise the Constitution."
I view the 'Allah' issue and 'implementing hudud' as issues that are smaller than other bigger social problems like education, public health, the rule of law and other. - Dr Jasser Auda
Jasser further said that the hudud law should not be implemented if there was any doubt in the justice of its implementation.
"This is a Hadith well-known in the Islamic world. If there is doubt in the justice of implementation, we should not have it.
Citing the example of Egypt, he said the Islamic law could not be implemented there as the system was too corrupt.
"You think you cannot find four witnesses there to help you accuse someone else of a crime? Just pay him 10 dollars and he will say anything you want," he claimed.
PAS lawmaker Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa at the Maqasid al Syariah discussion held at the Global Moderates Movement office in Kuala Lumpur today. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, May 25, 2015.PAS lawmaker Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa at the Maqasid al Syariah discussion held at the Global Moderates Movement office in Kuala Lumpur today. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, May 25, 2015.PAS lawmaker Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa, who was present, lamented that Muslims in Malaysia who have spoken against the implementation of the hudud have been labelled as "kafir" or infidel, but Jasser noted that this was "not proper".
"It is not proper to call someone that. Every Muslim, by definition reads hudud in the Quran and believes in it. No Muslim has ever said that these verses are not proper," the Islamic scholar said.
"But the implementation of the Quran in today's contemporary world is different.
"Some Muslims believe in implementing the hudud in today's world and some do not, which doesn't make you less of a Muslim. As long as you believe in the Quran."
In a press conference later, Jasser also commented on claims by Muslim extremist groups that churches in Muslim-majority areas can encourage proselytisation and conversion problems.
"I come from Egypt and we have churches beside the mosques everywhere. And we have been living like that for the past 1,400 years. I don't see a problem there.
"People convert according to their beliefs. It has nothing to do with building churches," he added.
Jasser also took a swipe against Malaysia and its politics, saying that he was surprised that the country was busying itself with "small issues" like the hudud and whether or not non-Muslims could use the word "Allah".
"I am surprised. I view them as smaller than other bigger social problems like education, public health, the rule of law and others. They are much more important things.
"But these are the politicians you elected, so...," he laughed.
The roundtable discussion was organised by the Global Movement of Moderates. Its chief executive officer Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the event was held to raise awareness about the relevance and utility of Shariah principles in a multi-cultural society.   – May 25, 2015
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/two-sets-of-criminal-laws-not-for-modern-countries-says-top-islamic-scholar#sthash.HSWuQOzr.dpuf

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