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PAS Ulama challenges Fatwa Committee

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May 7: PAS’s Ulama wing has urged the government’s National Fatwa Committee to state its stance on the country’s messy electoral system, saying public anger over this was the reason why thousands took to the streets on April 28.

In his reaction to yesterday’s statement by the committee’s head Abdul Shukor Husin condemning anti-government demonstrations as “forbidden in Islam”, the wing’s leader Ustaz Harun Taib (right) defended the need for protests as part of the Islamic principle of “enjoining good and forbidding evil”.

“Demonstrations to state a stand fulfils the obligation of enjoining good and forbidding evil. Bersih 3.0 only wants the improvisation of the country’s messy electoral system through its eight demands. This is a duty of enjoining good and forbidding evil which is incumbent on the people, especially Muslims,” said Harun.

Shukor earlier declared it was haram (forbidden) for Muslims to participate in any gathering or demonstration which is against the law, and accused participants of the Bersih 3.0 rally of “rioting”. His statement has been compared to Egypt’s government-funded Islamic authorities in January last year forbidding protests against the regime of Hosni Mubarak, just days before he was forced out of office.

But according to Harun, the demonstration on April 28 would have remained peaceful if not for the provocations.

Meanwhile, the wing’s secretary Dr Khairuddin Aman Razali called on the fatwa committee to come out of its narrow lenses and state its view on the country’s financial mismanagement, widespread corruption and abuse of government funds by the ruling party during elections.

“Only then the Fatwa committee will garner respect and not seen as a tool of the government, but a voice for enjoining good and forbidding evil,” he added.

Source: Harakah