KUALA LUMPUR ― Umno religious cleric Dr Fathul Bari Mat Jahya told former minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim today to respect God’s laws as it “encompasses everything” unlike civil laws.
Zaid should not have accused the ulama, or clergy class, of stifling religious discourse, the Umno Youth executive councillor said, claiming the group is only disseminating Islamic teachings.
“Ulama will still talk about things which are wajib, halal and haram (obligatory, allowed and prohibited) because that is their responsibility. We have to interpret Islam from the perspectives of economy, administration in social.
“When we see it from a narrow angle, then comes people like Zaid who always see Islam badly,” he told news portal Astro Awani.
Fathul Bari claimed the so-called “liberals” will heed civil laws, but always find fault with laws purportedly created by God.
Yesterday, Zaid said the unilateral interpretation of Islam by the ulama class here puts Malaysia in the same class as those leading militant religious group Islamic State (IS) in the Middle East.
An Islamic society that does not allow for different interpretations of its faith stifles constructive religious discourse and promotes extremism, the one-time de facto law minister cautioned.
Putrajaya has condemned the IS as a terrorist group but some Malaysians have been making their way to Syria to join in the fighting to create a religious caliphate there.
On Monday, the Bloomberg news service reported that as many as 40 Malaysians are currently fighting for the IS in Syria, with some saying that the jihad was mandated by the Prophet Muhammad.
The violence and brutality committed by terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria poses a threat to the Middle East and, if left unchecked, the world, the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations said in a statement on September 27.
Originally published on www.themalaymailonline.com