Thursday, March 26, 2015

What Najib means by no absolute freedom



Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said yesterday that there is no such thing as absolute freedom. As students of political philosophy would know, the age-old saying goes: your freedom ends where my nose begins. That means you do not have the freedom to hurt me.

And you can hurt me in many ways, not just physically. And that is why Islam views slander as one of the major crimes, equivalent to murder.

Hammam ibn Al-Harith reported: We were sitting with Hudhaifa and it was said that a man falsely attributed a story to Uthman. Hudhaifa said: I heard the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, say, “The slanderer will not enter Paradise.” (Sahih Bukhari 5709, Sahih Muslim 105).

Online news portals must be responsible and not report distorted or untrue news. For example, the Mufti of Perlis, Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, has denied in his Blog what The Malaysian Insider reported he had said.

And now the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal, Syed Danial Syed Ahmad, has also issued an official statement denying yet another The Malaysian Insider news report. Furthermore, a police report has been lodged at the Jalan Travers Police Station.

When the police use the Sedition Act against those committing crimes the opposition cries out about injustice. They do not seem to realise that injustice also includes subjecting people to slander.

Justice has to work both ways. You cannot demand justice when you do not offer others justice as well.

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