Hudud refers in Islamic law to the Sharia punishments on zina (various acts of sexual immorality — stoning for adultery, execution for homosexuality, lashes for various other offenses), theft (amputation of the hand), apostasy (execution), and the drinking of alcohol (lashes). Muslims in the West routinely affirm that they do not believe in these punishments and do not want to see them implemented in the West. They are, in other words, those legendary “moderate Muslims,” in whom so much hope is invested and upon whom so much public policy is based.
However, in Malaysia, the Islamic Renaissance Front has branded such Muslims “deviants.” No doubt the Imam Rauf, Ahmed Rehab, and Reza Aslan are jetting to Kuala Lumpur right now to explain to Ahmad Farouk Musa how he is drastically misunderstanding Islam.
KUALA LUMPUR: In its effort to push for the implementation of hudud on the basis of Islam, PAS was accused of silencing Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
“While promoting hudud, PAS is also silencing Muslims opposed to its plans by calling them deviants. They are also telling non-Muslims that it had got nothing to do with them.
“That’s PAS rationale. They claim to hold on to the divine when it is not divine,” said Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) director Ahmad Farouk Musa.
Ahmad Farouk said this to a a packed hall during a forum entitled Hudud in Malaysia which was held at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall last night.
The forum is the first which saw PAS being taken on by various other interest groups on the subject of hudud.
Public interest over hudud increased following the announcement by Kelantan Menteri Besar Ahmad Yakob that Kelantan is prepared to implement hudud.
Two private member bills will be tabled at the Parliament in June in relation to this.
A national level committee too has been set up by the federal government to study the implementation of hudud.
Hudud provides punishment for four serious crimes ranging from chopping of an arm to whipping and stoning an individual to death. The four serious crimes are adultery, apostasy, alcohol consumption and theft.
“There are no punishment for apostasy and adultery in the Quran. They claim that it is divine but it is the interpretation of people,” explained Ahmad Farouk.
The only punishment clearly stated in the Quran is the chopping of an arm for theft.
The other crimes and punishments are based on hadith. It is the recorded tradition based on the deeds and sayings of Prophet Muhammad.
Ahmad Farouk also pointed out that divinity is also misused by corrupt leaders to ensure the legitimacy of their governments.
He also revealed that a study conducted by an American university showed that the top countries that scored the highest points in the ratings for Islamic values were Western countries.
Saudi Arabia was ranked at number 131 and the number one nation is New Zealand. Similar positions also mirrored in the ranking for the safest country.
On that note, Ahmad Farouk dared PAS to tell the Malay Rulers that the royalty too would be subject to hudud instead of attempting to convince the Chinese community to support their move.
Responding to the accusations, Sepang MP Hanipa Maidin denied that PAS was silencing dissenting voices.
“We are willing to listen and we allow DAP and PKR to make noise,” he said.
He also disagreed with Ahmad Farouk’s assertion that PAS was using divinity in seeking support.
Hanipa who is also PAS legal advisor said that Muslims believe in the Quran and the hadith and Ahmad Farouk was wrong in understanding the source of hudud.
“You must argue using the science of Quran. There is a precedent and in it Prophet Muhammad allowed, for instance, stoning to death,” said Hanipa.
To this Ahmad Farouk responded: ”What is the hadith compared to the Quran? The Quran is indisputable whereas the hadith is disputable.”
Last night’s session was moderated by Zaid Kamaruddin who is Ikram Malaysia’s honorary secretary.
Other panelists were civil liberties lawyer Syahredzan Johan, and Save Sarawak River’s legal advisor Abun Sui Anyit.