State religious body rules Kassim Ahmad expressed ‘apostate’ thoughts


(Bernama) – The Terengganu Fatwa Committee has unanimously ruled that the statements made by social activist Kassim Ahmad (pic) at a seminar in February as “kufur” (disbelief) and apostate thoughts.

State Islamic Affairs Commissioner Datuk Mohd Rozali Salleh said the decision was made at a special meeting of the committee on March 9.

Such thoughts were deviant and a threat to public order and damaging to Islam, as there were elements of irregularities like disputing the “syahadah”, hadis, Islamic rules, women’s hair as aurat, the selawat, and condoning apostasy, Rozali told a news conference in Kuala Terengganu today.

Kassim was alleged to have uttered statements at “The Thoughts of Kassim Ahmad: A Review” Seminar organised by the Perdana Leadership Foundation on February 6.

He reportedly accused religious scholars of controlling Islam through a “priesthood caste” system, questioned the use of the hadis (Prophet’s sayings and actions) to explain Quranic teachings, and said it was wrong for Muslims to beatify the Prophet as “he was just a messenger of Allah”.

He also questioned the wearing of headscarf by Muslim women, saying “the hair is not part of the aurat” (parts of the body which need to be covered) in his lecture.

Rozali said the committee banned publication, broadcasting and dissemination of any books, pamphlets, films, videos and anything relating to the anti-hadis belief while Muslims were forbidden from possessing, printing, selling or distributing the material.

The meeting also agreed that the decision against anti-hadis movement to be gazetted as a fatwa and action could be taken against those who defy the ruling.