Siti Kasim has thrown down the gauntlet to PAS again, daring the Islamist party to an open discussion on the proposed amendments to the Shariah Courts Criminal Jurisdiction (Act 355).
The controversial lawyer-cum-activist said that more openness was needed on what the law was about in order for Malays to realise the serious implications this amendment will have on their lives.
“This is what PAS has been lying to us about, they are not being Islamic at all, they are not being honest with Malays,” she was quoted by TheSun as saying.
Blaming the lack of knowledge, ignorance and fear among Muslims as the reasons behind their silent acceptance and compliance with so-called “Islamic policies” in the country, Siti said there were those too afraid to express any view on Islam for fear of “becoming murtad (apostatised).”
“Even my own friends too, have such fears, but it is all unfounded. When you don’t understand, you may fear.
“I want Malays to wake up. Don’t say this is God’s law so we cannot go against it.
“Let’s pressure the mullahs and ulamas or ustaz – they are not the only ones who can speak about Islamic law. Open up discussions, debates and share views with those interested.
“Can you give me one country in the world that implements hudud and is successful in terms of economy, society, human rights welfare and so on?” TheSun quoted her as saying.
She added that the proposed amendments to the criminal enactment under the shariah law will have major implications on Muslims, and they are being misled by “Islamofascists”, referring to PAS and various religious bodies.
“Islam does not say that you must be governed by Islamic law. Islamic law is about justice and compassion.
“Secular laws are Islamic as it is about justice and compassion; in fact more Islamic than the hudud suggested by ‘Islamofascists’,” she told theSun.
Stating an example of how existing laws complied with “justice and compassion” which Islam espouses, Siti argued that caning was not imposed on people aged 50 and above, whereas hudud laws had no such age limit.
Challenging the validity of implementing hudud law in the country, Siti added that even in the Quran, there were only six mentions, and that too using the term “had” (limit) instead of punishments.
“This argument of what hudud is and what hudud is not, will never end. They will disagree with me totally and I will disagree with them totally.”
Siti related the act of cutting off hands for example, as mentioned in the Quran.
“The Arabic word used in the Quran to refer to cutting hands is ‘eqta’u’, which means ‘cutting to mark’ and not to ‘cut\off’ as widely interpreted.
“You need to see the whole of the Quran to see how that particular word is mentioned. In the context of the situation, the word eqta’u, which is the command from the word qata’aa, has been wrongly interpreted by traditional scholars to mean ‘to sever.’
“But the word ‘sever’ in Arabic is batara and not qata’aa. The word ‘cut’ can mean sever or cut off and can also mean to cause a cut or wound.
“So the punishment enforced in some Islamic countries for the crime of theft is based on the wrong interpretation. That is one example of how the Arabic word can become so dire from cut to mark a person’s hand to become cut off,” Siti said, according to the daily.
She also questioned how a repentant thief can carry on with his or her life once their limbs were cut off.
“In the case of Hadi’s law, the first offence entails the cutting (of a) hand; the second, cutting (of a) leg – how many times do you want to cut a person? Until all his limbs are gone?”
She again stressed that hudud was being used as a political tool by some as a means “to control society.”
FMT Reporters Online