- DAP hands in rejection letter for fresh polls to RoS
- Aidilfitri sermon to warn Muslims against ‘enemies of Islam’
- Battling Islamic 'Puritans'
- Aidilfitri dog video an insult to Islam, Jakim decides
- Rattled Malaysians turning to bodyguards, bullet-proofed cars
- DAP: Probe Muhyiddin for sedition
- Chetz released on bond
- Muslim dog owner’s remand extreme, born of paranoia, says Zaid
Posted: 02 Aug 2013 01:24 AM PDT
(MM) - The DAP submitted today a formal rejection to hold fresh party polls, telling the Registrar of Societies (RoS) it had no legal power to make such an order.
In its letter of reply to the RoS, the opposition party's secretary-general, Lim Guan Eng, said the societies regulator had failed to clearly state the reasons behind its directive and the law that empowered it to order the party hold a reelection for its central executive committee (CEC) that had been decided last year.
Posted: 01 Aug 2013 06:31 PM PDT
Jakim's sermon today seemed to mirror Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom's remarks this week when he claimed that the ongoing debate over four Muslims dropped as beauty contestants recently is part of an attempt to divide followers of the faith. — AFP pic
(The Malay Mail) - "They are planning all this carefully and wisely. They have launched psychological warfare openly and bravely to manipulate the minds and beliefs of Muslims when the Muslims are plagued by crisis of confidence and the loss of strength and unity," said the sermon.An official sermon planned for the Aidilfitri celebration next week has warned Muslims nationwide against a conspiracy by "enemies of Islam" to manipulate them through ideas like secularism, pluralism, socialism, feminism, and positivism.
The sermon, to be read out to Muslims on the first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri next week, suggested that such "colonial" ideas were being used to incite challenges against Islam's position in the Constitution and open debate about Syariah law.
The official sermon by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) was uploaded to its website yesterday, also with a rare version in English, one week earlier as Muslims nationwide wind down Ramadan, their holy month of fasting.
The warning comes amid several controversial decisions by Jakim in the last few weeks against individuals which it has deemed as "insulting Islam", including a non-Muslim blogger couple, four Muslim beauty pageant hopefuls, and a Muslim dog trainer.
"As we celebrate the Aidilfitri, we must realise the various ways and strategies of the enemies of Islam to undermine the unity and peace in the country," said the sermon here.
"They move through well-organised and devious ways by cultural pollution, spreading slander against unity either through the mass media or cyberspace, violating federal laws, questioning the position of Islam in the Constitution, (and) insulting the position of the Malay kings."
Jakim's sermon today seemed to mirror Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom's remarks this week when he claimed that the ongoing debate over four Muslims dropped as beauty contestants recently is part of an attempt to divide followers of the faith.
Four Muslim women were dropped as contestants in the Miss Malaysia World 2013 pageant last month and are now under investigation for allegedly breaching the National Fatwa Council's edict and allegedly insulting Islam.
Federal Territory syarie chief prosecutor Ibrahim Deris was also quoted recently as saying that action can be taken against anyone belittling a fatwa, even non-Muslims, as it could be seen as insulting Islam.
The sermon also lamented increasing debates against the religion and the administration of the syariah law, despite the alleged respect afforded to Islam as the religion of federation as prescribed in the Constitution.
Jakim also reiterated its repeated line, calling for censure against what it called "colonisation of minds" through "Western ideologies and doctrines" such as secularism, pluralism, socialism, feminism, and positivism.
"They are planning all this carefully and wisely. They have launched psychological warfare openly and bravely to manipulate the minds and beliefs of Muslims when the Muslims are plagued by crisis of confidence and the loss of strength and unity," said the sermon.
The recent spotlight on Islamic decrees by Malaysian authorities on its followers as well as non-Muslims has led to heated debate over their enforcement here, with some groups deeming certain provisions under religious law to be regressive while others have voiced concern over a worrying trend of overt Islamisation in a multicultural country.
In a 105-second video reposted on YouTube on Tuesday, dog trainer Maznah Mohd Yusof is seen walking and bathing her three dogs as the "Takbir Raya", or Muslim call to prayer traditionally reserved for the first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, plays in the background.
The juxtaposition appeared to be a reference to the wudhu, or ablution performed by Muslims before prayer; dogs are also considered unclean by adherents of the predominant faith in Malaysia.
Maznah has since been arrested and was released from remand in Johor earlier this afternoon on a court bond. Jamil Khir has confirmed today that Jakim has decided that it was an insult to Islam.
Maznah's arrest comes after sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee were charged recently under the Penal Code and Sedition Act, for posting a mock "Selamat Berbuka Puasa" (breaking of fast) greeting on their Facebook page that showed them eating "bak kut teh", a soupy pork dish. Muslims are prohibited from eating pork.
Posted: 01 Aug 2013 03:18 PM PDT
UCLA professor, once a fanatic himself, is now a leading scholarly voice against intolerance among Muslims. Death threats don't deter him.
After a lengthy process of textual research and prayer for divine guidance, he concluded that reports against dogs were passed on through questionable chains of transmissions, or contradicted by more favorable reports--for instance, one story of Muhammad praying with his dogs playing nearby.
By Teresa Watanabe,TIMES RELIGION WRITERThe most incendiary Muslim in American academia knows a thing or two about Islamic fanatics. He says he used to be one as a seventh-grader in his native Kuwait.
UCLA law professor Khaled Abou El Fadl remembers beating up other kids, condemning his parents as unbelievers and destroying his sister's Rod Stewart tape, "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?"
"I found it remarkably empowering to spew my hatred with the banner of God in my hand," he says. But challenged by his father to take up true religious scholarship, Abou El Fadl began a journey of Islamic learning that would transform him into a nemesis of the extremists he once endorsed. Today, at 38, he is a leading warrior in the intellectual struggle that exploded into America's consciousness Sept. 11: Who speaks for Islam? Who defines it?
With breathtaking bluntness, Abou El Fadl attacks Muslims who promote a strict, literalist trend in Islam, most prominently the creed of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia.
In his writings and through the electronic media, he accuses them of an "intolerant puritanism" that values ritual over morality. He blames them for oppressing millions of women, creating hostility toward non-Muslims and giving the likes of Osama bin Laden their theological justification for terrorism. He issues scathing critiques of Saudi legal rulings that permit everything from the mistreatment of dogs to the beating of women.
For tackling the puritans in high-profile forums, Abou El Fadl has received so many death threats that new security systems are going up around his office and home. His books are banned in Saudi Arabia and his visa applications denied in Egypt.
Before Sept. 11, his daily battles would have been dismissed by outsiders as esoteric doctrinal debates. Today they are better understood as critical insights into the fierce ideological tensions raging within Islam between the forces of puritanism and moderation. They shed light on how Islam can produce such chilling extremists as Bin Laden, who exults in the carnage of Sept. 11 as "blessed strikes."
By devoting himself to a modern interpretation of the Koran, Abou El Fadl is perhaps the most articulate enemy of the Wahhabi creed that shaped Bin Laden's brand of Islam.
"The supremacist creed of the puritan groups is distinctive and uniquely dangerous," the scholar recently wrote in the influential Boston Review. "They do not merely seek self-empowerment, but aggressively seek to disempower, dominate or destroy others."
To many muftis, ayatollahs, sheiks and their followers throughout the world, Abou El Fadl has become "America's most dangerous corrupter of Islam," as one foe put it.
One international network of students claims credit for successfully working to blacklist him from most Islamic conferences and publications under the banner of protecting "the one and only true Islam."
Wahhabism's founder, 18th century evangelist Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab, was alarmed by what he viewed as corruptions to the faith. He advocated a strict, back-to-basics approach to keep Islam as pure as the day it was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad and practiced by his early companions nearly 1,400 years ago.
Wahhabism had long been a marginal force in Islam. Abou El Fadl asserts that it has risen in prominence in the last three decades because of the collapse of Islamic institutions after colonialism, creating a vacuum of authority that puritans, backed by Saudi petrodollars, rushed to fill.
Today's puritans advocate strict gender roles and perpetual guarding against what they view as heretical innovations--be they new interpretations of the faith by scholars such as Abou El Fadl or other expressions of Islam, such as mystical Sufism or the Shiite branch of the faith.
Many followers of Wahhab describe their approach benevolently, merely as "monotheism without the frills," as one member of the Saudi-financed King Fahd Mosque in Culver City put it.
Abou El Fadl, however, says extremists have used Wahhabism to justify sometimes violent intolerance--massacres of Sufis and Shiite, for instance--or hostility to non-Muslim "infidels" that has bred terrorist acts.
Many Muslims see an even more pervasive impact of puritanism--robbing Islam of its richness and flexibility. Howard University professor Sulayman Nyang calls it "the mummification, ossification and fossilization of Islam."
Posted: 01 Aug 2013 02:48 PM PDT
(The Malay Mail) - The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) has weighed in on the storm over the Aidilfitri dog video and decided it was insult to Islam, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom confirmed today.
The minister in charge of religious affairs said in light of Jakim's decision, he had directed the department to present its views to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) for further action, Malay language daily Berita Harian reported on its website today.
Posted: 01 Aug 2013 02:32 PM PDT
(The Malaysian Insider) - Many Malaysians are looking to bullet-proofing their cars or hiring bodyguards amidst the rise in shooting cases in the country which has sparked fear for their safety.
According to Singapore daily, The Straits Times, manufacturers of bullet- proof glass for cars and homes reported getting more inquiries and business than usual, while agencies providing bodyguards and security consulting services were beefing up staff strength in anticipation of increased demand.
Posted: 01 Aug 2013 02:07 PM PDT
DAP wants the Deputy Prime Minister probed for sedition for saying non-Muslims are insulting Islam.
Anisah Shukry, FMT
DAP wants Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin probed for sedition following his statement that non-Muslims were insulting Islam.
The Opposition party felt that since the police were quick to arrest dog trainer Maznah Mohd Yusof for allegedly wounding religious feelings, the same should be applied to Muhyiddin, who is also Umno deputy president.
The party said the Deputy Prime Minister's declaration that non-Muslims were insulting Islam, was offensive and had enough grounds for the police to investigate him under Section 298A of the Penal Code and the Sedition Act.
"Maznah is being investigated under the same Acts, so since she was said to be insulting the peoples religious feelings, we ask that Muhyiddin to be probed under the same Acts as well," Taman Segamat DAP branch chairman Yew Jia Haur said.
Yew, who is also Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng's assistant, said this after lodging a police report against the Deputy Prime Minister at the Sentul police headquarters today.
Muhyiddin, on Tuesday, made the "offensive" remarks after a reporter asked him to comment on Maznah's controversial video, which depicted her celebrating Hari Raya with her three dogs.
Maznah's three-year-old video had sparked an uproar among some Muslims, who had misinterpreted her Raya greeting as an attempt to equate Muslims with dogs.
Muhyiddin had told reporters: "Muslims do not insult the religion of non-Muslims… But non-Muslims are insulting our religion."
He was apparently unaware that Maznah, who goes by the name of Chetz in the video, is a Muslim.
Posted: 01 Aug 2013 02:03 PM PDT
(The Star) - Maznah Mohd Yusof, the dog trainer who caused a stir by posting a video of her celebrating Hari Raya with her dogs, was released Friday on a court bond.
Her lawyer G. Visvanathan Nair said court registrar Mohd Anuar Ostadi made the judgment around 12.20pm.
"Maznah will be set free and will be required to present herself if needed in future pertaining to the case.
"If she fails to be present in court, she will have to pay a fine of RM10,000," he said when contacted.
He added that the bond was awarded under Section 118 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
"She has now been taken to the police station to retrieve her belongings and should be released soon," he said.
Maznah, who is also known as Chetz, has been at the centre of a social media storm after a video of her celebrating Hari Raya with her dogs three years ago was uploaded to YouTube on Monday.
She was arrested on Wednesday and was initially in custody in Bukit Aman in Kuala Lumpur, before being brought here and remanded.
Meanwhile, lawyer Latheefa Koya, who is also representing Maznah, said the release condition involving the court bond was uncommon.
She questioned why the police had applied for a bond under Section 118 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which is for witnesses and complainants.
"It is very strange. That process cannot be applied on her because she's a suspect. If they are going to charge anybody, it's her," said Latheefa.
Latheefa explained that a suspect would normally be released unconditionally or with a police bail.
"If they want her to give a statement, they can call her anytime. She has admitted to being the woman behind the video. Or if they think there's an offence, charge her," she said.
Maznah was investigated under Section 298A of the Penal Code, which deals with causing disharmony on grounds of religion.
Posted: 01 Aug 2013 12:05 PM PDT
(The Malay Mail) - He observed that Maznah had been treated like a criminal who posed a serious security threat to the country when she had yet to be charged, let alone convicted by a court of law.
Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has called the decision to remand a Muslim woman over an Aidilfitri video which featured her dogs a result of paranoia and suggested that Muslims were "protected species" in Malaysia.
Besides the former Cabinet minister, a number of other Malay-Muslim community leaders have also labelled the action excessive.
"You can investigate any case but there is no need to remand, no need to detain people unless it's absolutely necessary. This is not a hardcore crime," Zaid told The Malay Mail Online yesterday, referring to the arrest and detention of Maznah Mohd Yusof on Wednesday on sedition claims.
The former de facto law minister during the Abdullah administration denounced the police action on the 38-year-old woman as excessive in relation to her purported offence.
He observed that Maznah had been treated like a criminal who posed a serious security threat to the country when she had yet to be charged, let alone convicted by a court of law.
"I think they have taken a high-handed approach... everyone is paranoid," said the former lawyer who once ran the country's largest legal firm, Zaid Ibrahim & Co.
"Everybody is influenced by public opinion and everybody is scared to do the right thing," he added.
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