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Thread: Religion: Sisters in Islam declared illegal

   
   
       
  1. #1
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    Religion: Sisters in Islam declared illegal

    Founder of ‪#‎Malaysian‬ Muslim women's NGO to gov't: Stop faking 'moderation' for 'Western consumption' while fanning flames of 'supremacy', 'extremism' and 'intolerance' on the home front.
    Every word of Zainah Anwar's article is worth reading. Here is an excerpt.


    'The irony is that when Malaysians boast to foreigners about the moderate Islam of Malaysia, it is Sisters in Islam, the civil society organisation declared as sesat and menyeleweng [deviant] that is regarded internationally as a measure of its moderation. When some years ago the government brought in a procession of western journalists, academics, political aides and congressional staffers to promote better understanding of Malaysia and repair its dented image in the West, everyone of them was sent to visit Sisters in Islam. Our existence was used as evidence that the Malaysian government was open and democratic and practised moderate Islam. And SIS made quite a bit of money selling our publications, thirsty as the visitors were to learn more about an Islam that is compatible with women’s rights and human rights.


    But this Jekyll and Hyde charade the government plays for different audiences in different locations and at different times will eventually fall apart. For there is a runaway train heading towards a crash.


    For too long this government has given almost a carte blanche to the religious authorities and the belligerent supremacists to take the lead and define what Islam is and is not in Malaysia and who are the good Muslims and bad Muslims. Malaysia’s moderate Islam is only touted for Western consumption. A discordant tune is played on the home front.


    But Malaysians know better. Just look at the chatter on social media and you find increasing numbers of Muslims, speaking out, sick and tired of being told yet again of more categories of Muslims and practices to be denounced, hated and declared deviant. How many more Muslims must be hated to satiate the hunger of the self-appointed puritanical representatives of the faith to construct enemies in order to justify their existence and purpose in life?


    I wish those in religious authority realise that life is so much easier and work will be so much more satisfying if they spend their time promoting the beauty, love, kindness, compassion of Islam to draw Muslims closer to the faith. Instead, they are turning many Muslims against this despotic institutionalisation of their faith, and into rejecting the Islam as represented by state authority.'


    http://www.thestar.com.my/Opinion/Columnists/Sharing-The-Nation/Profile/Articles/2014/11/02/Cut-out-the-charade/


    Reminder of various recent pronouncements (in Friday sermons read in mosques all over Malaysia) by JAKIM, an agency in Malaysia's Prime Minister's Department.

    https://www.facebook.com/GlobalBersi...62540283805070
    py

  2. #2
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    Agency in ‪#‎Malaysia‬'s Prime Minister's Department says liberal thinking deviant, in Friday sermon read in mosques nationwide.


    http://www.themalaymailonline.com/ma...amic-authority


    Other recent Friday sermons by the same agency, also read in mosques nationwide:

    http://www.themalaymailonline.com/ma...y-muslims-told
    http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/m...-friday-sermon
    http://www.themalaymailonline.com/ma...ity-capitalism
    http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/m...-friday-sermon


    'Moderation abroad, extremism at home' seems to be Putrajaya's watchword at the moment. The international community's lack of fluency in Malay is one factor allowing the successful perpetuation of this doublespeak.


    All Friday sermons from JAKIM (available only in Malay):http://www.islam.gov.my/en/khutbah-online




    Liberal thinking is deviant teaching, says Malaysia’s Islamic authority


    KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 ― Muslims must not fall for the arguments put forth by the liberal proponents of their creed as the ideas they propagate deviate from the...
    THEMALAYMAILONLINE.COM




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  3. #3
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    Putrajaya to blame for fatwa against Sisters in Islam, says founder

    Published: 2 November 2014

    Zainah, seen here at a flash mob event in Bangsar in March, has condemned Putrajaya for presenting a different face of Islam in the international front contradicting its stand domestically. - The Malaysian Insider pic, November 2, 2014.
    The founder of Sisters In Islam (SIS) has blamed Putrajaya for the "religious deviant" fatwa brought against it, saying religious authorities have been given a free hand in defining what is Islam and a good Muslim.


    Zainah Anwar said the decree is yet another example of a descent into a puritanical, extremist, intolerant brand of Islam in Malaysia.


    "For too long this government has given almost a carte blanche to the religious authorities and the belligerent supremacists to take the lead and define what Islam is and is not in Malaysia and who are the good Muslims and bad Muslims," she wrote in her column in Sunday Star today.


    “Malaysia’s moderate Islam is only touted for Western consumption. A discordant tune is played on the home front."


    In her hard-hitting column, Zainah pointed out the irony that when Malaysians boast to foreigners about the country’s brand of moderate Islam, it is the NGO that is regarded internationally as a measure of moderation.


    Citing an example, Zainah said a few years ago, the Barisan Nasional-led government brought in visitors comprising western journalists, academics, political aides and congressional staffers to promote better understanding of Malaysia and repair its dented image in the West.


    This Jekyll and Hyde charade the government plays for different audiences in different locations and at different times will eventually fall apart. For there is a runaway train heading towards a crash. – Zainah Anwar

    The visitors went to SIS where the organisation was used as evidence that the Malaysian government was open and democratic and practised moderate Islam.


    "But this Jekyll and Hyde charade the government plays for different audiences in different locations and at different times will eventually fall apart. For there is a runaway train heading towards a crash," she wrote.


    "But Malaysians know better. Just look at the chatter on social media and you find increasing numbers of Muslims speaking out, sick and tired of being told yet again of more categories of Muslims and practices to be denounced, hated and declared deviant.


    "How many more Muslims must be hated to satiate the hunger of the self-appointed puritanical representatives of the faith to construct enemies in order to justify their existence and purpose in life?"


    A fatwa gazetted in Selangor in July had declared that SIS and any other similar organisations that promote religious liberalism and plurality as being deviant to the teachings of Islam.


    In addition, any publication that promoted liberal and pluralistic religious thinking would be declared unlawful and confiscated.


    The decree also ordered the Multimedia and Communications Commission (MCMC) to block any website that went against Islamic teachings.


    SIS stumbled across the fatwa on October 20 on Jakim’s website and on Friday filed a judical review against the decree.


    It named the Selangor Fatwa Committee, Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) and the state government as respondents.


    Zainah said the actions of the religious authorities, whom many denounced as a reaction of their fear of further loss of power and control over Muslims, are turning many Muslims away.


    "I wish those religious authority realise that life is so much easier and work will be so much more satisfying if they spend their time promoting the beauty, love, kindness, and compassion of Islam to draw Muslims closer to the faith.


    “Instead, they are turning many Muslims against this despotic institutionalisation of their faith, and into rejecting the Islam as represented by state authority.



    “It is not rocket science to figure out that love and compassion can help to restore the religious legitimacy our ulama seek, much faster than condemnation and punishment," she added. – November 2, 2014.
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    Sisters in Islam fries Azmin Ali over his ‘respect fatwa’ call

    BY EILEEN NG
    Published: 2 November 2014

    Sisters In Islam are aggrieved with Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali for saying that the organisation should respect the fatwa banning it, noting that they have every right to challenge the edict. – November 2, 2014.
    Peeved with Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali for saying the state fatwa branding Sisters in Islam (SIS) as deviant should be respected, the non-governmental organisation today demanded that he explain himsef and insisted they are acting within their rights in challenging the edict.


    "With all due respect, what does it even mean to 'respect' the fatwa? Perhaps he can enlighten us on the definition of 'liberalism' and 'pluralism'," SIS programme manager Suri Kempe said, when contacted.


    The Sun Daily quoted the new menteri besar as saying that the decision by the state religious authorities should be respected.


    "The decision has been made and I think it should be respected," he was quoted as saying yesterday before refusing to answer any further questions.


    The NGO filed a judicial review against the decree on Friday after stumbling across the fatwa on October 20 on Jakim's website.


    The fatwa, which was gazetted in Selangor in July, declared that SIS and any other similar organisations that promote religious liberalism and plurality as being deviant to the teachings of Islam.


    In addition, any publication that promoted liberal and pluralistic religious thinking would be declared unlawful and confiscated.


    SIS have named the Selangor Fatwa Committee, Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) and the state government as respondents.


    Suri said SIS is challenging the fatwa on constitutional grounds.


    "Surely we are legally entitled to challenge that which tries to restrict our constitutionally guaranteed fundamental liberties."


    She said the organisation had educated more than 10,000 Muslim women to be more aware of their rights and that should not be seen as going against Islamic teachings.


    "Does helping nearly 10,000 Muslim women who turned to us for legal help, and providing over 4,000 women with knowledge that has enpowered them to know their rights in Islam constitute liberalism and pluralism, and is therefore, deviant and going against Islamic teachings?" she asked. – November 2, 2014.
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  5. #5
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    Wrong to ban SIS, allow different views, Anwar tells Muslim authorities

    BY SHERIDAN MAHAVERA
    Published: 2 November 2014

    Anwar feels Muslim authorities should allow intellectual discourse on Islam instead of just disallowing any form of divergent views. - The Malaysian Insider pic, November 2, 2014.Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today that Muslim authorities should allow public space for divergent views promoted by groups like Sisters In Islam (SIS)


    The opposition leader said while it was the right of the National Fatwa Council to disagree with SIS, it should not have banned the group.


    Anwar also defended Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali's
    stance on the fatwa, saying that the latter merely said he respected it.

    "My position is that there must be an avenue for people to agree to disagree and to continue to have discussions in a proper forum," Anwar told reporters after giving a speech at the Muslim Democrats Conference dinner in Petaling Jaya tonight.


    "I have reservations about the fatwa. It can express disagreements but I don't think they should ban discourse in the first place."


    SIS is filing a judicial review on a fatwa gazetted in July which declared that SIS and any other similar organisations that promote religious liberalism and plurality as being deviant to the teachings of Islam.


    In addition, any publication that promoted liberal and pluralistic religious thinking would be declared unlawful and confiscated.


    SIS have named the Selangor Fatwa Committee, Selangor Islamic
    Religious Council (Mais) and the state government as respondents in the judicial review.



    The group said it was challenging the fatwa on constitutional grounds.


    In his remarks today, Anwar said religious authorities should not place

    a blanket ban on concepts such as liberalism and pluralism without first looking at how they are being used in Muslim intellectual discourse.


    Muslim authorities, Anwar said, should allow for more space in society to discuss the different interpretations of these concepts.


    “Liberalism can mean openness and pluralism is an ideal that has been advanced by (famous Tunisian Muslim scholar) Rached Ghannoushi., who said that Islam is pluralistic. You cannot label Ghannoushi as deviant.


    “If pluralism means that you reject the Muslim faith as the true faith, then that is different. But pluralism can also mean diversity, which is respected and noble.”


    Meanwhile, Azmin said that he was not qualified to comment on whether the fatwa was properly done as he was not a part of the Fatwa Council which issued the decree.


    He added that the Selangor Muslim Affairs Council (Mais) will meet SIS over the fatwa that declared the latter a deviant organisation.


    Azmin said the meeting would allow Mais to listen to SIS's point of view while the latter would also have the chance to learn the reasons behind the fatwa.


    "This is a positive development to enable SIS to discuss the fatwa with Mais and for the Mufti's office to look into the matter.


    "I urged both parties to take this consultative approach and the Mufti has agreed to this.


    "This is the best way so that both parties can get explanations from each other," Azmin told reporters when met after the Muslim Democrats Conference.


    Azmin was criticised
    today by SIS for saying that the state government respected the Fatwa Council’s decision to issue the decree. – November 2, 2014.
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