Non-Muslims’ approval not needed on hudud, says scholar


(FMT) – Malaysian Muslims need not seek the approval of non-Muslims when it comes to matters pertaining to the Shariah Court (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Bill 2016 as it has nothing to do with any religion outside Islam.

Institute of Islamic Strategic Research Malaysia (Iksim) General Manager Dr Noor Inayah Yaakub explained that the Bill was merely aimed at elevating the status of Shariah courts.

“We are just asking for it to be debated and this is not a problem,” she told Ismaweb yesterday.

According to the portal, Noor was responding to claims that the tabling of the Bill in the Dewan Rakyat last Thursday offended the feelings of non-Muslims in the country with DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng also alleging the proposed Bill was unconstitutional.

Noor however said PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang by taking his Private Member’s Bill to the Dewan Rakyat was merely asking for a chance to have it debated there. This did not mean it would be implemented anytime soon.

“It is inaccurate to say the Bill will result in the implementation of hudud within 24 hours. There is still room for all quarters to put forward their views.

“The misunderstanding stemmed, perhaps, from the thought that debating the Bill would mean hudud would be implemented in the near future. But that is not true as there are many other steps (that have to be complied with), and the real objective is to elevate the status of the Syariah courts.”

She further explained that although hudud applied strictly to Muslims there were various requirements that had to be met first before a punishment was meted out.

Noor cited the example of Prophet Muhammad himself deciding not to punish a man who admitted to adultery but instead, asked if the person really understood what his wrongdoing was.

“This shows that even with an admission of guilt, it is not easy for us to simply punish an offender. There is no need for non-Muslims to jump the gun.”