(Harakah) - Former Perlis mufti Asri Zainul Abidin has chided a section of Muslim scholars who he said had a tendency to remain silent on injustices while defending unjust kings, dictatorship and tyranny based on their ignorance and 'literalist' understanding of Islamic texts.
"These are the people who would churn out fatwas in defence of [former Libyan leader] Muammar Qadafi, [former Egyptian president] Hosni Mubarak and the still surviving regime of Bashar al-Asad.
"They are busy preventing people from voicing out, but they are not busy engaging in forum, debates and seminars to stop those in power from trampling upon people's rights. They claim this is the belief of the salaf [first generation of Muslims], as if the salaf are the bastion of unjust regimes," wrote Asri (pic) in his blog.
Asri reminded that even Muawiyah Abi Sufyan, who opposed the caliphate of Ali Abi Talib and who later went on to controversially set up a hereditary system of caliphate, had provided space for people to voice their dissent.
Reacting to the victory of Islamist leader Mohamed Mursi in Egypt's first free presidential election, Asri said Muslim masses had suffered for far too long and that it was time they shed their feudal thinking.
"It is time to do away with corrupt groups and supporters of feudal thinking from the Muslim community," he added.
Asri pointed out that Western societies were more aware of their rights, citing how the British media would frequently expose wastages and extravagant lifestyles of their royal families.
"The increase in Queen Elizabeth's expenditure is also questioned. This is despite the British queen, like others, also paying taxes. But the principle of justice and democracy allows the public to scrutinise anyone who abuses public funds," he said, citing a recent report by UK's Daily Mail questioning Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton's travel expenses.
Last May, Asri spoke out against a police investigation against former Perak Menteri Besar Nizar Jamaluddin for questioning the half-a-million ringgit purchase of a car number plate by the Sultan of Johor.
"If the behaviour and actions of royalties cannot be questioned, we are only deifying them and subjugating ourselves," Asri said.