Press Statement by Muslim Professionals Forum

The malaise of disagreement and discord afflicting  the ummah since time immemorial is a cancerous disease, recognising no bounds as it eats away at our intellect, morality, heart and soul.

We have somewhat lost the basic decorum of intellectual engagement and the ethics of disagreement which has led to the incessant strifes and the fracture of the ummah.

Notwithstanding, we are blessed with a formidable legacy from early Muslims who have showcased the true art of managing disputations, demonstrated forbearance and understanding in the face of diversity of opinions and never lost sight of the higher aspirations and priorities of the Shari’ah.

Suffice to mention the magnanimity of Uthman (RA) in his dialogue and verbal exchanges  with the leaders   of the  Saba’iyin, the bravery  of  Ali (RA) to debate with the Khawarij and the wisdom of the early jurists to engage the intellectual and rationalist nuances as well as the political ideas of various sects such as the Khawarij, Shiah, Murji’ah, Mu’tazilah and Jahmiyah.

Thus, as a Muslim organization, we are very concerned that some delegates at the recent PAS Muktamar had called for the “banning of another Muslim organization, SIS and the rehabilitation of its members”. 

SIS is a legally registered organization and has been a prominent civil society player, especially on issues relating to Muslim women and Islamic family law.  As long as SIS operates within the bounds of the law, it should be allowed to continue its advocacy role and its right to freedom of expression protected. 

In a modern multi-religious society like ours where free social interactions are the norm, and information and outside influences are impossible to filter, a diversity of opinions and views even among Muslims is inevitable. Matters of religion continue to remain a sensitive issue for many as the majority of Muslims try to reconcile the demands of modern society with that of the dictates of Islam. 

Delegates to a political party convention often come from a diverse social and educational background and with PAS this is especially so, drawing its members not only from the traditional religious background but also from the professionals.  Given the history of its struggle, program and its specific objectives, it is not unexpected that such calls were raised by some delegates at its Muktamar.

However, as observers we need to be objective whether such counter-productive proposals by delegates were formally adopted as resolutions by the new leadership line up. Going by newspaper reports (NST 11 June 2009), this is by no means clear.

As insiders, we fully understand why many Muslims are not comfortable with SIS views on a number of issues.  However calling for “SIS to be banned and rehabilitated” cannot be justified nor defended.

Whatever it is, PAS would do well to heed the advice of its spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat that the party engage SIS rather than calling for its ban if it wishes to play a bigger role in national politics.


Board of Directors

Muslim Professionals Forum


Dr. Mazeni Alwi

Dr. Shaikh Johari Bux

Haji Mohamed Ali Ghazali

Dr. Jeffrey Abu Hassan

Dato’ Dr. Musa Mohd. Nordin