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.