Muslim religious freedom

Hishamuddin Yahaya

The excessive pre-emptive action in trying to stop the private members’ bills on hudud from going for its first reading in Parliament shows how intolerant some people are towards Islam, says Hishamuddin Yahaya.


The Star (30 April 2014) carried a caption which read: “We will oppose Islamic laws – no matter who or which party is pushing for it.” And again: “We are firmly against hudud. Plan goes against the grain of Federal Constitution.”

Plain rejection of the Islamic law is much more appreciated than a veiled rejection by the Muslims themselves. In the former, it is ignorance, which is forgivable, but in the latter it is ignorance coupled with stupidity – which is not forgivable.

A veiled rejection went something like this: “We are not rejecting hudud, but we have to study its technicalities and implementation first.” The same thing was said some 30 years ago.

Politically, accepting Islamic laws means losing a big chunk of the Chinese votes; suicidal for the next GE. For the MCA or others opposing: it is akin to the fear of ghosts; they may not have seen ghosts but they have heard of them,
and the ghosts remain in their minds forever, until they themselves become ghosts.

Now they have the audacity to quote Article II (i) of the Federal Constitution, which says: “Every person has the right to profess and practise his religion and subject to Clause 4 to propagate it.” An Article so clear and unambiguous; yet they fail to see the wood for the trees. This Article emphatically emphasises a person’s religious rights.

Islamic laws are religious laws and a Muslim has the right to practise them. Denying Islamic laws means denying a Muslim the right to practise his or her religion. It goes against the grain of the Federal Constitution. So far the Muslims have been able to contain their emotions.

There is no question of a dual legal system as the Syariah Courts are in existence
Implementation of hudud means just adding to the Court’s criminal jurisdiction the power to hear criminal cases involving Muslims.

What should be made clear to those who oppose is that Islamic law is not applicable to non-Muslims. There is no compulsion in religion. For example, if a Muslim and a non-Muslim are charged with adultery, the Muslim will be charged under the Sharia law and the non-Muslim partner cannot be charged under the Sharia law.

A certain moron articulated that it is no justice at all because one may be punished severely and the other goes scot-free.

Who is he in the first place to question God’s law? Is he measuring God knowledge with his own little brain that God has given him?

Divine law is not to be rationalised with human logic. A Muslim must respond to God’s command with “I hear and I obey” because God knows his creation best. The knowledge that we have, no matter how intelligent we are, compared to God knowledge is like a drop in a mighty ocean. No one should challenge God’s law like how the ancient Pharaoh of Egypt and Nimrod the King of Babylon tried to.