Nurul Izzah ready to meet JAIS over religious freedom issue

Mohd Farhan Darwis, The Malaysian Insider

Following attacks on Nurul Izzah Anwar for her statement that allegedly supports religious freedom, the PKR vice president today said she is ready to give her statement to the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (JAIS).

The Lembah Pantai MP also said she will take legal action on those who had hurled accusations against her, and will leave the issue to the country’s legal system.

“I’m ready (to be called by JAIS)…(but) on lawyer’s advice, I will take legal action,” she said.

“My lawyer will take the next action, I am no longer allowed (to) issue statements,” she said in a press conference at the Parliament lobby today.

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim described the issue raised against his daughter as a political trick to shift attention from the abuses of power by the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition and its mainstay party Umno.

“This issue of religion is not for play. If Umno wants to use religion, if JAIS truly (fights for Islam)…take action against Muslims involved in gambling, statements that are twisted (disesatkan), but no.

“(But) religion is used as Umno’s political toy,” he told reporters at a press conference today.

The Permatang Pauh MP also slammed Umno’s religious scholars for attacking Nurul Izzah over her alleged support for pluralism, but keeping their silence on many religious issues within Umno.

“Cruelty (kezaliman), bribery, abuses (penyelewengan) by Umno, Umno’s religious teachers don’t dare to touch, they use religious pluralism generally.

“Religious pluralism, if they belittle (meremehkan) Islam, means rejecting laws (menolak hukum) and saying all religions are the same.

“Issues of religion, faith, we (PR) do not budge, but this is only distracting the view because Umno religious teachers do not dare to talk about insults to religion, cruelty and bribery,” he stressed.

Nurul Izzah has been under attack for allegedly expressing her support for freedom of religion for all, including Malays, in a forum last Saturday.

But she has reportedly denied that she is supporting apostasy among the country’s Malay-Muslim community.

Anwar also supported Nurul Izzah’s move in bringing the matter to court to enable legal action against those who had made the accusations against her.