Asri issue: Group makes eight demands

(Malaysian Mirror) – More than 100 Muslim missionaries, rallying under the banner of a so-called Kelompok Intelektual Muslim Muda (KIMM), or Young Muslims Intellectual Caucus, have forwarded eight demands in connection with the issue of former Perlis mufti Dr Asri Zainul Abidin.

Group spokesman Dr Azwira Abdul Aziz, a member of the Perlis Fatwa Council and a Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia lecturer, said KIMM is demanding that the respective state Islamic affairs authorities:

–  discard their prejudice against religious scholars (ulama) and missionaries (pendakwah) and stop allegations that are without reason or basis

– give just treatment, and without prejudice, to reputable missionaries and not ignoring their qualification or stopping them from delivering religious talks

– stop the accusations that those who give differing views are advocates of the Wahhabi sect (an outlawed school of jurisprudence)

Stop the insults and demeaning remarks

–  stop any individual or group that upholds Malaysia’s religious institution from making accusations against the Saudi Arabin government and its Islamic scholars. Besides making false claims, such accusations can bring dire implications in the relationship of the two countries

–  stop any insulting or demeaning remarks by any party against the learned men of Islam who are venerated for their wisdom, judgment, and experience, such as the imams of the four mazhabs (school of thoughts), Ibn Taimiyyah, Ibn Qayyim, Syatibi, Muhammad Abd Wahab and other judicious figures

– provide room for Islamic miasri-syariah-case-5.jpgssionary groups, recognised as not being deviant, to spread the teachings of Islam

–  waive the need for an ‘official state certification’ (tauliah) for those who already have recognised accreditation in Islam and religious knowledge

– open their mindset to the fact that even though some practices and adherence to Islamic teachings are different from that that are practised and understood by the local community, they should not be construed as deviant.

Speaking at a late night press conference here on Saturday, Azwira hoped the demands made by KIMM will get the attention of all relevant parties so that Islamic missionary can progress further and more rapidly.

 Asked how the demands are connected to the action by the Selangor Islamic affairs department (JAIS) against Asri, Azwira said: “We object to the way Asri was arrested.”

Certification reqirement

On the question of certification, as required by JAIS, Azwira said: “I am a member of the Perlis fatwa council and a lecturer at the UKM’s department of Quran and Sunnah Studies.

“When I once applied for a certification from JAIS, I was called to be interviewed but, eventually, was also rejected by JAIS without any reason given

 “There are many others, including from among the KIMM members, who had applied for such certification and are still waiting for an approval,” who wrote the book, Siapakah Ahi Sunnah Yang Sebenar? (Who are the real followers of the Sunnah?)

Azwira said it was surprising that in the case of self-proclaimed ‘Malay prophet’ Kahar Ahmad, the issue of certification was not brought up. He added that this constrasted with the case of Asri, a recognised and qualified lecturer who was stopped from giving a religious talk.

KIMM advisor and former Perlis menteri besar Shahidan Kassim said there had lately been a lot of confusion among Muslims in Malaysia, arising from the arrest of Asri and the issue of Wahhabi, a sect attributed to an 18th century scholar in Saudi Arabia.

“Why is it that a motivator who speaks on the issue of religion is not required to have official certification while a religious speaker who speaks on motivation is required to get the tauliah first?” he asked.

“This would mean that all our ustaz (religious teacher) would require 14 certifications (one each from the 13 states in the country and another from the Federal Territories),” Shahidan said, adding that he took had been accused of being a Wahhabi follower for 12 years when he was the Perlis MB.

Referring to a recent statement by Johor menteri besar Abdul Ghani Othman that Asri and any other religious preacher are welcomed to give religious talks in the state, he said he was thankful to the MB and the Johore religious authorities.