Let the burnings begin!

In fact, fatwa (decrees) are also opinions. This is how the Mufti or Imam interprets the rulings. I am not saying they are wrong. They could be right. Nevertheless, they are still merely opinions and, therefore, should be rejected and the Muftis and Imams charged under criminal defamation.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Dec 19 trial for Mat Sabu’s Bukit kepong remark

(Bernama) – The Sessions Court here set Dec 19-23 to hear the case against PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu who was charged with defaming Bukit Kepong policemen and their families during a ceramah in Tasek Gelugor here in August.

Judge Ikmal Hishan Mohd Tajuddin set the date after an application by Deputy Public Prosecutor Lailawati Ali for the court to fix other trial dates because the prosecution had to attend a conference during the Dec 5-9 trial dates set by the court earlier.

On Sept 21, Mohamad, 57, also known as Mat Sabu, pleaded not guilty to a charge under Section 500 of the Penal Code for criminal defamation against policemen and their families who had been attacked by communists in the Bukit Kepong tragedy in Johor in 1950.

He was alleged to have committed the offence in front of a kindergarten at the PAS education centre at Padang Menora in Tasek Gelugor last Aug 21.

Mat Sabu faces a jail sentence of up to two years and a fine or both upon conviction.

Mat Sabu was alternatively charged with defaming Constables Marin Abu Bakar Daud, Jaafar Hassan and Yusoff Rono and their families at the same time and place.

The charge followed a report by three family members of the constables, Jamilah Abu Bakar, Azlas Jaafar and Nazir Yusoff.


The Mālikī (Arabic: مالكي‎) madhhab is one of the schools of Fiqh or religious law within Sunni Islam. It is the second largest of the four schools, followed by approximately 25% of Muslims, mostly in North Africa, West Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and in some parts of Saudi Arabia. In the past, it was also followed in parts of Europe under Islamic rule, particularly Islamic Spain and the Emirate of Sicily.

Despite his reluctance to render religious verdicts, Malik (founder of the Mālikī school of Sunni Islam) was outspoken. He issued fatwas against being forced to pledge allegiance to the Caliph Al-Mansur, and received a flogging for his stance. Al-Mansur apologized to Malik, and offered him money and residence in Baghdad, but Malik refused to leave the city of Prophet Muhammad. Later, Harun al-Rashid asked Malik to visit him while Harun was performing the hajj. The Imam refused, and instead he invited the new caliph to his class. — Wikipedia


Almost two years ago, the UK repealed the criminal defamation and sedition laws. In fact, it was more than 30 years since Britain ever charged anyone for criminal defamation. It made sense, therefore, that these laws be repealed. Anyway, Britain believes in freedom of opinion — as long as you do not make a racist statement like most Malaysia Today readers do (in Britain, quite a number of Malaysia Today readers would be in jail by now).

Rulers/leaders have never tolerated freedom of opinion (even the opposition). That is why laws such as criminal defamation and sedition were introduced. Even in so-called Islamic States ruled by so-called Caliphs of Allah, they were equally intolerant, as that short piece by Wikipedia on Imam Malik will demonstrate (by the way, it is accurate — I checked). So please don’t think that Islamic States have always been better.

Anyway, before all of you start arguing about religion and Islam and Hudud (as many of you would because you prefer to talk about the colour of the dog collar rather than how the dog was butchered), today I want to focus on freedom of opinion.

Mat Sabu is going to face trial because he expressed his opinion, which was opposite to Umno’s opinion. Is having an opinion now a crime? Why do we need, therefore, to send Malaysians to school? When you go to school you will learn how to think and when you can think you will have an opinion.

Malaysia has done many very stupid things but this one is probably the most stupid act so far. A man who expresses his opinion is going to be sent to jail.

What next? Are we going to burn all our history books like what the Mongols did when they invaded Baghdad in 1258? They too burned all the books at a great loss to the world.

History books are the opinion of the writer. It is how the historian has interpreted events. The historian may be right or he/she may be wrong. But that is his/her opinion of what happened.

What about kitabs? Kitabs are not from God. Kitabs are opinions of scholars. It is their interpretation and view of what God said and what the Prophet said and did.

Hadith should also be banned. The Hadith did not come from God through Gabriel. They were written by third parties and not by the Prophet Muhammad. Prophet Muhammad did not write anything. He is supposed to have been illiterate. Other unknown people wrote all the Hadith. And that, too, is their opinion. This is what they said. This is not what we heard from the Prophet ourselves.

In fact, fatwa (decrees) are also opinions. This is how the Mufti or Imam interprets the rulings. I am not saying they are wrong. They could be right. Nevertheless, they are still merely opinions and, therefore, should be rejected and the Muftis and Imams charged under criminal defamation.

Yes, if we want to start making opinions a crime, then all so-called ‘holy’ books and history books would need to be banned and burned. And anyone expressing his opinion or interpretation will have to be sent to jail. Other than the Quran (which Muslims regard as the word of God) all other publications need to be placed onto the bonfire.

Let the burnings begin!