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Thursday, June 5, 2014

IN A STATE OF UTTER CONFUSION

By SSK

JAIS’ action in disrupting a Hindu wedding in Selangor on suspicion that the bride was a Muslim is akin to ‘Talibanisation’, said well-known Muslim scholar and former Perlis mufti, Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin.

Asri rebuked JAIS, the Selangor Islamic Religious Department, for raiding a Hindu temple in Petaling Jaya where the wedding was conducted, warning that the Islamic authority that it had, by its action, tarnished the image of Islam.

“Jais should be careful in what they do because their actions have given the wrong image not only to Malaysians but to the world,” said Asri.

Renowned scholar Asri is just one of many who spoke up on this recent fiasco. Previous Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad also expressed his concern regarding the matter.

In fact, Dr Mahathir had also earlier expressed his unhappiness regarding Kassim Ahmad’s arrest for his views presented at the Perdana Leadership Foundation forum in Putrajaya.

This latest episode is just one more in a series of episodes involving state and federal religious authorities. And all these incidences have just left Muslims as well as non-Muslims in an utter state of confusion.

It appears that even the state governments and the Menteris Besar have no power to keep the state religious authorities in check. The impression given is that the state religious authorities are autonomous and beyond the control of the chief executive or the State Exco.

And this does not augur well for Islam, which is being touted as a religion of peace and tolerance but does not demonstrate what it preaches.

Where does the buck stop? This needs to be clarified so that this confusion can be cleared up. Currently, it appears like religious authorities are on a rampage and their action merely leaves the word ‘Islam’ with a bad taste in the mouth.

And this can no longer be allowed to prolong.

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